THE CONSUMER DECISION PROCESS
Need recognition : beginning of consumer decision process. Consumers realize they have
an unsatisfied need and want it to go from actual too desired state.
• Functional needs: pertains to the performance of a product or service
• Psychological needs: pertains to personal gratification consumer associates with a
product or service
• Internal search for information: buy examines his own memory and knowledge about the
product or service they have gathered through past experience
• External search for information: buy seeks information outside his or her personal
Factors Affecting Consumers’ Search Process
Perceived Benefits Vs Perceived Cost
• Internal locus of control: Consumers believe they have control over the outcome of their
actions, which leads to more searching activities
• External locus of control: consumer believe the outcomes are on faith or other external
• Performance risk: the danger inherited by a poorly performing produce or service
• Financial risk: cost of purchasing and using the product or service
• Social risk: others might not regard the purchase positively
• Physiological (safety) risk: fear of actual harm if the product doesn’t perform properly
• Psychological risk: the way people may feel if the product or service doesn’t convey the
• Specialty goods/services: product or service a customer shows preference towards and
they will search for the best supplier
• Shopping goods/services: products or services, such as fragrances, and appliances.
They will spend time comparing alternatives. • Convenience goods/ services: product or service for which a consumer is not willing to
spend any effort evaluating before buying
• Evaluation criteria: consist of important attributes about a product that consumers use to
• Determinant attributes: features of products and services that are important to the buyer
and this is where brands differ
• Consumer decision rules: set of criteria consumers use consciously or subconsciously
and effectively select among several alternatives
• Compensatory decision rules: Consumer is evaluating alternatives and trades off one
characteristic against another, such that good characteristic make up for the bad ones.
Eg: mileage efficiently over price
• Non-compensatory : consumers choose a product or service on a basis of a subset of
its characteristic, not caring about other valuable attributes
Eg: reject a car because of its price. One weakness makes the person pick the other car.
• Decision heuristic: mental short cut consumers take to narrow down choices.
Eg: price: buying something more expensive because they think higher price = better
Brand: buying a brand name good allows some consumers to feel safe with their
Product presentation: the manner the product is presented influences the decision
• Ritual consumptions: pattern of behaviours tied to life events that affect what and how
people consume. These behaviours may have a symbolic meaning and vary greatly by
Eg: stock what customers want, offer multiple payment options, have many checkout
lanes, offer price-match guaranteed, a warranty or a simple return policy.
Customer Satisfaction: • Build realistic expectations: