Consumer Needs And Purchase Behavior Essays Example
The Process from Consumer Need to Purchase Behavior
Purchases made by a consumer are a part of a complex process of making decisions. The process stems from the consumer’s creations for any decision he or she makes to buy a commodity. There are events that characterize the process prior to and after the actual purchase. The following stages explain the steps involved in the process from the consumer need to purchase behavior:
1. Recognition of the Need or Problem
The identification of the need is the initial process in the process of purchasing. If the consumer does not have a need, then the purchase will be no need to make the purchase. The need situation emanates from the difference between the actual situation of the consumer and the desired situation brought about making the purchase. However, some needs may not end as a purchasing behavior because they are luxurious goods or goods of ostentation (Gulzhanat & Budiono, 2013, p. 23)). In order for the commodity to end up in the purchasing behavior, the purchase in question must be necessary for the consumer. In addition, the manner in which the consumer can acquire the purchase must also be acceptable regarding the price, product, and the ease of acquiring the purchase. The internal stimuli based on the physiological factors trigger the need b the consumer. External stimuli such as advertisements may also initiate the need by the consumer.
2. Information Search
The second stage in the process of purchasing is the search for information. After identifying the need, the consumer must seek information on the possible ways of resolving the need. Based on the decision that the consumer wants to make, the consumer looks for varying amounts of information. The consumer’s level of involvement also determines the amount of information he or she looks for. For instance, the consumer will look for more information when they need to purchase a car and little information when they are buying foodstuff (Hawkins, Mothersbaugh, & Best, 2007, p. 2). The consumer has internal information, which they are aware of because of similar purchases made in the past.
3. Evaluations of Alternatives
After an accessing and analyzing the information available, the consumers will examine the alternatives available for purchase, which will help to the satisfaction of the need in question. The consumer will select the most convenient alternative considering other factors such as price and the ease of accessing of the purchase. Evaluating and selecting alternatives also depends on the internal information that the consumer has on a particular brand. He or she will compare the information they have with the new set acquired to determine the desired features of the alternative brand. Evaluation of alternatives is a significant process because it determines the future purchasing behavior of the consumer (Daly, 2002, p. 2). It leads to an attribute called the evoked set or consideration set. It is a collection of brands that the consumer has a high probability of purchasing given the option to buy a particular set of goods. The consumer’s trend is due to the opinion and perception that he or she has on a particular product.
4. The decision to Purchase
After selecting the best alternative among several options, the consumer purchases the best product that will lead to the satisfaction of his or her needs. The quantity and quality of the good purchased depend on the nature and specific attributes of the need that the consumer has. For instance, the consumer may buy more quantities of a particular commodity if they are with members of their family unlike when they are alone. Purchases may happen on various platforms depending on the shopping preferences of the consumer. It may happen in convenient physical stores or through an online shopping system. The consumer seeks to minimize the costs of making the purchase by reducing associated costs (Saito, 2009, p. 3)
5. Post-Purchasing Behavior
After purchasing the product and using it, the consumer evaluates its efficiency and adequacy in satisfying the need that led to the purchasing behavior. The level of satisfaction will enable the consumer to determine the appropriateness of his or her decision. The customer may be disappointed in the decision he or she made, an element that may initiate a change in the purchase behavior in the future. If the consumer derived maximum satisfaction from the purchase, then the search for information and the evaluation of alternatives in the future will be minimal (Hawkins, Mothersbaugh, & Best, 2007, p. 3). The consumer will embark on repetitive purchase behavior.
Factors Influencing the Process of Decision-making
The Type of Decision (High Involvement versus low Involvement)
Several factors affect the process of making decisions in the behavior of the consumer behavior. Based on the level of knowledge and experience that the consumer has, they make quick decisions when they are purchasing commodities. On the contrary, other consumers may not have the same knowledge and experience hence they have to gather much information about the purchase before making their decisions. In consumer behavior, buyers make low involvement and high involvement decisions. Low involvement decisions involve routine response behavior. These are automatic decisions where the choice to buy seems involuntary for the consumer. In this context, the consumers make decisions using limited information or information they gathered through their shopping experiences.
On the other hand, buyers also make high involvement decisions. The market has buyers from different backgrounds. They also have varying purchasing power due to the income effect that influences the amount of disposable income that they have. As much as some decisions may be considered routine, the case of simplicity and the routine nature of the decisions is unique to the individual consumer. High involvement decisions require the consumer to collect much information because they are not familiar with the product and its qualities (Saito, 2009, p. 14). In most cases, high involvement decisions may involve paying much money compared to the routinely low involvement decisions. Based on these considerations, it is easy for consumers to purchase commodities with low-involvement in terms of information availability and decision-making. For examples, It is easy for me to buy groceries at a convenient store rather than a car from second-hand dealer.
Motivation and Values
Motivation and values also have an effect on the purchasing behavior of a consumer. Motivations refer to the innate urge that arouses behavior oriented towards a particular goal. Motivation may be considered as a need that necessitates the consumer to fulfill it. Motivation may result from the desire to have a certain commodity due to influence from peers and market conditions. As such, the decision made affects the purchasing pattern of the consumers as they may decide to buy a certain commodity to fulfill the motivational need at the expense of an alternative good. Hedonic motivation also affects purchasing decisions. It asserts that people mitigate the possibility of pain in favor of pleasure. Therefore, consumers may decide to buy certain commodities to eliminate the possibility of a shortage. At the same time, consumers also have certain values that affect the decisions to buy. For instance, if I believe that it is better to shop once every beginning month, such a value will affect the decisions to buy during the other day of the month.
Power of Attitudes
Attitude refers to the negative and positive feelings that a consumer has with certain products based on past knowledge. Consumers learn attitudes differently through interaction with products, people, and experiences of using the products. If the consumer derives maximum satisfaction from the purchase made, he or she will have a positive attitude regarding and increase the chances of deciding to buy the commodity in the future. For example, if I buy a certain type of body anti-fungal medication and it heals the condition, I may buy the same medication if I have a similar problem in the future.
The type of Message
Messages act as external sources of information for consumers. Messages can have a huge effect if the marketers can communicate effectively to the consumers by addressing a specific need. In some cases, consumers do not have the adequate amount of information to make purchases with accuracy (Gulzhanat & Budiono, 2013, p. 34). For this reason, messages contained in marketing tools such as advertisements can influence the decisions to have a commodity at the expense of another. For instance, a BMW advertisement in local television stations associates the car with elegance, luxury, and class. As a high-end client, I may purchase the car because it is associated with wealth.
Issues Related to Purchase and Post-purchase Activities
There are various issues related to purchase and post-purchase activities that affect the process of decision making concerning the customer need to purchase. These issues include antecedent states, the purchase environment, and the post-purchase processes. The antecedent states include situational factors, usage contexts, time pressure, moods, shopping, and orientation. These antecedent elements affect the primal decisions of the customers. The situational factors include the factors that influence the desire of the consumers to purchase a given item. Usage contexts are all the elements as product quality, prices that entice the consumers to purchase them. The time pressure, mood, shopping, and orientation define the adjacent elements that contribute to the decision making of consumers.
The purchase environment encompasses the shopping experience, the point-of-purchase stimuli, and the sales interactions. The shopping experience influences the consumers to explore various elements in the purchase of items. These elements include the importance of the products, the trends in the markets of these elements, the future prices of these products, and the consumer preferences (Häubl & Trifts, 2000, p. 10). The point-of-purchase stimuli are another aspect of purchase environment that affects the decision of the consumers at the purchase point. Impulse buying is an element of the stimuli that influences consumers to continue purchasing items. The sales interactions involve the influence of other consumers, salespersons, or marketers on the decision of consumers to purchase items.
Post purchase processes include the consumer satisfaction, product disposal, and alternative markets. The consumer satisfaction comes after they purchase items, and it depends on the quality of the products, the durability of the products or the quality of service. These elements affect the decision of the consumers to purchase these items again. Product disposal encompasses the influence of the availability of a given product. This disposal also involves the closeness of the product to the consumers (Häubl & Trifts, 2000, p. 15). It is likely that close and readily available products will influence the decision of the consumers to purchase them. For instance, I bought my cell phone by virtue of its disposal and closeness to my home. I considered not buying it far away because of the additional cost of transportation. Lastly, the post-purchase processes include the alternative markets. These alternative markets influence the decision of the consumers to buy products by enabling them to compare a variety of products.
The Family and Culture
The family is the most essential and basic group that an individual belongs. The family unit determines many family decisions. As such, most of the consumer behavior, which encompasses making decisions on purchasing, starts in the family units. Families have roles and preferences concerning different products, which influences the future families. As such, families can reject or alter their preferences on certain products (Jobanputra, 2009, p. 18). The family buying decisions comprise of individual decision-making and family interactions. The families act as interpreters of the cultural and social values for the individuals, which are the core elements of the decision making process of purchasing. For example, I was at a mall with my family and ended up purchasing a Calvin Klein cologne because my family prefers it.
On the other hand, culture comprises the set of attitudes, ideas, and values that are accepted by a given groups of individuals that is often homogenous and is transmitted to other generations. Culture determines acceptable elements in terms of product advertising. It determines what individuals reside, eat, travel, and wear (Jobanputra, 2009, p. 25). For instance, culture values in the US encompass individualism, freedom, and education among others. These elements together with the element of scarcity determine the preferences of consumers to given products. As such, they make their purchasing decisions based on the elements defined by their cultures and families.
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Gulzhanat, S., & Budiono, G. L. (2013). CAR PURCHASING SELECTION OF WOMEN AND MEN: A DIFFERENT BEHAVIOR.
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