Consumer decision making process
The consumer decision making is defined as the act of gathering information, processing, evaluation and selecting the best possible option to solve a problem. Consumers take elaborate steps while moving towards purchasing a given product of their choice. The process is downward flow that starts with Problem recognition, Information search, alternative evaluation, Purchase, Use and post purchase Evaluation. The six steps that explain the buyer decision making process are discussed bellow.
The buying decision process begins at this stage when a consumer realizes a need to be fulfilled. This is a very critical stage as the buyer may or may not know the solution to their problem. The customer may only be aware of a need that might change their situation but lack the knowhow. Based on recent purchase made, I have decided to use laptop for the sake of this explanation to understand the six critical steps in consumer decision making process. A laptop being a small portable computer is best tool to demonstrate the process. Laptop is the best machine to perform a serious work both at home and in school. While tablets and smart phones are popular going by recent technological advancements, we find that everything from typing a research paper, watching videos etc work best in laptop as opposed to smart phones and tablets. The demand for online services in the market has been going up due to change in work life and sudden shift in working environment accompanied by life style. Such changes have made laptops more popular in the market.
The demand for online services pushed me to conduct information search to find out the best model that will help solve my problem considering drastic shift in working environments. I needed to know more about the main players in the industry. The best device that will enable me to surf, conduct online research both at home and in school. I started my online research and conducted searches to find more, my findings were as follows: HP, Acer, Lenovo, Sony, Dell, and HCL among others are the manufacturers in the market. Besides the work-related field, a huge number of people including students are using laptops for their day to day activities for purposes of entertainment and study. My search revolved around high speed machine which is efficient and reliable in terms of speed and capacity. Devices to surf web, check mails, and navigate social network being a priority.
After information search is completed I started reflecting on the kind of information I discovered. I began to evaluate various options that I got to determine the best solution to my problem. I developed criteria for weighing my prospective choices against comparable alternatives. At this point I had a lot to consider in terms lower prices, additional product benefits, product availability, or something as personal as color or style options. I looked for reasons to believe why one solution was more beneficial than the other by making comparison list of multiple laptops. The list includes technical aspects, service, brand, and other features.
The list is contained in the table below.
Technical aspect Service Brand Others
Type of CPU multitasking and multimedia tasks Brand of CPU Size
Speed of the processor The speed at which information processed Brand associated with process size
Motherboard Number of service station in the county Brand of motherboard Price
RAM Number of programs running at ago Brand company of the RAM Size
Hard disk capacity Reputation of after sale support Durability Capacity
The keyboard quality Ability to type and clear view Brand company Unique feature
Screen quality How comfortable the screen when reading Brand company size
Battery life How long it retains power Brand company Availability of accessories
Wireless network Ability to access wireless internet Brand company Speed
Size Slim and light Brand company Portability
The number of USB ports Plugging in external hard drives Brand company The number
Finger print reader and TMP Logging into mobile devices Brand company Price
Once the research and evaluation are done, I made my choice having a clear view of the product in question from a set. Based on information search and findings it was clear to me that HP was my best pick among many alternatives. This was arrived at based on available resources and its suitability compared to other devices.
The machine is simple to use embedded with unique features, the keyboard have got many additional keys, and it has a very high working speed. The graphics are very ok with high definition screen. I find it more efficient to perform my day to day activities. The RAM is fine and able to run different programs at time with a lot of ease. I find it most suitable for my needs.
This becomes my last step in the five-stages of consumer decision-making process, the path of purchase being complete at this particular stage. Post purchase evaluation is done so that a reflection is made whether the right decision was arrived at before buying the product. At this stage the customer will consider if the solution accurately and fully meets their needs. This is now upon the customer to decide if it was worth the cost and if the brand delivered on their promises. The device delivered on its key promises considering speed, battery life, and wireless network among other important features. My feeling about the device meeting my expectations is achieved.
The Mind set offers a clearer representation of how buyers make important decisions. It illustrates how the decision-making process can be unique to each consumer. The processes demonstrate how consumers need full understanding of steps that are involved. Following the above steps keenly it is important to conclude that consumers jump from mindset to mindset, move back and forth or even skip mindsets altogether. Considering each mindset, and how they work together, allows marketers to have a better understanding of the needs and type of information individuals will want during each touch point. Knowing what consumers need paired with the right timing lets us speak to them in a more personalized and direct way.