Q. Described briefly the steps in buying decision process.
Ans.: The marketing scholars have developed a "stage model" of the buying process. The consumer passes via 5 stages :
- problem recognition
- information search,
- evaluation of alternatives;
- purchase decision,
- post purchase behavior.
But consumers do not always pass through all of the five stages in buying a product. They can skip some stages.
(1)Problem Recognition: The buying process starts when the purchaser identifying a problem or need. The requirement can be triggered by external or internal stimulus. Having an internal stimulus, 1 of the person's normal requirement hunger thirst etc. becomes a drive or a requirement may be aroused by external stimuli. Marketers have to recognize the circumstances that trigger a specific need by information from a number of consumers.
(2)Information Search: An aroused customer will be inclined to search for more information. A person at time easily becomes receptive to information regarding a product or he may enter looking for a, phoning friends, reading Material, going online etc. throughout gathering information, the consumer learns regarding competing brands & other specific features.
(3)Evaluation of Alternatives: The information search and comprehension (evaluation) stages represent the information preceding stage. These 2 stages constitute the cognitive field of the purchase procedure. Cognition refers to gaining of knowledge. Some fundamental concept helps us in understanding consumer evaluation: firstly the consumer is trying to satisfy a requirement, second the consumer is looking for certain benefits & third the consumer views each product as a bundle of attributes to satisfy this need.
(4)Purchase Decision: The purchaser has to be convinced that the purchase of the product is the legitimate course of action. This stage stands as a barrier among a favorable attitude towards the product and real purchase. Only if the purchaser is convinced regarding the correctness of the purchase decision, will be carry on. At this stage, he may seek further information about the product or try to assess the informational ready available.
(5)Post Purchase Behavior: The purchase leads to a specific post purchase behavior, generally it make some restlessness in the mind of the individual. He is not definite about the product. He may realize that the other brand would have been better. It may be defined in terms of satisfaction. If the performance of the product falls short of expectations, the consumers are dissatisfied, if it meets expectations, the consumer is satisfied and then exceeds expectations, the consumer is delighted. These make a difference in whether the customer purchase the product again & talks favorably or unfavorably regarding it to others.