Consumer behavior: Actions a person takes when purchasing and using products and services.
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Consumer purchase decision process: Stages that a buyer passes through when making choices about which products or services to buy.
- Problem recognition: perceiving a need: This is when a person realizes that the difference between what he or she has and what he or she would like is big enough to actually do something about it.
- Information search, seeking value: Consumers search for information about what product or service will satisfy there newly discovered need. Internal search: for frequently purchased products such as shampoo, this may be enough. External search: Especially needed when one does not have much past experience or knowledge, the risk of a bad decision is high, and the cost of gathering info is low. Sources are friends, Internet, etc.
- Alternative evaluation, assessing value: Creating your evaluative criteria, what you want this product or service to have. Example: Under 400$, battery life of 20 hours for an MP3 player.
- Purchase decision, buying value: Three choices remain: the chosen brand, from whom to buy, and when to buy. This will depend on if there are sales, location of suppliers, store atmosphere, salesperson persuasiveness…
- Post purchase behavior, value in consumption or use: After buying a product, the consumer compares it with his or her expectations and is either satisfied or dissatisfied. This strongly affects the value a customer perceives after the purchase. Satisfaction or dissatisfaction affects consumer communications and repeat-purchase.
Involvement and problem-solving variations
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Involvement: The involvement level of a customer reflects how carefully a consumer will look at the 5-step purchase decision process. The level of involvement depends on the consumers personal, social and, and economic consequences of that purchase.
Routine problem solving: For products such as salt and milk, consumers recognize a problem, make a decision and spend little effort seeking external information and evaluating alternatives. It is basically a habit.
Limited Problem solving: Consumers typically seek some information or rely on a friend to help them. Items such as jeans, a restaurant are good examples.
Extended problem solving: In extended problem solving, each of the five stages are used in the purchase, including considerable time.
- Purchase task: The reason for engaging in the decision in the first place.
- Social surroundings: Including the other people present when a purchase decision is made.
- Physical surroundings: Such as decor, music, and crowding in retail stores may alter how purchase decisions are made.
- Temporal effects: Such as time of day or amount of time available.
- Antecedent states: Which include the consumer’s mood or the amount of cash on hand.
Psychological influences on consumer behavior:
Motivation: Energizing force that stimulates behavior to satisfy a need.
- Physiological needs: Basic to survival and must be satisfied first.
- Safety needs: Involved self-preservation and physical well-being. Smoke detector and burglar alarm manufacturers focus on these needs.
- Social needs: Concerned with love and friendship. Ex: Dating service
- Personal needs: Need for achievement, status and self-respect. Ex: American express gold card
- Self-actualization needs: Personal fulfillment. Ex: Vacation trips
Personality: A person’s consistent behavior or responses to recurring situations.
Perception: Process by which someone selects, organizes, and interprets information to create a meaningful picture of the world.
Selective perception: Process for which the brain organizes and interprets information from an information rich-environment.
Selective exposure: Occurs when people pay attention to messages that are consistent with their attitudes and beliefs and ignore messages that are inconsistent.
Selective comprehension: Involves interpreting information so that it is consistent with your attitudes and beliefs.
Perceived risk: Represents the anxieties felt because the consumer cannot anticipate the outcomes of a purchase but believes that there may be negative consequences.