What are the steps in the consumer buyer decision process?
The consumer buyer decision process describes the steps in details that make a customer buy a product. At first, and that was also the case for me before learning how many steps were included, you should think that there are no definite steps: you’re buying a product that’s it. As a regular customer, you experience this process almost every day without knowing it in detail.
Here is the answer:
The need recognition is the step in which you realize that you need or want something. As you notice something is lacking in your life, you’ll start to look for all possible solutions to fix this need or fulfill this want. Amongst all products (and so different brands) that are likely to fulfill the need, you have to choose the best one for you. You’ll take a look at different features, the look, and the technical performances for example; this is the evaluation of alternatives. The evaluation of alternatives may not occur when you are already loyal to a brand; you buy a product without looking at other similar products. For convenient products (daily life products like salt or soap), the evaluation of alternatives is likely to be quick. But for shopping products (high-technology products or appliances for example) that are more expensive, the evaluation of alternatives takes longer. Once you think you have found the best solution you’re supposed to decide to buy it. There are some external factors that can modify your decision. If you hear a friend (or read something bad about it on the Internet) complaining about the product you were about to buy, you’ll think about it again. The post-purchase behavior is the last step in the customer buyer decision process. This is an important step for sellers. This step will determine if the customer will become loyal to the brand. If the customer is satisfied, his need is fulfilled as expected so a long-term relationship is supposed to be created between himself and the brand. On the contrary if his expectations are higher than values provided by the product, the customer will spread bad reviews about the product to his friends and online. Nowadays, word-of-mouth and online review of products are two powerful elements that can make a customer change his decision to buy a product.
Now that you know the steps included in the consumer buyer decision process, to make it easy and understandable (if it’s not already), you are going to think about yourself when you are experiencing this process. That’s what I did and everything was clear after that. For example, you just found a job 10miles away from home. You obviously need a car, and you think that maybe you should buy one, this is the need recognition. You start looking at the cars’ market, searching for more information given your own personality and desires. This is the research part. After collecting information, you logically wonder which one is the best for you, which one will best fulfill your need. This is the evaluation of alternatives. Once you think you found the right one, you’re ready to make the decision. After buying it and using it a bit, either you’re happy with your new purchase or you regret it. This is the post-purchasing behavior.
Image’s reference: http://www.onspotsocial.com/get-new-customer-to-return/