ARTICLE: 4 Stages of Consumer Buying Process

The consumer is the king of the market, and he is the one who decides the success or failure of a company. The consumer has to decide what to buy, from where to buy, how much to buy as per the factors that affect their purchase. They also have to analyse the alternatives and then choose the best one of all. The whole process of making a purchase is divided into several stages that influence the buying behaviour of the customers. It is the important chapter for the students with the specialisation of marketing, and they must learn the marketing process in easy steps for the better understanding of the concepts.

  • Recognising the problem

You must recognise the problem that is faced by the consumers while making a purchase. The customers always have high expectations but the product they get in reality, and that creates the problem for the customers. But on the brighter side, it works as an opportunity for the marketer. You can start the marketing of the product in the way that appeals the customer. The consumer always looks for the new opportunities for the satisfaction of their wants and needs. For more effective results, you can start with content marketing so that you can share testimonials and some facts and figures regarding your product to impress them and make them aware about the services you are offering through it.

  • Search for the information

If the customer recognises the issue they are dealing with, they can look for its solution, and it will start the research part. It is the best opportunity for you to recognise the issues faced by your customers and then offering them the solution with the help of your product. You must advertise your product in such a way that it looks like a solution to them. It will help you to keep your product ahead of all the competitors.

The establishment of the brand is the perfect way to reach to your clients whether it is from newspapers and magazines, through television or by visiting showroom or dealer. You must try with all possible sources of information.

These are the sources that consumer can choose for the information:

  • Personal sources

These are some personal sources that provide information to the students. These sources can be the family members, relatives, colleagues or friends of the customers.

  • Sources for commercial use

These are the sources that provide the information on the base of their advertising with the help of their salesmen. They have other dominant sources such as package, display, dealers and exhibition.

  • Sources at Public level

These are the sources that are available at the public level. For instance – mass media which includes TV, newspapers, magazines, cinemas etc. There are also some other sources that include consumer-rating agencies etc.

  • Sources that can be experimented

It includes the gestation of the or the usage of the products. How to choose the source is decided on behalf of the personal traits of the individual, different types of products, the capacity of the individual and the durability and how reliable your sources are. There are different functions performed by the marketers that influence the buying decision of the customer. The customers have the option of collecting different sorts of information so that they can decide what to buy and what not to buy.

You can consider one thing that the customer is not going to analyse everything in the market. They will go through some of the brands of their choice and. They will be aware of the things that are his or her favourite and the things that are under his affordability. Therefore, it is the opportunity for the marketer to make people aware of their product so that they can compare it with the ones available in the market. The organisation has to identify the sources that can make people aware of their products. By expressing valuable information, the company can attract relative uses.

  • Look for the alternatives

After the collection of information about their preferred brands, the customer starts evaluating them. But he cannot buy everything available in the market. Therefore, he will go for the only one that best suits them. The customer will always choose the best one of all which can provide him with maximum satisfaction. The competitive advantage comes into the role at this stage, where it helps to attract more customers with the special feature of the product. And the customer will buy which he feels most attractive. Evaluation is the main thing that makes them choose one among the alternatives.

Here are certain factors that are considered in the evaluation process:

  • People choose the product because of its quality, performance and features.
  • Drop in prices of the brands.
  • Past performance of the brands
  • The sale also depends upon the word of mouth or popularity of the products.
  • Other additional services such as after sale services, guarantee or warranty period and free installation also.
  • 'Ratings by the dealers.

This was the general criteria, but if we go for the products such as a motorbike, then the preferences would be quite different.

  • Price of the product
  • Performance and the pick-up of the bike or car.
  • Different facilities and the level of comfort provided.
  • Mileage of the vehicle.
  • The cost incurred in the maintenance
  • Reputation in the market
  • Services offered by the company.

Customers also consider the resale value of the product. They will go for the one who will satisfy all their needs and provide them with the required comfort. For the better sales, the features are supposed to be highlighted so that it can attract more and more of customers.

  • The decision of buying the product

In this stage, the consumer decides what to buy and what not to buy. They have to choose the best one among all the alternatives. After all the evaluation, they come to a decision and purchase at a price that is easily affordable to them. By comparing they decide the superior product among the inferiors. There are certain sub-decisions in the decision to purchase.
Factors affecting the sub-decisions:

  • Decision of brand.
  • The decision of choosing the vendor.
  • The quantity of purchase.
  • The decision of the timing.
  • Payment decision.

After going through all these stages, the customer has to decide what to buy within his or her budget.