Discuss about the Decision-Making Process of Consumers?
Before purchasing something decision-making process by the consumers is a most significant process from which the actual picture of consumer behaviour towards a particular product can be drawn. There are different like cultural, social, personal and psychological factors which influence directly or indirectly the decision-making process of a consumer. For different goods the consumer will behave differently according to his need, preference and purchasing power. Before purchasing a product the consumer should go through different stages of decision making process. In this case the judgmental power of consumer among different types of products and also among different types of alternative brands is very essential.
Five stages of decision-making process of consumer while purchasing a consumer electronic product:-
In today’s world the electronic goods are the mostly needed products to the consumers. In case of electronic goods the consumer will always judge its durability (Lerrthaitr and Panjakajor, 2014). Now, laptop is a consumer electronic product and if a consumer wants to buy a new laptop for his/her own consumption, then he/she must follow the following five stages of their decision-making process:-
Problem reorganization or need reorganization by the consumer:-
Before purchasing something the consumer should recognize his/her own needs for a particular product.Without need for any product the consumer will not go for purchasing that product. The need of the consumer should be supported by its purchasing ability. Only then the consumer can precede for the further stages of his/her decision-making choice (Lerrthaitrakul and Panjakajornsak, 2014).
For example: - In this case the consumer is facing a regular problem with his/her old laptop which hampers his/her daily office work and others activities like communicate with the friends and relatives through social media, checking the new mail or sending an important mail etc. Hence, he/ she urgently need a new laptop. Hence, in this case the consumer has the three types of needs for this laptop. They are:-
Functional need: -
This kind of need is related to the specific functions of the laptop. That is the laptop with upgraded technology is more useful for office work and different calculation. Moreover, if the new version of the laptop of a particular company has a more powerful hard-disks and video card than the old one then the consumer will decide to buy the new one rather than continuing consuming the old one, as the new one will provide him/her more facilities of memory storage and latest video games.
At present, every educated and working person has his/her own personal computer or laptop to perform their daily office work and other studies. Moreover, for getting touch with the friends and relatives, this consumer uses the social media through the laptop. He/she also urgently need it for sending important mails. Hence, there is a social need behind the purchasing decision of a electronic product like laptop.
Need for changes:-
The previous laptop of the consumer was very old one and the consumer has the desire to buy a new model. Hence, the consumer will decide to purchase a new laptop in order to replacing the old one.
Informational search: -
Before purchasing the new laptop he will fast gather information about the different types of available laptops in the market with different features having different prices. The customer may gather this information either from his friends, family members or co-workers who are experts in this field or from various commercial sources like T.V. adds news paper advertisement etc. He can also take the purchasing decision from his own experience in this particular field. There are two types of information sources. One is the internal source and the other is the external source (O'Shaughnessy, 2012).
The internal sources of information:-
The main internal source of information is the consumer’s own experience and memories of purchasing the old laptops. On the basis of this memory the consumer will not repeat the same mistake as he/she did while purchasing the old one. Moreover, the experts or the office-staffs may also provide advice to purchase a best quality product (Perreau, 2013).
The external sources of information:-
The friends, family members and the other consumers are act as external sources to provide the information to the customer about the features and price of different brands of laptops. Besides, the social media play an important role in providing this information. That is the consumer can also gather information from the advertisements in newspapers or from T.V. or from the magazine or commercial brochure of that particular product (Rathnam, 2005).
After gathering the decision, he will begin to evaluate or compare among the different brands of laptops available in the market. In this case he will focus on the brand which offers lots of easily hand able features at a cheaper rate than other brands. There are different brands of laptop sold in the world market like Sony, HP, Dell, Samsung etc. There are some similar and some different features of these different brands of laptop. Some of them are very user friendly but have not much upgraded features. Again, some of them may contain various upgraded features but not very user friendly. Moreover, the design and the style of different models of the laptops are different. It is totally up to the consumer that which brand or which model he/she will choose according to his/her need. The decision-making choice should ensure the need of the consumer (Schiffman and Wisenblit, 2015).
After evaluating the alternative brands of the laptops he will take the final decision of purchasing and purchase the product according to his need, taste and affordability. Even while purchasing the laptop the consumer can choose whether he/she will purchase a new laptop or a second hand laptop. If the consumer has not enough capital in his/her hand to buy a new laptop and if the need is urgent, then he/she can purchase a second hand laptop provided the laptop is functioning well (Schiffman, Kanuk and Hansen, 2012).
After purchasing the laptop the consumer will judge that whether the product is really suitable for his need or whether he can easily handle this product. If there arise any problem with the laptop, the consumer will immediately complain at its service centre and will ask for either to solve the problems or to provide him a new laptop in exchange of the purchased one. However, if the purchased laptop is used by the consumer for a long-time then the company can only provide some services in exchange of service charge if their arise any problem regarding the use of that laptop.
The consumers can also share their positive or negative views regarding the products by word-of-mouth to their friends and families or also through the social media (Streetdirectory.com, 2015).
Though all the consumers follow the basic characteristics regarding their decision-making, the actual behavioural patterns of different consumers are different according to their different test and preference on different quality of products. Hence, it is not so easy to analyse the consumer behaviour through these five stages of decision-making choice only. Besides, there is a great need of changes in distribution system especially for the consumer electronic goods as different consumers are particular about the appropriate system of distribution of separate electronic products. Since, the buying capacity of the purchaser of a similar product may not be same, there also may arise a differences regarding the quantity purchased of the same product. However, in present world, due to an expansion of online marketing, there is an increasing numbers of commercial shops or websites and the online purchaser, though the behaviours of both the online and the offline purchaser are more or less same.
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Lerrthaitrakul, W. and Panjakajornsak, V. (2014). The Impact of Electronic Word-of-Mouth Factors on Consumers’ Buying Decision-Making Processes in the Low Cost Carriers: A Conceptual Framework. International Journal of Trade, Economics and Finance, 5(2), pp.142-146.
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