An individual who purchases products and services from the market for his/her own personal consumption is called as consumer.
To understand the complete process of consumer decision making, let us first go through the following example:
Tim went to a nearby retail store to buy a laptop for himself. The store manager showed him all the latest models and after few rounds of negotiations, Tim immediately selected one for himself.
In the above example Tim is the consumer and the laptop is the product which Tim wanted to purchase for his end-use.
Why do you think Tim went to the nearby store to purchase a new laptop ?
The answer is very simple. Tim needed a laptop. In other words it was actually Tims need to buy a laptop which took him to the store.
The Need to buy a laptop can be due to any of the following reasons:
The store manager showed Tim all the samples available with him and explained him the features and specifications of each model. This is called information. Tim before buying the laptop checked few other options as well. The information can come from various other sources such as newspaper, websites, magazines, advertisements, billboards etc.
This explains the consumer buying decision process.
A consumer goes through several stages before purchasing a product or service.
EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVES
PURCHASE OF PRODUCT/SERVICE
POST PURCHASE EVALUATION
An individual who buys cold drink or a bottle of mineral water identifies his/her need as thirst. However in such cases steps such as information search and evaluation of alternatives are generally missing. These two steps are important when an individual purchases expensive products/services such as laptop, cars, mobile phones and so on.
An individual can acquire information through any of the following sources: