Briefly outline the four stages of the consumer decision-making process. Give an example of how you, as a small business owner, could influence your customers at the purchase decision stageNote:
The buying process starts with need recognition. At this stage, the buyer recognises a problem or need (e.g. I am hungry, we need a new sofa, I have a headache) or responds to a marketing stimulus (e.g. [ you pass Starbucks and are attracted by the aroma of coffee and chocolate muffins).
An ?aroused? customer then needs to decide how much information (if any) is required. If the need is strong and there is a product or service that meets the need close to hand, then a purchase decision is likely to be made there and then. If not, then the process of information search begins. In the evaluation stage, the customer must choose between the alternative brands, products and services.
An important determinant of the extent of evaluation is whether the customer feels ?involved? in the product. By involvement, we mean the degree of perceived relevance and personal importance that accompanies the choice.
Where a purchase is ?highly involving?, the customer is likely to carry out extensive evaluation. The final stage is the post-purchase evaluation of the decision. It is common for customers to experience concerns after making a purchase decision. This arises from a concept that is known as ?cognitive dissonance?. The customer, having bought a product, may feel that an alternative would have been preferable. In these circumstances that customer will not repurchase immediately, but is likely to switch brands next time.
To manage the post-purchase stage, it is the job of the marketing team to persuade the potential customer that the product will satisfy his or her needs. Then after having made a purchase, the customer should be encouraged that he or she has made the right decision.
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The customer decision-making process and its five stages
The complexity of this process can range from careful analysis to pure impulse. [ While an impulse buy, such as adding additional services or products to an existing appointment, can take place instantaneously, complex purchase decisions stretch over a long period of time. This buying process is an iterative process, where patients may collect information from different sources and repeatedly return to re-evaluate and compare the information they have found. Women are particularly adept at this and consider any number of points that you may not be aware of in this decision making process. One of the most important of these could be described as 'feel'. (Men typically descry this type of methodology, often causing them to dismiss what women see as the most important part of their decision making.) ] Expert answered|AwesomeGuy200|Points 1123|
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