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Top 5 Stages of Consumer Buying Process

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❶The stage 3 to 2 transition may happen several times before stage 4 has been reached.

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Each method gives hint regarding the steps in the consumer buying process. According to Philip Kotler, the typical buying process involves five stages the consumer passes through described as under: This step is also known as recognizing of unmet need. The need is a source or force of buying behaviour. Buying problem arises only when there is unmet need or problem is recognized. Need or problem impels an individual to act or to buy the product. Buyer senses a difference between his actual state physical and mental and a desired state.

The need can be triggered by internal or external stimuli. Internal stimuli include basic or normal needs — hunger, thirst, sex, or comfort; while external stimuli include external forces, for instance, when an individual watch a new brand car, he desires to buy it.

Marketer must identify the circumstances that trigger a particular need. He can collect information from a number of consumers regarding how stimuli spark an interest in products. Based on information, he can develop marketing strategies to trigger consumer interest. Interested consumer will try to seek information.

Now, he will read newspapers and magazines, watch television, visit showroom or dealer, contact salesman, discuss with friends and relatives, and try all the possible sources of information. Advertising, salesmen, dealers, package, trade show, display, and exhibition are dominant commercial sources. Mass media radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, cinema, etc. They include handling, examining, testing, or using the product.

Selection of sources depends upon personal characteristics, types of products, and capacity and reliability of sources.

Each information source performs different functions in influencing buying decision. By gathering information from relevant sources, the consumer can learn about different products and brands available in the market. Note that consumer will not collect detail information on all the brands available in the market.

He scrutinizes all the brands in sequence, like total brands set to awareness set to affordable set, and to choice set. Consumer collects information only on limited brands, say, choice set.

Moreover, the company should identify sources and their relative importance. Company must ask the consumers regarding types of sources they exercise. They can elicit valuable information about sources they normally use and their relative value. On that basis, effective communication can be prepared for the target market. The experience of US automobile manufacturers shows why marketers must master these new touch points.

Companies like Chrysler and GM have long focused on using strong sales incentives and in-dealer programs to win during the active-evaluation and moment-of-purchase phases. These companies have been fighting the wrong battle: Positive experiences with Asian vehicles have made purchasers loyal to them, and that in turn generates positive word-of-mouth that increases the likelihood of their making it into the initial-consideration set.

Not even constant sales incentives by US manufacturers can overcome this virtuous cycle. More than 60 percent of consumers of facial skin care products, for example, go online to conduct further research after the purchase—a touch point unimaginable when the funnel was conceived. Of consumers who profess loyalty to a brand, some are active loyalists, who not only stick with it but also recommend it. Others are passive loyalists who, whether from laziness or confusion caused by the dizzying array of choices, stay with a brand without being committed to it.

Despite their claims of allegiance, passive consumers are open to messages from competitors who give them a reason to switch. Take the automotive-insurance industry, in which most companies have a large base of seemingly loyal customers who renew every year.

Our research found as much as a sixfold difference in the ratio of active to passive loyalists among major brands, so companies have opportunities to interrupt the loyalty loop. The US insurers GEICO and Progressive are doing just that, snaring the passively loyal customers of other companies by making comparison shopping and switching easy.

They are giving consumers reasons to leave, not excuses to stay. All marketers should make expanding the base of active loyalists a priority, and to do so they must focus their spending on the new touch points.

That will require entirely new marketing efforts, not just investments in Internet sites and efforts to drive word-of-mouth or a renewed commitment to customer satisfaction. Developing a deep knowledge of how consumers make decisions is the first step. For most marketers, the difficult part is focusing strategies and spending on the most influential touch points. Other marketers may need to retool their loyalty programs by focusing on active rather than passive loyalists or to spend money on in-store activities or word-of-mouth programs.

The increasing complexity of the consumer decision journey will force virtually all companies to adopt new ways of measuring consumer attitudes, brand performance, and the effectiveness of marketing expenditures across the whole process. Without such a realignment of spending, marketers face two risks. First, they could waste money: Second, marketers could seem out of touch—for instance, by trying to push products on customers rather than providing them with the information, support, and experience they want to reach decisions themselves.

Four kinds of activities can help marketers address the new realities of the consumer decision journey. In the past, most marketers consciously chose to focus on either end of the marketing funnel—building awareness or generating loyalty among current customers.

Our research reveals a need to be much more specific about the touch points used to influence consumers as they move through initial consideration to active evaluation to closure. In the skin care industry, for example, we found that some brands are much stronger in the initial-consideration phase than in active evaluation or closure. For them, our research suggests a need to shift focus from overall brand positioning—already powerful enough to ensure that they get considered—to efforts that make consumers act or to investments in packaging and in-store activities targeted at the moment of purchase.

For some companies, new messaging is required to win in whatever part of the consumer journey offers the greatest revenue opportunity. A general message cutting across all stages may have to be replaced by one addressing weaknesses at a specific point, such as initial consideration or active evaluation. Take the automotive industry. A number of brands in it could grow if consumers took them into consideration. Hyundai, the South Korean car manufacturer, tackled precisely this problem by adopting a marketing campaign built around protecting consumers financially by allowing them to return their vehicles if they lose their jobs.

This provocative message, tied to something very real for Americans, became a major factor in helping Hyundai break into the initial-consideration set of many new consumers. To look beyond funnel-inspired push marketing, companies must invest in vehicles that let marketers interact with consumers as they learn about brands.

The epicenter of consumer-driven marketing is the Internet, crucial during the active-evaluation phase as consumers seek information, reviews, and recommendations. Strong performance at this point in the decision journey requires a mind-set shift from buying media to developing properties that attract consumers: Broadband connectivity, for example, lets marketers provide rich applications to consumers learning about products.

Simple, dynamic tools that help consumers decide which products make sense for them are now essential elements of an online arsenal.

The process continues even when the product or service is being consumed by the individual or business. Your actions at this point might inform other potential buyers who would be keen to hear about your experiences — good or bad. Marketing Teacher designs and delivers online marketing courses, training and resources for marketing learners, teachers and professionals. View all posts by Tim Friesner. Tim Friesner Marketing Teacher designs and delivers online marketing courses, training and resources for marketing learners, teachers and professionals.

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How consumers make decisions

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The Consumer Buying Decision Process or How real people really buy thingsWhen people are buying something that’s important, expensive, or risky, they don’t generally do it on a whim. They.

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The consumer buyer decision process and the business/organisational buyer decision process are similar to each other. Obviously core to this process is the fact that the purchase is generally of value in monetary terms and that the consumer/business will take time to actually assess alternatives.

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Information search:– in consumer buying decision process information search comes at second number. In this stage consumer searches the information about the product either from family, friends, neighborhood, advertisements, whole seller, retailers, dealers, or by examining or using the product. Stages in Consumer Decision Making Process; Stages in Consumer Decision Making Process. An individual who purchases products and services from the market for his/her own personal consumption is called as consumer. This explains the consumer buying decision process.

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The consumer decision-making process consists of five steps, which are need recognition, information search, evaluations of alternatives, purchase and post-purchase . The increasing complexity of the consumer decision journey will force virtually all companies to adopt new ways of measuring consumer attitudes, brand performance, and the effectiveness of marketing expenditures across the whole process.