• What is consumer behaviour?
“Consumer behaviour is the actions and decisions process of people who purchase goods and services for personal consumption”- Engel, Blackwell, Mansard. It is the study of how a consumer makes a decision about what product they need to buy and what service they need to experience. Study of consumer behaviour is important to all the marketers as it helps them to understand the expectation of a consumer. It helps the market to understand what kind of products are liked by the consumers so that they can release them in the market. Understanding consumer behaviour is important for a company as it helps them analyse the success of its current product as well as the new product launches.
•What is consumer decision making process?
Consumer decision making process involves the consumer to identify their need, collect information, evaluate alternatives and then making a decision to buy the product. Every consumer has different needs in accordance with their daily lives and these needs makes a consumer to make different decisions. There are 5 stages of consumer decision making process.
- NEED AND RECOGNITION : In this step, the consumer exactly determines their needs. This kind of need arises when the consumer recognize that they are missing out something and there is a need to fill that gap. When the marketers get to know about such needs and wants of their target market, they can avail the opportunity to launch product or enhance their existing product.
- INFORMATION SEARCH : This is the search stage of the process. In this customer require more and more information about products which can satisfy their needs. The information can be gathered through online reviews, commercial sources (advertisements, promotional campaigns), public sources (radio, magazines, newspapers), experimental sources (own experiment of a customer) and mouth publicity in which people give their experiences and recommendations. In this stage the consumer tends to make a pro’s vs con’s list to help make an effective decision. This is done so because people don’t want to regret their decision of buying a product.
- EVALUATION OF ALTERNATIVES : In this step the consumer evaluates different alternatives that are available in the market. Once the consumer determines the various alternatives available to them, they will start looking for the best option available to them. The evaluation is based on various factors such as, price, brand, quality, ratings and other factors that are significant to the consumer. They compare the price, reviews and ratings of the product and then select the best product that satisfies their needs.
- PURCHASE DECISION : Once all the alternatives are examined by the customer, the consumer finally decides to buy the product which satisfies their needs. At this stage, the consumer has gauged all the facts about their product that have influenced them to make a logical decision based upon the influence from marketing campaigns or mouth publicity or any other information source to buy the product.
- POST PURCHASE DECISION : Once the purchase is done, it is shadowed by post-purchase evaluation in which the consumer analyse whether the product has satisfied their needs and was useful to them or not. If a customer finds a product useful to them, they will possibly become the brand ambassador swaying other customers to buy the product. This will help to increase customer base of a particular brand. The same is accurate for negative experiences, it can halt the customers to buy a product of a specific brand.
ASTHA GUPTA, BBA, 2nd Year. TIAS New Delhi