Consumer decision making process is a list of steps that are carried out by consumers concerning to a potential market transaction, before, during and after the purchase of a product or service. The process includes identifying the problem, collecting information, evaluating the alternatives, making the purchase decision and evaluating post purchase. Generally, decision making is the cognitive process of selecting a course of action from among multiple options. As a consumer, I find that the consumer decision making process is a great help in choosing for the right product which gives a consumer the greatest satisfaction. One of the latest scenarios where I applied this process into my product purchases was buying a beautiful, yet not too costly wedding gown, as I am getting married in the coming month. I went through five stages of the consumer decision making process in buying the perfect wedding gown as follows:-
Evaluation of alternatives
Purchase / Decision making
Problem recognition is the stage where the consumer is aware of a need or want. It occurs when the consumer realize a significant difference between his or her actual state and desire state. My problem in this situation at this stage, is having to own a new wedding gown, because I am walking down the isle with my fiancé next month. This desire of something new leads to the triggering of the decision process. In addition to my problem, I do not have a very well-funded family, so I cannot afford expensive, luxurious designer’s wedding gown. Information search
When a consumer discovers a problem or a need, he or she is likely to search for more information on how to solve it. The information search stage involves gathering information from various sources in order to make a better-informed decision, it helps clarifies the options open to the consumer which may involve internal search and external search.
Internal search is not required in my situation, because I do not have any past experiences or feelings with wedding gown to recall to, as it is going to be my first time buying it.
Since I have no prior experience with this high-involvement product, I’ll have to use external search, that is, to engage in extensive search of the outside environment for helpful information on which to support a choice.
I’ve obtained information from various sources. First of all, I became more attentive towards commercial sources, such as, bridal gowns advertisements on the billboards and the flyers or brochures related to it handed out in the malls. Moreover, I went to different bridal retailers to get help from the sales consultants and also to browse through the gowns myself. I even sought some information through internet source to see what the basic idea is I need to know about wedding gowns. Last but not least, I gained more information and opinions from my friends and family that are married, through word of mouth.
Through gathering information, I learnt more about the brands that compete in the market and their features and characteristics. Evaluation of alternatives
With the information search from the previous stage, it helps clarifies the problem for the consumer by suggesting criteria to use for the purchase, yielding brand names that might meet those criteria and developing the consumer value perception At this stage, I have narrowed down the options available to me and I have to compare the ones that caught my attention based on the criteria that matters most. After browsing through so many types of brands of wedding gowns, there are two main ones that really meet up to my requirements or expectations, that is Vera Wang’s wedding dresses collection and Mori Lee’s. However, I cannot possibly purchase both of the gowns, because I only need one. Therefore, I have listed down and established the criteria of these wedding gowns for evaluation, so...
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