Consumer Behavior - Goal-Oriented and Experiential Online Buyer

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1.0 Introduction

1.1 Authorization and purpose
I Alester Leong, as a representative of the marketing department of Google Face Book have been assigned a task by Mr. M.S.N. Yahoo, CEO of Google Face Book to compile a report investigating the consumer decision making process of both the goal-oriented and the experiential online shopper aged 18-45 years. The main purpose of this report is to better understand and identify the different needs of both the goal-oriented and experiential buying behavior. This report also serves to provide a rough guideline for the company on what actions to consider by giving recommendations relating to the 4Ps of the marketing mix.

1.2 Scope and sources of information
This report is done by interviewing two samples, one goal-oriented and one experiential online shopper through an interview proforma based on the 5-step consumer decision making process. The results are then compared to the model of the 5-step consumer decision making process and its internal and external influences. The impact of age, gender, level of involvement, situational factors and repeat behavior on their decision is also taken into consideration. Information is acquired by means of secondary data including text books, websites and online journal articles. An interview is also done on two samples, first a 24 year old female goal-oriented shopper and second a 20 year old male experiential shopper.

1.3 Limitations
This report has its limitations due to the task description which only involves two samples. Thus, a holistic research cannot be achieved on the overall population. It is also impossible to sum up a conclusion based on just two decision behaviors and the fact that the two samples happen to be college students increased their probability to buy online due to their knowledge and exposure, thus, neglecting the rest of the population which consists of the not so knowledgeable and the elderly. But nevertheless, it still serves to provide adequate information on the contemporary behavior of modern shoppers.

2.0 Analysis of the model, findings and impact
2.1 Phase 1: Problem recognition

2.1.1 Definition
Problem recognition is the first step that crosses a shopper’s mind when a need to purchase exists. Generally, it is a question of how a person decides when and why to buy a particular product. It varies from normal depletion, for example, running out of breakfast cereal or petrol to more advanced needs such as the purchase of vehicles or real estate. Problem recognition is the result of a discrepancy between a desired state and an actual state that is sufficient to arouse and activate the decision process (Quester et al. 2004, p. 63). It is the awareness of need, for instance hunger leads to the search of food, thus hunger stimulates a person to eat.

Shopping is a consumption activity approached with a specific set of possible motivations (Demangeot & Broderick 2007). A motive is an internal energizing force that orients a person’s activities toward satisfying a need or achieving a goal. Motivation in my opinion is the initiator of an action to actually recognize and take the effort to satisfy the problem or need. According to Sorce, Perotti & Widrick 2005, there are two dominant shopping motives: shopping for fun and hedonic purposes, the experiential shopper; and shopping with a goal in mind, the utilitarian, goal-oriented shopper.

2.1.2 Findings
For the problem recognition phase, there is an obvious discrepancy in their answers to when and why they find a particular need to satisfy. The goal-oriented shopper only goes online to shop when there is a need to do so, but the experiential shopper browses the internet and unexpectedly bump into products that arouses her motivation to buy. The goal-oriented shopper prefers shopping online due to the amount of information available to accomplish his goal in mind whereas the experiential shopper prefers shopping...
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