Consumer Decision Making Process

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A CONSUMER DECISION-MAKING PROCESS IN PURCHSING A CAR
Research suggests that customers go through five stages in making decision on any purchase (The Engel, Blackwell and Miniard, 1990). The economic buyer theory published by South-Western college in 1997 () explained that all customers have full information, make comparison, are rational, they have limited resources to satisfy their limitless needs, and they want to maximise satisfaction (page). A person who intends to purchase a car, go through a five decision-making stages. These include; Problem recognition

Information search
Evaluation of alternatives
Purchase
Post-purchase behaviours
In dealing with these processes, it is important to note that there are factors influencing individual decision-making process. The factors could be categorized into three; Individual factors

Motivation
Perception
Learning
Personality, self-concept, lifestyle
Values, beliefs and attitudes
Social factors
Culture
Reference group
Opinion leaders
Family
Social class
Purchase situation
Reasons for purchase
Time
Physical surrounding
A consumer, influenced by the above factors goes through the first stage; Problem recognition: An individual realises that something is not as it should be. Perhaps, for example, an individual goes to work on a commercial bus or train late because of constant delays in travel time, decides he needs a car. Once the problem is realised it goes to the second stage. Information search: In this stage a consumer engages in both internal and external information search. The internal search involves gathering information in his mind about cars he prefers. External search on the other hand involves finding information from friends, reviewing in customers reports, (for example, accelerator pedal faults on some Toyota brands reported by...
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