LECTURE FOUR: THE IMPORTANCE OF UNDERSTANDING CONSUMER LIFESTYLES AND BUYING EXPERIENCES, THEIR PERCEPTIONS OF VALUE, RISK AND PRODUCT APPLICABILITY
1. The Customer Buying Process
2. Information And Purchase Decisions
3. Identifying the ‘Risk Barriers’
5. Discussion Questions
6. References / Reading List
1. The Customer Buying Process
Miller and Layton (2000) define a Buying-decision process as the series of logical stages, which differ for consumers and organisations, that a prospective purchaser goes through when faced with a buying problem. The stages of the buying –decision process are:
Needs recognition: the consumer is moved to action by a need. Identification of alternatives: the consumer identifies alternative products and brands and collects information about them. Product and brand identification may come from a simple memory scan of previous experiences to an extensive external search. Evaluation of alternatives: the consumer weighs the advantage and disadvantage of alternatives identified. The evaluation may involve a single criterion, or several criteria, and then compare each alternative. For example, you might select a frozen dinner on price alone or on price, taste, and ease of preparation. Purchase and related Decision: the consumer decides to buy or not to buy and makes other decision related to the purchase. If the decision is to buy, a series of related decisions will be made, such as where and when to make transaction, how to order or take delivery, the method of payment and other issues. Post-purchase behaviour: the consumer seeks reassurance that the choice make was the correct one. What a consumer learns from going through the buying process has an influence on his next time purchase. After we identify the customer buying–decision process, we should know there are some important factors that influence it, such as information, social factors, psychological factors, and situational factors. 2. Information And Purchase Decisions
Purchase decisions require information. Customers should know what products and brands are available, what features and benefits they offer, who sells the products at what prices and where they can be purchased. Miller et al (2000) argue that there are three sources of buying information – personal sources, commercial sources, and public sources. Personal sources: include family members, friends, and members of consumer’s reference group. Commercial sources: refer to the information provided by service providers, marketers, and manufacturers and their dealers. It bears noting that Advertising is the most familiar type of commercial information. Public sources: include non -commercial and professional organisations and individuals that provide advice for consumers, such as doctors, lawyers, government agencies, travel agencies.
The Consumer Buying –Decision Process And The Factors That Influence It. It should be mentioned that advanced technology provides the opportunity to reduce the costs of searching for information. This makes it easier for customers to make informed decisions. Social and group forces influence the customer buying –decision process The social influences affecting consumers’ purchase decisions include culture, subculture, social class, reference groups, and family. Culture is the set of beliefs, attitudes, and behaviour patterns shared by members of a society and transmitted from one generation to the next. Cultures do change over time. Marketing managers must be alert this changes so that they can adjust their planning to follow it. For example, in some cases, time has become as valuable as money. Australian consumers increasingly require time - saving services (such as fast food) and labour -saving products (such as frozen dinners). Reference groups: includes a variety of groups that affect consumer behaviours through normative compliance. It should be mentioned that the family...
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