As consumers of myriad products we make decisions every moment, at times without realizing that we have actually taken one. Everyday people make consumer decisions on what cuisine to devour on a particular day, where to spend money on the next holiday vacation or simply how much in groceries do you need to buy for this week. Thus consumer decision making process can be defined as the manner in which a buyer identifies or recognizes his requirements, gathers the necessary information related to his needs, assesses the alternatives, purchases the products and finally makes an evaluation of the same.
The above definition encompasses certain stages in the whole process of a consumer decision making. According to the traditional consumer decision making model, there are five stages which consumers undergo while taking decisions. The first stage of this process comprises Problem Recognition in which the consumer identifies his problem or needs. For instance, suppose you feel that none of your dresses look good enough to wear to a wedding and you feel strongly you need to get a brand new dress. The next step of the consumer decision making process will thus automatically be Information Search. In this case, you may want to make a list of the brands you are interested in or consult your friends for where you can find that right dress.
The third stage of the consumer decision making process consists in evaluating the various alternatives or their brands. Here the consumer assesses the attributes of the individual products to see which one will be closest to his/her requirements. The fourth stage entails decision implementation where there are two things to consider namely what product or which brand to purchase and from which outlet to purchase from. This is the most crucial step as this is the juncture where the actual decision making takes place. The last phase of the process consists in post-purchase evaluation whereby the buyer often thinks over his decision as...
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