Consumer Decision Making Process (5 Steps)

Published by Heena Qureshi on

Customers have power to make or break your business. If you are able to provide value to your customers, they will always prefer you as compared to your competitors. Your value is all about serving psychological and economical expectations of customers.

Psychological expectations relate to your customer’s after purchase feelings. He should not repent on his purchase. Economical on the other hand refers to your efforts to sell products or services for a low cost possible. If you match your customer’s mental and economical expectations, you will be able to win his heart and turn him in a repetitive buyer.

Business owners should learn as much as possible about their nature and factors that influence their customer’s decision making process. They need to understand each stage a customer goes through while making his purchase. Here is a widely accepted view of decision making process of customers.

Problem recognition

Every person begins to purchase something after recognising a need or problem. Needs or problems of people arise when people are triggered either by their internal or external stimuli. For example, when someone feels hungry, he looks for food, and when someone feels thirty, he looks for water. Hunger, thirst, body protection are all internal stimuli. Internal stimuli are born inside our bodies while external stimuli are born outside our control. For example, when a friend buys a car, it triggers me towards buying the similar one. External stimuli work as long as you are impressed by the decisions of others who influence your thought processes.

Information search

Now that a person has identified his problems or needs, he searches for reliable information to make his decision of buying something strong. He consults sources for information. His sources may be personal, public or commercial. His personal sources for obtaining information could be his own family, friends, and relatives. He may watch television shows, use social media platforms that are included in the public sources of information. He may also look for advertisements, websites, sales people, etc. that are all commercial sources of information. Information a customer looks for includes benefits he seeks for his problems.

Evaluating alternatives

You won’t pick up something unless you see a solution in it. You will like to see many alternatives before picking the one that suits your needs. When you go out to purchase a smartphone in a retail store, you will definitely ask for many smartphones from different companies. You may be shown a smartphone from Samsung, iPhone, Motorola, etc. You will be buying one that offers you maximum benefits. Another simple example to demonstrate is when you need to buy a laptop; you would definitely want to see laptops of Acer, HP, or Dell brands. You will pick the one that you believe will suit your budget and help you solve your problem.

Purchase decision

The decision of purchasing your favourite product comes right after you have evaluated several alternatives. However, you will be purchasing something when you have made yourself specific about a particular product, the brand, quantity, and your payment. When you are able to reinforce all these factors with your thoughts of buying a product, you will make a purchase. You have done your buying decision making process when you come home with a product from the store.

Post purchase behaviour  

When you handover your payment in exchange for a product, your buying process doesn’t end rather it continues until you finally abandon the use of the product. The word dissonance is born right after the purchase is done. You get to know about customer dissonance when you begin to use the product. All the companies that are customer centric will never want customer dissonance to escalate otherwise it would hurt their market image. The clever companies are always ready with their anti-dissonance policies to make sure customers thinks he has dealt with right people. Amazon has a replacement policy to combat customers who feel dissonance post purchase. They also have the exchange policy to please their customers make them feel the company cares for them.  

Categories: Learn Islam

Heena Qureshi

My Name is Heena Qureshi, and I am a proud Muslima who loves to share Islam and the knowledge of various fields with others.


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