5 steps you should take before making a purchase
It’s a human psyche, to ache the best thing for himself. It is very vital to take some precautionary steps before making a purchase. This procedure is known as consumer buying process. In other words, we can say that it is a journey of consumer’s commonsensible approach. This refers up to which extent an individual is sensitive about his purchase. These steps not only help the consumers before making a purchase but, also provide a keen understanding to the sales people. By understanding the consumer’s buying process, the sales people can align their sales strategies accordingly. To evaluate the consumer’s buying process, it’s always a better approach to follow these five stages illustrated below.
The five stages framework:
- Need recognition
It is often considered as the most salient step of this process. Without recognizing the need, one cannot confront to the purchase. Needs can be internal or external. Internal needs refers to the basic demands of life (thirst, hunger, sleep, shelter, cloths). Without these the survival of an individual is impossible. External needs are triggered by an environment, one’s desire and through advertising. This stage is also known as problem recognition.
- Information search
After recognizing the need, now it’s time to gather the relevant data. This can be done by using different sources (internal sources or external sources). It mainly depends on the consumer which source he considers more reliable. Some consumers are dependent on WOM (word of mouth), opinion leaders and external environment (promotions, advertisement, print media) etc. It is the buyer’s effort to obtain the best possible solution.
- Evaluation of alternatives
To make your purchase most prudent, it is essential to evaluate all the possibilities you have. At this stage, one compares all the attributes of the products (price, reliability and quality etc.) with its competitors. Then the attributes are ranked to attain the best solution. This stage is highly affected by the attitude of the buyer. For example, if the customer is perceiving the information with positive attitude then he ranks with the positive mind. Passionate involvement also plays a key role in evaluating the alternatives.
Let’s take an example; an individual wants to install some sort of parental control app. He will most probably have to search an app similar to copy9, find my kids, chore monster etc. After searching he will compare the attributes of all the apps and rank them.
- Purchase decision
This is the stage where the consumer finally takes a decision of what he has evaluated will be affective or not. It is seen that opinion leaders play a very dominant role at this time. If they give negative WOM (word of mouth) or unsatisfactory information to the buyer, it may cause the disruption in decision. A perturbation can also be caused due to some unexpected detrimental situations.
- Post purchase behavior
This stage requires an immense effort in retaining the consumers. The reason is that they come up with the mind of satisfaction because; the consumer compares his expectations with the products performance. If the product does not perform up to the standard after making a purchase, then it will not result in the brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.
The companies have to work on their post purchase communications, and see what factors are causing problems in order to generate a positive feedback.