Stages in the consumer buying process

The buying process is not as simple as it looks. You do not just go to the shop or showroom and pick any product and pay for it. The entire process is much more complex and can be divided into six stages starting need recognition and ending at after consumption disposal. The process begins when you have felt a need. It can be shorter in case of low involvement products where you do not have to consider several things. Such needs are ordinary and you make such purchases quite frequently. There not much thought is required before picking a simple product like milk or bread from the shelf. However, if you are going to buy a home or a car, there is a lot of homework to be done before the purchase is made. These six stages in the process of purchase decision making are:

  1. Need recognition
  2. Information search
  3. Product evaluation
  4. Selection and purchase
  5. Use and evaluation
  6. Disposal
  • Need recognition: The first stage in the buying process begins at the time of need recognition when you realize that you need a product. You open the fridge and there is no milk. You are planning a holiday next month, Suddenly it comes to your mind that you will need a new backpack. You are shifting to another town for further education and you realize, you will need a new car. This is the point at which decision making related to the purchase begins.
  • Information search: This stage occurs after need recognition. In case of low involvement products like milk or bread, no extra information will be required. You recognize a need and make a purchase. the stages in the middle are eliminated because it is not a risky or big purchase. The case is opposite with the high involvement products.
  • Product Evaluation: It is the process of evaluating a product based on your criteria of price and quality.
  • Product selection and purchase: You buy the product that meets your criteria and from the shop or showroom that provides the best deal.
  • Post purchase use and evaluation: After you have bought a product, you use it and evaluate it. Based on your evaluation, you feel satisfied or dissatisfied at your purchase.
  • Disposal: It is the last stage where you dispose of the used product. You can discard the packet into a bin or if it is a high involvement product you can sell it to a second hand buyer.

(Published on linked in Pulse first) read more on about consumer behavior



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