Consumer purchasing process theory is a critical component of marketing strategy. Consumer purchasing behavior can be complicated and understanding it is the essential working of effective marketing management. Before consumers make decision to purchase products, they estimate carefully about their thinking. Managers can guess consumer’s decision process such as Problem recognition, information search, and evaluation criteria.
The first step is Problem recognition or Need recognition. Problem recognition is that consumers decide problems to be solved and have desires that they wish to satisfy. The consumer considers a significant difference between his or her current state of affairs and some desired or ideal state (Solomon & Rabolt, 2003)1. Consumer try to compare between their desired consumer lifestyle that would like to live and feel, and current situation that is temporary factors affecting the consumer. If the consumer has a big gap between desired consumer lifestyle and current situation, they will purchase a product for satisfying the desire. However, if the gab is no different or they do not care about the problem, they will not purchase the product.
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Nowadays, telephone companies are attracting consumers to purchase by their new products which provide many kind of function. For instance, Businessmen tend to need using mobile phone nowadays in the society and the companies provide many useful functions for them. The new functions can help them to check business e-mails or checking business information on internet. If businessmen do not have a mobile phone, they will not be able to contact other business partners and other people think the businessmen is a dropout. Therefore, having a mobile phone is necessary for them, and having new phone can be fashion and trend for young businessmen. So they will consider purchasing the mobile phone as smart phone. Nowadays, we also can see other case of purchasing the phone in the school. According to Amanda Lenhart, 23percentage of all those ages 12-17 mention that they have a smartphone and ownership is highest among older teens: 31% of those ages 14-17 have a smartphone, compared with just 8% of youth ages 12-13 in America(Amanda Lenhart, 2012)2. If many class mates are having a mobile phone, it can highly affect the students who do not have a phone to desire having smart phone. One of them might be able to ask their parents to purchase it.
On the other hands, desire of buying mobile phone and smart phone for most old people will be lower than the young people because they are not used to have mobile phone. Having a mobile phone and new functions in smart phone are unnecessary for them and they can be satisfied their life without mobile phone. It means the old people satisfied about their actual state as their old phone will not consider about it. Like these three different groups has different desire and thinking about the same product. If the Businessman and the student’s parents consider buying a smart phone, they will move to next stage is information research.
Next stage is information search. Information search is when the consumers search the needed information for solving problem or desire. The consumer recollects their own past experience in their memory and it might provide the consumer with adequate information to make the present choice. In addition, The making decisions are based on the personal experience is internal source, and marketing and noncommercial information is external sources. For example, the businessman will remind what they know about new smart phone, compare brands of smart phone. If they do not have enough information or they have not had the phone, they will collect information from external sources as family and friend, internet, and advertisements. Their collect information value and spending time for collecting the information is depending on their free time to search, and how mobile phone is important and interesting to them. Finally, if the businessman is satisfied with information of smart phone, they will move to next stage. However, sometimes searching information also can be negative effect. If the student’s parents can spend long hours to check and collected many information, the parents can see negative side of smart phone like there are a lot of game application in smart phone, and the phone influence student to spend a lot of time for chatting with their friends whenever they want. The parents will be able to tend to consider about the negative sides and not to purchase it to their children. There is one more negative side of information research it is a failure. According to Leon G.Schiffman, search regret can have a damaging effect on retailers, because in this pilot study store blame and self-blame were not significantly correlated with each other(2010, Leon G.Schiffman, Leslie Lazar Kanuk)3. Thus, information search can be both negative and positive.
Next stage is alternative evaluation. After consumer collect information, they compare the relevant and feasible alternatives has been gathered, the decision can be made. The evaluative criteria is the various features a consumer looks for in response to a particular problem. According to Engel, Blackwell, and Miniard, evaluative criteria is defined as the standards and specifications used by consumers to compare different products and brands. Evaluative criteria play an important role in the evaluation stage of the decision making process (Engel J.F, Blackwell, R.D and Miniard, P.W, 1993)4. For example, before purchasing a smart phone, the businessman might want to evaluate cost, function, design, display size, brand, and warranty. Evaluative criteria can differ in type, number and importance. If the businessman can decide to purchase a smart phone, they terminate information search, and they make a list of brand or models from which they plan to make their selection. The criteria they will use to evaluate each brand or model as Evoked Set, Inert Set, and Inept Set. Evoked set is the specific brands or models a business man considers to purchase within a particular product category. Inert Set is second choice of brands or models of smart phone because they are felt to be unacceptable or they are seen as inferior. Last list is Inert Set, which consists of brands or models the consumer is indifferent toward because they cannot obtain any advantage from smart phone like a smart phones for student, or silver phone for old people. The two kind of smart phones are not suitable to the businessman and the phones can be in list of Inert set. But, if they are still not sure which one they want to buy, they will search information again. If the businessman decides to purchase a smart phone
We can understand that consumer has different taste, and want depend on their occupation. Their decision ways is very complex. However, marketing managers can guess consumers purchasing decision by the purchasing process.
Making decision to purchase a product is the last step for consumers and the consumers can use Consumer decision rules such as Compensatory and Non-compensatory decision rules. Consumer decision rule is procedures used by consumers to facilitate brand or other consumption-related choice. These rules provide consumers decision guidelines or routines to reduce the burden of making complex decisions.
According to Leon G. Schiffman and Lesilie Lazar Kanuk, there are two consumer decision rules. Compensatory decision rules are that allows a positive estimate of a brand on one attribute to balance out a disadvantage point on other attributes. Non-compensatory decision rules are that do not allow consumers to balance positive evaluations of a brand on one attribute against a negative evaluation on other attributes. In addition, there are three Non-compensatory rules such as the conjunctive rule, the disjunctive rule, and the lexicographic rule. The Conjunctive decision rule is consumers evaluate a separate, minimally acceptable level such a cutoff point for each attribute. If a product a negative point, the point is ignored from future consideration. The disjunctive rule is the same with the Conjunctive rule. In applying the rule, the consumers evaluate a separate, minimally acceptable cutoff level for each attribute which should be better than the one normally established for a conjunctive rule. If a point meets the cutoff established for any one attribute, it is accepted. The Lexicographic decision rule is that the best ranks the attributes in terms of the single attribute that is considered most important. If an option scores sufficiently high on this the best rank attribute, it is chosen and the process ends (Leon G. Schiffman, Leslie Lazar Kanuk, 2010)5. In my case, I purchase a product by the lexicographic decision rule in Non-compensatory decision rules. For instance, there are four different brand of mobile phone as IPhone 4Gs, Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc X12, Samsung Galaxy S3, and BlackBerry Torch 9860. I will check Price, CPU in General, Camera & video, 3G/4G Speed in Connective, and Screen. According to GadGetbook, the most expensive price of mobile phone is IPhone around RM2199~RM2799 and the lowest cost one is Blackberry around RM1400~RM1600. Therefore, I marked each mobile phone, Samsung Gelexy3 is 7 point, IPhone4Gs is 6 point, Sony is 9, and Blackberry is 10 point. Price of the Sony and Blackberry is much cheaper than Samsung Geluxy3 and IPhone. However, Both the Sony and the Blackberry does not have other special feature. The two mobile’s CPU, Camera & Video, and Connective get low marks among the phones. Especially, Sony provides a poor quality of connective. High speed of Connecting 3G and 4G is the most important point for me because I need to use applications such as Skype which provide free call and video call. If speed of connective is slow, I will get a lot of lack while I am doing the calls with my family and friends (Gadgetbook ,2010)6.
As my result show chart of hypothetical Ratings for mobile phone*, both the highest connective performance and the highest total mark is Samsung Galaxy3. Hence, I will purchase Samsung Galaxy 3 without
*Hypothetical Ratings for Mobile phone
Sony Ericsson Xperia Arc X12
( 6 )
( 9 )
( 7 )
( 10 )
1.2 GHz QC 8655
Camera & Video
8MP 3264×2448 &
3264×2448 & 720p@30fps
3264×2448 & 1080p@30fps
2592Ñ…1944 & 720p
21 Mbps HSUPA:
14.4 Mbps HSUPA:
640 x 960
480 x 854
720 x 1280
480 x 800 pixels 3.7 inches
There is no debt that mobile phone is very important for people and me. Most people, nowadays, cannot live without a mobile phone in the society and Mobile phone supports our life to be better with their many functions.
When I was in Korea, mobile phone was not a so important thing for me and I thought I do not need to buy an expensive high function of mobile phone as camera phone although most of my friend was having them. Therefore, I had a cheap and classic phone as no color phones. However, after coming to Malaysia, my thinking about mobile phone was totally changed because of my situation it is studying abroad. First day in Malaysia, I did not have any friend in here and I realized I need a mobile phone for talking with my family and friends who are in Korea. But I could not call to them whenever I want because of too high phone bill. Thus, I desired to solve the problem. One day, my sister introduced about IPhone that I can use free call and free message through using IPhone application in WIFI zone. The function made me to be excited about smart phone. Actually, I had not thought that I would purchase smart phone that is expensive. Finally, I bought Iphone3 and my life was changed by IPhone and the special functions. The first change thing is that I can have more talking and chatting times with my family and friends thanks to the free call and free message application. Even father learnt using smart phone and he often send me message. If I did not have a mobile phone, I would not be able to contact my family, and Korean friends. It seems to me that it is the greatest wonderful advantage for me. Second change thing is that I use other a lot of applications and functions as camera and video in mobile phone and they are very helpful for me. I can take a picture by the mobile phone and upload on Facebook. I can read electronic books and playing games for time killing whenever I want.
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The mobile companies improve their technology and they catch what consumers’ want and need for attracting customers to purchase. Having a mobile phone becomes one of new culture in the society. I am also affected it. When I was young, having a mobile phone was unnecessary for me and I could not know about advantage of mobile phone. It means that Classic phones could not attract me to have. However, I cannot live without my phone now because of new functions of mobile phone and I need them for my modern life.
1. Solomon, M.R., & Rabolt, N.J. (2003). Consumer behavior in fashion (1st ed.). Upper , Saddle River, NJ: Prentice Hall. p.356.
2. Amanda Lenhart, 2012, Teens Smartphones & Texting,
3. (2010, Leon G.Schiffman, Leslie Lazar Kanuk)2. Consumer behavior- prepurchase search, P.486.)
4. Engel, J.F., Blackwell, R.D., & Miniard, P.W. (1993). Consumer Behavior (7th ed.). P.51.
5. Leon G. Schiffman, Leslie Lazar Kanuk, 2010, Consumer behavior, Consumer decision Rules, page 491~page492
6. (Gadgetbook ,2010)
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