Consumer Buying Behavior: What are the Stages involved?

Consumer Buying Behavior: What are the Stages involved?

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Chanchal
Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content
Updated on Mar 8, 2024 11:29 IST

Consumer buying behavior typically comprises several stages. It begins with recognising a need or problem, triggering information search, and evaluating options. Once the consumer decides on a specific product or service, the purchase is made. Following the purchase, a post-buying evaluation influences future buying choices and brand loyalty.

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Even though consumer buying behavior can appear mysterious, all consumers go through fundamental phases when making purchases to decide which goods and services will best suit their needs. Consider customers’ decision-making before purchasing, especially if it’s a large item like a car. Before making a purchase, they consider their needs, do some research, and weigh their possibilities. They frequently question their own decision, in fact.

Marketers should put themselves in the customer’s shoes and review the steps in the consumer decision-making process to understand consumer buying behavior more thoroughly. 

Table of Content

What is Consumer Buying Behavior?

Consumer buying behavior describes the steps consumers take before purchasing a good or service, both online and offline. This process could include search engine research, participation in social media discussions, and various other activities. Understanding this process is beneficial for organizations because it enables them to match better their marketing attempts to those that have previously successfully persuaded customers to make purchases.

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Stage 1: Problem Identification

The consumer buying process begins with an issue a product or service can help solve. This issue can appear in various ways. 

In some situations, the customer initially encounters signs of a problem. For instance, an office worker might notice that their computer is running slowly but needs to be more precise about the particular problem or how to fix it.

Other times, the issue is easier to solve. Let’s say a woman wears high heels all day long before experiencing blisters. She promptly sees the issue and knows it requires a solution (such as new shoes or anti-blister remedies).

Now, it’s the marketer’s call to create a thorough marketing campaign to develop solid brand awareness and recognition because you want people to know and trust you. You want customers to believe that they have a problem that only your product can fix beyond everything else.

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Stage: 2 Information Gathering

Although it may seem obvious, customers begin seeking a solution when they admit they have a problem (or a symptom of one). Therefore, the office worker with a sluggish computer may seek software upgrades to speed up things. The driver paying too much for insurance will start looking for a strategy to cut costs.

At this point, a marketer's objective is to bring their brand to the attention of their target market. Customers gather information using various methods, such as Google searches, listing their products on online stores like Amazon and eBay, and spreading word of mouth.

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Stage 3: Evaluating Solutions

After researching, consumers often choose brands or goods that best suit their needs. At this point, consumers examine particular fixes for their issues.

For instance, someone with a slow computer might consider hiring an IT professional, buying software, or buying a new machine entirely.

The goal is to promote your product as the consumer’s top option. Here are some actions you can do to impact how customers choose your product: utilizing eye-catching graphics, making short and crisp product descriptions, adding ratings and review options, frequently adding questions and answers, etc.

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Stage 4: Purchase Phase

Due to all your efforts, customers chose your brand during the purchase phase of the buying journey. They are now prepared to use their credit cards to purchase your product.

Despite your great position, stay active. If you provide a simple checkout process, you can still retain them.

Make every effort to complete the process quickly and comfortably. Amazon is a master at this with its one-click checkout, which enables customers to finish their transactions with a single button click. If your store cannot accomplish that, there are other things you may try to guide customers through the checkout process successfully. The idea is to minimize the number of hurdles customers must clear to complete the transaction. 

Stage 5: The Post-Purchase Phase

The post-purchase stage is the last. You’ve now been effective in turning viewers into customers.

It’s time to get feedback now. Additionally, you want to ensure clients stick around as long as feasible. Retention is the key to boosting sales. Check out a few strategies for keeping clients once the consumer buying process has concluded: Request ratings and reviews, track repeat customers and customer satisfaction over time, and maintain constant contact with customers.

Conclusion

Consumer decisions affect buyer behavior. Consumer behavior significantly changes when purchasing a car compared to purchasing chips. Marketers must use careful strategies to sell products to diverse consumer behaviors effectively.  

Top FAQs on Consumer Buying Behavior

What is Consumer Buying behavior?

Consumer buying behavior refers to the decision processes and acts of individuals involved in buying and using products, influenced by psychological, social, cultural, and economic factors.

How do personal factors affect consumer buying behavior?

Personal factors, including age, income, lifestyle, and personality, significantly influence consumer buying behavior by determining preferences, purchasing power, and the types of products that align with an individual's identity and needs.

Why is it important to study consumer buying behavior?

Studying consumer buying behavior is essential for businesses to design effective marketing strategies, create products that meet customer needs, and enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty.

What impact do social factors have on consumer buying behavior?

Social factors, such as family, friends, and social media, impact consumer buying behavior by influencing opinions, attitudes, and the information available to consumers, affecting their purchasing decisions.

How does the decision-making process work in consumer buying behavior?

The consumer decision-making process typically involves five stages: need recognition, information search, evaluation of alternatives, purchase decision, and post-purchase behavior. Understanding this process helps marketers to effectively guide consumers towards making a purchase.

 

About the Author
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Chanchal Aggarwal
Senior Executive Content

Chanchal is a creative and enthusiastic content creator who enjoys writing research-driven, audience-specific and engaging content. Her curiosity for learning and exploring makes her a suitable writer for a variety ... Read Full Bio