5 Stages of Buying Decision Process | Consumer Decision Process

Fri, 10/07/2011 - 09:28 -- Umar Farooq

Consumer Decision Process Stages

The are five 5 stages of buying decision process

  1. Need Recognition
  2. Information Search
  3. Evaluation of Alternatives
  4. Purchase decision
  5. Post Purchase Behavior

Marketers should focus on consumer decision process rather than purchase decision.  Consumers go through all the five stages of buying decision process whenever they purchase. But when consume buy products in routine, they skip some stages of buying decision process. If a woman buying a specific brand she would recognize the need and will skip all the remaining stages like information search, evaluate of alternatives.

Need Recognition

Need recognition is the first stage of buying decision process, buyer identify a need or identify a problem. The buyer feels a differentiation between his o her actual state and ideal state. The need can be initiated by internal stimuli when a normal need arises to such a level it become a drive. External stimulus can also trigger a need.  Mrs. Nicole feel need for a new hobby when her business tower ended. She needed a camera and Photoshop Software when her friend talked her about photography.  Advertising is also be an external stimuli.

Marketers should research buyers to find out what type of needs arises and how they drive the consumers towards the particular product. Gathering such type of information, they marketers can recognize the factors that generally trigger attention in the product and can build up marketing programs that engages these factors.

Information Search

Information search comes second in consumer decision process stage. If the buyer’s drive is strong enough and he is near to a satisfying product, the buyer is likely to go for it. If not, consumer or buyer may store this need and commence information search associated to the need.

In need recognition stage of consumer decision process may go into high level of attention. Mrs. Nicole becomes more approachable to information about cameras. She notices camera in ads, used by her friends, and discussion about camera or Mrs. Nicole may go for information search. Where she finds for related literature, friends, mass media, internet search engines like google or video on youtube and collects information in so many ways. How Mrs. Nicole curious about the amount of information searching depend on the power of her drive.  

The buyer or consumer can get information from many sources. These includes

  • Personal sources
  • Commercial sources
  • Public sources
  • Experiential sources


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