take a lot of interconnected decisions every day, choosing the options for
buying, using and disposing of the product. Options for buying decisions: buy
or save money, when to buy, what to buy – which product category and brand,
where to buy. Solutions for use also have a number of options: to consume or
not, when to consume, how to consume. Variants of solutions to get rid of the
product are: complete disposal, processing, remarketing (reselling the used
decision-making process by consumers can be interpreted as solving the problem.
Often this process is considered as a rational decision-making. Thus there is a
careful weighing and an estimation of utilitarian, functional attributes of a
product. In other cases, the hedonic advantages of the object of choice
dominate emotions. Here the object of consumption has a symbolic meaning,
expressed in sensory pleasures, dreams and aesthetic impressions. Purchasing
and use basically reflect a mixture of both utilitarian and hedonic
the consumer solution process
decision by the consumer is influenced by a number of external, or social, and
internal, or psychological, factors considered earlier. This process solves
problems of varying scale and complexity, but has a stable structure, including
the following stages: comprehension of need, information search, pre-purchase
evaluation of alternatives, purchase, post-purchase evaluation of alternatives,
disposal. Consider the meaning of each of the stages in the process of consumer
recognition – the consumer’s perception of the difference between the desired
and the actual state, sufficient to activate the solution.
of need comes about as a result of the individual’s perception of the
difference between his ideal and real state. This perceived difference appears
as a result of the interaction of individual values ??and needs with the
surrounding social environment. So, for example, most people want to look
adequate in solemn situations and realize the need for dresses in anticipation
of such an event. Many consumers tend to be healthy and physically perfect.
They evaluate their health and appearance as being subject to excellence and
therefore realize the need for sports equipment.
for information – search for information stored in memory (internal search), or
finding information related to the solution in the external environment
realized the need, the consumer turns to his memory and determines whether he
knows enough about the options for solving his needs. If your own knowledge is
not enough, the consumer makes an external search.
predisposition to external search depends on the type of product, the
individuality of the consumer and the influence of the environment. Simple
purchases require less information retrieval than complex ones. Some consumers
are more cautious and even in the case of simple purchases are not inclined to
act without extensive and detailed information. Other buyers make a choice
without evaluating alternatives.
of information search for a consumer can be divided into two categories: 1)
marketer-dominated and 2) all others. The first group includes sources formed
and managed by the marketer – advertising, including direct answer and direct
mail; sales promotion tools – coupons, lotteries, refund of part of the price;
format presentation “sales formula” in personal sales, etc. The rest
of the sources are not dominated by the marketer – he can not completely manage
them. These are editorial materials of the media (news, reports, interviews,
comments), information “by word of mouth”, expert assessments,
ratings, reference books.
Pre-purchase alternative evaluation – evaluate options for choosing the
criteria for expected benefits and narrow the choice to the preferred
stage, consumers use evaluation criteria – standards and norms for comparing
different products or brands.
criteria are the desired results of purchase and consumption and are expressed
in the form of preferred attributes. The criteria depend on the individual
characteristics of consumers and the influence of the environment. They are a
product-specific manifestation of the needs, values, life style of the
consumer. For example, a consumer can emphasize in his preferences product
design or novelty of a technical solution, the duration of intensive use, the price
of a product. The availability of information on product attributes is a
significant factor in the success of sales.
– the acquisition of a preferred alternative
purchase takes place in retail outlets, with the observed growth in the
developed countries of purchases at home, through electronic commerce systems.
At this stage of decision-making, an experienced salesperson plays a special
role. The decision to purchase is not necessarily taken at the cash desk; often
the consumer reflects and evaluates the final version long before the
calculation for the purchase.
Consumption – use of the purchased alternative. Consumption can take many forms
– the product can be consumed immediately or its consumption can be postponed
for a certain period. The nature of consumption should be known to the marketer
and can be identified through a survey, observation, experiment. Traditionally,
consumption was of little interest to the seller, focused primarily on closing the
sale transaction. In the conditions of growing competition there is a
reorientation of marketers to the satisfaction and preservation of consumers.
Post-purchase alternative evaluation – evaluation of the degree to which the
experience of consumption has brought satisfaction.
and post-purchase evaluation of alternatives are closely related. The study of
the use of consumer purchases consists in getting answers to questions: what
does the consumer like the most in buying? What suggestions do consumers have
to modernize the product? why do consumers return?
consumer is satisfied if his expectations are justified – i.e. perceived
product execution corresponds to what he expected to receive. If the purchase
did not meet expectations in large measure, the consumer is dissatisfied. The
inability of the product to function properly causes discontent, claims and
claims for damages on the part of the consumer, especially if the purchase has
a high level of perceived significance for the consumer. Therefore, the quality
of after-sales service can play a decisive role in preserving the consumer.
Deliverance (divestment) – disposal of not consumed to the end of the product
or its residues.
the final stage of the consumer decision process. Here the consumer faces a
choice of a complete disposal of the product, its processing or remarketing
(resale in the market of second-hand products). This decision-making stage is
also subject to producer competition – especially in developed countries, where
consumers and society as a whole are very concerned about preserving the
natural environment. Here, the companies-producers declare their friendly
ecology policy – the recycling of packaging, computer cases and waste cassettes
of printer cartridges.