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Analyzing the Buyer Decision Process by interviewing two consumers

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The buyer decision process is like an imaginary process that the consumer undergoes in buying a product or a service. This process happens before, during, and after purchasing the product or a service. The concept of this process says that a consumer undergoes different ‘stages’ whenever he is involved in a transaction of a product or service.

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These stages include Need recognition, Information search, Evaluation of Alternatives, Purchase decision, and Post purchase behavior (Kotler, 1999). Recognition of the consumer’s needs can be caused by internal or external stimuli.

Examples of internal stimuli are a person’s needs such as thirst and hunger. External stimuli, on the other hand, consist of advertisements, slogans, magazines etc (Kotler, 1999). In the case of Person A, she saw the ice cream in a poster and that’s what made her buy the particular ice cream because it looks delicious. Person B, on the other hand, bought the ice cream simply because she felt the need of cold food because of the climate. In that situation, Person A’s need of ice cream is caused by an external stimulus while Person B’s need is caused by an internal stimulus.

By analyzing the answers of the interviewees, we can say that climate and advertising are one of the factors that influenced the buying behavior of the two consumers. Information about the product can be made known by the consumer through personal, commercial, public, and experiential sources. Personal sources can be family, friends, and close relatives. These are actually the most effective source of information. An example of a commercial source is a salesperson. Usually, most of the information about the product can be made known through this kind of source.

Public sources include mass media. Experiential sources exist when the consumer already tried the product, or experienced it (Kotler, 1999). When asked about their source of information about the ice cream, Person A said that she saw the ice cream in a poster while Person B answered that a friend told her that the particular ice cream tastes good. Person A’s source is belongs to Public sources while Person B’s source belongs to Personal sources. When asked about the importance of their source, Person A said that her source is not really that important.

On the other hand, Person B said that her source is important (her source is her friend) because the ice cream was recommended by her friend and that she trusts her friend. The next step in the process is the evaluation of alternatives. In this stage, the consumer evaluates the features of the products and many other factors (Kotler, 1999). Person A said that before buying the ice cream, he considered the price, the flavor, and if she will be satisfied after consuming the product. The same thing goes for person B. She also said that she considered the product price, flavor, and her satisfaction afterwards.

When asked how they evaluated these alternatives, they said that they just look at the product and the information that comes with it. In this case, the buying behavior of the consumers is influenced by the product’s features. The purchase intention is the consumer’s want to purchase her most preferred kind of the product (Kotler, 1999). Person B said that in deciding what flavor of ice cream to buy, she just looks at the flavors and recalls about her experiences about these flavors. Person A answered just the same as Person B. Person A said that she chose vanilla because it is her personal favorite.

Person B said that she is in the mood for chocolate that is why she chose that particular flavor. In this case, factors that influenced the buying behavior of the consumers are experience, personal choice, and mood/emotion. Post purchase behavior is like the evaluation of the consumer after purchasing the product or a service (Kotler, 1999). In the end, the consumer can be satisfied or dissatisfied. When asked about describing their level of satisfaction, both interviewees answered that their level of satisfaction is high and that they were both satisfied. Why?

Because the outcome of their purchase met their expectations. Many other factors might have affected the buying behavior of the two consumers. Demographics might have also contributed on the purchase of the ice cream. Since there are 3 ice cream parlors in located near the consumers’ place, demographics might also have affected their purchase. If there are no ice cream parlors in the place, they may not be able to purchase ice cream. Reference: Kotler, P. (1999). Principles of marketing. Retrieved April 30, 2007, 2007, from http//:cas. uah. edu/berkowd/webpage/MKT600/KOTCHA05. PPT

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