Category Archives: Marketing

Consumer Buying Process explained step by step with Example

As a student of marketing or a marketing professional you must have heard the marketing terminology such as ‘Consumer buying process’. Actually a consumer may be or may not be the buyer. We defined buyer as a person who is involved in the buying decision process from beginning since the end. So evenif we use the word Consumer, here in this marketing article think it as Buyer. So now Let us understand step by step the Consumer Buying Process  with Example.

 Steps of buying process
5 Steps of Consumer Buying Process :-
1) Need Recognition
2) Information Search
3) Evaluation of Alternatives
4) Purchase Decision
5) Post Purchase behavior

Let us understand the buying process in detail.

1) Need Recognition
Need for a product or service arises when there is a problem. But the recognition of problem doesn’t end-up in Need recognition. Hence the Need recognition is the first step in the consumer buying process. It is at this stage where the buyer thinks that there is requirement of certain service or certain product.
E.g. There is a wedding in the house and you as a family head has now realized that you need wedding photographers, music orchestra, a catering vendor and many others. The situation i.e. Wedding itself is a not the first step in the buying process because it is not compulsory to have wedding photography for everyone. There are people who don’t like getting photographed and they don’t hire photographer but a videographer only. So in that situation i.e. wedding is not the first step but the recognizing the need of photographer as you wishes to have one is the first step in the consumer buying process.

2) Information Search
As the consumer now knows what he or she needs, the next logical step in consumer buying process is to search for information of suppliers of services or products who can satisfy your needs. The potential buyer collects such information via references from his inner network including friends,relatives,family members,business colleagues etc. It should be remembered that the buyer only searches for the information for vendors only when he already don’t have fixed vendor. If one doesn’t have enough of information from the inner circle, he or she will look for other sources search as Google Search, Social media, directory search etc.
E.g. As the buyer has recognized the need of wedding photographer for the wedding function, he will now seek references of wedding photographers from family,friends or relatives who have wedding recently in their family. They would like to see the work done by photographer at their functions. If there are no such references, the potential buyer will search for local wedding photographers on google or make a post in Facebook seeking for the reference. Thus the potential buyer of the services will collect search and collect the information from multiple source to have multiple choices.

3) Evaluation of Alternatives
               Out of all the alternatives you select only one person or company to satisfy your need. And this is the critical decision to be made by potential buyer during the consumer buying process. You need to evaluate the alternatives to chose the right vendor or supplier who can satisfy your needs at the price you want it. Here the Alternatives are converted from Need to Want.
E.g. From various source you got 5 references of wedding photographers. Now you need to see which photographer falls in your budget, your preference of wedding style be it traditional or candid photography, with video or without video etc.

4) Purchase decision 
After evaluating all the alternatives, you chose the best option which meets your requirements the best. You now decide and discuss the mode of payment, payment slabs and product delivery things with the vendor.
E.g. After considering all 5 wedding photographers you finalise one candid wedding photographer as you liked their work and he fits in your budget. Now you again confirm the date and time of the events.

5) Post Purchase behaviour
Once your buy a service or product, you become the buyer. Now as you consume the product or service, there are three possibilities. 1) That product/service meets the demand as per expectation. In that case you will be happy. 2) That Product/service doesn’t meet your expectation. In that case you will be upset and will complain about the same. 3) That Product and services are beyond your expectation and as a customer you are delighted. A delighted customer gives compliments and also promises to refer the vendor to the people in his or her own network.
Eg. If the photographer satisfies with this services, you will be happy. If he fails in his delivery as per expectation of customer, the customer will have solid complain as wedding is once in a life event.If the customer is delighted, he will recommend the photographer whenever there is need of any photographer in his network.