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Understanding the Buyer Decision Process

The buyer decision process is commonly described as a five-stage process in which consumers:

– Recognize a Need

– Search for Information to Satisfy that Need

– Evaluate the Information Gathered

– Make a Purchase

– Evaluate the Purchase.

The first stage occurs when a consumer realizes that their wireless headphones did not survive the journey to the bottom of the pool. This dissatisfaction and need for recognition prompt them to move to the second stage of the buyer’s journey.

Information Search

At this stage, the consumer either searches for an identical replacement, or searches for information about the latest wireless headphone technology available. They will probably search online but will also ask friends and be influenced by daily messaging from Apple and other headphone makers. They may also search specifically for products that have features such as noise cancellation and long-battery life.

Evaluation and Purchase

The subsequent evaluation stage of the process may compare several models of headphones or maybe a list of pros and cons of a product. Which headphones will satisfy their needs? The consumer may find headphones that offer noise cancellation, long battery life, water resistance, and are lightweight—at a manageable price. After

evaluating these variables, the consumer purchases the headphones that promise to meet their needs. This stage converts the consumer into a customer.

Post Purchase

After the purchase is made, the consumer decides whether they are happy with their decision or not. They may ask themselves if the headphones are satisfying their needs. They will decide if the price was fair, and they will either feel content or disappointed with their decision. And finally, the product is disposed of, ending the buyer decision process. This disposal may be selling the wireless headphones to another person on eBay, gifting them to a loved one, or maybe even losing the­m in the ocean.

—Robert Vergara


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