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The buyer decision process: How demographics affect purchasing decisions

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  1. Introduction.
    1. Buyer Decision Process.
    2. Explanation of the process through interviews.
  2. Need recognition.
  3. Information search.
  4. Evaluation of alternatives.
  5. Purchase decision.
  6. Post purchasing behavior.
  7. Conclusion.

The ?Buyer Decision Process? is, in essence, simply the basic steps most buyers go through before making a purchase. If the process were to be laid out in a flow chart, it would look like this: Need Recognition ? Information Search ? Evaluation of Alternatives ? Purchase Decision ? Postpurchase Behavior (Armstrong & Kotler, 2007, p. 143, fig 5.5). Showing the decision process in this way is simplistic, because it implies that all buyers approach the buying process the same way and with the same steps for every purchase. This is not so. There are often situations in which a buyer will change the order of the steps or even leave some out altogether (Armstrong & Kotler, 2007, p. 142).

[...] Evaluation of Alternatives The Evaluation of Alternatives in the third step in the buyer decision process. This is the step in which the buyer looks over all the information they have collected in the previous step and evaluates it based on criteria they have developed for their purchase. Factors like expense, brand, and style are often reviewed in this step. At other times, especially for less important purchasing decisions, the buyer may rely on intuition or buy on impulse (Armstrong & Kotler, p.143) As could be expected, the two sisters had entirely different criteria for what constituted good car?. [...]

[...] Purchase Decision The purchase decision is the second-to-last step in the buyer decision process, and arguably the most important. This is, of course, when the actual decision to purchase is made. This decision uses the information gathered in the initial search as well as the evaluations of the alternatives made in the previous step. However, when the time comes to make a purchase, there are other factors that often come into play. One is the attitudes of other people, which can sway the buyer to a decision if they are on the fence over a particular issue, such as whether to buy the higher-priced or the lower-priced item. [...]

[...] Lastly, the differences in their financial situations created huge differences in the qualities they were looking for in their respective vehicles. Kristen's comfortable financial situation allowed her to consider features such as style and comfort, while Marie could only focus on the practical considerations of cost, functionality, and practicality. All in all, the approaches these two sisters took when purchasing their vehicles, completely different despite being raised in the same family, show a very clear picture of how demographics can strongly affect the Buyer Decision Process. [...]

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