Explain three stages of consumer decision making (Input, process & Output) while purchasing a product.
The process of consumer’s decision making is based on the three distinct stages but these stages are inter-linked and make a process of consumer’s decision making. The process of decision making of the consumer is consisted of; input stage, process stage, and output stage. These three stages, step by step, lead and guide towards to the decision making of the consumer.
The input stage is, where consumer recognize his need for anything. This recognition of the needs, make the consumer explore and think about the possible options available in the market. At this stage, consumer faces two kinds of influences from the market.
First is ‘firm’s marketing efforts’ and second is ‘external sociological influences’.
The marketing efforts include; the product, what is its price, how it is being promoted and the place where it is being kept and sold. These are all the factors which contribute or impact the consumer at this stage from the marketer’s perspective.
The second aspect include; the influences on the consumer. How the consumer has heard about the product from the family, friends, neighbors, or any information which has been gathered from non- commercial sources like word of mouth etc., the social class of the consumer, and
the cultural and sub-cultural background and membership. These are the factors which contribute in setting the need and want of the consumer at the input stage. In short at the input stage the information which is part of the consumer’s input about the product, studied at this stage.
The process stage aims to explore the ways that how consumer make decisions. The psychological factors of the individual play the role at this stage. These factors are; perception of the consumer, motivation towards buying, overall personality of the consumer, learning of the consumer, previously has been done, and attitude towards the product. At this stage the input information is evaluated in reference to these internal factors and in combination of both of these, including the recognition of the need from the previous stage, pre-purchase search for the related information, and in addition to all this the evaluation of the alternatives is also included. These factors altogether make consumer take a decision about the product that which product will be purchased.
The output stage is consisted of not current purchasing behavior, rather it addresses the post decision activities, once consumer purchase the product. It includes two activities of the consumer; purchase behavior and post purchase evaluation.
The purchase behavior refers to the again buying the same product in future in case of need of that product. If the consumer will be satisfied with the previous decision the purchase will be repeated by the consumer, but if previous purchase will bring dissatisfaction, then other alternatives will be explored or preferred. The post purchase evaluation is the evaluation of the consumer of the product which has been purchased. This evaluation is in the form of opinion setting about that product. If the good opinion will be set, then consumer will tell good aspects
of the product to others, but if the experience with the product will be bad, then consumer will spread bad words about the product in the social circle. It also determines the future purchase of the product as well.
Keeping in view the three stages of consumer decision making, your task is to select one of the products given below and build a model for your decision to prefer one brand of the product on the other.
I am aiming to buy winter clothes for this season. I have two options one is sapphire and another is Gul Ahmed. I am going to consider the process of decision making while I make this purchase. I will address all the factors which plays the role at each stage of decision making, whether it includes internal factors or it is about external efforts by the marketers. The model which describes the decision-making process, will be addressed while this purchase activity is conducted.
Input stage: at the input stage I was influenced by the two external forces, one was what markets want to tell me about their product by presenting their product, offering good prices and discounts, and huge bill boards and advertisements. The second external force was what people says or have opinion about the product like what I have heard from the non-commercial efforts of the brand and people around me have the opinion about the product after their use or overall opinion. I have been heard that sapphire clothes have unique designs but Gul Ahmad is giving good discounts. The promotion efforts were more found of Gul Ahmad products. I was attracted to follow the Gul Ahmad first, I saw all the prints and articles which were on promotion, but I found those not matching to my choice and interest. I decided to go to sapphire. They also had lavish outlet, and interesting prints. Some articles really attracted me but those were very expensive for me. I kept on digging upon further on my choices.
Process stage: I analyze myself that how I perceive both of these brands, I consider sapphire designs more aesthetic and modern and novel in its patterns and colors. I was motivated to purchase novel colors for this winter. I have found it as part of my personality that I am an extrovert person and like vibrant and lively patterns and colors. I have learned through previous purchase experience as well that these kinds of prints go well with my personality and suits me as well. So, in result of this I have developed the attitude of wearing such kind of prints and colors.
Output stage: I use the dress of sapphire and I enjoyed the feel and looks as well as overall price and comfort it provided. I find myself looking elegant while carrying that dress among my colleagues and family members. That dress made me feel good overall. On top of that after 2 to three washes, I found the colors and fabric as same as I bout that, this made me feel so good that every time I carry that dress, I found that as a new dress. This experience made me loyal customer of sapphire, and I have positive evaluation about the brand and product both.