Consumer Decision Making Process and the Factors affecting it

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What is Consumer Decision Making Process?

In order to make a purchase choice, customers must first determine their needs, obtain information, weigh their options, and then decide what to buy. Consumer behavior may be impacted by environmental factors including social and cultural values as well as economic and psychological factors.

A complicated process, the consumer decision-making behavior includes everything from problem identification to post-purchase behaviors. Every consumer has unique needs in their everyday life, and it is these needs that influence how they choose to act.

Depending on the consumer’s perception of a particular product, decisions might be difficult when comparing, assessing, selecting, and buying from a range of items. This enables marketers to differentiate their goods and services from those of their competitors in the market by identifying and comprehending the fundamental issue with the customer decision-making process.

Factors Affecting Consumers Decision Making Process

consumer decision making process
consumer decision making process

Consumer behavior is random. There aren’t many absolutes, but one thing is always true: There are many factors that affect how consumers make decisions. There are two types of personal effects on the choice to buy. These are a few of them:

  • Internal influences: These factors include attitudes, views, roles, and way of life.
  • External influences: These factors on an individual include cultures, subcultures, household structures, and groupings.

Every circumstance and factor is unique. Some factors are modifiable, while others must be dealt with on the spot. In certain cases, you’ll discover that you can really reverse the effects that the influences have on a client. It’s crucial to realize that although you may divide consumer influences into internal and external factors, they’re truly interrelated and help the customer make a decision about what to buy.

I delve deeply into how customers are impacted, why they act the way they do, and how you can leverage these factors to your benefit in other articles. For the time being, I will give you a brief overview of each area and demonstrate how it may influence your consumer in the sections that follow.

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1. Internal factors

consumer decision making process
Internal Factors

Influences from within the customer are internal. They are the individual’s ideas and emotions, which include perception, self-concept, way of life, drive, feeling, attitudes, and intentions. These may be referred to as psychological influences. These factors determine how consumers engage with their environment, acknowledge their emotions, acquire and process information, develop views, and act. Consumer internal factors might help you better comprehend the causes and mechanisms of a particular behavior. You will learn more about each of these effects in the sections that follow.

        i. Motivation and emotion

Consumers’ motivation and emotions operate as the driving forces behind some activities. Long-term aspirations within a customer are stirred up and stimulated by a continuous demand called motivation. Emotions are passing states that represent alterations in motivation at the time. They frequently cause behavioral changes as well.

Emotion and motivation frequently interact to influence consumer behavior.

Consumers are propelled through the purchasing process by emotion-driven motivation. By figuring out how to stimulate customers’ emotions and inspire them to satisfy the demand sparked by those feelings, you may leverage your understanding of motivation and emotion to improve your marketing strategy.

      ii. Perception

The way a consumer processes and interprets information is reflected in perception. You may define perception as how customers view the environment they are in, which includes the environment in which your products and services are present. Every consumer’s perceptions influence their purchase decisions in a distinct way.

You care about perception because it reflects how the customer sees your good or service. Understanding the perception customers now have of your product and making adjustments to ensure that your product is perceived, evaluated, and retained in their memory can help you to change how people perceive your product (rather than simply ignored).

Learn about perception, thresholds for different senses, and the steps customers take to create their perception. Using this knowledge, you can then modify your marketing stimuli, including your advertisements, packaging, and price, to appeal specifically to each target market segment.

    iii. Attitude

A person’s attitude is their overall assessment of something. It reflects what customers think about goods, services, and businesses. The attitudes of your customers and how well you’re received in the marketplace can reveal a lot about you. Just keep in mind that people quickly filter out anything that goes against their beliefs.

Consumer attitudes may be taught. They are shaped by direct personal experiences and impacted by the beliefs and personalities of the person, their relationships with friends and family, and media exposure. The good news is that attitudes are changeable. In fact, you may influence a consumer’s perspective by combining information with a good or negative attitude toward a certain thing or product. 

     iv.  Self-concept and lifestyle

A person’s self-concept reflects how she views herself. Individuals’ self-concepts often influence how they behave as consumers in four ways. These are them:

  • Actual self: It reflects the person as they are right now.
  • The ideal self: It is the person they would like to be.
  • Private self: The self that is purposefully kept secret from others.
  • Public self: The self that is revealed to the public.

Self-concepts provide an explanation for why people dress in particular ways, buy particular items, and drive particular vehicles. They influence how a customer behaves because they show how she perceives herself and how she believes others see her. You may utilize self-concepts to more effectively target your marketing message and advertising to potential clients after you grasp their functions.

I address them together since a person’s self-concept frequently translates into their lifestyle. Technically speaking, a person’s lifestyle is influenced by a variety of internal and external factors, including her motivations, learning, attitudes, actions, beliefs, and views, as well as demographic and personality traits. A consumer’s lifestyle also reflects their wealth, culture, social status, and purchasing power.

The visible manifestation of both external and internal factors on customers reflects their lifestyle. You may tailor your advertising strategies to those customers when you consider all the variables to acquire a better understanding of their lifestyles. Additionally, you can spot market opportunities.

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2. External Factors

consumer decision making process
External factors

Consumers must deal with a variety of outside factors, such as a person’s culture, subculture, family structure, and social groups. Due to the fact that the source of the influence is external to the individual rather than internal, marketers and company owners refer to these factors as external (which would be internal, or psychological, influences). Due to the fact that they result from both official and informal ties that an individual has with other people, you may also refer to them as sociocultural influences. I describe each external factor and explain how and why it affects consumers in the sections that follow.

a. Culture and subculture

An individual’s culture affects his/her values, beliefs, attitudes, and views, which in turn affect his/her purchasing behavior and attitude toward items.

People work hard to preserve their cultures’ ideas and values because they find that they satisfy many of their emotional needs. Their shopping behavior reflects this protection.

In actuality, culture has the power to generate consumer needs, shape how those needs are met, and determine how an individual satisfies those needs. Consumer acceptance of goods and services that speak to the values of a particular culture is significantly higher. The family, places of worship, and educational institutions all pass on cultural values.

A subculture is a collection of people who share common traits within a culture. A subculture frequently serves as a representation of a specific nation, religion, race, or geographic region. These commonalities can be used to directly sell to a subculture. Understanding consumer subcultures will help you better target customers with your marketing and provide messages that are more attractive and compelling.

b. Groups

Groups are made up of two or more people who adhere to the same standards, principles, or views. Peer groups, academic groups, professional groups, and clubs are a few examples. To the degree that they adopt the beliefs, attitudes, and actions of a group, individuals identify with that group. Understanding the categories to which customers belong is important since those groups have a big impact on how consumers are influenced. Finding the group’s opinion leaders and letting them know about your items may also be beneficial. You may use the group’s leader’s endorsement to promote to the group as a whole by winning their support.

c. Household Structures

The household structure shows how many people live in a certain house, as well as their ages and annual income. Because the organization of a household influences the consumption and shopping habits of the people living there, it is significant for understanding consumer behavior. Understanding these responsibilities can help you assist consumers in choosing whether to buy your product more effectively. Each member of the family structure plays a part in the decision-making process.

Understanding the distinction between traditional and non-traditional homes is also crucial. By doing this, you can identify the needs of each home and tailor your marketing to appeal to those needs. Family life cycles must also be taken into consideration since they have an impact on consumer behavior and needs for purchase.

Because of the many conditions and shifting responsibilities that must be taken into account, marketing to families is more difficult than it always was. However, taking these things into account puts you ahead of your rivals and helps you win over any lost customers.

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