Concept

Buyer decision process

Summary
As part of consumer behavior, the buying decision process is the decision-making process used by consumers regarding the market transactions before, during, and after the purchase of a good or service. It can be seen as a particular form of a cost–benefit analysis in the presence of multiple alternatives. Common examples include shopping and deciding what to eat. Decision-making is a psychological construct. This means that although a decision cannot be "seen", we can infer from observable behavior that a decision has been made. Therefore, we conclude that a psychological "decision-making" event has occurred. It is a construction that imputes a commitment to action. That is, based on observable actions, we assume that people have made a commitment to effect the action. Nobel laureate Herbert A. Simon sees economic decision-making as a vain attempt to be rational. Simon claimed (in 1947 and 1957) that if a complete analysis is to be done, a decision will be immensely complex. Simon also wrote that peoples' information processing ability is limited. The assumption of a perfectly rational economic actor is unrealistic. Consumers are influenced by emotional and nonrational considerations making attempts to be rational only partially successful. He called for replacing the perfect rationality assumptions of homo economicus with a conception of rationality tailored to cognitively limited agents. Even if the buyer decision process was highly rational, the required product information and/or knowledge is often substantially limited in quality or extent, as is the availability of potential alternatives. Factors such as cognitive effort and decision-making time also play a role. The stages of the buyer decision process were first introduced by John Dewey in 1910. Later studies expanded upon Dewey's initial finding. Engel, Blackwell and Kollat in (1968). Problem/Need Recognition - Recognize what the problem or need is and identify the product or type of product which is required. Page text.
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