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THE IMPORTANCE OF CONSIDERING THE STAGES OF THE BUYING DECISION PROCESS TO ENSURE THE BEST PRODUCT INVESTMENT

In our today’s society, purchases of new products have considerably increased. Indeed, our consumption has more than tripled compared to a few decades ago.

One of the primary reasons to such a shift is that the world we live in is so digital that this has become particularly easy to look for information and find out about the latest trendy products. Yet, buying a new product requires some time, thought and reflection. Thus, in order to effectively make the right decision, this is critical to go over the 5 stages of the buying process. Thinking about each stage individually will increase the likelihood of making the most appropriate decision.

Stages of the buying decision process

Need recognition

The first think you need to do prior to purchasing a product is to identify your need through the use of both internal or external stimuli. Internal stimuli reflects your thoughts, beliefs, opinions while the external stimuli has to do with your current environment and surroundings. Actually, you will recognize a need through the experience and feedback of your family, friends, colleagues, advertising, etc. In addition, recognizeing a need will allow you to make the difference between your actual and ideal state. For instance, let’s assume that you purchased the Iphone 10 5 years ago. It’s still working but you heard of the Iphone 14 that is much better and has a wide range of options to offer. Your actual state is to keep the Iphone 10 while your ideal state would be to purchase that Iphone 14.

Information search

Information search means that you will look for product information and/or alternatives that will best satisfy your needs and wants. Let’s go back to the Iphone example. You heard of this new Iphone 14 so you want to know what your family, friends or acquintances think about the product. You are looking for some evidence as to why this product is better than others. You need some recommdndations prior to making your decision.

Evaluation

Right before purchasing a product, this is essential to fully evaluate each alternative. While comparing each alternative, you will figure out which product is most likely to respond to your needs. Indeed, you will carefully evaluate criteria such as performance, benefits, attributes and cuts offs such as price. When you plan to purchase a new product, price is your main cut off. Thus, the first thing you want to compare across is price.

Purchase

Once all alternatives have been thoroughly taken into consideration, time has come to purchase. Keep in mind that your purchase can be influenced by factors referred to as  as situational or environmental. AFor instance, although you wish to purchase that Iphone 14, the context you are in may not result in a purchase. All conditions such as the right environment, the right place, the right time or the right avaibility need to be gathered in order to complete a purchase.

Post purchase

You purchased your Iphone 14 a few weeks ago. Now time has come to evaluate its real efficiency and usefulness. This is the time where you wonder if you will use this product again in the future or if you want to substitute it by another similar product. Post purchase allows you to come up with the conclusion if this product truly meets your expectations and desires.

Going slowly through the 5 stages of the buying decision process gives you the opportunity not to make a purchase decision on an impulse. For instance, if you walk into an electronic store, look at a Samsoung product and decide to purchase it right away, you will not have taken time to identify if this was really a need, search information about the product or evaluated its alternatives. Thus, although you made a purchase, you may have lost money on a product you may regret later on. Devoting some time to evaluate alternatives is paramount because it enables you to make the right decision based on your main cuts offs, recommendations from your friends or real benefits of the product along with its performance.

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