Figure such as milk and bread, consumersFigure such as milk and bread, consumers

Figure 2 “Stages in the Consumer’s
Purchasing Process” summarize the purchasing path consumers go through. A
consumer may probably come across a hundred of buying decisions in a week or
even within a day, and go through partially or entirely those stages. When consumers
realize a need or a want, they are going to thinking about different brands,
how to find the best one at the best price, where and how to buy it. In the
meantime, consumers may evaluate purchased products to see which are worse than
others. How will they get rid of unsatisfied products? What will they buy next?
Where does the buying process begin?

Stage 1. Need

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Fresh graduates often think about
traveling to somewhere or take a gap year to do volunteer work before accepting
a job offer after graduation. A graduate realizes that he needs a new backpack
that is bigger and have durable base allowing him to live outside for a month. He
may think about a new car or a scooter to commute when he come back from the
journey. Recognizing a need simply happens when consumers are in need of something
such as a cup of coffee in the morning to stay alert, a durable backpack to
travel and a vehicle for communication. Beyond needs recognized, there are
other needs people will not know until other people remind them. Have you ever
thought of the reason why Pepsi, Powerade, and other beverage manufacturers
place the machines in gymnasiums so people can see them during a tiring
workout? Marketers attempt to show customers how their products and service add
value and fulfill their needs and wants.                                  

Stage 2. Search for Information


For cheap products such as milk and
bread, consumers may simply buy them immediately when they notice the need.

Nevertheless, if a consumer are upgrading to a better and more expensive car or
buy it for the first time, he may put more effort into the evaluation process.

Perhaps he has experience driving cars, and he knows what he likes and dislikes
about certain features or functions. Or there is a specific high-end brand that
he always wants to possess one. This is the great position that every brand
strives for in which the pre-purchase research stage is restrained, and
consumers simply purchase the brand.


If buyers do not acquire enough
information to make the final decision, they may go online to gather more
information from biased sources, such as advertisements, brochures, company
Websites, and salesman. And/or they will get further neutral information from
other channels, read comments, reviews of other consumers, product ratings,
buying tips, and price information or ask opinions/experience of people in their
social circle.