Consumer buying behavior refers to the process by which people search for, select, buy, use, and disposes these goods and services to satisfy their wants and needs. Understanding why the buyers do what they do is perhaps the most challenging concept in marketing. This understanding is critical for the marketers because knowing the buyers’ behaviors will help shed the light on what is essential to the consumers besides suggesting the crucial influences on consumers’ decision- making. By the use of this information, sellers can create the marketing programs, which they believe are of interest to the consumers.
Consumer behavior thus considers the various reasons why individuals shop for products and services, purchase and use them, and then dispose them. The factors that affect how we make decisions to purchase a product or service are extremely complex. Our buying behaviors are deeply rooted in psychology. Because we are different, it is not possible to have the simple rules, which explain how we make our buying decisions. This essay reflects on my personal shopping behavior beginning from January 16, 2014 to February 27, 2014 by discussing three purchases decisions, which I made during this period. For this reason, this paper centers on my own buying behavior as well as the marketing influences on this behavior.
I went through a number of buying stages before making all the final purchase decisions. In all the three purchase decisions that I made, the first stage was need recognition. This was the most important step in all my purchases decisions, since without recognizing my needs; I would not have made the purchases. My internal stimuli including thirst, hunger, desire and others triggered my needs. The external stimuli such as advertisements also triggered these needs. After recognizing my needs or problems, I embarked on searching information with the aim of finding out my best solutions. I relied on visual, voice, and print media for getting the information about various products and services. Additionally, I used Amazon.com and Epinions.com internet shopping sites to get information about products and services ratings, price information, and buying tips.
The next stage involved evaluating the alternatives. I evaluated different products and services based on their varying attributes and the ability to deliver the benefits that I was seeking. I realized that my attitudes had an influence on this specific stage, as I either liked or disliked some products and services. My degree of involvement also had an influence on this stage. My involvement was high, and thus I evaluated numerous brands. The next stage was products/services choice and purchase. This is the stage where I made my three purchases. I finally decided to purchase a laptop, clothing, and medical insurance. I realized that negative feedbacks from the other consumers, as well as my motivation level, to accept these feedbacks disrupted my final buying decisions.
During the products/services choice and purchase stage, I bought a laptop, clothing, and medical insurance. My decision to buy a laptop was influenced by various situational factors including social factors, physical factors, my reason for purchase, time factors among others. I needed a laptop to facilitate my learning, and hence this reason made me to make a decision of purchasing one. My physical situation also influenced me to buy this product. In my location, many computer retailers have designed their stores in such a way that they attract the customers. In addition, these retailers have placed their stores everywhere in my location. I found myself spending a lot of time around these retail shops, and this influenced my decision to buy this product.
Moreover, some of these outlets were crowded with customers. This also influenced me a lot because I was convinced that their products are better. My social status also influenced my decision to buy a laptop. I did not pay much to acquire this product because the retailers in my area sold them at affordable prices. This was influenced by the competition in the area. To attract many customers; the retailers have made their prices for laptops affordable to the consumers. Thus, I did not pay a lot to acquire this product. I bought this product in my locality. This was influenced by my busy schedule. I did not have much time to go to other places to buy the product.
I used the internet to acquire information about this product including the qualities, characteristics, and retail outlets that sell deal with laptops. I used amazon.com to find the places I can get a good laptop. The site gave me many retail outlets including the outlets in my area. After considering many factors, I decided to window shop in my area, as it was easier than visiting the other outlets, which would have been costly in terms of transport costs and time. In addition, I learned about this product from visual, voice, and print media. My friends’ feedback made me to buy the product from a certain local retailer. I realized that this retailer had many customers, as his outlet has always been overcrowded, and this influenced me to buy from his shop.
My other purchase decision was clothing. A number of factors were responsible for this decision. My mood is one of the factors that influenced my decision to buy clothing. During all this period, I felt like going on a shopping spree, and this influenced my decision to buy clothing. In addition, I enjoy shopping, although I am not an extravagant. I found myself spending my leisure in clothing outlets in my area and those far away. The clothing brands at various shopping malls increased my mood, and this had an impact on my purchase decision. Personal factors also influenced this purchase decision. My high level of openness and agreeableness made me to respond well to all the clothing advertisements. Therefore, this influenced my decision to buy clothing.
However, I paid high to acquire this product. This was influenced by my gender. Clothing does not cost the same price for both genders. Thus, to acquire the product, I had to incur additional costs. In addition, my age and stage of life also influenced this purchase decision. When I was a kid, the last thing that I desired as a gift was clothing. I have come to realize that cool clothes have become my bigger priority as a teen. Therefore, this also influenced my purchase decision. What’s more, my lifestyle made me to pay more for the product. I learned about this product and its price from the internet. I used online sites to acquire information about this product. In addition, advertisement provided additional information about this product, where to find it, its price, and other crucial information. I bought this product from a person of my gender. This was influenced by the belief that this seller would answer any time of question that I would ask. My perception also influenced this decision.
The third purchase decision was medical insurance. This purchase decision was influenced by my lifestyle. For instance, my marital status influenced my decision to buy this service. The education I have also influenced my decision. My personality also influenced my decision. I did not pay much for this service. This was influenced by the fact that it is an essential service in one’s life, and thus the providers provide it at subsidized rates and affordable prices. I bought this service from a private firm in my locality. This was influenced by my social situation as well as my reason for acquiring this service, which is to get medical cover. I learned about this service from the visual, voice, and print media. Many insurance providers had advertised themselves in visual, voice, and print media, and thus I had a better opportunity to compare all of them and select the one that fitted my interests.
Currently, I am at the post purchase use and evaluation stage. This is the stage where I will decide whether the products and service I purchased during the specified period are according to my expectations. I am likely to suffer from post-purchase dissonance if they do not satisfy me. Now, I want to feel good about my purchases. If this will not be the case, I will start wondering whether I should have purchased different products and service, gathered additional information first, or waited to get a better price.