Buyers Decision Process | Beginner’s Guide

Written by: Russ Sharer
Close-up of handshake

The buyer decision process is between various products and services on the market. These customer decisions occur using a type of economic analysis known as the buying choice, a cost-benefit examination in the presence of multiple alternatives.

5 Steps to Consumer Decision-Making Process

The decision-making process of a product or service is similar to the decision-making process of consumers and businesses. However, there are a few points that set them apart. 

Those with repeat or habitual purchase processes show a slower assessment of alternatives in FMCG purchases as the latter will be speeding up their rate of consumption as they scan.

It can be tricky to understand the buyer decision process from an outside perspective. Let’s examine the key stages of this decision to determine the purchase process followed by each buyer.

Problem Recognition

The first stage is the recognition of a problem or trouble. In this stage, the customer determines they have an issue they want to solve. At this point, they have some product ideas.

The buyer examines their available options and then looks for an answer. That choice leads the buyer into the second stage of the buyer decision process.

Information Search

Stage two is an examination of the available options. In this search stage, the buyer will look at the choices and determine the best answer to their needs. They will decide the options which look like ideal solutions to their problem. 

This step is where the products or services shift to a select few. Once they have their options, they will move to the next phase of the buyer’s decision process.

Evaluation Of Alternatives

In the evaluation of alternatives stage, the decision-makers evaluate the various alternative brands. They determine what is available and lay out the options for decision-making. 

At this moment, the buyer determines the criteria by which they choose their product. For product quality, they decide on the items that are most valuable and those of minimal importance in the buying decision process. That leads them to the decision. 

Purchase Decision

The next phase in the buying decision process is the purchase decision. Here, the buyers will apply their marketing strategy to make their final choice about the product or service. They will determine what they want to purchase and who they want to buy it from on the market.

This stage is to make or break a business for the decision makers; it determines success or failure in sales for a business.

Post-Purchase Evaluation

The last phase of the consumer buying process, the post-purchase phase, doesn’t happen right after purchase. Instead, the customer decision journey continues throughout consumption. If it’s not solving a problem or meeting their needs, there are several ways a customer may react to improve the situation for future buyers.

A business or individual may leave negative reviews or request a refund from the company. They may spread the word about a particular company, good or bad. The final choice can be ruined due to negative customer reviews and the motivation to listen.

The post-purchase phase can continue on the internet. Promoting additional items after purchase may be worth the risk. Data from many stores reveals that 27.5% of customers who view products in the post-purchase stage request emails to convert. Purchase alternatives are valuable for sales.

product price

How Does Pricing Affect the Consumer Decision Process?

What is the mental process behind consumers determining which product to buy? Out of all the factors, price is one of the most critical items. The product price doesn’t just mean the tag – it means everything involved in the final consumer purchase decision process.

It’s critical that customers aren’t faced with unfortunate additional fees when they checkout. It’s vital to determine the shipping costs and taxes before finding a final price so customers will have a fair price level. Your company will be more likely to sell an item this way.

Trust is necessary throughout the consumer buying process. If you lose that trust in the price point, you are less likely to win additional customers.

Types Of Buyer’s Buying Decision

Sales strategies bank on an extensive understanding of the standard consumer buying process. Let’s have a look at a few of the most common buying decisions to help you make a better decision about your final choice.

Extensive Buying Decision

Buyers take a lot of time researching their purchases and determining the options available to solve their problems. They consider all their options before making a choice that can impact the company they work for or their home. They must make a decision that allows the company to continue with regular operations without making too many tweaks. This decision is considered an extensive buying decision. They carefully look at every option before determining a final choice for needs. 

Limited/Simplified Buying Decision

There is much to consider when making a purchase, and some buyers want items to be as straightforward as possible. This consumer decision process gets its name when there are fewer choices in the purchase. This lack of options makes it much easier for the buying situation of the interested party.

This decision often occurs with brand names or companies that have made themselves known in the marketplace. They make this decision to remove additional costs associated with additional choices. There is a lower financial risk with a simplified decision in a complicated market.

People adore the illusion of choice. They want it to be much easier for them, uncomplicated in a world with many choices.

Habitual Buying Decision

Many investors stick with items that work for them; they are familiar with them and are comfortable buying the product. Prospective customers use their personal experiences to determine if the product is worth their time. They may examine the product reviews from previous customers as well.

About 40% of buyers head to Amazon when they want to invest. This choice is an example of a habitual buying decision – prospective customers have had excellent experiences with the website in the past and are willing to bring their business back to the website for additional purchases.

Habits are an excellent way to improve sales. If you can prove yourself as a trustworthy company or buying team, you can grab customers who make your products and services into a habit. Habitual buying decisions can feed into impulsive buying decisions, which we will discuss next.

Impulsive Buying Decision

This choice occurs when a buyer feels a rush of pleasure purchasing something, often in the form of emotional triggers or a sudden hunger or desire for a product. When customers buy an item without a second thought, they are simply purchasing the item based on impulsiveness.

People tend to buy things impulsively because it makes them feel happy. They want the product and don’t hesitate to purchase the product. In a world with many unknowns, an impulse buy may make a person feel like they fit in. It may bring them joy at a time when they are down. 

Many products and websites capitalize on the impulsive buying nature of human beings. If it’s appealing, we can’t help ourselves.

Buyer considering a choice

How To Analyze Buyer Decision Process

It’s critical to understand how to analyze consumer buying decisions on the market. Let’s discuss psychological and consumer behavior models to help determine the best analysis method for your future needs.

Psychological Models

Psychological models and cognitive processes include motivations and needs, which are qualitative rather than quantitative. Psychological models are influenced by social factors such as culture, familial influence, and other items that would cause a person to purchase one product or service over another. 

A psychological model can help determine why a person, company, or group of people might buy a product. They analyze motivation, need reduction, and other items to determine what a company needs to do to make better sales. 

Psychological models can also help determine items to sell better. For example, individuals who see phrases like “order a second pizza now and get one for free” can make us feel like they want to buy it right away. 

Consumer Behavior Models

A consumer purchase behavior model is a practical model used by marketers to put together economic and psychological models.

The whys and hows of a consumer decision-making process exist in the consumer purchase behavior model. You can determine why people decide for the benefit of your purchases in the future.

 

“Tools” To Help You Analyze Buyer Decision-Making Process

The best way to determine how to make better sales in marketing is to put yourself in a position where you have insight into the mind of an interested buyer. We have several tools that can help you examine the consumer purchase decision process for the betterment of future sales.

Buyer Journey Map

A buyer journey map is a way to examine and understand the customer experience. This map displays their steps and various interactions with your company along the way. It also allows you to view the prospective customer decision-making process of an individual for future sales. 

If you examine multiple maps, you can determine where you need improvement and where you are succeeding in the product sales category.

Empathy Map

An empathy map is another form you can utilize for your prospective customers. With this tool, you can display the needs of your customers. 

It helps to examine various thought processes and determine what’s occurring from every possible point of view. An empathy map can determine how you can best serve your potential buyers.

User Personas

Another critical way to examine your user base is to create user personas. This personality layout involves research on past interactions, all of which work to form fictional users to break down data into categories.

User personas make it much clearer to understand what type of people have purchased from your company. They can help you examine future buying options and make changes to impact users for the better rather than the worse. User personas are valuable if you properly compile data and additional customer research.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the Need Recognition stage?

The Need Recognition stage is the first step in the consumer decision-making process. It’s where customers determine they have an issue that needs resolution. They think about a potential solution for their trouble and prepare to examine products and services.

What causes purchases?

Many items can cause a purchase, but the most prominent is a physical or psychological need. A customer determines they have an issue, and they make an investment to solve that trouble. There are many factors that might cause an individual to make a purchase.

What are the benefits of a better computer?

Customers may find various benefits when interested in a better computer. A few of the benefits can be social or functional. Social benefits include the ability to look cool, while functional includes desiring a device to complete tasks more efficiently. A company may want to use these items to sell a product to an interested party.

What is the stage of buying?

Several steps happen in the buying process. The first is a need for recognition or awareness. Here, the customer determines their needs. Next, they lay out their options; then, they determine the criteria by which they will judge the products and services available. The last step is where they determine the final item and purchase it.

What is the difference between a purchase and a repurchase?

A purchase is an initial investment in a product. It’s the first time someone buys something from a company. It is when they locate an item to solve their needs, then decide on an item they think will work well for their purchase.

A repurchase is when a person determines if it is worth their time. They may tell their friends about it if they would buy again, and the feedback they’d provide. If they buy again, it’s a repurchase. Repurchases are excellent news for a company – it means there is something going right.

What is the next phase?

The next phase occurs after the interested party completes their homework. They will examine their options with established criteria and determine which option is worth trying for their needs.

What are the factors that influence a decision?

Many factors influence a decision, but most fall under two categories: objective and subjective. Objective factors include items like features, price, ease of use, and functionality. Subjective factors include items like feelings about a brand based on past experiences.

For example, if you are selling a camera, you need to convince customers yours is the best through objective and subjective strategies. You need to provide an excellent price and ease of use while providing an excellent customer experience.

What are the benefits of having reviews?

Reviews may seem unnecessary, but they are critical. This feedback can improve interactions on your website and improve trust between customers and your company. They prove to interested parties that you are reliable.

Final Thoughts

The buyer’s decision process is critical for the growth of your company. Through various techniques and strategies, you can analyze the buyers’ decision process to determine what needs improvement in your sales process. There are several types of buyers’ decisions, and it’s critical to be familiar with them.

Are you interested in learning more about the buyer’s decision process? Here at The Brooks Group, we provide all the information you need to understand the buying process of a typical investor. We can help you determine and reach sales effectiveness goals to maximize the potential of your business in no time.

Written By

Russ Sharer

Russ Sharer is a Chief Sales Officer at The Brooks Group. Russ combines his 30+ years in B2B Sales and Marketing with his in-depth facilitation experience to connect the dots for program participants with a practical, “easy-to-learn” approach.
Written By

Russ Sharer

Russ Sharer is a Chief Sales Officer at The Brooks Group. Russ combines his 30+ years in B2B Sales and Marketing with his in-depth facilitation experience to connect the dots for program participants with a practical, “easy-to-learn” approach.

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