Application to customer behavior Consumer Behaviour

Consumer keep making decisions to buy the products of their choice. The steps included indecision-making which have already been discussed in earlier chapters are:

  1. Problem recognition
  2. Information search
  3. Evaluation of alternatives
  4. Purchase
  5. Post-purchase behaviour.

The decision-making as we have seen earlier is influenced by the internal determinants which include learning, memory, personality, self-concept, attitude, motivation and involvement.
The external determinants consist of cultural and sub cultural influences, social group influences, family influences, social influences and other influences. External and internal influences thus, together influence the decision-making process and most customers follow these steps in a logical manner.
E-Business enhances this process, and saves time of the consumer by providing all relevant information on the internet that is required.

Problem recognition
A problem is recognized when there is a gap between the existing and the desired position in the use of a product by the consumer. This gap may be caused by a number of factors, and it has to be reduced for the satisfaction of the consumer. E-Business provides the customer with more information regarding products and services. The customer, therefore, has a better understanding of the solving of these problems and starts demanding which were earlier not available locally. He has higher aspirations and fulfills his needs in a better way.
For example, microwave oven and automatic dish washers which were not available locally, are now made available to the Indian consumer.

Information search and evaluation of alternatives
Once the problem is recognized, the customer can find the alternatives to solve the problem on the computer. It gives enough and sufficient information to a consumer to choose. It provides many alternatives which can also be evaluated by mathematical models in the case of extensive problem solving, where more money and time is at stake. The evaluation of alternatives can be done speedily, and the advantages and disadvantages of various brands and products can be recognized. This also depends on the weight ages given to different desired attributes in a product and assumptions on a comparative scale. Internet can give comparative charts for making evaluation easier and rational.

The computer can also help in deciding about the choice heuristics rule that guides the decision in areas of high probability). Information processing becomes easier and the area of information is enlarged greatly.

E-Consumer is a fully informed consumer and is aware of various product offerings by all competitors. His purchase decision cannot be influenced easily. He takes rational decisions and usually decides to go for a product that offers good value for money. He also knows the advantages and disadvantages of when to buy, how to buy, from where to buy, what to buy, and from whom to buy.

Post-purchase behaviour
After using the product/service, consumers can electronically interact with the manufacture or marketeer giving valuable feedback. The critical feedback to the company regarding the improvement of the product. If the customer is dissatisfied, he may communicate his anger against the company to lakhs of people worldwide instantly. This may affect the reputation and good-will of the company and tarnish its image. A satisfied customer acts as a best advertising and promotional means of worldwide publicity at no cost.

The theoretical study of consumer behaviour cannot be overlooked and remains an important aspect, in spite of the development of E-Business. The theoretical framework of consumer behaviour has to be understood and applied in the application of E-Business for proper marketing results. E-Business does not replace, but supplements the theoretical foundation of consumer behaviour.

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Consumer Behaviour Topics