Impact of Consumer Decision-Making Process Assignment Sample

Explore the key psychological and sociological drivers that shape consumer behavior and decision-making processes.

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Introduction Of The Influence Of Psychological And Sociological Drivers On The Consumer Decision-Making Process

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The psychological and sociological factors are the major components that have various impacts on consumer decision-making processes and needs. The four major psychological factors that have affected the consumer behaviour of a company include “learning, motivation, perception, belief, and loyalty”. The key social factors that study will highlight influencing the consumer behaviour include “family, roles and status of consumers”. Several factors that can affect consumer behaviours and “decision-making processes” include “personal, social, psychological, marketing-mix, and situational” factors. The study will evaluate the rate of impacts that factors have on consumer behaviour. The major steps that are incorporated within the consumers’ “decision-making process” will also be explained in this study.

Consumer decision-making process

Presently, more amounts of data are awash than traditional times in this modernized world of business where “Customer Data Platform” (CDP) plays a vital role in consumer decision-making process. CDP incorporates demographic and transactional data as well as virtually “infinite amount of consumer behavioural data” (tealium.com, 2022). CDP institute is referred to as packaged software that generally prepares unified and persistent databases of the customers that can be easily accessed to other systems. CDP generally customises and stores all customers’ data from multiple sources for customers’ service, marketing campaigns and all initiatives of customers’ experiences.

The decision-making process of a consumer is influenced by certain key factors that are further influenced by several internal as well as external factors. For example, in recent times especially after the pandemic, the buying behaviour of consumers is heavily influenced by the usage of technological features like the online marketing process (Moon et al. 2021). Online marketing platforms and other social media networks have heavily influenced the decision-making processes of individuals all across the world.

The process begins with certain necessary steps that impact the decisive nature of an individual that are both influenced by social and psychological factors.

Recognition of problem

Recognising the problems is the first step of the decision-making process for availing of a particular product or service. The need for recognition is the first step, whether the decision is prompted by internal or external factors. After realizing their immediate demands and needs the customers will start to collect information regarding the products’ and its service review (acrwebsite.org, 2022).

Information search

The consumer recognises the information necessary to fulfil the needs of an individual. For example, a passionate photographer would require a new lens and other gear for his photoshoot process once he dives into the market. They would be facing quite a lot of choices that are bound to overwhelm this, this factor is termed choice overload (Jessup et al. 2020). The individual usually have a tendency to sort out his products after researching and gathering information regarding the products and sits services (scielo.br, 2022). These are two primary steps influencing the decision-making process of an individual.

Alternative evaluation

The step of “alternative evaluation” includes the decision of customers about what they are expecting from the products. Customers have a tendency to change their choice of products frequently (kolibri.teacherinabox.org.au, 2022). After weighing their “prospective products’ choices” against the substitute and alternative products in the market the consumer chooses to buy any products from a company. Alternative evaluation is generally made by the consumer to determine the pricing strategy of one product with its alternatives (Voramontriet al. 2019). The consumers also evaluate the additional benefits they will get from products along with the rate of their availability in the market. The company should convince their customers that its products are superior to other alternatives in the market. Customers always want a premium quality product at lower or more reasonable prices, and this is the reason why they evaluate alternative products from other companies.

Purchase decision

Customers spend a certain time deciding if to purchase the products from any company that is providing sales of about 20%. Sometimes the customers think that the products of sale will not meet their expected quality, so they discard the purchase option (Gopinath, 2019). Customers also have the tendency of checking the reviews and even ask their friends for feedback when they order any online. It is the utter responsibility of the company to convince the customers that during the period of sale they will be offering them products that are sustainable at a lower price rate.

Post-purchase decision evaluation

Evaluation of post-purchase decisions highlights the decision the customers take after purchasing any products online. The step usually includes reflection from the sellers of the products and the consumers (Gopinath, 2019). The sellers of the products must take some objectives into consideration including the purchase meeting the customers’ needs and demands, and the customers being happy with the products’ prices and quality. Another objective of the seller must be the constant engagement of the consumers with the use and purchase of the products from the same company’s brands.

Business professionals and marketers of a company usually try to build long-lasting and loyal relationships with their customers so that they can create a strong customer base. A loyal relationship with customers can affect the economic growth of a company’s business positively and also enhance the rate of profitability, productivity, and business value of the company (Nash, 2018). Brand loyalty can be maintained by the company by keeping their products or service quality as premium and charges low.

Social drivers of consumer behaviour

Consumer behaviours are associated physical and emotional processes of the buyers of any services or products (managementstudyguide.com, 2022). Social factors highly influence the decision of purchase of customers and include elements such as “groups of consumers like family and friends”. Other social factors through the decisions of customers get affected including society and several social classes, sub-culture and cultures (Chen et al. 2020). The reference groups can also impact the purchase decisions of the consumers such as “opinion leaders, and word-of-mouth (WOM)”. The discussion of some major social factors through which consumers’ behaviour is influenced over time is stated below.

Social class and society: Division in social classes can be denoted as the process through the group of people acquiring skills, attitudes, and knowledge that are essential to function as consumers. The buying habits and preferences of all customers will depend on their age, attitudes, skills, and socioeconomic background (Voramontriet al. 2019). Customers from lower-income families will select products that have a lower pricing strategy.

Sub-cultures and cultures: The purchase decision of consumers also depends on cultural values attitudes and ideas that are always accepted by some “homogenous groups of people”. Culture determined the acceptance of products advertisement and also determined if the products with being used or earth by the customers (Whittle et al. 2019). This also influences people's buying habits, buying time and buying process. In sub-culture, people share different age groups, ideas, and beliefs, and this also has several impacts on customers’ behaviour and buying habits.

Opinion leaders: Opinion leaders generally have certain social impacts on others. The leaders influence the purchase decisions of the consumers directly or indirectly. Customers tend to buy the products that are being promoted by their influencers or any celebrities including “film stars, sports figures, business executives, or community leaders” (Indahingwatiet al. 2019). The products that are advertised by the opinion leaders include “club memberships, cars, audio-visual computers, laptops, or gadgets, and clothing”. The business professionals and marketers of the organization try to attract opinion leaders to enhance their sales, profitability, popularity, and productivity within a short time period.

“Word-of-mouth” (WOM): WOM strategy generally includes the process of daily conversation among people and their influence on one another by stating the reviews of the company’s products and services they have purchased. The major examples of this WOM is the friends sharing their recommendations or tips on social media platforms that highly influence large groups of users to buy that services or products (L?z?roiuet al. 2020). The positive reviews of the products promoted through WOM can enhance the saleability of the products and the business value of the organization.

Psychological drivers of consumer behaviour

There are multiple psychological factors at play that influences consumer behaviour on a daily basis. In certain cases, these factors act in tandem that impacts the product engagement and purchasing behaviour of the consumer. An understanding of these factors is highly helpful in understanding the decision-making behaviour of consumers regarding certain products. Here are seven important factors at play that influences the decisive nature of the people.

Motivation

Motivation is an internal factor that influences the decision undertaken by people. Motivation drives both the behaviour of consumption and other actions of individuals. Consumers tend to have different buying habits that differ from a company to other (bizfluent.com, 2022). For example, an individual involved in the sports of bodybuilding will be highly motivated to buy necessary dietary protein supplements since those products are highly necessary for them. The motivation behind which an individual will act can be understood by considering the hierarchy of needs formulated by A.H. Maslow. This theory outlines five levels of the needs of humans and ranks them in an orderly manner (Hopper, 2020). Motivation is known to play a major role in the psychological trait of the decisiveness of an individual.

Learning

Introduction to a new bunch of information highly influences the buying behaviour of people. The course can be sub-divided into 2 different sections including “experiential and non-experiential learning process” (Qazzafi, 2020). Experiential learning requires the physical involvement of an individual; on the other hand, the non-experiential is mostly focused on observation ad investigation. The marketing practices mostly focus on the non-experiential buying behaviour of the consumer. In a true sense, non-experiential learning combined with effective marketing strategies leads to the bandwagon effect of the buying behaviours of the consumers (Bindra et al. 2022). This factor truly inclines a person towards a specific product and makes them motivated to buy them. This aspect highly influences the trends that arise in the marketing communities.

Reinforcement

It is the subset of the process of learning that is influenced by the experience of a consumer. People buy a product after learning about it and after a mass popularity purchase of that product becomes a trend. The reinforcement aspect is utilised by several leading brands via effective marketing strategies that ensures high product and service quality (Qazzafi, 2020). Thereby the learning of consumers is reinforced regarding the quality of products offered by a specific brand which further builds effective brand loyalty. This aspect is prominently noted for the apple brand and its associated products which are bought by people simply not only influenced by the trends but also the quality of the product (Kim et al. 2020). Previously this was observed in the case of Nokia mobiles.

Socialization and perception

It is one of the notable processes that highly influence the learning process of individuals. It is the peer culture that influences the knowledge base of people. The learning and social engagement combines to impact the buying habits of the customers (Qazzafi, 2020). The aspect of socialisation heavily influences the decision-making process. This aspect is mostly noted in the case of young adults who are highly influenced by their immediate peers. The influences of socialisation are observed in the socially constructed perception of people that highly influences the decision-making process of people. Perception is a strong factor that influences the traits of consumption in an individual (Tang et al. 2020). This is highly observed in cases of favouritism of people, brands, and other personal sections of life. There are three different processes that impact the perception of an individual. Consumers’ selective attention is referred to as the situation where an individual remain attentive to the data about any product or service that is momentarily necessary to them (Qazzafi, 2020). Selective distortion is the course where a piece of specific information is inferred in a biased way through existing thoughts and beliefs. This influences the brand values of various products or gadgets (Tyagi, 2018). Selective retention is the process through which information is retained by an individual depending on their needs. Besides, the aforementioned aspects, personal attitude, belief, and modelling are important factors that influence the decisiveness of an individual

Conclusion

The social as well as psychosocial aspect both plays a critical part when it comes to emboldening the decision-making process of an individual. The decisiveness of individuals is reflected in their habit of consumption of different products. This decision-making process of different people influenced by certain factors influences the marketing trends that prevail from time to time. This aspect not only encourages the advent of new products but also influences the need to improve the quality of being delivered to people.

References

Journals

Bindra, S., Sharma, D., Parameswar, N., Dhir, S. and Paul, J., 2022. Bandwagon effect revisited: A systematic review to develop future research agenda. Journal of Business Research, 143, pp.305-317.

Chen, P.J. and Antonelli, M., 2020. Conceptual models of food choice: influential factors related to foods, individual differences, and society. Foods, 9(12), p.1898.

Gopinath, R., 2019. Factors Influencing Consumer Decision Behaviour in FMCG. International Journal of Research in Social Sciences, 9(7), pp.249-255.

Hopper, E., 2020. Maslow’s hierarchy of needs explained. ThoughtCo, ThoughtCo, 24.

Indahingwati, A., Launtu, A., Tamsah, H., Firman, A., Putra, A.H.P.K. and Aswari, A., 2019. How Digital Technology Driven Millenial Consumer Behaviour In Indonesia.

Jessup, R.K., Ritchie, L.E. and Homer, J., 2020. Hurry up and decide: Empirical tests of the choice overload effect using cognitive process models. Decision, 7(2), p.137.

Kim, J., Lee, H. and Lee, J., 2020. Smartphone preferences and brand loyalty: A discrete choice model reflecting the reference point and peer effect. Journal of Retailing and Consumer Services, 52, p.101907.

L?z?roiu, G., Neguri??, O., Grecu, I., Grecu, G. and Mitran, P.C., 2020. Consumers’ decision-making process on social commerce platforms: online trust, perceived risk, and purchase intentions. Frontiers in Psychology, 11, p.890.

Moon, J., Choe, Y. and Song, H., 2021. Determinants of consumers’ online/offline shopping behaviours during the COVID-19 pandemic. International journal of environmental research and public health, 18(4), p.1593.

Nash, J., 2018. Exploring how social media platforms influence fashion consumer decisions in the UK retail sector. Journal of Fashion Marketing and Management: An International Journal.

Qazzafi, S., 2020. Factor affecting consumer buying behavior: a conceptual study. International Journal for Scientific Research & Development, 8(2), pp.1205-1208.

Tang, Y., Zhao, C., Wang, J., Zhang, C., Sun, Q., Zheng, W., Du, W., Qian, F. and Kurths, J., 2020. An overview of perception and decision-making in autonomous systems in the era of learning. arXiv preprint arXiv:2001.02319.

Tyagi, A., 2018. A Study on Factors Affecting Consumer Buying Behaviour. International Journal of Business & Engineering Research, 11.

Voramontri, D. and Klieb, L., 2019. Impact of social media on consumer behaviour. Int. J. Inf. Decis. Sci., 11(3), pp.209-233.

Whittle, C., Whitmarsh, L., Haggar, P., Morgan, P. and Parkhurst, G., 2019. User decision-making in transitions to electrified, autonomous, shared or reduced mobility. Transportation Research Part D: Transport and Environment, 71, pp.302-319.

Websites

acrwebsite.org, (2022), Influence of Problem Recognition on Search and Other Decision Process Variables, Available at: https://www.acrwebsite.org/volumes/7348/volumes/v19/#:~:text=The%20problem%20recognition%20stage%20in,choice%20processes%2C%20preceding%20any%20transaction. [Accessed on: 29th October, 2022]

bizfluent.com, (2022), Definition of Consumer Motivation, Available at: https://bizfluent.com/about-6572429-definition-consumer-motivation.html [Accessed on: 29th October, 2022]

kolibri.teacherinabox.org.au, (2022), Evaluating Alternatives, Available at: http://kolibri.teacherinabox.org.au/modules/en boundless/www.boundless.com/marketing/textbooks/boundless-marketing-textbook/consumer-marketing-4/the-consumer-decision-process-40/evaluating-alternatives-202-4503/index.html [Accessed on: 29th October, 2022]

managementstudyguide.com, (2022), Social Factors affecting Consumer Behaviour, Available at: https://www.managementstudyguide.com/social-factors-affecting-consumer-behaviour.htm [Accessed on: 29th October, 2022]

scielo.br, (2022), a systematic review of consumer information search in online and offline environments, Available at: https://www.scielo.br/j/rmj/a/vBDPPWnB5k6Dstm9vvchQRy/?lang=en&format=pdf [Accessed on: 29th October, 2022]

tealium.com, (2022), What Is A Customer Data Platform?, Available at: https://tealium.com/resource/fundamentals/what-is-a-cdp/ [Accessed on: 29th October, 2022]

 

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