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smu mba 2 semester assignments of MB0046 Q1. Describe the stages in consumer decision making process.

Answer: 1. Problem recognition: A buying process starts when a consumer recognises that there is a substantial discrepancy between his/her current state of satisfaction and expectations in a consumption situation.
A need can be activated through internal or external stimuli. The basic needs of common men rise to a particular level and become a drive. From their previous experiences, they know how to satisfy these needs like hunger, thirst, sex, etc. This is a case of internal stimulus. A need can also be aroused by an external stimulus such as sighting a new product in a shop while
purchasing other usual products.
2. Information search
After need arousal, the behaviour of the consumer leads towards collection of available information about various stimuli. In this case, information about products and services are gathered from various sources for further processing and decision-making.
The first source of consumer information is the internal source. This means the consumer first search the information regarding the relevant product from his/her inner memory. If the information is not available from internal source for making a purchase decision he or she may collect information from external sources.
3. Alternative evaluation: Once interest in a product(s) is aroused, a consumer enters the subsequent stage of evaluation of alternatives. Evaluation leads to formation of buying intention that can be to either purchase or reject the product/brand. The final purchase will however depend on the strength of the positive-intention, which is the intention to buy.
4. Purchase decision: Finally the consumer arrives at a purchase decision. Purchase decisions can be any one of the three - no buying, buying later, and buy now.
No buying takes the consumers to the problem recognition stage as their consumption problem is not solved and they may again get involved in the process as we have explained.
A postponement of buying can be due to a lesser motivation or evolving personal and economic situation that forces the consumer not to buy now or postponement of purchase for future period of time.
If positive attitudes are formed towards the decided alternative, the consumer will make a purchase.
5. Post-purchase behavior: Post-purchase behaviour refers to the behaviour of consumers after their commitment to a product has been made. It originates out of consumers’ experience regarding the use of the product and is indicated in terms of satisfaction. This behaviour is reflected in repeated purchases or abstinence from further purchase. A satisfied product-use experience leads to repeated purchase, referrals from satisfied customers to new customers, higher usage rate, and also brand advocacy.

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