Purchase decision making process - Marketing of a trading company

5.2. Purchase decision process

In order to develop methodological approaches to the organization of merchandising, one should first of all understand the mechanism by which the buyer decides to purchase.

From the point of view of F. Kotler, the process of making a purchasing decision includes the following stages: awareness of the problem, information search, evaluation of options, purchase decision, reaction to purchase. This scheme is taken as a basis by many authors working on the issues of studying consumer behavior.

In the shop floor of the store, the buyer finds himself in a special atmosphere. He sees a lot of goods that you can see, touch, sometimes try (when tasting samples); is under the influence of music, interior, information of the seller. In this situation, the buyer can review the preliminary purchase decisions and take new ones.

The decision-making process is primarily related to the type of goods purchased. For different products, the steps of this process will differ. In marketing, there are several classifications of consumer goods, which are based on differences in approaches to the consumer's decision to purchase.

To analyze the behavior of consumers and make purchasing decisions in the trading floor of the store, the classification of consumer goods proposed by L. Bucklin is most suitable:

o Commodities of daily demand are goods for which the consumer already has a preference map before the emergence of a specific need. The peculiarity of this group of products is that the buyer is ready to purchase any of a number of known substitutes, instead of spending additional effort necessary to purchase a certain product;

o Pre-selection goods are goods for which the consumer does not have a complete preference map before the emergence of a particular need, which means that it must be supplemented (ie, carried out the search) before purchasing;

o special assortment goods - goods for which the consumer already has a preference map before the need arises. The peculiarity of this group of goods is that the buyer refuses to purchase the most accessible substitute and is ready to spend the extra effort required to complete the purchase of the most desired product.

In the above classification, goods sold in retail trade fit well, because the concept of the product is derived from the consumer's installation, or his motives in relation to the product, based on the buyer's interpretation of the design of the product, its special properties, quality, social status its brand name, if any. In addition, modern marketing trends show that the subjective perception of the quality of the product and the subjective perception of its price must always be linked.

Thus, depending on the group to which the product belongs and to what extent the buyer is aware of it, in the store the decision-making process will take place in different stages, and accordingly the measures of the retailer's influence on the buyer's decision-making process about the purchase must be different.

Shopping time and consumer behavior are largely determined by the stage at which the purchase decision is made. If the previous purchase was successful, the consumer relies on his experience and makes a new purchase. With regard to the goods of the preliminary choice, the consumer constantly formulates new solutions. Fashion, production technologies change, a huge amount of interchangeable goods appears, and the preliminary information of the consumer becomes obsolete. The consumer searches for new information until the perceived value of the product obtained as a result of comparisons exceeds the costs associated with this search. Thus, when purchasing the goods of preliminary choice, their comparative estimation is necessarily made.

The buyer's behavior in the trading floor and the decision-making stages depend on the type of purchase (Table 5.1).

Table 5.1

Types of purchases and stages of making a purchasing decision in the shop floor

Stages of decision-making

Merchandising elements

Purchase type

Awareness of need

Finding information

Product selection

Product Evaluation

Product purchase

Clearly planned purchase (goods of daily demand)

+ (not always done)


Persistence of location

Partially planned purchase (goods of preliminary demand)





The effective location of points of sale in the hall and the layout of the goods. Presentation

Unplanned (impulsive) purchase







Purchases can be primary and secondary. At primary purchase the buyer spends quite a lot of time on the process of making a decision about the purchase and passes all its stages. With a secondary purchase, individual stages can be omitted. In this case, a major role is played by brand loyalty or inertia. With a clearly planned purchase, the valuation of the product before purchase may not be carried out. However, approaches to clearly planned purchases also change.

With often bought goods, such as groceries and personal hygiene items, one amazing effect is associated. After the buyer has standardized the decision-making process, he may find himself in a very simple situation. It is very likely that if you need to re-make a decision, he will feel monotony or boredom. Perhaps, he will be dissatisfied even with the most preferred brand. He may have a feeling that all existing alternatives, including the preferred brand, are unacceptable. The new situation prompts him to recognize the new brand, and then he again begins to simplify the situation. The acquisition of a frequently purchased product is a continuous process characterized by ups and downs in the search for information, analogous to the well-known cyclical fluctuations in economic activity.

Since the main principle of marketing is customer orientation, the central task of a salesperson is to ensure the willingness and willingness of a buyer to purchase a particular product (service) or create an effective motivation. Motivation is understood as an aggregate of internal and external driving forces that induce a person to engage in activities aimed at achieving goals related to the satisfaction of a particular need.

In marketing, so-called substantive theories of motivation, based on the analysis of factors influencing motivation, are currently used. These theories describe the structure of needs, their content and interaction with the motivational sphere of the individual. In marketing, the theory of the hierarchy of needs is mainly used, developed by the American psychologist A. Maslow (1908-1970). He was the first to propose a system of needs and interrelations between them, creating a certain hierarchy in which higher demands and motives do not come to the forefront until the needs of the lower level are satisfied. The hierarchy consists of five levels:

1) physiological needs (need for food, shelter, warmth, etc.);

2) security needs (they include the belief that physiological needs will be met in the future);

3) social needs (communication, friendship, love, belonging to the collective);

4) prestigious needs (high status, power, prestige, respect and self-esteem, etc.);

5) the need for self-realization (the need to realize the personal potential - the capabilities and abilities of the individual).

In accordance with the theory of motivation A. Maslow, the buyer's decision to purchase a certain product is determined by a specific need. The needs are in a complex dynamic interaction, often contradicting each other. The components of this interaction change, which leads to a change in the direction and nature of the action of the motive, so often there are unforeseen difficulties in the behavior of a person and an unforeseen reaction on his part to motivating effects.

This phenomenon is due to the fact that many motives of behavior may not be realized by a person. This assumption was first put forward by the Austrian psychologist 3. Freud (1856-1939) in his psychoanalytic theory.

In accordance with the theory of "step by step," (ladder DAGMAR), buying behavior is considered as a series of successive stages - from acquaintance with a particular brand to the moment of its purchase (Figure 5.2)

Fig. 5.2. Ladder DAG MAR

In order to understand what should be the motivation of the buyer in the trading floor of the store, it is necessary to imagine how far he went on the ladder of DAGMAR. From the moment the consumer receives knowledge of the goods until the moment of making the purchase, a considerable period of time may pass, however, with the proper organization of merchandising in the store's trading floor, this period can be significantly reduced, since the buyer is strongly affected.

So, the receipt and processing of information passes through three stages: ignorance of the brand - attention to the brand - knowledge about the brand. In the store floor, this process can be accelerated with the help of an exposure that attracts attention, as well as an interpretation that facilitates memorization. Each of these elements must be taken into account in the formation of the intra-shop environment. Exposure at the point of sale is especially important for unplanned (impulsive) purchases.

Impacting the buyer in the store's sales area can be illustrated using the AIDA visibility formula.

Attention - to attract the consumer's attention to the product by stimulating feelings and emotions.

Interest - to awaken the consumer's interest in the advertising message, to convey important information to the buyer.

Desire (Demand) - cause a desire to make a purchase.

Action - to ensure the purchase.

Given that human needs are the strongest driving force of behavior, it is necessary to ensure that the nature of the impact on the buyer is to cause him to make a purchase.

However, the types of buyers are different and the same incentive signals can affect some, but others do not.

There are many approaches to subdividing buyers into different groups depending on the types of customer behavior. However, modern studies of consumer behavior show that for a large group of buyers, the decisive factor in buying decisions is price. In those cases when this category of buyers is going to make the purchase of any goods, a preliminary analysis of the prices of the desired goods is carried out in the catalogs, price lists of various sellers, information is collected via the Internet. In the store floor of the store, their attention to the product can be attracted only by various discounts from the price. The decision-making by such buyers is strongly influenced by rationalism - the desire to save money.

Buyers belonging to another group expect their attention and want each of them to be treated as an individual customer. This category of buyers seeks to buy high quality goods in those shops that can be trusted. They become adherents of brands of manufacturers and those retail enterprises that offer these brands in a friendly and professional way. The main needs of this group are: a sense of comfort (a desire to facilitate everyday life); a sense of self-esteem (the need to associate with a particular social stratum); self-expression (in this case it is the desire to stand out, be better than others, the need to be meaningful). Buyers belonging to this group can be regular customers of a particular retail trade enterprise with a certain level of quality of goods and services, they are very susceptible to the elements of merchandising.

Obviously, it is advisable to identify two main types of customers - price sensitive and not sensitive to it, but sensitive to quality goods and services. Their characteristics are presented in Table. 5.2.

Table 5.2

Customer Type Characteristics

Buyer Types

Buyer motives

Product information sources

Customer incentive methods

The attitude of buyers to the trading company

Price Sensitive

Rationalism aimed exclusively at a lower price

Directories. Price lists. The Internet. Advertisement about sales

Price incentive

Inconsistency. Low degree of loyalty

Sensitive to the quality of goods and services

Comfort, Imitation. Desire to stand out (brand image, commercial company image). Quality assurance and anti-counterfeiting

Advertising in the media. Catalogs. Internet, Exhibitions. Fairs, Presentations. Presentation of goods and advertising in the trading floor

Creating an attractive image of a trading company. Merchandising. Consultation of sales personnel. Use of the brand of the trading enterprise. Establishing a partnership with a trading enterprise

High degree of loyalty. Regular client

Therefore, in order to attract a consumer that provides a high and stable profit to a retail trading company, it is necessary to correctly approach the organization of the trading process, to know the ratio of the various groups of goods in the trading floor of the store, to understand at what stage of the decision to purchase a buyer, to recognize types of customers and, in accordance with this, organize merchandising.

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