How Buyers Make Choices

Understanding your customer’s buying process helps in understanding your customer’s buying psychology; this is very important when deciding on a marketing strategy and how buyers make choices, it will assist you in marketing appropriately to your target group. Understanding this buying process will help enable you to align your sales strategy. Whether you have a marketing team, or you wear all the hats, it’s important to spend your marketing budget in the most efficient way possible

As the head of marketing, when designing a new campaign, you need to understand your customers buying behavior to influence your customers’ buying decisions, getting the most out of the campaign. But what is the phycology of Buying behavior?  You need to understand this theory “the consumer buying process” and more importantly understanding who your potential buyers are to maximize your campaign properly 

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Today we consider some of the theories of behavior in how buyers make choices and the factors directly affecting them.

The perfect buyer

The classic theory that tries to explain buyer behavior is that people are rational beings. This means they follow a sensible pattern to making their buying decision as follows: 

  1. Realize the need or want 
  2. Conduct research about the product 
  3. Evaluate competing products 
  4. Make a purchasing 
  5. using the product after the purchase, and 
  6. Disposal of the Product

Once you realize their need, look at how you can satisfy it, determine the list of products, weigh everything pros and cons, and design your campaign around these pros, helping them realize the value of your product. The final stage is the reaction to the purchase, that is, the Evaluation of their choice. On the surface, we utilize our intuition on which is the best product based on its packaging. We are lazy and miss specific details of complex analysis. In general, we rely on the packaging for our analysis, making a quick decision vs. performing an in-depth analysis of the products we buy.

Limited rationality

As mentioned above, life itself makes us doubt the logic and rationality of the majority of the population. Psychologist Herbert Simon first introduced the notion of limited rationality. In his opinion, decisions that are accepted by people are limited by their cognitive abilities, information which they possess, and time. In short, the buyer chooses the product, but he does not have much knowledge and resources to make the ideal decision, so you have to cope with the stress of your choice concerning cost and various product fees. Hence the asymmetry of information, when our abstract buyer owns incomplete information about the product, the end decision will not always be the best outcome; it comes down to the best packages marketing and perception.

In general, this is what makes us go to a more expensive and uncomfortable shop, whose owner we know and trust.

It’s generally anti logical.

The theme of complete illogicality of buyers was reflected in many modern writings. For example, economist Dan Ariely gave an interesting example. If a travel company offers customers a choice of a trip to Paris with breakfast, Rome without breakfast and Rome with breakfast, we are more likely to choose Rome with paid breakfast, because otherwise, the options are similar. Still, here you can see the noticeable difference, that is the advantage. Another example: if we take a new product and remove an advertisement where it will be in line with other expensive products, then we will automatically classify it as a premium.

In one experiment, a group of students was given two beers to sample; without going into details, one of them was mixed with vinegar. The people liked the beer and vinegar mixture better. But when the same group was again given the same pair of beers and explained that there is vinegar in one mug, the students began to spit out the beer with vinagar.

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Came in, saw and bought

Impulse purchases – unexpected even for the purchaser’s own decision to buy something for the first time, and it is not clear why you need it. Our decision-making process is impacted when hungry, tired, or upset. Another reason for impulse buying is projected needs that do not exist, which makes you think that the present state will last in the future. And finally, we often judge the value of a product by comparison with surrounding products- I don’t need a pink iPhone, but here it is with such a huge discount, surrounded by two gold and expensive comparable iPhones, the lower prices entices me to make the purchase even though it is not my desired purchase

Thus the reason stores place candy and gum in front of the cash register, you don’t need the candy, but its right there in your face, and after shopping, you’re hungry. The store understands how buyers make choices, you don’t need the candy, but it is staring you in the face, and you make the impulse decision to purchase.

Either take it or leave it

The Hobson effect is a situation when the buyer has only one option for the product: he either selects it or leaves it. According to legend, the expression appeared, thanks to the English managing stables Thomas Hobson. He had 40 horses, but he alone chose for the visitors which one they could take: they had to agree with English snobbism or go home. However, it was done only to ensure an even load on the horses, because people always want what they believe is the best, which may not be the case.

Do you remember Henry Ford’s famous phrase that cars can be of any color if that color is black? Another example is the Home Care and Wair shop, which sells only one version of each item. But it’s kind of perfect.

How Buyers Make Choices – Conclusion

In review, customers compare products from previous experiences and have pre-conceived expectations, which will either make them satisfied or dissatisfied with their choice. The stages in the decision-making process are critical in retaining customers. Previous purchases and experience significantly affect a buyer’s decision process when purchasing similar products from you in the future. This has a knock-on effect as the evaluation stage can be bypassed if your customer is satisfied with their previous purchases. The result is brand loyalty, and the Information search and Evaluation of alternative steps will often be fast-tracked or skipped altogether.

Based on being either satisfied or dissatisfied, it is common for customers to distribute their positive or negative feedback about the product. This may be through reviews on websites, social media networks, or word of mouth. Companies should be conscientious about creating positive post-purchase communication to engage customers and make the process as efficient as possible.