Consumer Decision-Making Patterns

Consumer Decision-Making Patterns [CLOs: 1, 2, 3, 4]

BUS 350 Consumer Behavior

Explain the 5 stages of the decision-making process and the degree to which consumers go through each of the 5-stages.

To understand consumer behavior, it helps to understand the consumer decision-making process. Consumers typically follow a pattern of decision making when buying products. The five decision-making steps a buyer passes through when make a buying decision are: Problem Recognition, Information Search, Evaluation of Alternatives, Product Choice and Outcomes.

1. Problem Recognition: This is also known as consumer need. This is the process a consumer goes through. An example of this would be the consumer seeing the need for shoes to wear with her prom dress.

2. Information Search: This step the consumer begins to do a search and look around for the product via internet, window shopping or even word of mouth by a friend. An example of this would be searching on websites, social media or physically go to the store to shop for the perfect shoes for her prom dress.

3. Evaluation of Alternatives: This step the consumer begins to view the different alternatives. Such as cost, comparing the colors, will the shoes get in on time.

4. Product Choice: This step is making the purchase. Deciding on an actual set of shoes that will go perfect with the dress and making the purchase.

5. Outcomes: Consumer expectations of the product. If the consumer is satisfied with the product, it will result in brand loyalty, thus skipping any alternative information search or further evaluations and returns.

Support your explanation with an example of a recent purchase, walking through the process and steps you took.

I had a 2014 Dodge Journey and needed to trade her in as she was approaching 75k miles and the value of the vehicle was depreciating with the miles. I felt that I didn’t have much time to trade her in. I began searching the internet for different styles of SUV’s and knew that I need to purchase a new vehicle and not a used vehicle so I began narrowing down what I didn’t want versus what I wanted. I also contacted a friend of mine that is a car salesman and he began sending me pictures of different SUV’s, prices and specifications based on what I was looking for. We narrowed it down and went to a Kia dealer where my friend knew a salesman there because he knew I liked the Kia. We went to the dealership and I was able to test drive the Sorento and completed the purchase. I was very satisfied with the Kia and the service provided that I happily completed a survey.

Discuss how a consumer’s attitude and his/her differences in commitment explain the “why” of his/her buying decision and yours.

A consumer’s attitude “is a composite of a consumer’s beliefs, feelings about, and behavioral intentions toward some object- – within the context of marketing, usually a brand or retail store. These components are viewed together since they are highly interdependent and together represent forces that influence how the consumer will react to the object” (Perner, 2018).

The first consumer attitude is belief. A consumer will hold beliefs of certain products, and labels/brands. “Since a consumer holds many beliefs. It may be difficult to get down to a bottom line” overall belief about whether an object such as McDonald’s is overall good or bad” (Perner, 2018).

Emotions play a major role. I prefer to use my own bags or request paper bags when I go shopping and I try to recycle as much as I could. I feel that I am doing my part in saving the trees. However, it may seem as a contradiction because I prefer a real Christmas tree because it gives off the Christmas season tradition as well as the awesome pine smell.

Examine the impact of the internet and social media on your buying decisions, providing detailed thought and examples.

In the past, if I needed to shop for a dress, shoes, accessories, even to go food shopping to see the different products that were available. Today, I am able to get my mobile device whether it is my phone, tablet or laptop to look up absolutely any product I am searching for on the internet, social media. This process is convenient because instead of taking hours shopping in one store, I would have shopped at 3 stores in that one hour. Rather than having to drive and find parking, I am able to search the stores from the comfort of my home, while at work (during lunch hours, that is) or even while stuck in traffic. Another great advantage is that if I didn’t want to have to wait for the product to arrive, I could actually have the product shipped to the store, so I can easily and quickly pick up the product at my convenience. “The media influence our decision because they would like you to think that they are making life easy and organizing things so that lots of these decisions become unnecessary for you. What they are doing is limiting your self-awareness, eroding your instinct and intuition and deciding what you should conform to in terms of living your life” (, 2018).

References (2018, September). The media influence our decisions in many ways. Understand how they do it. Retrieved from

Perner, L. (2018, September). Attitudes. Retrieved from

Solomon, M. R. (2017). Consumer behavior: Buying, having, and being (12th ed.). Upper Saddle River, NJ: Pearson Education