Consumer Decisions: Types, Overview

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  • 0:04 Consumer Decisions
  • 1:25 Types of Purchase Decisions
  • 3:41 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Shawn Grimsley

Shawn has a masters of public administration, JD, and a BA in political science.

How consumers make decisions is a primary interest to all businesses. In this lesson, you'll learn about different types of consumer decision-making. You'll also have a chance to take a short quiz after the lesson.

Consumer Decisions

The consumer decision-making process follows five basic steps. Let's say you're in the market for a new computer. How do you decide which one to buy? We can chart your decision with the steps:

  • Step 1: Problem Recognition. During this step, you recognize a specific problem, such as a broken computer.

  • Step 2: Information Search. Here, you search for information on the problem. You might research various computer models on the Internet before your purchase.

  • Step 3: Evaluation. Here, you evaluate the product choices available to you. For example, you may compare and contrast the technical specifications of each computer option as well as the price for each.

  • Step 4: Purchase Decision. Here you make a purchase decision. After your evaluation, you decide to purchase a laptop computer.

  • Step 5: Post-decision Evaluation. Did the computer you purchased exceed or fail to meet your expectations?

The level of involvement that a consumer takes in these steps serves as one way to distinguish consumer decision-making. Another fundamental factor in consumer purchase decision-making is the perceived difference between the product brands offered in the market. Keep in mind that a customer's perception of differences in a product and not necessarily its actual substantive differences is what matters.

Types of Purchase Decisions

We can use the manner in which a consumer utilizes the basic purchasing steps and the perception of product differences to come up with four different types of consumer purchasing decision-making.

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