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Consumer Behavior - Decision Making Process

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Either we decide to buy an everyday purchase or a more expensive good; every decision-making process begins with the identification of a problem.

When I see that I am out of toilet paper, I recognize a problem and the need of buying toilet paper is expressed by going to the supermarket and stopping in front of the toilet papers' shelf. As, toilet paper is an everyday purchase, not very expensive and not implying important consequences on my life, I'll apply a low effort decision process.

When I stand in front of all the different TP's brands in the supermarket, my attention is limited. As there is a huge number of different types and brands of TP, the market is complex and the information is rich and as TP is not expensive, I'm not going to compare all the different types of TP that exist using accurate criteria to chose mine. Actually, I'll have three different strategies. First, I am going to be interested in the price, checking if there's any sale on TP. If not, I'm going to buy a brand that I am used to. Finally, if the brand that I usually buy isn't present in the supermarket, I'll simply buy the brand that is the most commonly known in the category avoiding those I've tried and didn't like.

For example last week, I was shopping in the supermarket in front of my apartment, and as I was walking around the TP's shelf, I remembered that I had to buy some. So, I first looked for external information checking if there weren't any sales on TP but there weren't. After that, due to my brand loyalty, I looked for the TP I usually buy, but didn't find it. Finally, without thinking very much about the price, the quality, the attributes, I just bought the brand that I first thought about, Lotus, which is the leader on the market. As this purchase wasn't very involving, my post-decisional process was quiet simple. Usually, I won't have any post-decisional regret; I'll simply evaluate the product, using it and learn from this experience to decide whether I'll buy this good again or not.

However, when it comes to choose a more involving purchase, the decision-making process becomes more complex.

Last year, I started to notice that my laptop was less effective and slower than before. As I usually keep the same computer for three or four years, I was really concerned about which new one I was going to buy. So after recognizing that I had a problem with my PC and that I couldn't ignore it for long, I started to look for information about the different computers that existed on the market in order to identify as many of the alternatives that I had as possible and to choose the one that has the highest probability of success or effectiveness and best fitted with my goals,



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