When consumers make a purchase, they progress through a series of behaviors. The consumer decision-making process describes those behaviors and the activities that take place at each stage. In order to increase sales, marketers are looking at the five stages and trying to find ways to influence the consumer as they progress through the CDM process. Select one company below and respond to the questions.
The Internet is the most recent tool that marketers are using to influence consumers. Discuss the impact of the Internet on the five stages of the CDM process. What happens differently, or how does the Internet use these processes to sell more efficiently?
Need Recognition – During the first stage, the consumer recognizes a need that can be satisfied by a purchase. What are ways that Internet marketers are attempting to trigger consumers' recognition of needs? What are some things that Amazon.com [http://www.amazon.com/] is doing to activate need recognition?
Alternative Search – Once the consumer realizes a need they begin to search for potential ways to satisfy that need that provides details about the alternatives. There are five primary sources of information: internal, group, marketing, public, and experimental sources. How can the Internet provide information for consumers? Which of the sources can the Internet influence? What impact does the information available at Edmunds [http://www.edmunds.com] have on consumers' alternative search?
Alternative Evaluation – All the viable alternatives that can satisfy the need are evaluated and compared against each other. The consumer selects the brand which best satisfies the need as their intended purchase. Many times comparing products is difficult because of complex product features, numerous available choices, and physical distance between products in stores. Visit PriceRunner [http://www.pricerunner.com] and select any product category of your choice. How does this web site help consumers compare product alternatives?
Purchase Decision – The consumer decides to make a purchase of the intended brand, purchase a different brand, or postpone the purchase. The Internet plays a major role in consumer's purchase decisions. What are some Internet features that influence the purchase decisions? Revisit Amazon.com and discuss some of the ways they influence the consumer's purchase decision. What role does UPS [http://www.ups.com] play in the purchase decision? Visit the site of Paypal [http://www.paypal.com], discuss the role of digital cash, credit cards, cash, and checking accounts on the purchase decision.
Post Purchase Evaluation – The consumer reviews the purchase and the entire purchase process of the product. If a consumer has doubts or second thoughts about a purchase, they experience post purchase dissonance. How are Internet marketers doing online to help customers avoid dissonance? Go to the Ford website [http://www.ford.com]. If you had a problem with the purchase of a Ford Explorer what does the site do to help you alleviate or avoid dissonance? How does EBay.com [http://www.ebay.com] allow consumers to review the purchase process?
1. Need recognition - Amazon tracks your browser activity and provides you with ideas on your next visit that are most relevant to your purchase / items visited. It also prompts you to add more itmes that are frequently purchased as a co product by other users. It also features the most trending products on its homepage. Usually a user's homepage comprises of a fuction of his / her browsing history and the products most related and relevant to the search. Besides this, it has dedicated stores for every lifestyle need. By doing this, it creates the need among the users who often end up buying one or two more products than intended.
2. Alternative search - Once the product need has been zeroed upon, the alternatives are provided by a number of sites. For example, the site in question, edumunds, provides a user with available options of vehilces for his price range, features needed, point of availabillity etc. User can select the most suitable one.
3. Alternative evaluation - Once the alternatives are selected, they are evaluated against the benefits intended, point of availability, price points and product features. Sites like pricerunner list all options category wise to enable the customer to select the most appropriate to his / her needs.
4. Purhase decision -Sites like Amazon facilitate the purchase decision by offering multiple payment options including part payment with arrangement with banks and financial isntitutions. It also provides the customer with option of purchase from multiple dealers if a color or design is not available with one vendor. It also offers the services like next day delivery, leaving the shipment with neighbour, scheduling the delivery according to convenience to suit the needs of a customer.
5.Post purchase evaluation - Besides recording the customer response ( rating and opinion) to a product in impartial way, the sites like ebay rate their sellers according to the buyers' ratings. The company mediates between the seller and buyer in case of a dispute and tries to resolve it amicably. In case of customer not being satisfied with the product, the company gives an option of returning the product within specified time without asking a question and refunding the money paid.
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