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Consumer Decision Making Process And Its Challenges Faced By Samsung

Question

Task: Discuss the stages of consumer decision making process and its challenges faced by Samsung.

Answer

Introduction
Consumer behavior and buying patterns has always been considered as one of the important topics of marketing and helps the company in revamping their marketing strategies. It is a challenging task for a particular company to influence the decision of the consumers. When a consumer wants to purchase a product or a service, he needs to follow a process known as consumer decision making process. It is a process whereby the consumer understands his needs, collects information related to the product or the service, evaluates its alternatives and then decides whether to buy it or not. This paper will help the reader to note down the importance of consumer decision making process while purchasing Samsung Galaxy S9 and its related challenges. Consumer decision making process consist of 7 stages as shown in the below image which can be used by the marketers while communicating with the consumers.

consumer decision making process

  • Stimulus: Stimulus is an encouragement or generation of energy which makes a person to act. Stimulus can take the form of commercial, physical, social or non-commercial. When consumer is looking to buy smart phone, he or she is exposed to all the types of stimuli. When the person has been stimulated, he or she will enter into the next stage of consumer decision making process. Changing life style also makes a person to buy a new product or service (Andi and Ali, 2019).
  • Need recognition: This stage comes into existence when the consumer realizes that he or she is in need for something. Recognition is an important part of consumer decision making process. If consumers are unable to recognize the need then there will be no purchase. The need arises when the consumer finds something missing in his or her present smart phone which Samsung Galaxy S9 can fulfill. Today all smart phone companies are focusing on camera and the consumer may be looking for improved camera resolution and this can be stimulating him or her to buy the new Samsung Galaxy S9. This stage establishes the difference between the actual and desired state and motivates the consumer to buy the product.
  • Information search: Once the need to buy a product has been developed within a consumer he or she needs to search information’s related to the product. The search can take two forms, internal or external search.  Internal search is based on past experiences whereas external search is based on feedback taken from friends and family (Wang and Yu, 2017). When the consumer enquires about the product from family or friends, is internal search and when the consumer searches advertisements, newspaper articles, etc. is known as external search. Here the consumer may contact his or her friend or family who has been using the product or a similar product. The consumer may search the internet, newspapers or advertisements for finding other alternatives which affects the choice of the consumer. They also consider whether the product will suit their personality or not for e.g. Samsung Galaxy S9 is a smart phone having multiple features and applications and the consumer may give it a thought whether the usage will suit his or her personality  or not. It is one of the important stages which lead the consumer to buy the product. If the reviews are positive then the consumer will go forward to the next stage but if the reviews are negative then the consumer will look for alternative options. The stage also affects the company’s sales and decides its revenue.
  • Evaluating Alternatives: When the consumer has decided to buy Samsung Galaxy S9, he or she will search for the best buying options or the best deals. The search may be based upon price or quality and reading reviews and comparing prices are the best parameters to choose a product or a service (Panwar, Anand, Ali and Singal, 2019). Going after brands is also considered as an important parameter to buy a product or a service as the consumer believes that brands assure quality and lesser known brands are inferior in turn affecting the sale of the product or the service. Samsung as a company is considered as an international brand and its products are considered of high quality, it shows the customer satisfaction. The brand image eliminates the risk and fear that the consumer has before buying the product they perceive the product as the best among the rest.
  • Purchasing: When all the information’s have been gathered, feedbacks have been reviewed; consumers arrive at the decision to buy the product. They decide whether to purchase it from a Samsung outlet or from an online E-commerce website (Kumar, 2016). At this stage the consumer buys the Samsung Galaxy S9 basis the information search carried on previously. They will be of the opinion that the decision taken is logical and the best one among the rest.
  • Post purchase Behavior: At this stage the consumer is actually in a position to evaluate the product by himself and verify whether the need to buy the product has been satisfied or not. If they think that the product or the service has met their expectations then they will provide a positive review and help others in buying the product. This attitude helps the company in marketing and generating revenues. The consumer may go ahead and drop a positive review about the Samsung Galaxy S9 on different social media websites. If the consumer is not satisfied with the product then he will warn others from buying the product and will drop a negative review on different social media sites (Jamali and Khan, 2018).
  • Evaluating the decision: At this stage the consumer is able to evaluate the product at real time. It is not necessary that all consumers buying Samsung Galaxy S9 will love the product and this becomes a learning opportunity. It helps the company to make certain improvements in order to meet the changing or additional needs of the consumer. Marketers are not focused on a single consumer rather they target at large.

There are some other factors as well influencing the consumer decision making process which are:

  • Situational Factor: As the name indicates, situational factors relates to different situations being faced by the consumer. The situational factor consist of certain types namely, environmental, personal, life cycle and emotional factors. When the consumer is influenced by some personal factors like proximity, relationship with shopkeeper, intimacy, etc. the choice is made basis personal situational factors. Environmental factor consists of factors related to geography and retail environment which influences the purchasing decision of the consumer. Under emotional situational factor the consumer decides to buy a product basis perception they have about the product. If the consumer has been a loyal Samsung purchaser then he or she will definitely buy the product without preferring others.  Brand attachment is considered as the most influential aspect being considered by a consumer while making a purchase (Hew, Badaruddin and Moorthy, 2017). Reading positive reviews about the product helps in building and maintaining the trust that they have in the brand. Life cycle situational factor consists of different stages of consumer decision making. It starts from the stage of analyzing the needs and how the consumer gets influenced by different reviews and advertisements. If the consumer is a loyal of Samsung products then things may be different.
  • Retail Environment: It refers to the environment where the companies sale their products and affect their consumer decision making process when they evaluate other alternative products at the Evaluating Alternatives stage. If the retail area consists of Samsung products then it is obvious that the consumer will end up buying Samsung Galaxy S9 as there is no other option to choose. But through digital retail environment, consumers may come across different brands having the same features. The retail environment comes into action at various stages of consumer decision making process, one at the time of purchase and the other when the consumer is enforced to buy the product due to no choice (Massara, Liu and Melara, 2010).

In short, if the consumer believes that his or her decision was not correct, it can be a learning lesson to adopt certain changes while making a decision so as to identify a correct and better option.

Challenges of consumer decision making process
The discussion about different stages of consumer decision making process will help a prospective buyer to take an effective decision but there are certain challenges which should be taken into consideration. The below discussion will highlight the challenges along with its solutions:

  • Imbalance information: Collecting information is the basic requirement while making a decision but the amount of information to be collected should be decided. When the information is much more than required it can lead to confusion and the consumer may be misguided (Wang and Yu, 2017). There may be a point where the consumer will drop his decision to buy Samsung Galaxy S9. In contrary, if the consumer takes a decision to buy the product looking after one source of information then it may not be the correct decision and can have some disastrous effects.
  • Incorrect identification of the problem: Every consumer decision may come with different issues but judging the central issue is the main problem. Speaking up with people who face such problems or who have faced such problems can be of a great help. Conducting a research can also help in identifying the central issue. The act will save the consumer from taking an incorrect decision.
  • Being overconfident about the outcome: There are situations when the consumer has followed the consumer decision making process but still the outcome does not meet his or her expectations. So it’s very important for a consumer to choose the correct option which can help in filling his or her need. Being over confident about the outcome can lead to harmful effects.

Taking a correct decision is vital for every consumer and business houses particularly for the leaders and managers. One should follow the process and be ware about different challenges before taking a final decision.

Recommendations Samsung can follow the below points to increase its purchase and to ensure complete customer satisfaction:

  • Increasing the market presence in order to cover every corner of the market. Deeper market penetration can be done through the opening of different stores and outlets which help in advertising its products. Consumer going to a Samsung store will have less option or no option to choose from and this will help Samsung in increasing their sales in turn maximizing their profits.
  • Strengthening the brand image may also increase its sale and it can be done through highlighting the positive reviews on its web page provided by its consumers. Consumers evaluate the feedbacks and reviews received on the product before looking for other alternatives. Looking through the positive feedbacks, the consumer may be encouraged to buy smart phones from Samsung.
  • Making certain changes in the hand set may also help in meeting the consumer’s needs. Samsung may introduce some more features and applications in its Galaxy series as per the needs of the consumers. Extensive research and surveys can be done by the company in order to note down the changes that a consumer is looking for in the Samsung smart phone. The development will help the company to meet maximum customer satisfaction.

Conclusion
Decisions are made and changed every day. Some may be simple and some complex. Understanding the reason behind choosing a product is being researched by different marketers. Consumers will repeat their purchase in case they are satisfied with the product or the service. In case they are not satisfied with purchased product or service then they will look out for alternatives so the stages mentioned in the Consumer decision making process plays an important role. If Samsung is able to understand the needs of the consumers then they can increase their market sales. Applying better marketing facilities and reaching out to maximum consumers can help the company in generating maximum profit along with greater customer satisfaction. Consumers should logically search information’s and options before finalizing any product or service and following the stages keeping in mind the challenges will help the consumer in taking the correct decision.

Reference List
Andi, R and Ali, M. (2019) Analysis of the Influence of Lifestyle on Purchasing Decision for Samsung Smartphone Products in Jakarta. European Journal of Business and Management Research, 4(4)

Hew, J., Badaruddin, N and Moorthy, K. (2017) Crafting a smartphone repurchase decision making process: Do brand attachment and gender matter? Telematics and Informatics, 34(4), pp. 34-56.

Jamali, M and Khan, R. (2018) The impact of consumer interaction on social media on brand awareness and purchase intention! Case study of Samsung. Journal of Marketing and Logistics, 1.

Kumar, M. (2016) Consumer behavior and satisfaction in e-commerce: a comparative study based on online shopping of some electronic gadgets. International Journal of Research in Commerce & Management, 7(7), pp. 62-66.

Massara, F., Liu, S and Melara, R. (2010) Adapting to a retail environment: Modeling consumer–environment interactions. Journal of Business Research, 63(7), pp. 673-681. Panwar, D., Anand, S., Ali,F and Singal, K. (2019) Consumer Decision Making Process Models and their Applications to Market Strategy. International Management Review, 15(1).

Wang, Y and Yu, C. (2017) Social interaction-based consumer decision-making model in social commerce: The role of word of mouth and observational learning. International Journal of Information Management, 37(3), pp.179-189


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