The Consumer Decision-Making and Buying Process – Part 2

In our previous blog, we introduced the five stages consumers move through as they make their purchase decisions. The five stages were generally intended for individual consumers. However, it is important to consider the decision-making process in B2B settings. We’ve discussed the first two stages of the consumer decision-making and buying process, so today we will discuss stages three through five. As a reminder, here are the five stages of consumer decision-making and buying again:

Reminder: The Five Stages

  1. Identify a problem or need
  2. Enter an informational search
  3. Evaluate alternatives
  4. Make a decision
  5. Post purchase evaluation

Stage 3: Evaluating Alternatives         

In the third stage of consumers decision-making and buying process, consumers rely on the data they have collected. During this stage, consumers have collected information about certain products/services and their features and benefits. They have compiled information on the available reviews for the product or service. Now, they can whittle their choices down based on evidence of the effectiveness they perceive they will get and how satisfied other consumers have been with the product/service.

Stage 4: Make a Decision

In the fourth stage, consumers make their purchase decision. Up to this point, the consumer has used all available resources to identify their problem, investigate products/services, and have compared alternatives. While it is not guaranteed the customer will make their purchase, there is nothing left for them to do with the information they have collected and analyzed other than back out. Hopefully, you or your sales team has done enough to support, encourage, and make them believe your product or service was the best choice.

Stage 5: Post Purchase Evaluation

The final stage of the process is post purchase evaluation. This is where a consumer decides that your product or service was the best option, or they have buyers’ remorse that they did not choose an alternative. In a B2B setting, this provides a great opportunity for you to further develop your sales pitch or closing. Getting feedback from your unhappy customers will provide valuable, albeit painful, insight into the shortcomings of your product or your people. The post-sale evaluation is a critical aspect of growing and maintaining your customer base.

At Chameleon, we have the services and experience you need to help you through the consumer decision-making and buying process. Contact us to find out how we can help.

Phone: 800.773.9182

Email: sales@chameleonsales.com