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As it
becomes clear that the definition of buying behavior underlines the presence of
a certain decision process, the definition of it has to be further explored. (Koldeweij, 2016) In a study published
by the Journal of Interactive Marketing it was concluded that there are 3 main
steps in decision making process like: pre-purchase, purchase and
post-purchase. (Frambach, 2007). As stated in the Journal of Service
Research, these 3 stages require different type of information to be of value
to the customer. For instance, customers in the pre-purchase phase would search
for more information in comparison to the purchase stage. (Neslin, 2006) In a study from the Association for
Computing Machinery it was concluded that customers have the tendency to switch between online and offline
information sources when reach each stage. (Manju Ahuja,
2003)
In another study, it is believed, that a customer is going through 4 stages of
a decision process, namely, a necessity for recognition, research and
evaluation of alternatives, the actual purchase and the post-purchase phase. (Byron W. Keating, 2009)

 

Based on their conclusion another assumption
emerged that in in the process of buying something, customers can experience
uncertainty which might be perceived as a risk-associated action. Nevertheless,
the degree of uncertainty decreases after a product or service was purchased.
Notably, the reduction of uncertainty leads to a better decision making thus a
better purchase. There are at least 3 main options to reduce such uncertainty
in the pre-purchase phase, namely, information seeking including the opinions
of online and offline users, peers and family members, information structuring
for product variety evaluation and brand image. (Sheth, 1968). In the purchase phase,
which can also be considered the transactional process, a customer is certain
about the product he/she would like to purchase. Here the role of technology
enables the process to occur smoothly if wireless solutions like Google Wallet,
Samsung Pay, Apple Pay or Near Field Communication can be used to make payment
transaction between customers and merchants. In the post-purchase, cognitive
dissonance might appear as consumers start to evaluate their expectations and
actual features of the product. (Koldeweij,
2016)

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