The paper “ Personal Recommendations - the Most Important Consideration That Influences B2B Purchases” is a motivating example of a literature review on marketing. The recommendations of friends, relatives, and other social contacts are important in the consumer decision-making process. In high-involvement products, the consumer may skip the information search and alternative evaluation stage if they are influenced by personal recommendations. In this essay, the consumer buying process is discussed. The discussion focuses on several reasons that make the consumer buying process for high-involvement products longer. The key reason for extending the consumer buying process is that it involves a more extensive information search stage and the consumer spends more time evaluating alternatives.
The final parts involve developing a theory that asserts that personal recommendations are the most important influence in the consumer buying process for high-involvement products. The consumer buying process for High-involvement PurchasesThe purchase of expensive products or services that carry a significant risk of emotional consequences is termed as a high-involvement purchase. The consumer decision-making process for expensive products is a different process than the less-involving process of purchasing low-involvement products (Radder and Huang 2008).
Although customers go through the same five-stage decision-making process, the process for high-involvement products is significantly longer as the information search and alternative evaluation stages are longer. The five-stage decision-making process is illustrated below: The consumer buying process is a critical process for marketers to understand. Businesses must influence the customer at every stage of the purchase process to make a sale. However, with the high-involvement products, consumers try to avoid marketer’ s influence in making their purchase decisions (Radder and Huang2008, In the low-involvement purchase process it is usual for customers to skip some of the stages of the consumer decision-making process.
For example, a hungry student may skip the information search and evaluation steps and go straight to making his purchase of a hamburger. However, high-involvement products call for a more extensive information search and evaluation of alternatives. Expensive products relative to the budget of the purchaser normally involve a high level of involvement as the risk of making a bad decision is higher (Guado 2001). Many high-involvement products also carry a higher personal and social risk.
For example, when buying a luxury car, the social status associated with the car is an important consideration. The relevance and importance of high-involvement products make their consumer decision making more complex. Houses, cars, and insurance policies have high price tags and the consequences of failure are high. While not purchased often, these products are important and relevant to the consumer; therefore the consumer decision-making process is more complex and differs from the routine process (Guado 2001). The consumer now engages in extended problem solving where he/she compares prices product features and warranties.
The information search stage is greatly extended in high involvement purchases. Often, a lot of information is needed to make high involvement purchases. Information about each of the options is gathered and used to evaluate which options are most suitable. More time is spent searching for the information needed for the purchase. Information needed in this phase includes consumer opinions, online reviews, consultations with friends and family, interactions with services and sales representatives of selling companies.
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