3 Variations of the Purchase Decision Process – Clever Marketing 4.2

The consumer purchase decision process can be categorized into three variations:

  1. Extended problem-solving.
  2. Limited problem-solving.
  3. Routine problem-solving.

Here’s how these variations differ:

1. Extended Problem Solving.
Extended problem-solving refers to situations where consumers put significant time and effort into each stage of the decision-making process. These decisions typically involve high levels of perceived risk and complexity.

Consumers extensively research, compare alternatives, and carefully evaluate different options before making a purchase decision. This process is more common for expensive or infrequent purchases.

2. Limited Problem Solving.
Limited problem-solving occurs when consumers engage in a condensed decision-making process that involves less time and effort compared to extended problem-solving. This variation typically applies to intermediate levels of perceived risk and complexity.

Consumers seek some information but may rely more on personal experiences, opinions of others, or simple decision rules (e.g., choosing the trusted brand or a familiar option). Limited problem-solving is commonly associated with moderately priced products or familiar purchases.

3. Routine Problem Solving.
Routine problem-solving applies to situations where consumers make habitual or automatic purchase decisions with minimal information search and evaluation. These types of decisions involve low perceived risk and complexity.

Consumers have prior experience with the product or service and possess well-established evaluation criteria. Routine problem-solving is often associated with low-cost, frequently purchased products or services.

It’s worth noting that these variations are not rigid categories, but rather a spectrum along which consumers can fall depending on the specific purchase context and individual preferences.

External Links:
Understanding the Consumer Decision Making Process.

Course Sidekick. “Chapter 4 – marketing (pdf).

Understanding The Consumer Decision-Making

Posted in Marketing.