The consumer buying process consists of five stages. Not every buying decision goes through all five stages, and the process does not necessarily conclude in a purchase. Think about a recent purchase you made. Identify and describe the stages in the buying process you used and those skipped, if any. Do you think the stages you employed would be typical for most consumers purchasing this product? Why or why not?

Need recognition

According to Gensler, Verhoef, and Böhm, M. (2012) need recognition is when a customer realizes that they need a product and the decision making on the purchase starts. Some consumers will realize they need a product because they were made aware through advertisements or friends.  In my case, I realized I needed sports shoes for practice since the ones I was using had worn out.

Search for information

A consumer searches and gather information on the product needed. The source of information can be the internet, television, radio or print. I did not require information about the shoes because I was going for my usual seller and buy my usual brand hence I skipped this stage.

Evaluation process

Customers use the information to compare products and finally settle for one. I compared some few pairs of shoes from the same brand and selected the one that fitted well and was affordable for me.


The customer then purchases the products that best meet the needs. I bought the pair of shoes selected and walked away.

Post-purchase evaluation

After purchasing, the consumer decides if the product is everything cracked up to be. If it is then the customer is satisfied and if not the customer suffers post-purchase dissonance. I used my shoe for exercise and decided I was satisfied with the product.

I think the stages I used to buy the pair of shoes would be typical for most consumers purchasing this product. This is because the product is a low-involvement product. According to Solomon et al., (2014); Puccinelli, et al., (2009), low involvement products are subject to routine response behavior whereby the customers base their decision on information they obtained in the past. Such consumers make automatic purchase decision because low-involvement products pose a low risk to the customer, if there is a mistake in buying them, and are inexpensive unlike High-involvement products which have high price tags, are complex and carry high risks. Such products will, therefore, need the five stages of the customer buying process.



Puccinelli, N. M., Goodstein, R. C., Grewal, D., Price, R., Raghubir, P., & Stewart, D. (2009). Customer experience management in retailing: understanding the buying process. Journal of Retailing, 85(1), 15-30.

Gensler, S., Verhoef, P. C., & Böhm, M. (2012). Understanding consumers’ multichannel choices across the different stages of the buying process. Marketing Letters, 23(4), 987-1003.