The Information Search Stage Of The Consumer Decision Process

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1. Introduction
For the purpose of this research report the focus will be on the Information Search stage of the consumer decision process and how research into this topic can be used to predict consumer behaviour.
Consumer behaviour is a discipline dealing with how and why consumers purchase or do not purchase goods and services (Quester, Pettigrew, Kopanidis, Rao Hill, & Hawkins, 2014). That is, the study to discover the forces that affect and influence consumers purchasing behaviours. This is very important for all types of organisations as it allows marketers to better develop and align marketing strategies to successfully reach target consumers and get them to purchase their goods or services.
2. Source 1: Consumer Behaviour: Implications
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Once the problem has been recognised the consumers must seek information to make a decision. That is the beginning of the information search process. To the consumer information search may take time, money and energy. Therefore marketers need to consider their strategies to best target their consumers and facilitate the search by presenting a product or service that will meet the consumes needs. According to (Quester, Pettigrew, Kopanidis, Rao Hill, & Hawkins, 2014) there are two sources of information that influence consumer behaviour. The Internal search uses information from memory and external search is used when the internal memory does not reach a solution (Quester, Pettigrew, Kopanidis, Rao Hill, & Hawkins, 2014, p. 92). Therefore, information from external sources such as opinions from friends and family, product brochures or sales staff is pursued to help solve the problem. This is important for marketers because when consumers conduct internal information search they have a set of brands of which they are aware. It is in the organisations best interest for its brands to be the preferred brand rather than the avoided brand. For example, when a consumer is looking to purchase a new car they may have their preferred set of Toyota and Hyundai. They may consider Mazda but will totally avoid and ignore a Ford.
3. Source 2: Consumer Information Search Behaviour
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However, the technology used to search information, search skills and processing levels of consumers varies from consumer to consumer. Therefore, organisations have to better identify and provide accurate, well-presented and credible information that adds real value to the consumer decision-making process (Grant, Clarke, & Kyriazis, 2007, p. 525). This credible information will in return allow the consumer to make sound purchasing decisions. For example, a bride to be with low knowledge levels regarding the wedding industry may initiate a search with a few key words, organisations must be able to link with these key words and provide further information of “value” which will encourage continued search into and throughout their

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