External Factors on Consumer Decision Process Essay Example

  • Category:
  • Document type:
  • Level:
  • Page:
  • Words:

4External Factors on Consumer Decision Process

External Factors on Consumer Decision Process

Problem Recognition

Problem recognition is the difference between the desired state and the actual state. The actual state is what exists presently while desired state whatever is expected of a situation. A need arises from recognizing this discrepancy that is described as problem recognition which compels a consumer to look for a solution. A problem that the consumer is aware of is known as an active problem while that problem that the consumer is obvious about is referred to as inactive problem. A selective problem requires brand solution while generic problem occurs when is of low importance or is latent. Marketers engage in active attempt of activating problem recognition in order to trigger the purchase decision in consumer (Ratnasingam, 2012). Problem recognition is measured by activity analysis, product analysis, problem analysis, and human factors research. When a consumer need to go somewhere for vacations and he realizes that he has to make hotel reservation for his impending trip. Problem recognition is an important stage before the buying process. This need recognition triggers the second stage that is information search.

Information Search

After the recognition of a problem potential consumer will definitely move to information search. Information is gathered from different sources. Sources are defined in external and internal sources. Internal sources mostly used include information gathered from past searches or personal experience stored in memory. External sources comprises of family and friends, marketing sources, and independent groups like government departments and consumer groups. Marketing sources comprise of information from advertising and sales personnel. Further sources include experiential sources like product testing and inspection. Habitual decision making does not need any information search while extended decision making required extensive search of information (Li-Ming & Wai, 2013). Most information about hotels is found online and many people make their reservations online. The internet provides an avenue where information can be searched about potential places that meet consumer expectations in the hotel industry. Consumers who make decision to book online rely on the information on the website of the hotel and other information which is available from secondary sources. Through examining the website of the hotel online, customers search for information, select and book online. If the customer has trust with the source he can make a reservation prior to visiting the property. For repeat booking, it is not necessary to search for information since the consumer is familiar with the product from past experience.

Evaluation and selection
of alternatives

Every feature that is relevant to the consumer when considering any product makes up the evaluation criteria. Some of these features include country-of-origin, brand name, price, quality or durability of the product. The consumer determines the evaluative criteria to use when selection a product. The consumer decision needs information on the suitable evaluative criteria to be used in identifying the solution to the problem. The consumer has to be aware of various existing alternative solutions in order for him to make a choice (Ratnasingam, 2012). The performance of every alternative solution is important for every evaluative criterion. For someone looking for hotel reservation he has to compare several service providers that are within his proximity and can meet his expectations.


Purchase evaluation is influenced by perceive performance of the product, satisfaction, expectations, dissatisfaction, and any complaint behavior. Purchase evaluation is defined by perceived performance as compared to the desired expectations. Dissatisfaction is attained if expectations are not met while satisfaction is achieved if expectations are exceeded. Brand communications normally set expectations. Repeat purchase can occur if expectations are met while brand switching can occur if the consumer feels dissatisfied. Post purchase analysis allows the consumer to evaluate the satisfaction of the problem identified at the beginning of the process. The consumer evaluates if his expectations have been met (Ratnasingam, 2012). Any consumer wants quality for his money and therefore will be happy if expectations in brand communication are met by the product performance. The consumer will consider if his stay at the hotel meet his expectations or not. Satisfaction will lead to more visits and booking of the hotel or recommending to friends and relatives.


Li-Ming, K.A., & Wai, B.T. (2013). Exploring consumers’ attitudes and behavior toward online hotel room reservations, American Journal of Economics 3 (5): 6-11.

Ratnasingam, P. (2012). Customer’s trust indicators in the online hotel booking decision, International Journal of Business, Humanities and Technology 2 (2): 192-198.