The act of doing business can be defined as the process of exchanging goods and services for goods and services or money. Goods are said to be tangible products that come as a result of physical output while services are said to be intangible in nature. This shows that for the case of goods, buyers can test them before purchase while services cannot be tested hence services bring about a problem to customers before their purchase than goods.
Services involve customers’ interactions, unlike goods that depend on the production schedule set up by the company (Kotler, 1997). No matter how brief the interaction might be during the provision of the service, it is a must for it to be initiated to show the transaction unlike for the case of goods. It is also clear that services vary day by day, unlike goods. The provision of services can take various dimensions within a short period of time unlike the production of goods which takes a particular dimension for a long time. It is therefore vivid that despite the fact that goods and services are used in business together, they differ in various dimensions.
Involvement level refers to the process by which consumers decide to buy goods and services considering the significance of the product to their use (Chiu and Tavella, 2008). This means that consumers consider the social and economic benefits of the product before the purchase. If a customer carries out research on a particular product and gets attracted to buying it, there is a degree of involvement level. The involvement degree is categorized into two, low and high involvement. High involvement purchases refer to the high-priced items that require a lot of considerations before purchase (Paulos, 2003).
For example, the purchase of a computer is a high involvement purchase. This is because it is a risky transaction as it involves the payment of big amounts of cash hence this should correspond to the product bought. This means that consumers have to undergo keen scrutiny of products they are buying to avoid buying goods less worth the amount they have raised for the purchase. Low-risk deals with purchases that have less risk if any. Consumers do not need to waste a lot of time and resources researching for the products that they need to buy.
There is not much effort in the making of decisions on what to buy because goods do not require high amounts of money for the purchase. A good example, in this case, is the purchase of underwear. The purchase of underwear requires less involvement unlike that of a computer as evident by the commitment involved in the purchase.
In every purchase, there has to be a process to be involved. According to the purchase decision process, there are stages that are involved in buying goods and services (Vitale and Giglierano, 2002). They include:
Awareness of the need
This entails the process by which one develops the interest or desire of buying a certain good or service (Kotler, 1997). In this case, one feels that he needs to have this good in his possession and goes ahead into finding the means of purchasing the good or service.
In this case, it was due to the fact that I really wanted to buy new underwear. This was after discovering that I did not have enough underwear hence the awareness of the need. On the other hand, I also discovered the need to purchase a computer to help me in doing my assignments.
Sourcing of information about the choices
In the gathering of the right information about what products to buy, one undergoes research to identify the exact product to purchase (Chiu and Tavella, 2008). In my purchase of underwear, I only need to consult the right comfortable material and size. This is unlike the purchase of a computer where I need to consider various factors. These factors involve the processor speed, size of the hard disk, processor speed, brand, and market price. The high involvement in the purchase of the computer, therefore, requires a lot of research unlike the low involvement in the purchase of the underwear.
Evaluation of alternatives and criteria setting
In this case, one is supposed to factor in the various products of the same category and come up with the best. Someone’s opinion on what to choose from the various alternatives is highly considered (Marder, 1997). In the purchase of particular underwear or computer, one is supposed to compare and contrast one brand with other brands for him to make a decision on what to purchase.
Decision making stage
After analyzing or evaluating all the alternatives, one comes up with a concrete decision on what to purchase. This involves a firm decision to purchase the product. In the purchase of underwear or a computer, one eliminates all other alternative brands and comes up with one that he intends to buy.
Purchase experience evaluation
After decision making, one goes ahead to evaluate the purchase experience. In this case, he thinks of whether he has made the right decision of buying the good or service compared to other experiences he has had before. For the case of the purchase of underwear or a computer, one compares his experience of purchase to other experiences other people have had before.
It is therefore beyond doubt that the purchase of the underwear and that of a computer differ in so many ways as evidenced by the level of involvement in both cases. This is because purchasing underwear did not require a lot of commitment as that of a computer.
Marketing segmentation refers to the process by which a large market containing different goods and services is broken down to show a clear division in product categories (Chiu and Tavella, 2008). In this case, marketers can use the purchase decision process in coming up with market segmentation. This is because, in the awareness of need stage, marketers are supposed to learn that people have different needs hence the need for a market segmentation for buyers to identify the goods they need easily.
This establishes a good information-sourcing platform for buyers to rely on. Market segmentation enables buyers to have an easy time when gathering information on a particular product they need to buy. Market segmentation also provides a diversity of products for buyers to evaluate alternatives of the products they need and also make the right decisions during their purchase (Paulos, 2003).
In conclusion, the purchase decision process model is fundamental in the purchase of goods and services as it affects both the buyer and the seller of the goods. This leads to the provision of the required goods and services by the seller and the choosing of the expected good or service by the buyer hence efficiency in carrying out transactions.
Chiu, S., & Tavella, D. (2008). Data mining and market intelligence for optimal marketing returns. Amsterdam: Butterworth-Heinemann/Elsevier.
Kotler, P. (1997). Marketing management: Analysis, planning, implementation, and control. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.
Marder, E. (1997). The laws of choice: Predicting customer behavior. New York: Free Press.
Paulos, J. A. (2003). A mathematician plays the stock market. New York: Basic Books.
Vitale, R. P., & Giglierano, J. J. (2002). Business to business marketing: Analysis & practice in a dynamic environment. Mason, Ohio: South-Western/Thomas Learning.