Moving forward, the customer begins evaluating the many options available for them in solving the problem of, in this case, the empty refrigerator. The consumer may have found a tremendous amount of information that both supports or rejects their potential alternative solutions, thus they either accept or reject various alternatives. For instance, a close associate may have communicated their negative experience with a branded item, suggesting that the troubled consumer not consider this particular item. In the similar respect, the customer uses a variety of evaluative criteria, such as brand or product price, which is all formulated by the consumer in determining what option is truly the best for their immediate (or long-term) needs. The fourth step in the decision-making process is to make a final decision and to actually purchase the alternative which they deem is most appropriate for their individual needs.
During the evaluation process, the consumer has weighed the potential pros and cons of their product choices and has determined a final choice. From this point, the consumer decides on the location of the seller where will buy their chosen alternative and subsequently makes the purchase. Finally, after having purchased the product, the customer performs a post-purchase evaluation of their newly consumed good.
If for some reason, the product does not live up to their expectations, the consumer is dissatisfied and comes to regret their purchase. . In opposite accord, the customer may be sufficiently delighted by any number of attributes that their new purchase provides and find high levels of utility. Post-purchase anxiety, often called cognitive dissonance, is an imbalance between personal beliefs and which occurs after the product purchase (Boone & Kurtz, 2006).
There are any number of individualistic reasons as to why the consumer either feels remorse or adulation for their new product purchase, however, marketers must be aware of the impact of post-purchase re-appraisal as this may have long term detrimental effects on consumer loyalty. The impact of post-purchase evaluation will be discussed in more detail throughout this project.
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