To ensure that I could effectively observe consumer behaviors, I decided to go to the local grocery store called Quickshop. This is one of the most popular chain grocery stores in my area, and it is where I go shopping for all my groceries. Here, I chose two aisles: The Cereal Aisle and the Bread Aisle, to help in my analysis on how consumer behavior varies for different products. Additionally, the realization that consumers behave differently depending on the time of day, I decided to split my visit into two sessions. First, I went on Wednesday at around 2 pm when the number of shoppers are few. Second, I went back in the evening at around 6 pm as the store is usually packed with people heading home.
Progression Through the Consumer Behavior Process
For this observation, a total of 5 consumers were considered. The first three, A-B-C were in the Cereal Aisle, while the rest, D and E were in the Bread Aisle. (See Details in Appendix). When making a purchasing decision, consumers usually undergo a process that has several stages. These include; recognition, information search, alternative evaluation, purchase decision, and lastly post purchase behavior (Finney, 2014). In this observation, the study population recognized the need to purchase either cereal or bread. This is the first step of the consumer behavior process. Without this need, the consumers would not come into the store and go to those specific aisles. At the store, consumers tend to be presented with many options, most especially for cereals. The store has always stocked up on many cereal types. This leads to the next step in the process, information search. The consumers are more likely to base their choice on the information they know about price, value and even product familiarity. If they have heard that such a product should have a price ranging in a lower level, it is highly possible that will not purchase it because it will appear overpriced. Similarly, if a consumer obtains information that the value of the product is poor, then the consumer will most likely go for the alternative. After making the purchase decision, all 5 consumers showed unique post purchase behavior. Some seemed to be in a hurry after making their choice, thus they quickly headed to the cashier and paid, before leaving hurriedly. Others, on the other hand, seemed more interested on the other alternatives, thus they stayed in the aisles for much longer, even though they never changed their mind on the choice already made.
How Consumers Determine Value for their Various Purchases
When considering how consumers determine the value of a product, it is very important to understand that even for a single product category, what constitutes value is still very personal and idiosyncratic (Madzharov, Block & Morrin, 2015). There are, however, four definitions that can generalize what consumers use. One, value is a low price; two, value is anything I want to find in a product; three, value is the equality I get for the price I part with; and lastly, value is what I get in return of what I give.
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