MKTG2010 Marketing Intelligence and Purchase Decision-Making Process
The essay based on buyer behaviour and purchase decision-making process. The main purpose of the paper is to find out the factors which affect buyer behaviour and influence them to make apurchase decision. In this paper, the selected business organisation is Amazon. The paper will showcase main stages of the purchase decision-making process in Amazon and Explain theories of buyer behaviour in terms of individuals and markets. The paper will evaluate the relationship between brand loyalties, corporate image and repeat purchasing (Bovee & Courtland, 2012).
Decision Making Process
Decision Making Process includes different decision-making stageswhich are undergone by a consumer before, after and during the time of purchase of a product or service. The marketer must understand the buyer’s preferences and make them purchase the product (Mulpuru et al., 2011).The purchase decision-making process includes five stages, but it is not necessary that all buyer decision-making process goes through each stage. The five stages are the following.
1. Need Recognition
The decision-making process starts with need recognition. Need recognition stage defines how the consumer finds out the gap between present state and the desired state. It is seen on Amazon that when the consumers need a product, he/she then starts finding the desired product on the website.
2. Information Search
Information search is the second stage where consumers gather information according to their level of need. It is seen that when the need is so strong that consumers skip the stage and make apurchase. Internal sources can be two types. These are internal research and external research. Internal search is to recall past experiences with the product. External search is based on gathering information from personal or public or commercial sources. Amazon witnesses these kinds of search (Khanaferova, 2011).
3. Evaluation of Alternatives
In this stage, customers basically evaluate all the available alternatives present in the market. In this context, Consumers evaluate other alternatives in different online stores before making apurchase decision.
4. Make Purchase
Buyers buy the product in this stage. Amazon includes various purchase methods like cash payment or credit/debit card payment or net banking etc.
5. Post purchase behaviour
This is the final stage in purchase decision-making process. In this stage, the customers analyse whether the product fulfils his/ her need or not. A customer becomes loyal if the product satisfies his/her demand. Every marketer should ensure that the customer is happy with the purchase decision. Amazon gets many loyal customers as they are able to fulfil the demand of the customers (Babin & Zikmund, 2015).
Buyers’ Behaviour Theories
There are various theories regarding buyer behaviour in terms of individuals and markets. Buyer behaviour is a business term which reflects the behaviour of the buyer regarding a purchase. Amazon is reputed online store which identifies their buyer behaviour to increase their rate of sales. It is seen that there are many buyer behaviour theories named internal Theory, Cultural Theory, Environmental Theory and Generic theory. These theories are applicable to the chosen company. The company Amazon applies internal theory when an individual searches a product. In cultural theory, the consumers tend to purchase products influenced by their lifestyle and class of living. Amazon also has these types of consumers. The environmental theory suggests that buyers purchase products influenced by their environment. The generic theory defines that a buyer only purchases aproduct to experience the product quality (Oliver, 2014).
Factors Influencing Buyers’ Behaviour
There are several factors that influence buyer behaviour. These are cultural factors, social factors, personal factors and psychological factors. Cultural factors are based on culture, subculture and social class. For example, working people like to buy products from online stores like Amazon. Social factors make the consumers influenced by society e.g. Amazon gets many buyers as their family or friends recommend them to shop from Amazon. Personal factors include age, gender, occupation, income, etc. Amazon divides their product range according to the gender of the customers. Psychological factors include motivation, perception, attitude and learning. Amazon also has buyers who are influenced by psychological factors.
Brand loyalty is getting more faithful consumers to a particular brand. Brand loyalty is seen through therepetitive purchase of a particular product by the consumer.
Corporate image is a mental picture that comes to the mind of the customer. It is the image of corporate reflection which is received by the public when the corporation is mentioned.
Repeat purchasing means when a customer buys a particular product repeatedly (West et al., 2015).
These three terms are interconnected. When a company projects their image positively, the consumer likes to purchase a product. If the product fulfils his demand, then he would buy it again which means repeat purchasing of that particular product. Repeat purchase influence consumers to be loyal towards the particular brand. Amazon has a number of loyal customers who make arepeat purchase. They are also successful in creating a positive corporate image in the mind of the consumers.
It can be concluded that Amazon witnesses positive buyer behaviour. The paper discussed the various factors which influence thecustomer to repurchase aproduct.
2.1. Market research objective of Amazon.com
The report is based on market research of Amazon.com Inc. Amazon.com Inc. is the leading e-commerce business that deals with electronic products, home appliances, clothes, e-books, and cloud hosting services. Jeff Bezos in 1994 founded Amazon.com in 1994, and the website was launched in 1995. Headquarters of the organisation is in Seattle, Washington, US. The company also operates in different target markets in UK, France, Japan, China, Italy and Germany(Hollensen, 2015).
Market research is gathering information about the needs and preferences of customers. It also gathers information about a market, product or service, target market of the business, and about the particular competitors of the company(Strauss, 2016). There are various objectives of marketing research. The objectives of marketing research of Amazon.com Inc. are the followings:
· To identify the response of the consumer to the products of the e-commerce giant
· To get information about the needs or demands of the consumer
· To analyse Strength and Weakness of the competitors
· To find out new marketing opportunities
· To forecast future scenario of the business
Amazon.com Inc. always gives priority to the customers’ needs and ensures them to give a good service. The business model of the Amazon is based on satisfying their customers and be a customer-centric business in the world. They are always updated with needs and demands of the customers. The market research includes a clear analysis of strength and weakness of their competitors like WH Smith PLC, Tesco and Blackwell UK Ltd (Oliver, 2014). A marketing research helps a marketing manager to gather information about new marketing opportunities available in the market. Amazon.com also gathers information about current marketing opportunities. A business should be able to forecast upcoming scenario of the business. Being the giant e-commerce business, Amazon’s marketing research objective includes a future forecast of business scenario. It will help them to boost up their revenue and increase the customer numbers.
2.2. Different types of market research techniques and their effectiveness
The market research technique is basically divided into two categories- Primary research and secondary research. Primary research is divided into six different sections- surveys, focus groups, interviews, observation, and experiments or field trials.
Surveys are amost used technique in market research. It is done to measure information quantitatively. Amazon.com does several market surveys to get information about their customers’ satisfaction and their competitors’ business styles. It is quite costly. Focus groups involve a homogeneous group of people like college students of age between 18 to20. It is a qualitative research method. Amazon also engages focus groups for marketing research purpose. Focus groups are medium costly (West et al., 2015). Individual interviews are also qualitative market research technique. It requires short-medium time. It is beneficial for exploratory research. Amazon.com sometimes does individual interviews to get anunbiased and qualitative response from the individuals. Observation is generally observing customer’s actual behaviour. It is also qualitative in nature. Experiments or field testing is quantitative research techniques. It is generally used for thescientifically testing specific hypothesis. Amazon.com Inc sometimes uses this technique.
2.3. Use sources of secondary data to achieve marketing research objectives
Secondary data is the data which is already collected and are available from other sources. Secondary data are cheaper, and it can be obtained quickly than the primary data.Secondary data is also used in marketing research for abroader purpose. Researchers usually use secondary data to make the research more authentic in nature. Secondary data can be published or unpublished data. Some examples of secondary data are journals, organisational reports, public records and historical or statistical documents (Ignat & Maha, 2012). Amazon.com Inc. always uses secondary data in market research to get correct information. The organisation uses secondary data to achieve the marketing research objectives. Amazon.com uses secondary data as it is time-saving. They can get information about their competitors from journals. Amazon.com also analyses the external and internal market with the help of secondary data. Secondary data can give the correct and useful customer information to the organisation. Amazon.com can define types of target customers by accessing secondary data (Xu, 2013).
2.4. Assess the validity and reliability of market research findings
Successful market research findings focus on two factors- brief and quality of the research brief. A researcher always wishes to acquire quality questionnaire (Hassan et al., 2014). The procedure of making a qualitative questionnaire follows the following steps:
· Set goals and objectives of the research
· Give definition of research problem
· Make an assessment of the research value
· Make a research proposal
· Specification of data collection method
· Use a proper measurement technique
· Selection of samples
· Collection of method
· Result analysis
· Final report presentation
Amazon.com Inc. follows these steps to make aquestionnaire to survey the buyer decision on product purchase.
2.5. Prepare a marketing research plan to obtain information in a given situation
A market research plan includes a thorough examination of thecurrentmarket, and it analyses a particular product’s demand in the market (Klaus, 2013). It records data about the customers and assesses thecompetition. A market research plan is a written plan which defines the marketing goals and objectives. It also includes some strategies which need to be applied by the organisation to achieve the marketing and promotional goals. A marketing research plan consists of following headings:
· Scope and sampling
· Research question
· Research method and tools
· Resources and work plans
3.1. Assess market size trends within a given market
Amazon is an international e-commerce company offering online retail products, electronic goods, digital services and daily grocery products to the consumers. Amazon is one of the leading retailers in the United States with 108 billion U.S dollars in 2015 sales (Mohapatra, 2013). The company generates its main revenue from the sales of goods and other activities. Amazon has 304 million active users all over the world and due to its high reaches its considered one of the most valuable brands in the world (Rollins et al., 2014). This brand does not only sell products via desktop retailing but also via mobile or m-commerce which has made shopping even easier for its consumers. Research shows that Amazon had nearly 14 million users of age group 25-35 in the year 2014.A lot of users subscribe to the Amazon page because the company offers free two-day shipping with the online annual membership. Day by day Amazon it’s expanding its services in various new countries and also offering to astream of some selected movies and television shows. According to a survey, Amazon became the most popular value-added digital service for music and e-books (Strauss, 2016).
3.2. Competitor analysis for Amazon
Customer’s experience is the main idea of amazon’s competitive strategy, for them, consumers is the priorities. This brand realises and analyses what a consumer expects from them, what are their needs and requirements, their new taste and their demand. Their strategy of filling in the warehouses with flirtation has improved on their distribution pattern for new areas and new consumers (Oliver, 2014). Amazon does not come under the category of retail stores because of which their sales tax charges are saved. In the last 4 years, Amazon has continued to proceed and succeed by expanding their business overseas with the help of effective cost leadership management, strategic distribution, efficient acquisition and economies of scale. Amazon uses the robotic method to move the products from packing area to shipping area so that there is no wastage of time and energy in search for products. This strategy has also helped to reduce cost which is advantageous for the consumers. Their further cost has been reduced by their rapid growth and economies of scale for some large acquisitions. In the year 1997 the company just focused on selling books online, but now it has got into the web services of distributing products to the consumers(Brcic & Latham, 2016).
3.3. Amazon’s opportunities and threats for a given product or service
• The greatest opportunity for Amazon was its expansion into the distribution of consumer-related products.
• By using the online payment system, the opportunity has increased as this is a secure option to shop (Hassan et al., 2014).
• Capitalization of new products by Amazon, instead of forwarding it to the third party has also benefitted them.
• The increase in a number of products and offering has helped the brands to gain better revenues.
• Opening new sites in the emerging markets has also been a competitive advantage for Amazon (West et al, 2015).
• The biggest threat to Amazon is the success of online shopping which is increasing day by day, and because of which identity theft exposes the consumer.
• The competitive price strategies by Amazon have faced lawsuits from the rivals in the online shopping industry (Hassan et al., 2014).
• Amazon faces a lot of tough competition from other online shopping retailers.
4.1. Techniques of assessing customer response
Customer response assessment involves collecting relevant data or information and finding strategies to be implemented. For any business customers are the most important thing and improving products and services for them is a priority. For this customer related information as well as their feedback is important which is done through: -
1) Home survey: This survey is done with the help of emails, phone, or survey questions attached to the bill or the receipt, which help in understanding the consumer and their needs (West, et al., 2015).
2) Questionnaire: These are like brief surveys which ask the consumers about their issues, complaints, and their experience. This survey helps the managers to access the customer’s preference and needs (Brcic & Latham, 2016)
3) Feedback and suggestions: with the help of feedbacks the company can improve their products and surveys. The suggestions are as an opportunity given to the company to improve and implement new strategies.
4) The expectation of the consumer: the managers must consider every response from the consumer and make sure to avoid unfair or unreasonable demands made by the consumer.
4.2. Design and complete a customer satisfaction survey
For Amazon, we chose a Questionnaire to check the customer satisfaction level and loyalty of the consumers. Trust and loyalty of the consumers can help the company to reduce the procurement cost and improve the sales ratio. Around 47 % people responded to the questionnaire from which we got to know a lot of things and recommendations. The questionnaire focussed on three things the quality of products & services, and customer satisfaction. The questionnaire survey showed that:
1) How often do you use Amazon for shopping?
2) How did Amazon perform? (Experience, value, usage, payment mode, customer service and overall quality)
3) Rate the performance of the product when compared to other products?
4) How satisfied are you with our products and services?
5) Will you recommend Amazon to your friends?
Outcome of the survey
1) 24% of the consumers like the payment system used on Amazon as it is safe and easy to use.
2) 14% consumers said that Amazon is convenient and fast to use when compared to other online shopping portals. Also, the consumers are impressed with the free shipment option and offer available.
3) 5% of people chose Amazon to shop because it’s a reputed website and its individualization.
So as per the questionnaire results, low price of products and services, and safe payment method were the two main reasons why people chose Amazon over other online shopping portals.
4.3. Review the success of a completed survey
The retail giant Amazon stands on top of the best 100 known brands across the world for customer experience (Oliver, 2014). As per the research around 75000 customer satisfaction surveys shows the satisfaction level which scored 100 points on the scale wherein Amazon received 87 points for satisfaction. The other points were
a) 75% consumers who liked the brand overall
b) 60% wished to continue doing business with Amazon
c) 83% wanted to purchase more products from Amazon
d) 77% consumers recommended Amazon to their friends and relatives
e) 76% consumers trusted Amazon more than any other brand.
What makes Amazon’s customer experience so satisfying?
1) The customer is a priority: the customer comes first is the success mantra of Amazon, as they put the customer at the focus point so that everything the brand does is related to customer’s satisfaction. Amazon says “We seek to be Earth’s most customer-centric company,” (Strauss, 2016.)
2) Convenience: convenience plays an important role where the satisfaction level is concerned. 9out of 10 people complete their Amazon shopping transaction without consulting the helpers.
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