Consumer behaviors have been thought that they are influenced by a variety of factors. Level of involvement of a buying decision is seen as low or high fluctuates by consumers, not by products. Based on customer’s experience and knowledge, some buyers are able to make quick buying decisions, while others may need to acquire more information and evaluate them before jump into a decision. The extent of involvement indicates the importance of the product, the interest in consuming it, and the amount of necessary information to close a purchase. The extent of involvement in purchasing decisions may be seen as a sequence ranging from repetitive decisions (consumers are indifferent) to high-involved decisions that necessitate an extensive consideration. Consumers with no idea about a product may be more involved than somebody already has experienced it. People have often thought about several products they need or want but stopped at that stage. Sometimes, they come across those products and look at them, evaluate and compare them considerately, then stop and never proceed to the purchase stage. When some products are running out such as milk, sugar, they will be are refilled right after consumers recognize the need. Regular, basic products do not necessitate consumers to search for more information or assess other options. As Nike says in their slogan “just do it”. The level of involvement in the buying decisions incline to decrease if the products are relatively cheap, and carry a low risk (both financial and timing) if the buyer are disappointed by buying them.
Consumers automatically respond to purchase decisions if those decisions are repetitive and based on restricted information, or their past experience. For instance, if a Cappuccino is always the beverage to be ordered, a routine response behavior is generated. Consumers may be not interested in trying new beverages because the routine is to take a Cappuccino, and they simply do it.
Low-involvement decisions are also made in some unplanned situations. These purchasing decisions are referred to impulse buying. While checking out at the convenient store , buyers maybe come across a newspaper with a shocking news about the stock market and buy it immediately simply because they want to read it. This kind of decision is a typical low-involvement decision. Although low-involvement decisions aren’t always for impulse purchase, they can be.
Contrarily, high-involvement choices are riskier in case they fail to satisfy. They are complex and costly. An automotive, an apartment, or a even job could be realistic illustrations. These things are not acquired regularly but are pertinent and imperative to the buyer. Consumers practice the extended problem solving decisions, a huge amount of time spent to evaluate every aspect of the product such as attributes, functions, prices, and warranty service.
Limited problem solving is a mix of routine and extended problem solving decisions. Buyers practice limited problem solving when they already possess some information and/or experience about a particular product before buying it, but still look for more information. For example, if a consumer has a pair of running shoes and her shoes are torn. She needs a new one for daily workout. While she is acquainted with running shoes, she would know particular features that are required for running shoes since she bought and used her last one. She still spends time looking for one whose shoes are decent for running because she does not want lose her foothold and slip on the wet ground while working out. However, her research is not time-consuming. She may search online for some critical information, price, favorite brands and jump into a decision relatively quickly. Or she may listen to her personal trainer who has knowledge and experience in body fitness. She somehow restrains the involvement in buying decision process.
Whereas products, such as chips or toothpaste, which may be considered as low-involvement usually implement commercial advertisements and sales promotions such as buy one get one, and try to place them at convenient and visible spots to reach as many customers as possible. While high-involvement products such as cars are displayed in the private showroom for each brand, and approach customers through personal selling channel.
Brand images are essentially important disregarding the customer’s degree of buying involvement. For instance, buyers may repeatedly buy a particular brand of toothpaste in one second right after they see it on the shelves without thinking about the purchase, but not be ready to switch the brand. Favorite brands reduce search cost in terms of time and remove the evaluation part since consumers know what they are taking.
When it comes to high-involvement decisions such as buying a car, buyers may engage in extended problem solving process but, still, only evaluate some certain brands. For instance, back in the 1970s, the American had a poor reputation for car quality that everybody often joked that if a car which is “not Jap” (made by the Japanese) is crap”. America is now a leading nation in car production, however, you get the idea. If it is a hard decision to make because the purchase is risky in terms of money, a decent brand image is certainly going to be extremely significant. Therefore, the producers of high-involvement products cannot be complacent about their brands.