Unformatted text preview: ion. An example that would
appeal to this research study is that of an advertisement asking parents when last their
children had been treated to an ice cream from a convenience store. 2.7.2 Search for problem-solving information The second step in the consumer decision-making process is searching for problem
solving information. This section comprises out of two issues, namely search and information. Search can be defined as the motivated activation of knowledge stored in
memory (internal search) or acquisition of information from the environment (external
search). Once need recognition has occurred, the consumer may then engage in a search
for potential need satisfiers [Kotler, 2000:179; Moorthy, 1995:263; Hawkins et al.,
2001:528; and Chiquan, 2001:505; and Burgess, 1998:50]. For example, a motorist who
needs petrol will start looking for petrol stations Information is referred to as the knowledge a consumer currently possesses or is on the
look out for. In order for a consumer to make a meaningful decision when making a
purchase, he / she will need some direction to what type of information is required.
Consumers often start off by examining what evaluative criteria are suitable and the
existence of diverse alternative solutions. Furthermore, consumers also try to assess the
execution level or characteristic of each alternative solution on each evaluative criterion
[Hawkins et al., 2001:529]. Internal search is nothing more than a memory scan for decision-relevant knowledge
stored in long-term memory. If this scan reveals sufficient information to provide a
satisfactory course of action, external search is obviously unnecessary. Many times a
past solution is remembered and the relevant information is used [Bettman et al.,
1998:187; Engel et al., 1995:183; and Levy & Weitz, 1998:129]. 82 The fact that consumers chose to rely on their existing knowledge would seem inadequate for
suggesting that decision-making has not take place [Schiffman & Kanuk, 2000:149]. The degree of satisfaction with prior purchases will also determine the consumer’s
reliance on internal search. If the consumer has been satisfied with the results of previous buying transactions, internal search may suffice [Shiv & Huber, 2000:202]. A
child, for instance, may recall buying sweets at ‘Joe’s café’. It was a good experience for
the child because the sweets tasted good, did not cost a lot of money and were easily
available. The child should then be happy with relying on internal search should he want
to buy sweets again. Whether consumers rely solely on internal search will heavily depend on the adequacy or
quality of their existing knowledge. First-time buyers are unlikely to possess the necessary information for decision-making while experienced and satisfied buyers may
find their knowledge to be inadequate for products that were purchased a long time ago.
The amount of time between purchase occasions is referred to as the inter-purchase time.
A child, for instance, that buys sweets everyday from a café he passes on his way home
from school, would have...
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