The decision and activities involved in the buying process involve several participants.
These participants may play all or different roles in the buying process. These participants are, briefly, examined under the following headings:
a) Influencers- These are people or devices that inform, persuade and stimulate the buyer at any appoint of the buying process.
b) Deciders- These are the people that make the buying decision. For example, for an item bought for personal use, the user may be the decider.
For example, a gift giver may be the sole decider for the purchase of very costly items, such as houses, cars, etc., and the wife may be the sole authority on food items.
In addition, the husband and the wife as well as others purchase some items such as furniture and other household appliances.
However, institutional and business purchases are more complex and many people may be on a committee to decide on most purchases, because of the high risk involved in their purchases.
c) Buyers- These are the people that make the actual purchases; examples are wives, house helpers, agents, etc., going to the market to buy big food items.
For institutional and business purchases- this will involve purchasing officers, committees, etc.
d) User- These are individuals or departments that consume the products/services purchased. They are the target markets to which the company directs its communications.
These roles are important to marketing executives, because, at any particular time, they help to decide who is buying what, for what purpose, and for whom?
Buying to Resell
This is the business particle of buying merchandise that is resold without physical changes made to them. There are three types of specialist buyers as briefly explained under the following headings:
a) Selectors – Their work is to visit suppliers, trade fairs, fashion shows, etc., to identify appropriate merchandise for their organization.
b) Buyers – This group of people decides on the budgets, and they work closely with selectors to decide on which product lines will sell well in the market.
Buyers have the final say in the identification of which product lines to adhere to or drop. Once a product line has been selected the buyers will ask suppliers to produce samples for trials and testing.
c) Merchandisers – They decide on the level of stock to hold; that is, the quantity to buy or stock in the stores and which stores will carry the various lines. It should be noted that cooperation is expected from these three groups of people.
Every rational individual decides to buy goods or services offered in the market to achieve one goal or the other. To achieve this goal, there is a need to reduce the risk associated with the purchase of goods and services. For this reason, the following strategies should be adopted:
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i) Select a key supplier to do business with. Although this strategy may not guarantee success because there may be a hitch with supply due to strike actions; notwithstanding understanding and cooperation, in the long run, will achieve the desired result.
ii) Spread supplies with some key companies. This will ensure that the company can have supplies, even if one source fails.
iii) Obtain a generic product, instead of buying specialized company items.
iv) Suppliers – Some suppliers can be strategic because of their leadership position. They may also be strategic because of their technological and high product quality level.
They may be strategic because of the competitiveness in their supply and market responsiveness. They may also possess total customer orientation.
In conclusion, buying products or services offered into the markets is considered to be critical for consumers.
This is because, they may wish to gather necessary information that will influence the final purchase; while, others may wish to interact with potential consumers who have bought and used the product or services accordingly.
Due to these reasons and others, buying is considered to be a process, whereby consumers may wish to pass through or skip some stages in the course of buying a particular product. The nature of the product or service offered in the market determines the stages to be overserved while making a purchase.
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