Utnyttjar konsumenter möjligheten att agera rationellt? : En uppsats om konsumenters sökbeteende inför ett köp med avseende på irrationella köpbeslut eller möjliggörandet av rationella köpbeslut genom informationssökningsprocessen

Detta är en Magister-uppsats från Örebro universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Örebro Universitet; Örebro universitet/Handelshögskolan vid Örebro Universitet

Sammanfattning: The buying decision process describes how the consumer makes a purchase decision through a rational process (Markin, 1979) and an understanding for how consumers make a purchase decision can according to Sands et al. (2010) be obtained by increased knowledge for the information search process (the second part of the buying decision process) before a purchase. Today’s society offers great opportunity to obtain information (Rahim & Clemens, 2012; Bawden & Robinson, 2009) and by that there are in other words good opportunities for a rational acting by the consumers. However, there are factors working against that consumers act rationally and seek information prior to their purchases primarily in the form of the concept of information overload (Bawden & Robinson, 2009) which claims that consumers are limited in their information search because there is too much information but also other factors such as lack of time (Wood & Neal, 2009) and ability to find information (Slegers et al. 2012) are believed to affect the information search process. The purpose of this essay is to describe the information search behavior of consumers prior to a purchase considering irrational purchase decisions or the possibility of rational purchase decisions linked to product category and age because these variables are assumed to have an impact on the information search behavior prior to a purchase (Nelson, 1970; Phillips & Sternthal, 1977; Sledgers et al., 2012). The method applied in this essay is structured interviews conducted in a shopping center in the central parts of Örebro and the participating respondents are consumers who just made a purchase. The results of the study indicate that the majority of the consumers are making irrational purchase decisions and that they therefore do not use the opportunity to act rationally, although today’s society provide good opportunities. The information search behavior doesn’t seem to depend on product category except that the information sources used differ among categories. The result also shows that younger consumers search more information in comparison with older consumers. Another finding is that neither ability to find information, lack of time or information overload seem to be reasons for that the majority of the consumers have not searched for information and nor do it seem to be the reason for why the consumers that do search for information stop to search. That they are not seeking seems instead to be because they feel that they know enough about the kind of product they have bought and the main reason that those who search stop to search is that they feel that they have found enough information to make a purchase decision. Key words: Consumer behavior, purchase decisions, the buying decision process, information search, rationality, irrationality, search goods, experience goods, information overload

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