Consumer Decision Process in Restaurant Selection: An Application of the Stylized EKB Model
It is recognised that existing theories of Consumer Decision Making (CDM) are not well suited for financial services and there have been calls for development of a new conceptual model. This article reviews prominent models of CDM and identifies strengths and limitations. A new conceptual model that is applicable to financial services is developed. An important element of the model is the recognition that the components interact rather than a consumer following a linear progression through a series of stages. The new model better reflects the iterative decision-making process relevant to financial services and enhances marketers' understanding of the process and thus their ability to influence it to increase the likelihood of positive outcomes for all. The model has three main components: inputs, processes and outcomes. Inputs include the purchase situation (contextual and environmental variables), consumer characteristics (psychological and social influences) and information sources (marketing mix and interpersonal). Processes include need arousal, information utility, criteria development and evaluation of alternatives. Outcomes include the decision (that may be to abort the purchase), the purchase itself and post-decision evaluation. Further research is required to test the relationships between the variables in different contexts, and thus enable refinement and/or validation of the model.