Assessment Task

Critically evaluate how the unique features of the Ecommerce technology and environment influence consumer decision-making (cognitive and habitual).


Cognitive Decision Making (Deliberate Decision Making)

  • A cognitive purchase decision is the outcome of a series of stages that results in the selection of one product over competing options
  • The Rational Perspective:
  • According to this view, people calmly and carefully integrate as much information as possible with what they already know about a product, weigh the pluses and minuses of each alternative, and arrive at a satisfactory decision
  • The economics of information perspective assumes that we collect just as much data as we need to make an informed decision

Steps in the Cognitive Decision-Making Process

  • These are the basic four steps in the cognitive decision making process (Rational Perspective)
    • Problem recognition o Information search o Evaluation of alternatives o Product choice

Stage 1: Problem Recognition

  • Occurs when consumer sees difference between current state and ideal state (desire)
  • Every problem requires a solution. Problems can arise in two different ways:
    • Need recognition: Actual state declines o Opportunity recognition: Ideal state moves upward

Stage 2: Information Search

The process by which we survey the environment for appropriate data to make a reasonable decision.

  • Once we know we have a problem, we search out how we can solve the problem.
    • Prepurchase or ongoing search
    • Information search before Purchase (prepurchase search). Some people just enjoy searching information – e.g. the purchase is not immediately forthcoming (ongoing search)
    • Internal or external search o Internal searches are cognitive (based on our own memory).

External sources come from other sources o Online search and cybermediaries

  • Search engines, specialized websites and apps (cybermediaries) to help narrow and filter the options that are available.

Step 3: Evaluation of Alternatives

  • Evoked Set o The alternatives a consumer knows about is the

evoked set.

  • Consideration Set o The ones actually considered make up the consideration set.

Step 4: Product Choice

A: Product choice

  • Complexity of the choice settings/products o Human decisions with two or more choice options
    • Feature creep is the complexity of features that products provide o It is a paradox: we buy and return products because of their complex and various features.

B: Postpurchase evaluation

  • Data collection, surveys, design of experiments (behavioural experiments, neuroscience experiments – e.g. functional magnetic resonance imaging (or fMRI) and neuromarketing)

Information load: Online Decision


  • Cybermediary
    • Organisation and optimisation of information (websites, apps)
  • Intelligent agents o Collecting information (behaviour) AI, software, algorithms
  • Search engines/ Search engine optimization

procedures companies use to design the content of Web sites and posts to maximise the likelihood that their content will show up when someone searches for a relevant term.