Complex Buying - Meaning, Importance & Example

Published by MBA Skool Team, Last Updated: September 27, 2021

What is Complex Buying?

Complex buying is a buying scenario in which the customer is highly involved in the decision making process and take a lot of factors like cost, return on investment, durability, usability, feedback, recommendations etc. into account while comparing among significantly different options in the market before finally making a purchase. A highly involved purchase for a product in which there are multiple options, alternatives with various features and high differences in the market requires the customer to exhibit complex buying behavior. It is complex because it involves huge risk. Also, the significant differences between brands call for very high involvement from the customer’s side. Providing information is the key to help the customers in this kind of buying.

Importance of Complex Buying

The complex buying process is a highly involved and information extensive process. A customer needs to understand all the options in the market before making a decision. A typical journey is about problem recognition, then information search, evaluation, actual purchase and then post purchase behavior. The information search and evaluation phase is very long in the complex buying process. It is very important for companies to understand this as these purchases are at higher cost and margins.

Car, house, Laptop, home theatre system are some typical examples where a customer would be very much involved in the perceived value of the product and will thoroughly research everything. A company selling a car needs to make sure that the customer gets all the information about features, experience, cost, options, benefits easily. Customer should be able to even test drive the car with proper explanation and demo of features. These steps would help customer understand the product better compared to a competitor who may not have these options.


Example of complex buying

Buying a new home requires complex buying. It has high risk as huge financial investment is needed. Also, the customer has to take informed decisions about various factors like locality and future value before making the purchase. Whereas buying a packet of chips would not be a complex buying as the purchase decision would be based on impulse and not information. Also, Buying a diamond would also not qualify for complex buying as even though the risk is high in terms of the financial investment needed. This is because, as consumers we cannot differentiate between the different qualities of diamond and hence, for us, there is no significant difference between the different brands.

Hence, this concludes the definition of Complex Buying along with its overview.

This article has been researched & authored by the Business Concepts Team. It has been reviewed & published by the MBA Skool Team. The content on MBA Skool has been created for educational & academic purpose only.

Browse the definition and meaning of more similar terms. The Management Dictionary covers over 2000 business concepts from 5 categories.

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