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Changes in Pre- and Post-Purchase Evaluative Criteria: Exploring the Impact on Consumer (Dis)Satisfaction


  • Kimberly Taylor
  • Mary Burns


Much literature examines consumers' pre­ purchase information search, brand evaluation, and choice processes. In addition, there is a well­ developed literature on consumers' post-purchase satisfaction and dissatisfaction responses. Yet, there is little work that investigates both pre­ purchase evaluations and criteria and post-purchase evaluations and criteria. This paper proposes a vocabulary for classifying consumers' pre- and post-purchase evaluative criteria, as well as a set of research questions about criteria shifts. A study is presented to address these research questions. Findings indicate pre- and post-purchase sets of evaluative criteria are not identical for most subjects, either in the particular items mentioned or in their importance. Moreover, these shifts in evaluative criteria sets are linked to post-purchase evaluations of satisfaction/dissatisfaction, regret and disappointment, at least for less satisfied subjects. Implications for both academic research and marketing practice, as well as directions for future research, are discussed.