While jumping into online marketing, we often miss the opportunity to get in touch with our potential customers in various stages. As a marketer, your sole focus is on the purchase act of customers. However, you are missing immense opportunities to inspire your audience throughout their buying journey.
The buyers have different concerns at each stage, and you need to make your marketing efforts different according to the buying journey. Buying is the psychological process that a customer goes through before making a purchase.
Let’s have a detailed look on each stage of the customer buying process and how your online marketing efforts can lead them to make a purchase rather repeat purchase from you.
Step 1: Need identification
Need identification or problem recognition is the beginning stage of the buying process. This is the stage when the customer identifies the buying needs. Ads can also trigger these needs or problems.
Say, for example, someone may need a refrigerator; in another case, someone might see an advertisement for a refrigerator and realise that he or she need or want a better fridge.
In both the cases, the customer has identified the need that they must fulfil. This provides online marketers with an opportunity to show their products and services that can help them to solve their problem or satisfy their purchase desire.
Step 2: Information search
Since the customer has identified their needs or problem, they will eventually try to fulfil the requirement or look for ways to solve it.
Today, information search mostly occurs online. Here, you have multiple online marketing options to capture the attention of the buyer.
You can take help of online ads, content marketing, social media marketing, native ads, In-app ads and so on.
Here, content marketing can prove a boon for you. When your customers are searching for information online, they may not be educated enough about the product or services they are searching for. You have an excellent opportunity to inform your customers about the benefits of the product, and presenting your brand as a leader through content marketing. Here, you are not only marketing your products but also adding value to for your customers. The more learning you provide to your customer; they are more likely to buy from you.
Step 3: Evaluation of alternatives
The internet has made it extremely accessible for customers to research about given products and services in-depth. At this stage, they are going to look at your competitors’ products as well. Your customers compare their findings on various parameters like pricing, product/service features, service benefits and other parameters which your customers may feel are important to them.
Showcase your products with excellent photography and give precise information about products as compared to your competitors.
Remember, at this stage, price only doesn’t matter, you need to out your products/ services ahead concerning quality, service, customer relationship, customer preference and willingness to offer customised service.
Step 4: Purchase decision
The customer has explored, compared and evaluate the pricing and features from different vendors. They haven’t bought from you yet; they could still walk away. Marketing is just as important as it is in previous stages of the buying process.
Make sure your contact information is visible. If you provide unclear contact information, they may not get the confidence to make a purchase.
Sometimes your customers might walk away from the purchase. Don’t worry. You can get them back by email reminders, text message reminders, retargeting through social media and ads.
Remind them why do they need your product.
Address the problem and offer the solution through content marketing, email marketing.
Step 5: The purchase itself
The customer has made their mind to buy from you so make sure you make it super easy for them to buy from you. Do not take a long time of your customers by keeping a lengthy buying and checkout process.
Have a faster loading time.
Do not give your customers a fortune to take a step back at this stage. Make sure your website works well on the mobile device. As a majority of customers prefer buying online through the mobile device.
Give clear shipping information. Provide multiple payment options. These things make it convenient for your customer and build confidence in your brand.
Step 6: Post-purchase evaluation
Well done. Your customer has made a purchase. The buying process comes to an end with a post-purchase evaluation.
However, do not take this step for granted as your customer has already bought from you. I am pretty sure you would want them to keep coming back.
Take feedback from your customer. Find out whether your customers like your products or not.
Ask/invite them to give reviews on your products.
Ask your buyers if they are happy with the purchase. Offer them the after sale service whenever needed.
Understand the customer buying process. Make your customer journey easy and beautiful as and when they come in contact with you. Give them the best possible assistance through your marketing efforts.
Help them to make a right choice. They are going to come back to you for the next purchase. That is a sure thing.