8 Ways to Help Customers With Their Purchase Decision
⏱ Reading Time: 9 minutes
It’s no secret that no business in the world can thrive without customers. However, contrary to popular belief, the most important part of the whole sales process is not when the customer finally decides to buy. Don’t get us wrong- a purchase decision moment is a big one but how to get to one?
Instead, the entire process of being able to attract customers, influence their behavior and encourage them to make a purchase plays a huge role. Therefore, businesses that aim to improve their operations and maximize profit must pay close attention to every single aspect of the buying process.
What this means is that you first need to understand that customers won’t just wake up one morning and decide to buy your product. Instead, their purchasing behavior will be influenced by numerous different factors. Businesses that only focus on improving the final stages of the buying process, such as streamlining their checkout process and boosting their exposure through SEO, are missing the bigger picture. While all of these aspects certainly do require attention, they’re only a part of the whole.
So, before you start optimizing some of these processes and relying on various strategies that will help you attract new customers, you must first understand how the buyer’s journey looks like. Understanding your buyer’s journey will not only help you make the entire optimization process far easier, but it will also enable you to help your customers make purchasing decisions more easily.
What Is the Customer Purchase Decision-Making Process?
As the name suggests, the customer purchase decision-making process is when customers identify their needs, discover a product that could potentially suit those needs, do some research about it and decide whether or not they wish to purchase it.
Understanding each segment of this process is extremely important for businesses, as they can easily use that knowledge to influence their customers’ behavior.
Now, unlike in brick-and-mortar stores, where you can rely on your top salespeople to encourage customers to make a purchase, things work a bit differently in the online realm. There’s far more data that can easily be generated by observing online shoppers and their behavior in the online world. Therefore, every business should rely on that data to better understand every single part of the customer purchase decision-making process.
With that in mind, let’s first explore the stages of the customer purchase decision-making process to be able to understand them better.
Picture 1. Stages of customer purchase decision
What Are the Stages of the Customer Purchase Decision-Making Process?
The journey your customers will go through before they decide to make a purchase consists of 5 stages.
These include awareness, research, consideration, conversion and – hopefully – re-purchase! The journey your customers will go through before they decide to make a purchase consists of 5 stages.
- Awareness – During the awareness stage, also called the need recognition stage, consumers become aware that they need a certain product or service. Although this initial stage is not something you can directly influence, you can get your audience thinking by relying on top digital marketing companies to promote your offer.
- Research – In the research stage, consumers will go looking for various offers that could potentially suit their needs. Here, they will do more research about the offer in general, as well as compare different businesses and price ranges.
- Consideration – During the consideration stage, customers are evaluating different options and trying to identify the one that suits them best. Sometimes, they even reconsider whether or not they actually need the product (or service) in the first place. Your job is to convince them that they do.
- Conversion – Every business’s favorite part – conversion – is the part of the buyer’s journey where their intent turns into action. Your job is to make the conversion as easy and as seamless as possible.
- Re-purchase – Finally, if you’ve managed to play your cards right during the previous stages, you can easily expect your customers to decide to re-purchase, as satisfied customers are more than likely to come back for more.
Let’s now explore the top 8 ways you can help your customers make purchasing decisions easier!
1. Create a High-Quality Blog
Blogging is currently one of the best ways to attract new customers. Avid blog readers are always looking for fresh topics they can learn more about, so they’re very likely to not only follow your posts but check out your business as well.
By making sure you create high-quality content, you can offer real value to your audience. Besides, the content you create may end up offering your audience the solution they’ve been after.
If your target demographic mostly consists of a younger crowd, consider replacing blog posts with vlogs, as the younger generation tends to respond better to video format. Or you can choose to rely on both written content and video, thus expanding your reach even further.
Picture 2. Offer a real value to your customer- keep them coming for more (content)!
2. Go For a Social Media Branding Strategy
In today’s social-media-oriented environment, businesses can easily use these platforms to reach an audience. You can easily reach out to and interact with your audience over various social media platforms by establishing your brand, choosing the right tone of voice and creating an interesting brand persona.
Brands that manage to set themselves apart from the rest and establish a great relationship with their audience will be able to encourage their customers to make a purchasing decision far more easily.
3. Leverage Email Marketing
Even though email marketing is one of the oldest forms of digital marketing, it still provides an excellent opportunity to reach out to customers.
Make sure you create a good email marketing strategy and share relevant and useful content with your audience. This will encourage them to do business with you and encourage them to share their experiences with others, thus boosting your exposure even further.
Personalized emails and special offers tend to drive the best results, so keep that in mind as well. Finally, since email marketing is quite affordable yet it offers great ROI, it can come in more than handy, particularly for small businesses.
Picture 3. Make a great marketing strategy– yup, that includes e-mails too!
4. Keep SEO in Mind
Another great way you can not only reach your audience but also influence their buying decision is through SEO. When online users are looking for any type of solution that will cater to their needs, they will usually type in certain keywords or phrases in the search engine. Once they’re greeted with their search results, they will usually look no further than the first results page.
So, in order to ensure that they have a chance to come across your business, you need to make sure you optimize for SEO.
5. Offer Value
Another thing you should keep in mind is the fact that consumers generally prefer businesses that offer value to them instead of the ones that are simply trying to push their offer.
That’s why you should consider hosting webinars, offering free downloadable content in the form of guides and how-tos, aside from simply promoting your products.
So, if you’re selling any type of equipment, for instance, consider offering your customers in-depth videos on how to use the said equipment. Moreover, you should also include downloadable user’s menus and any similar type of content that will encourage your audience to make the purchase.
6. Provide Consultation
Customers also greatly appreciate businesses that encourage communication. What this means is that your customer’s journey won’t end when they make a purchase. Rather, it will be only the beginning.
In case your customers have any questions or concerns, you need to provide them with the opportunity to contact your business easily and voice their concerns.
You also need to make sure you have the necessary means to address those questions and concerns as quickly as possible, to show your customers that you do – in fact – care about them and not just their money.
Picture 4. Care about your customers! Provide them with support and advice
7. Create a Customer Loyalty Program
As mentioned earlier, your efforts shouldn’t end once your website visitors decide to convert and become customers.
Instead, that’s when you need to start paying even more attention to them. While being able to attract new customers is great, being able to retain your current ones is even better.
One of the easiest ways to encourage your customers to do repeat business is by creating a customer loyalty program.
Here, you need to find a way to reward your most loyal customers, which will further encourage them to keep coming back for more.
Keep in mind that retaining an existing customer will cost about 5 times less than attracting a new one.
8. Offer Promotions, Sales, Coupons and Free Trials
Finally, to be perfectly blunt, customers simply love free things. Let’s face it – who doesn’t!? Therefore, another way you can easily encourage your customers to make a purchasing decision is to offer them something in return. Promotions, sales, coupons, and free trials pose great means to make your customers more likely to buy from you and ensure that they will be coming back for more.
This is also a great way to potentially attract new customers as well, as sometimes a coupon or a sale is all it takes to encourage potential customers to check your business out.
So, when promoting your products or services online, don’t only think about the end goal – which is making a sale. Instead, consider the entire journey your audience will go through until they decide to convert into customers. That way, you can navigate them down this road far more easily, which will most likely result in satisfied customers that will keep coming back for more
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