Customers’ Ideal Path to Purchase
Do you know/understand your customers ideal path to purchase?
Understanding your customers’ path to purchase can be extremely helpful to a business/organization. For those that do not understand their customers’ path to purchase, they will struggle for some time with tailoring their marketing efforts to speak to their customers as they prepare to purchase their products. So instead of trying to speak to a specific target market, they end up speaking to the whole world, wasting a bunch of money on talking to a group of people who are not their customers, hoping their customers will listen. Have you ever listened and paid attention to somebody who is not talking to you? To speak to these people you will need to know who they are and what they are doing. You will need to track your customers as they start the four main phases to purchasing your product:
- Awareness/Interest Phase
- Research/Discovery Phase
- The Purchase Trigger
- Purchase/Review Phase
1. Understanding the Awareness/Interest Phase
At this point in the process your customers discover that they have an issue and need a certain product or they may just be simply shopping. They think of all the companies/businesses that may have this product or recall one that they’ve previously heard of. They do not know that they need YOUR product yet. This is a perfect time to be in front of them with a generic message that shows what you offer and to remind them of why you came to mind. If you hit your customers with a sales message at this point it could be a wasted impression because they are not quite ready for a sale yet. The sale message comes while the user is doing research in the next phase.
2. Understanding the Research/Discovery Phase
In the research and discovery phase of the customers’ path to purchase the customers are going out of their way to find out more information about a certain product. They are looking for your company’s website to see the product, compare the product, and read reviews on the product. They are showing an immediate interest in the product the you offer. This is when you serve them a difference maker. This could be a great price point on the product they are interested in, or maybe your USP (unique selling proposition). The second your customer takes action like clicking on a specific ad that you serve them will indicate that you should now prepare for the “purchase trigger” to happen.
Understanding the Purchase Trigger
The purchase trigger is the action taken by your customer that qualifies them as someone who is ready to purchase. They added the item to the cart, they clicked the interest button on the contact page, or they simply viewed a page that requires their action to proceed to purchase. Knowing your trigger is a must when identifying your customer’s behavior. You need to know when they are ready to purchase so you can talk to them accordingly. If they go through with the purchase trigger, but do not purchase, now it is time to convince them on why they should purchase YOUR product.
3. Understanding the Purchase/Review Phase
Once your product has been purchased, this is a good time to celebrate but it is also the perfect time to get their feedback on the buying experience, and to put them in the “keep my customers close” phase. The reason for keeping them close is so that you can talk to them about other products or services you offer. A customer will be more prone to buy with your company again if they had a good experience the first time. If you give them time to forget about you, you are missing out on an opportunity for more purchases and potential referrals. Getting new customers is the hard part but keeping your current customers is the cheapest and most efficient way to gain new business. Take care of your current customers and they will remain loyal. Loyal customers also give good reviews to help those new clients when they are in the research & discovery phase.
The Ultimate Takeaway
Discovering what your customers’ ideal path to purchase is extremely important. To know that path is a key element, but you also have to know where your customers are on that path and how to speak to them accordingly. If you talk to someone in the research phase about why they should purchase a specific product, you may lose them because they are not speaking that language yet. To know where they are within the path to purchase, they must be tracked according to their behavior. Whether they are in the awareness phase and about to start their research or whether they are currently researching and need to be told what makes your business/product standout. Did they find your website and just hit your purchase trigger and need a little push to complete the purchase? Or did they already purchase and just need to be kept close so their next research phase is a no brainer on where to look. It is all up to you to identify and understand these phases; but the real question is where are your customers on this path to purchase?
We can help you track, analyze, and monitor your customers’ path to purchase while striving to reach your goals with our Strategic 6 Step Approach.