Customers are the king of the market; without their presence, a market can’t survive. Thus, it is essential to successfully leverage the customer’s buying cycle to rule the market. As a company, an efficacious understanding of the customer buying cycle can lead you to develop the right marketing skills to grow your commerce sites.
Understand the term “buying cycle.”
A “buying cycle” is a process in which a potential customer goes through many stages before making a purchase. Also known as the prolonged term of the sales cycle. A sales cycle is the homework buyers do before buying any product or deciding to buy one. The buying cycle method is used to support your business or brand to understand what customers are looking for in the market so that you can meet their needs according to their demands. This method of buying has helped businesses in many ways, from creating content integrated with the market’s ever-changing demands to retaining customers and closing down sales.
The buying cycle for e-commerce sites
The working patterns of the online and traditional buying cycles are quite similar, thanks to the ongoing technology and integration of digitalization. As in the traditional buying cycle, a customer goes from place to place in search of a product. With the integration of e-commerce sites, selecting a product and completing the buying cycle has become easy.
The only substantial alignment is that the online buying cycle can take place from anywhere with the help of the internet. In contrast, the traditional buying cycle is done in a specific market. In the online buying cycle, with your business, sites, brands, and companies, you generally use artificial intelligence while deploying social media platforms and email marketing methods for the fluent working of the market. These work as cycles of processes with the sole motive of enhancing sales and generating leads for your e-commerce sites.
However, it doesn’t matter whether the buying cycle is for your e-commerce sites or traditional marketing methods. They both follow the same steps to crack the ultimate code of leveraging the customer buying cycle.
Six significant stages of the customer buying cycle
To better understand the buying cycle, learning about the customer’s ideology and the different decisions and actions that go into a purchase is critical.
Stage 1 – Acknowledgement
Acknowledgment is the first stage when the customer feels the need generated by the product. The need generation is done through the help of numerous marketing campaigns and strategies, such as television or social media advertising. It directly impacts customers’ minds and makes them want to know more and more about the product by searching either on the internet or in the traditional market.
For example, if a customer is feeling uneasy with his parched throat and abruptly sees your soft drink’s advertisement on social media or television, a constant need is generated in his mind to buy the product to quench his thirst.
Stage 2 – Information research
This is a stage where many marketing teams, sales teams, and brands come along with their products and where a customer starts the process of researching so that a customer can search for many options to buy the ultimate product according to their fit. At this stage, you will provide detailed information on how your product can solve the customer’s problems or how it can fulfill their needs. Once the customer clicks the ad, they land on your site. In this short period, your ultimate goal would be to showcase the benefits of your product, how it differs from others in quality, price, and branding, and how it can become helpful for them in many ways. Once the customer realizes he has many options available to buy a product, he moves on to the next stage to evaluate them.
Stage 3 – Evaluation of alternatives
Just because customers think of buying your product doesn’t mean they will purchase it under any conditions. Hence, it is essential to stand out among your competitors, as customers simultaneously compare products from many brands. Thus, as a marketer, brand, or business, make your product as per the convenience and demand of the customer. Once the customer is convinced of the product’s efficiency, you can proceed to the next buying cycle stage.
Stage 4 – Purchase decision
This is the stage where a customer will make a purchase decision based on your marketing tactics and other available options. Also, falling into the center of the buying cycle, a customer must have understood various payment options with the deciding factor to buy or not buy the product.
Hence, it is crucial to assure customers that they can initiate purchases without further obstacles. As a brand, you can also comprehend customers’ intent regarding the product by examining the given reviews on the website. Though you can use your old customers’ reviews with the amalgamation of marketing strategies to showcase the product’s benefits to new customers, the purchase percentage can be boosted.
However, if you find yourself stuck in a situation where a customer wants to walk away from the purchase, this is the time to bring them back. Regretting when the opportunity is lost and the time has passed is not worth your business’s success and brand building.
Stage 5 – Purchase
A purchase is the most significant step of the buying cycle, as you have passed all the hurdles. However, you should know that a customer’s mind fluctuates in a minute, and once they reach the purchasing stage, they can anytime decline at the next step. Hence, as a brand or a company, you should adopt the best marketing strategies to retain customer interest. Keep your marketing strategies simple so that the customers can easily accept them.
When a customer makes a purchase, it is not intended to be done only once, as every brand or company wants to retain a customer in the long run. Hence, you will need to manage the customer’s relationship in a way that suits your brand or customer’s welfare to earn customer loyalty. Thus, developing a connection with the customer on their problem-solving journey to ensure that the product works appropriately is crucial.
Stage 6 – Post-purchase evaluation
Just because a purchase has been made doesn’t mean the work is done, and nothing will be persuaded to retain customers in the future. Earning customer loyalty is as productive as breathing fresh air for business growth.
However, if a customer doesn’t feel satisfied and wants to change their decision by requesting a return, then you should identify the reasons for doing so while offering a smooth exchange at the same time. Maintaining an accurate and understandable process that can win the customer’s trust is a prerequisite.
Therefore, sending follow-up surveys is beneficial to ensure that your brand is still associated with the customer. Providing smooth and transparent after services to customers can be a milestone for your brand or company to become successful in making your permanent existence in the market in the long run.
What should be your ultimate goal as a brand?
When you have significantly comprehended the customer buying cycle, it becomes your duty to become attentive to reporting and other meaningful factors.
As the customer is the ultimate king of the market, everything revolves around them, from conducting the market analysis before starting the planning of the production process to understanding what the customer wants. Therefore, engaging with potential customers with precise stimuli at the right time is necessary. Also, the automation tools to set workflows and perceive customers’ needs and demands in the ever-changing environment will become understandable.
That’s the stage where Konnect Insights knocks on your door to allow you to automate workflows by establishing triggers once the customer completes an action in the buying cycle. with the ability to help businesses and brands observe and acknowledge the subsequent outcome of the customer before initiating the next step or completing the buying cycle to rule the specific market industry nationally and internationally.
Hence, by following the correct order after conducting considerable research, you should be able to understand the buyer’s behavior and how many stages are divided in the stimuli/need generation. With a substantial foundation to use buyer behavior in your marketing campaigns and strategic planning, you can skillfully target the potential market area for the right customer to learn what they want or what trouble they are facing while fulfilling their needs and demands.Tags: Buyer Behavior, Consumer Behavior, Consumer Decision, Consumer Decision Making, Consumer Insights, customer analytics, customer experience, Customer Experience Analytics, Decision Making, Purchasing Behaviour