Marketing is the cornerstone of every single business. For any business to prosper, business owners and marketers need to find a way to outwit their competitors. Having said that, half of the process involves understanding the psychology behind the buying process.
It is worth recognizing when trying to understand customers that there is a process involved when people buy. At the beginning, potential customers may not know anything about your organisation, but in the end they take action to buy your products or services. Understanding this process can help make sure that you succeed in ‘selling’ to a customer.
WHAT IS THE BUYING PROCESS?
Buying process is a series of steps that a consumer will take in order to make a purchasing decision. The steps include:
- Recognition of needs and wants
This is when a consumer realizes that they have a need. When it comes to needs and wants, it could either be a high involvement or low involvement. High involvement usually involves a lot of emotions and thus a consumer is more likely to act on that need as compared to a low involvement need.
It is in this stage, that you as a marketer use the consumer’s mindset and see if your product matches their needs.
- Information research
Once a consumer has realized that they need a certain product/service they will then go on and do research. This is what we call information research. Here, they are basically looking to find the industry leaders. Aside from that, they will also be looking for all the available products.
As a marketer, you should use content marketing in this stage to appeal to the consumer. Give them information on products that they didn’t even know that they need. Do not sell to them in this stage. This is an educational stage for your prospective consumer.
- Evaluation of choices
It is only natural that after doing research on something, we then want to make a choice based on the information gathered. As for consumers, the decision is made based on several factors. Some of the factors include; needs and wants, budget available,discounts and offers being made, as well the warranty period. Last but not least, the emotional state also plays a huge role as by nature we are emotional creatures.
It is in this stage that as a marketer that you should now introduce your pricing and payment plans to your consumer.Let them know about the different offers and deals if there is any at the time. Experiment with different ways of advertising, promotions and selling your products/services.
Once a consumer has settled on a product, they will then go ahead and purchase it. One of the factors that they consider during the purchasing process is the manner in which they can receive their purchase, payment options and payment plans.
As a marketer this is the stage in which you think about your packaging as first impressions are usually formed within the first 30 seconds. If the consumer is coming to your store, you should make sure that everything looks sharp from the employees to how the store actually looks like. Everything either helps or hurts.
Most people usually think that the buying process ends at the purchasing stage, while the truth is it actually ends at the post-purchase stage. Here a consumer gets to evaluate whether the product satisfied their needs and this is usually the determining stage if a consumer will be a loyal customer.
Follow-up surveys and thank you emails would be appropriate at this stage. The consumer on the other hand, will feel valued and appreciated. This also helps in building consumer loyalty.
The buying process is like a slow dance with your partner and knowing how to tap into the psychology of the buying process, boosts your marketing process. As i said earlier on; everything either helps or hurts!
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