Every salesperson desires a magic wand that can make customers take positive actions consistently. And the most admirable action is purchase. If you happen to know how to shorten the path to purchase with every customer you come across, won’t that be great?
We will look at this later in the post, path to purchase, and what we need to do to make it less cumbersome at the very least.
You might say this is an unnecessary optimism. We don’t know why people buy what they buy. I partially agree with you, we don’t know why people buy what they buy, but we know they buy anyway. In fact, ISPO News released a report in January 2015 report, which says; “…90 percent of all purchasing decisions are made subconsciously.”
Undoubtedly, there are emotional and rational reasons behind every purchase. When dealing with a B2C business model, you could experience more of buys based on emotional impulses. Something we can’t explain may trigger buying impulse at the instant.
However, this is somehow different in B2B as there is a more structured process a business goes through to make buying decisions.
In this post, we will look at six stages the consumer go through to purchase a product or service and see how we can influence them to our advantage.
No matter your business model, there is always a shortest possible path your prospects and customers can toll to get your products or service.
As we all know, consumers go through series of subtle thoughts processes to arrive at a decision to buy. At every stage, they weigh in their risks, and ability to withstand the shock if their assumptions were ever wrong.
The consumer journey to buy a product or service starts from the consumer needs and wants an assessment.
It doesn’t matter if the problem is in-house identified or you helped them create the problem. What matters is the opportunity starring at your face.
So, your marketing effort needs to pull in those prospects down your sales funnel. The clearer the understanding of their needs the faster they proceed to the next phase.
If you think the present day smart consumers will not exercise their right to gather more information about their identified problem, you are wrong.
Consumers are researchers themselves. They will go online to find out what other solutions your competitors are offering.
It is the consumer right to know, there is nothing you can do about it. However, this is where your brand influence comes to stand for you.
You must be able to convince potential customers to choose your brand over competitors for evaluation.
A customer may just be interfacing with your brand at this stage of their path to purchase; you must be the expert they want to do business with.
The elements of your online marketing efforts such as content marketing, SEO, PPC, conversions optimization, and social media marketing must be top-notch.
What mainly goes through the mind of a potential customer at this stage is trustworthiness and credibility. What are other people saying about your product or service?
This matters to a prospect who doesn’t want to retire into a world of regrets after being totally wrong about buying from you.
People feel comfortable dealing with trustworthy brands. Customers’ testimonial and case studies can help your selling processing.
Also, you must ensure you let them know why you charge what you are charging.
It doesn’t matter if your price is higher than the competitions, what matters are the values they are getting.
Is it going to do what you say it will do?
At every stage, you must always position your marketing efforts to convince customers who come to experience your brand on their path to purchase.
If you have gotten your potential customer to land at this stage, I must say you have done well. You deserve to be pop up with a 21 gun salute. But, do you know that your prospect can still walk away? They do.
Ironically, this is the longest route to purchase. If there is any magic to perform in shortening your customer path to purchase, this is the point.
Everything your solution stands for can be experienced at this point. If you are SaaS business, this is where people subscribed to your solution, and never got to become paid customers.
So, what can you do at this stage?
Let’s closely look at them;
- Ensure all the benefits and values you claimed can be truly experienced. A large number of consumers at this stage have good intentions, and for your brand to be chosen for the trial, only you can stop them from going further to purchase.
- Re-amplify the needs consumer is trying to meet or identified problem he is trying to solve and assure them your solution has them covered.
- In case, they transform to sleeping mode, be ready to fire them reminder emails with emphasis on the values of your solution, and why their problem requires urgent attention only you can better resolve.
As I said, this is the longest stage on the path to purchase, and the one that needs to be shortened. Your solution values, potential customers experience with your product or service must synchronize to ensure buying decisions.
This is the stage the buyer is sure to buy from you. Can anything still go wrong that will put the buyer off? Yes, buyers at the purchase stage still walk away.
But, I must say it takes a careless brand to let buyers off at this stage for the reasons caused by their sales process, platform complexity, and even sales reps attitude.
All there is to do at this stage is to make buying easiest. Test to be sure your pay point is as simple as counting 1, 2, and 3.
The purchase has been made but the business mission still needs to be unaccomplished. Every serious brand wants the repeat sales.
And, if this is true for your business, this stage is important. Customers’ feedback and experience management are vital for a consistent inflow of revenues.
This is where you make use of customer data with your company to further delight them. Don’t forget to send a thank you email. It helps future dealings with you.
There is a path to every purchase, and the shortest path is often desirable. The decisions consumers make to buy from you or your competitions are critical to them. They are inalienable rights of every consumer. As a business, you must be communicating with the right message at every stage on the path to purchase.
There is truly a shorter path to purchase in any transaction, kindly let me know how you think this can be shortened in your business model.