There are three very important stages in the Customer Purchase Lifecyle that you need to be aware of. These are typically the controlling factors deciding how close a prospective customer is to becoming a paying customer (your ultimate goal). The better your understand these phases, the better you will understand how to approach the customer at those particular stages.

(1) Research Phase

People love to learn before they buy, they're hungry for information on a particular topic, however they may not have product awareness yet. Although some purchasing decisions are more spontaneous than others, people learn about a concept before they consider buying something, and this "learning" is done using many mediums. These could include television, Facebook, Twitter, a Google search, a magazine, personal contact, from a celebrity, or a news website.

People naturally gravitate online to complete their research, as it is the "information highway". You can find information on virtually anything through a simple search in Google, thus why the majority of the research is done on the net and this is where you can locate a good deal of people when they are in their research phase.

The best approach at this stage: During this phase, the best approach is to get people onto a mailing list or get them following you via your social channels (Facebook, Twitter, Google +). From there you can work towards walking them through the remainder of the process, as you are not likely to make an instant sale at this point. If you engage people at this point via your content, you will likely be able to get them to revisit your site at a later date as well.

(2) Decision Phase

Some people have already made up their mind as to what product they are going to buy, and they want it now. For most people though, they will go through a decision phase where they research a number of products/services and decide which one best suits them.

Someone's decision can be easily persuaded by reviews and personalized opinions of others. This is where a great Internet marketer can intercept an individual, showcase certain products that are relevant and of high quality, and deliver a convincing review to encourage a decision.

People at this point are typically looking for product reviews or further product insight via their favorite online channels, whether this is reading blogs, doing research in Google, asking people on Facebook, or sending out a tweet.

The best approach at this stage: This is a very good phase to pick up potential "customers" . At this point, it is best to review products or services that the person is looking for. Sometimes people are looking for negative reviews and you can also leverage these as there are many "debunk" products out there, in almost any market. Typical keywords within this phase revolve around review, scam, comparison, information, and versus (comparing one product to another). People are very likely to buy at this stage if they feel comfortable with your review and you can build immediate trust.

(3) Purchasing/Action Phase.

The final phase is the one that is profitable to us as Internet marketers. No commissions will be paid unless there is an action that takes place! Whether this is a click, a lead, or a sale, a visitor needs to become a customer to fulfill the lifecycle.

During the purchasing phase, it is very difficult to detour someone from their purchasing decision. They have done their research, made the decision, and now are fully prepared to buy. In an ideal world, you would be able to target all the people within this phase, but often times the research and searching is complete at this point. An example of a search term that would target people within this phase would be "purchase product_name, order product_name, buy product_name, best price on product_name".

The best approach at this stage: The ultimate goal is to get someone to this point, whether you are able to do so through manually walking them through the process, or you catch people in the decision phase and help them buy. If you are targeting the keywords as mentioned about (the buy type keywords), you simple want to point people in the direction of the product they are looking to buy (through your affiliate link of course) and you are sure to convert very high. This is the ultimate phase to catch someone in, but it is the most difficult to hunt these "ready to buy" crowd down.



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Rjconnors7 Premium
The last thing that I actually purchased online was the Wealthy Affiliate course and I can tell you that I did a large amount of research before that purchase. I really like the advice of "You are a customer...use that knowledge". I think that simple phrase is invaluable advice.

Thank you for the course and all of the fantastic guidance,
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gehnrhcomca Premium
Kyle, The customer life cycle was an interesting read. From my experience in the business world a Customer life cycle is very similar to Product life cycles. One needs to follow closely where the product is within its own life cycle. As product life cycle nears and/or comes to an end, we need to follow closely as you can expect a drop off of customers...only natural. So, bring on the next generation of product people would be interested in buying. Best Regards, George
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101gaucho Premium
My niche is about selling health and fitness product through affiliate marketing .
My website is healthproductionmarket.com

I can't seem to reach anybody to buy the products at all .i have about 5 products reviews and a few blogs relating to my niche on my .i have been doing what i am learning here for about 3 months .Am i missing something ? HELP PLEASE !!!!!

Now i am learning how to use social media for that purpose
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possumlane Premium
I think maybe the domain may have something to do with it. health production market seems to indicate that you are producing something like a farmer. Are you checking Google Analytics to see who is visiting your site. Other than that I cannot help you. Your website has to reflect what you are doing. For instance my website which is an anti-ageing site indicates that I am selling or promoting anti-ageing products so people interested in anti-ageing products are going to look at the site.
Hope that helps
Carol
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101gaucho Premium
I will see if i can change my domain
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possumlane Premium
I went and looked at your site and it looks great so I think the name it putting people off. If you need any help just reach out and I will do what I can to help
Carol
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lastdate65 Premium
I am enjoying this training very well especially a Customer Purchase Lifecycle topic, though I do have one question. I may be wrong, but my thinking of the way this affiliate marketing work is, you have no control over who will visit your website and then go on to buy the items right? Isn't it your website just there to promote some products, whereas the actual transactions happening out in some different premises? If that is so, then how could you know who this existing customer and let alone to get in touch with them?
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littlemama Premium
Hi Richard,

As you go through the training, this will become more clear why and how this works. No, you don't just have a website and have products on it.

Instead, you're going to be writing articles about things in your niche and as you're writing about your niche, you will then recommend products to your audience that would help them.

This is why the training will tell you to write about something that will help your audience to solve something or figure out something.

The training will teach you to also write about product reviews where you can recommend two products and why one is better than another... people who are reading reviews like these are in the buying stage and so if you had a page like that, they will likely to buy from you if you have strong arguments for the points you talk about in your post.

They will more likely to click on your links when they can see you know what you're talking about and can help them solve what they need.

Your website is the bridge between the customer and the merchant. You are connecting the customers who are searching for the right products to help them solve a certain problem and your job is connecting these people to the right products and sending them off to the right merchants to buy those products that will help them with what they need to solve.

I hope this helps you understand a bit more how the process works but it's not a shop you're building here.

This is about talking about various things in your niche that will help your audience in some way and at the same time recommending them products that will help them too. This creates trust and you're not directly selling per se, but rather more of a hey check this out if you want to cure your smelly feet and here are the reasons why I think this one product does the job... and then you list your reasons.

And then you would close that article to tell them to check out that product at http://Amazon.com (for example) and that text will be an affiliate link you get from you applying for the Amazon affiliate program.

I know this all may not make sense to you but you will understand more as the training progresses.

You can ask me more questions whenever you have them. :)

Grace
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SAWalden Premium
Awesome post Grace!
After reading your reply above it is very clear why and how you and so many others here at WA (including Kyle and Carson!) are so successful.
Thank you so much for taking the time to compose such a thorough explanation - it's as if "explaining things" was your niche!
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littlemama Premium
Thank you! You're right, I've been doing that a lot lately, explaining things. LOL

Glad you could benefit from the above essay. :)
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mhmh Premium
My target customers are students and experts looking for someone to polish their research into a final product. Naturally, they would shop for trustworthy writing/editing services.

Before they search the internet, they will probably start with people they know. To attract online purchasers, I will have to build a rapport with my possible customers' networks.

In the meantime, I am building my blog to gain noticeability -- and the rapport that I need. In addition, this could be a source for ad revenue and affiliate recommendations.
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