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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KimAbuschin1 Premium
Great information. I learned about this customer or audience concept in college and after using it in my IT Career, the feedback I got was amazing. I also found it helpful as a Mom of 3 children, who are now grown. Understanding the audience is critical to meeting them where they are and not wasting their time and this is true regardless of what industry you are in or what you are trying to sell them.
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RHayduk1954 Premium
These 7 pages - wow. All laid out start to finish with minimal wordage. Very clear - thanks!

One of my main purchasing procedures, probably belongs in this last, long-term customer category: I have something I liked, it broke after years of faithful service, and now I need to replace it.

Makes me think.

Thanks again
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Kyle Premium Plus
Awesome, glad this offered clarity. When I create content, I try to avoid bloat or fluff (stuff that doesn't need to be there). :)
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Natalia777 Premium
Very informative, this training gave me a much better understanding of the process.

I have a question though, for new brand websites, is that ok to use keywords that are for the second (Decision) and third (Purchase) phase ?

Or firstly, there should be written some posts targeting people in the first page (Research) in order to offer information and gain trust (does it have to take a couple of months?), and only after that, write posts targeting people that are in the second and third phase ?
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JohnCrossley Premium
You want to include posts that target all stages. If you only included the early stages, they may like what you have said and decide to buy it, but they will buy it elsewhere.

The other factor to consider is most of our website visitors will only be on your website once. So that is why you need to target them all.
They may read your (research post), and follow your link through to your review (purchase stage) and buy it then and there.

A good mixture of posts is best. hope that makes sense?

John
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littlemama Premium Plus
Hi Natalia,

I'll PM you my keyword advice :)

Grace
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Nelcea1 Premium
Just to see if I am on the right tract.
This was my actual purchase a few days ago.

I saw something I liked and wanted a pair so I ask the person where they got them from. With that information of the website I went there and figure , hey I could get this cheaper on eBay.

So I went there and searched
first prices
then colors
then colors and sizes
and shipping

This is what I do every time right before I purchase scroll down to the reviews on product and the seller.

Once I was satisfied with a seller I purchased.

I think I got it! The customer purchase life cycle!

I wrote it down because I tend to forget sometimes.
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Guayacan Premium
I remember once I was selling led light bulbs, solar panels and similar products. Other employees asked me how do you make so many sales? I have always liked to help others so I explained that When I started at the company I asked myself, What would be the best way to approach people to win there attention and convince them to buy. Suddenly I saw that a person that I wanted to offer my product had an electric bill on top of the table. I decided to tell him I see that you received your electric bill? I can only think how high it must be. This gave me the best approach to make the sale. Sometimes selecting the proper words can help you more than you think.
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