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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Sandy2019 Premium
So interesting - as I go through these sessions - I smile at myself thinking about my on-line experiences..... and yes I guess I've been a product-centric, committed, loyal, online joy, for many providers over many years now..... and here I am about to share the other side - One more of life's lessons - work to understand the full circle - and the responsibilities of this other side !
Sandy
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JRandZen Premium
Excellent training. As I was reading, I cannot help but relate it to my experience. Unconsciously, I went through the stages of the Customer Purchase Lifecycle from the time I searched the net for online business ideas, finding WA, researching, taking the plunge into the free membership and eventually deciding to go Premium.
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Dynamite96 Premium
Very informative article, in fact all the facts outlined above about a customer are what i would also do if i am in their shoes.Thanks once more for reminding us about these facts as they will help us to remember that we receive what we give, that is if we provide the best information to our customers about certain products we shall surely rejoice at the end as they will return the favor through buying the products.
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Sandy2019 Premium
I think that's a neat thing to remember!
Basically, that if we create a search path and options that we find helpful and that would steer us in the right direction... than those that come to our site because our keywords and focus on a particular niche, should find it helpful too - we are actually all the same web users - just some of us are being innovative here :)
Thanks to all the WA crew for being so helpful and maintaining my motivation,
Kind regards
Sandy
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DBeals Premium
This is an excellent article which got me thinking about my niche and my potential customer. The fact I have been in that place they may be experiencing. I have the background and found a way to help myself - so I need to make sure I am conveying that to anyone keying in and looking for what I am doing and be sensitive to their situation. I must be gently whispering what comes across "I understand" and want to help you.

This, in turn, opens up a dialog eventually between the two of you and they begin to listen and take baby steps to at first. Once they see positive results from that dialog they move closer and start telling their friends. At some point, the continual expansion of telling their friends, and their friends telling their friends, etc will ultimately explode.

Then you start slow telling them about some little book or product you have that was instrumental in these results you have been talking to them about -or you may put your information in a newsletter format they can subscribe to and then pass on to their friends.

In conclusion, this is the gist I get of the Customer Purchase Lifecycle - interested in your feedback and dialog to help me solidify and know I am on the right track.
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