Target Your Prospects More Effectively by Knowing the 3 Buying Stages of Shopping

stages of buyingAll retailers and entrepreneurs should be aware of the 3 buying stages that each shopper will go through as they shop for products. It is important to know the different types of shoppers as well. By knowing these things, you are better off in your retail business since you are able to more precisely cater to the specific needs of each shopper, thereby allowing you to increase the conversion rate of your site. This will also set you apart from your competitors, which is crucial in today’s eCommerce setting where the competition is getting tougher.

The Stages of Buying

There are essentially 3 stages of buying. While there are also shoppers that will go through more than 3 buying stages, depending on which buyer type they belong to, but basically most buyers will pass through the standard buying phases. When selling to potential customers, it is important to know which buying stage they currently belong to in order to properly modify your sales presentation to make it fit; otherwise, your chances of closing the deal is slim.

It would be superfluous to talk about buying if the prospect is not even aware of the need to get the product. Likewise, creating a need of the product to shoppers who are already ready to buy will only fade their buying interest; some shoppers will eventually look for other shops where they can immediately make the purchase.

By knowing the different stages of buying, you will know when to make the kill in selling, and when not to. This will also help you to take advantage of the peak buying time where you can aggressively sell your products, while avoiding aggressive selling during times when the prospects are not ready to purchase yet.

Planning

Everything starts in the mind. No man-made object exists without first planning for its construction. Even a small object like a ball pen started as a creative imagination in the mind, which is then acted upon to make it exist. Likewise, a shopper will also plan ahead of time on whether to buy certain products or not.

During the planning stage, a person will usually decide on the feasibility of buying a product, its importance, and whether it is a need or a want. For marketers, this is the stage where you also create a demand by telling to your prospects the importance of having the products.

In internet marketing, this the pre-selling stage where you create a demand by highlighting the benefits. Some people are just surfing the net to look for information, to get fresh updates, to read breaking news, and to read some stories. But if they chance upon your web page that tells them of the importance of the product in helping them solve certain problems in life as well as in alleviating their lifestyle, then some of them will feel a certain level of need for your merchandises in order to enjoy some benefits.

If a person is still under the planning stage, you must avoid aggressive selling. This will only lead to eventual loss of some of your prospects. Instead, focus on the benefits, the enjoyment that they will get, and the role of your products in their lives.

A robot cleaner, for instance, is something that most people will think that they don’t need it. They can do well manually cleaning their houses without spending for the cost of the robot cleaner. But if you tell them how important it is, especially for the elderly because it can prevent potential back pain caused by manual cleaning and it can also save a lot of time and efforts, some people will think twice while others will even feel a need for it for convenience and health reasons. Aside from that, you can also highlight that the cleaner cleans the house more efficiently than manual cleaning and make their homes healthier to live in, then all the more people will have a demand for it.

Shopping

The next stage is shopping. Once a person has decided to make a purchase, the shopping stage follows. This is the phase where the shopper will search for different items and compare the features, the quality, and the prices. For some buyers, this is the stage where they seek and gather more information about the product by reading some reviews and feedbacks. This is also the time to look for exciting deals and great bargains.

At this stage, the shoppers are still not ready to make the purchase. While they already have a firm conviction to buy certain products, they want to make sure that the upcoming purchase is worth investing in by getting high quality products that better suit their needs and preferences.

If your web page is positioned to this stage of buying, then make a review of your brand and highlight its salient features, benefits, and what sets it apart from the rest. There are many factors that influence the buying decision of the customers, and one of them is price. If your price is higher than some competitors, you have to also highlight the high quality to justify the high price; this ensures better usage experience and utmost durability that makes it cost-effective in the long run.

The Buying Stage

This is the last phase where shoppers are already ready to push the ‘Buy’ button. So make sure that you have a working button right in front of them. No more further sales talk; just get the transaction done quickly to close the deal. Send your prospects directly to your landing page where they can immediately complete their purchase.

In this stage, the buyer has already decided what brand to choose, what features that the merchandise should have, the price, the quality, as well as where to buy the merchandise.

But despite the fact that shoppers are ready for the purchase, there are still a couple of barriers that hinder some of them to complete the transaction. In fact, a Comscore study on mobile subscribers market share revealed that approximately 67% of the shopping carts where ditched on the last minute due to some reasons.

In other words, shoppers were already filling up the online shopping cart and on their way to the cash register, but in an instant they changed their mind and abandoned the cart. There are many reasons for this and among them are the high shipping costs and longer delivery time, as well as money-back guarantee.

One of the dominant barriers in online shopping is the shipping cost. Most products are offered at list prices exclusive of shipping since this will vary according to location. Obviously, the farther the location the higher the cost of shipping; but if the location is near, some web stores can even offer free delivery services.

Nonetheless, it is best to inform the customers beforehand that shipping cost will still be applied on top of the offered price. This will help minimize the incidences of abandoned carts. Moreover, it is also advisable to offer quick delivery time. The longer it takes to deliver the ordered goods the more customers will be lost. So carefully manage this aspect.

Money back guarantee is likewise important. This is crucial in online shopping since customers are stripped of the enjoyment to physically assess the product. They want assurance that if the product is defective or does not fit their needs, they can return it and get a refund.

In any case, it helps to know the different buying stages of shopping because you can create specific pages in your website that are well-positioned to certain stage of the buying process. By doing this, you will increase the conversion rate of your site, thereby leading to better sales and more profits.

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