Retail and business owners often tend to believe that customer purchases are random; and that various products appeal to specific customers, leading to a purchase. This belief leads to many misconceptions, even when it comes to identifying a suitable approach for product and service marketing. 

What often happens is, buyers go through a specific series of procedures before deciding whether or not to make a purchase. This procedure is what makes up the customer buying process. 

This process is divided into six stages, and as a marketer , you can not effectively advertise to customers until you understand each of these stages in depth. 

What is the Customer-Buying Process?

According to industry studies, 70-90 percent of the buying process takes place before a customer interacts with your brand or organization. In simple terms, a consumer’s buying process is the series of steps when making a purchase decision.

For instance, when a buyer purchases something, they go through a mental process. The customer will still go through the purchase process steps even if they are making an impulse buy.

A typical consumer purchase entails the identification of requirements and desires. The next step is to do an information search, followed by an assessment of all options.

We have put together information on all that you’d need to know about the steps involved in the customer buying process:
Customer-Buying Process

Recognition of the Need

This step is frequently cited as the first and most crucial step in the decision-making process for customers. A purchase is impossible to make without first recognizing the need. 

It can also be internal stimuli such as hunger or thirst or external stimuli that may have sparked the urge, such as advertising or word of mouth. So, a need is a product or feature of a product that you must have. On the other hand, ‘want’ is a product or feature you want but aren’t required to have.

Gathering Information

The consumer will now begin looking for information that will assist them in determining the best solution to their situation. The majority of people will seek recommendations from friends, family, and coworkers or check online. 

While you won’t be able to persuade a customer’s friends or family members to endorse your goods and services, you can do this by concentrating on the product, for example, the building authority, partnerships and reviews, and much more.

The customer will seek out all of the available options and the best answer to their situation. The buyer will seek information both inside and outside the company. Advertisements, print, videos, the internet, and even asking friends and family are all options for a consumer.

For example, if your customers are looking to purchase a laptop, they consider the laptop’s features, pricing, discounts, warranty, after-sales support, insurance, and a variety of other factors.

As a marketer, you should provide a wealth of product knowledge in educational videos, demos, blogs, how-to videos, and celebrity interviews.

Assessment of Alternatives

Individuals will evaluate other items or brands based on alternative product qualities – those that can offer the benefits the client is seeking, as you might imagine. The customer’s mindset is a significant factor in this stage. Another aspect that influences the evaluation process is participation. 

Customers may notice trade-offs, such as increased prices for products that meet more of your requirements. Finally, based on the money you have available for the purchase, your customers will rank their options and pick the product that best meets your needs and preferences.

Purchasing Decision

The purchasing decision is amid the consumer buying process’s six stages.

Customers have previously looked at various solutions and are familiar with the pricing and payment options offered. Even at this point, they have the option to cancel the transaction and walk away. 

How a customer can acquire and receive the product may impact their purchasing decision. This level means it’s time to improve your marketing game by giving them a sense of assurance while reminding them why they chose to purchase your product in the first place.

Post-Purchase Evaluation/Assessment

The evaluation post-purchase is the final stage, which marketers frequently overlook.

Customers compare things to their expectations after purchasing the product, which helps in checking the satisfactory levels. If the product ends up satisfying your customers’ needs, they will be happy and satisfied, which may lead to repeat purchases. In most cases, they will boast the product benefits to their friends and families. 

On the other hand, the consumer is not satisfied if the goods do not meet their expectations. Even after making the sale, you can lose other potential customers. A disgruntled customer can believe they made the wrong decision. This move will yield unfavourable results! 

With everything being said, no matter what company you own or the industry you work in, you should be familiar with the buying process and how to take advantage of it. Get in touch with our experts to help you devise a successful marketing and merchandising strategy targeting potential customers.