Knowing and understanding your customer buying journey, alongside a solid marketing plan can have a huge impact on a positive customer experience, and closing sales.
In this post, we’ll cover the 5 stages of a buyer’s journey, find out what they are, and gain a deeper understanding of a customer buying decision, and see how your businesses can improve on each stage.
Just to T this post up, I wanted to share this quote from a data analyst, Brian Solis:
What Is A Buyer’s Journey?
A buyer’s journey is a process that customers go through when considering making a purchase.
It consists of 5 different stages, and the goal of each stage is to convince the customer that they should buy from you instead of from someone else.
To reach and engage their potential customers, many e-commerce sites and brands rely heavily on social media platforms as well as email marketing.
Every purchase made online is the result of a process composed of five distinct stages that end with closing the sale.
A successful strategy should address each stage to successfully generate leads back to their site while promoting products or services offered.
What Are The 5 Stages Of A Buyer’s Journey?
The 5 stages of the customer buying journey are:
Each part of the process requires different strategies and tactics to effectively reach potential customers and move them up the value ladder.
Just like the quote says, the buyer’s journey and experience are just as important as the product itself, and in some cases, the experience is the product.
By optimizing your buyer’s journey, you will be able to effortlessly transition customers from recognizing their pain points and reaching an optimal resolution. Ultimately, this process can help create loyal fans who are enthusiastic about sharing the experience with others.
Let’s take a deeper look into each stage of the buyer’s journey:
The Awareness Stage:
The awareness stage is all about understanding the needs of your potential customers and creating content that resonates with them.
Most customers start at the awareness stage because they are seeking answers to the problem or pain point that they are experiencing.
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They are also looking for products or services to help alleviate these problems.
You want to make sure you’re getting in front of the right people and providing helpful information so they have a positive view of your brand or product.
Common marketing efforts for the awareness phase can include running paid ads or creating educational content in the form of ebooks, or white papers to move potential customers along the buyer’s journey and one step closer to purchase.
The Consideration Stage:
The consideration stage is the point where customers begin to compare different options against other competing products or services.
Making sure you provide information about why your product or service is the best choice for them and how it can help solve their problems, will help consumers to make better decisions.
Focusing on WHY the customer needs your product, and addressing the ways that your product can help to solve their problems in more detail than the awareness stage, will encourage them into the purchase phase.
The Purchase Stage:
The work and effort already invested in the first two stages should mean that your customers are already committed to the purchase phase and will follow through on their decision.
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You want to make sure it’s easy for customers to purchase your product or service.
Any speed bumps in the purchase phase could send your customer back to the consideration phase to re-evaluate your competitors.
Provide clear and concise payment options, helpful customer support, and detailed information about the product/service they are interested in, and make the purchase process a smooth one.
The Retention Stage:
Retaining the customers that you have already worked hard to acquire is all about keeping existing customers happy. By doing this they will continue to buy from you.
Offering incentives and rewards, inviting customers to join loyalty programs, and providing excellent customer service will drastically help your customer retention rates.
Customer retention is far more cost-effective than customer acquisition, so focusing on getting the retention phase dialed in is vital to improving your buyer’s journey.
The Advocacy Stage:
Word of mouth, and having an army of happy customers who are willing to advocate your products or services will help to increase customers.
It will also shorten the buyer’s journey for the customers who were recommended your products or services. They have already been made aware and shared the recommender’s considerations in the process of being referred to you.
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From a marketing perspective, the advocacy stage is all about encouraging customers to share their experiences with your business.
Encourage customers to review your products/services online, participate in a referral program for discounts or giveaways, or even offer incentives for referrals that result in sales.
How Can Each Stage Of The Buyer’s Journey Be Improved?
Streamlining each stage of the buyer’s journey is vital to improving the quality of your customer experience, increasing sales, retaining loyal customers, and creating brand loyalty.
So let’s discover how we can make improvements to each stage that can help deliver all of these positive experiences for you and your customers…
Improving The Awareness Stage
Improving customer awareness depends upon providing valuable information to customers that pique their interest and educate them on your brand or product.
Optimizing your content creation process with keyword research, creating helpful buyer personas, and testing different ad campaigns are all strategies you can use to create more relevant content for potential customers.
Improving The Consideration Stage
Creating detailed product descriptions, providing helpful customer support, and developing content that offers more insight into the problems your product can solve should all be a part of the consideration stage.
Whether it is through social media, email campaigns, or targeted ads – delivering personalized messages tailored to each individual’s needs will help them to become more aware of your brand and drive them towards the purchase stage.
Improving The Purchase Stage
The purchase stage should be as straightforward and easy as possible to use.
Making sure that payment options are secure, providing helpful customer support, and offering detailed descriptions of your products/services will help customers feel more confident in their purchases.
You may also want to consider offering free shipping or discounts to help entice customers and encourage them to purchase.
Improving The Retention Stage
Retaining your existing customers is all about delivering excellent customer service.
Offering loyalty programs, rewards, and incentives can be a great way to make sure that customers keep coming back for more.
You should also consider providing helpful tips, tricks, and tutorials that customers can use to get the most out of your product.
This helps give them more value from their purchase and shows them that you’re invested in their satisfaction.
Improving The Advocacy Stage
Word of mouth is one of the best ways to get more customers, so focusing on advocacy should be a top priority.
Encourage customers to share their experiences with your products and services. You can do this by providing incentives for referrals that result in sales or discounts/giveaways for reviews.
You may also want to create an ambassador program where you provide rewards and recognition to customers who are actively sharing their experiences and helping others to make more informed purchase decisions.
This is a great way to get more people interested in your brand and build up your customer base.
Improving each stage of the buyer’s journey is essential for driving sales, improving customer experience, and increasing customer retention.
By delivering helpful content, offering incentives and rewards, providing excellent customer service, and encouraging advocacy – you can create a more enjoyable journey for your customers that will result in more sales and increased brand loyalty.
With the right strategies in place, you can ensure that each stage of the buyer’s journey is an optimized process that helps to drive leads and sales.
This article was written by Craig Adam, an ex-construction worker turned multiple 6 figure eCommerce seller. Founder of craig-adam.com writing about eCommerce, Amazon FBA, Entrepreneurship and Forex.