How The eCommerce Customer Decision Making Process Works
The key to making data-driven decisions is to first understand how the customer decision making process works. With this fundamental knowledge, you will be able to cater to the needs of each customer segment.
1. The Customer Recognizes They Have a Problem That Needs To Be Solved
The customer decision making process begins with a consumer realizing that they are presented with some sort of problem. The problem can be anything minor like needing a new baseball bat for this weekend’s tournament to something major like a company needing to migrate its entire eCommerce website to a new platform.
The commonality in both of these circumstances is that the consumer needs to address an issue they are facing by purchasing a new product or service. If merchants can predict when their customers tend to recognize these problems, they can drive serious increases in revenue. Think of the consumer packaged goods industry (i.e., deodorant manufacturers). Some merchants can predict when their customers will need to replenish their products based on the average lifespan of their product. When they know it is time for their customers to purchase again, they can get ahead of the game and advertise to them at the right point in time.
2. They Search For A Solution
After recognizing that there is a problem to be solved, consumers then search for an answer to their problem. This is the stage where they shop around and use search engines, like Google or Bing, to find what they are looking for. Word of mouth is another way to generate brand awareness and drive new customers to your business. Merchants who leverage written product reviews and video testimonials as well as optimize their website or products for organic search results are bound to drive brand/product awareness and get in front of those who are searching for products like theirs.
3. They Evaluate Alternative Solutions
Once consumers are aware of all of their options, they evaluate and compare them against each other. They will compare prices, quality and other contributing factors they find important. This is where product reviews really come into play! Other helpful tools include how-to guides for product use, product videos and photos from various angles. Social proof like awards and recognitions as well as product demonstrations really help make an impact for consumers at the top of the funnel.
4. They Make A Decision
After evaluating options, it’s time for consumers to make a decision on what they are going to purchase. The best product solves their needs and hits on all of their pain points. Advertisements and product prevalence plays a role in the customer decision making process. For service-based businesses, offering a consultation may help. Having a well-designed customer loyalty program as well as offering a free trial or coupons can help convert more consumers into paying customers at this stage.
5. They Evaluate Their Purchasing Decision
After making a purchasing decision and using the product to suit their needs, customers evaluate the product and decide whether it was worth it. To avoid buyer’s remorse and win customers over again, we encourage merchants to be transparent with their return policy and follow up with customers after they’ve purchased. Provide tutorials, recipes or whatever is relevant to your product or service to win customers over again. Asking for a written review on the product that the customer bought is a great way to gauge how they feel about it and ensure they are satisfied.
Understanding the customer decision making process is critical for merchants when it comes to marketing and advertising. Once you have knowledge of how your customer base thinks and behaves, you will be better able to get your products in front of them at the right time in their unique customer journey.
If you have questions about enhancing your eCommerce marketing strategy, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of qualified experts through the form below. We are happy to help mid-market and Enterprise businesses grow their websites.
Get in Touch
Related Blogs & Videos
Subscribe for industry insights and resources.