b1Have you ever walked into a store, tried on a pair of pants and then come back a few days later to finally get them? Sometimes we make an impulse purchase, but we’re all much more likely to contemplate a purchase for hours, or days, or sometimes months before we commit. We’re all taught things like “It’s better to look before you leap.”
Online shopping exaggerates the problem. We tend to contemplate things for a long time, we look around the web for better prices, we read reviews, and then once we’ve finally reached our decision, we can quickly change our mind if we get even the slightest of bad feelings.
Here’s a good way to think about the buying cycle:
1. Awareness: “I know I have a need and I think there’s a product that fits.”
2. Information Gathering: “I’m going to look at all of the options out there.”
3. Evaluate Alternatives: “I need to see what else is out there before I commit.”
4. Purchase Decision: “I’m ready to buy.”
5. After Purchase: “I’m going to compare my experience to what others say.”
Know How Make Them Tip
b2The next goal is to tip prospective clients from one phase to the next. If someone has just arrived at your site, they’re most likely in Step 2 or Step 3 of the process. This is good news, because you can tailor your copy to those two mentalities:
Information Gathering Phase:
• You can help guide them through features and benefits.
• You can attach emotion to the product or service through testimonials and photos.
Evaluate Alternatives Phase:
• You can compare your product to other options.
• You can show how you fit into the overall price, quality, and speed hierarchies.
Once someone feels comfortable with your product and the available options, they’re much more likely to move towards the buying decision.
Capture the Moment
b3Often when people make the decision to buy, it’s a fleeting thought that lasts only for a second. Think back to that example when you bought the pants. When did you actually make the decision to buy? How long between the decision and the actual purchase?
If you’re not available at the moment your customer decides to purchase, someone else can swoop in and steal them away. This is why online retailers make it easy with “one-click” buttons and special offers.
You can also tip a buying decision by being at the right place at the right time. A well-timed email, a lucky phone call, or a special offer can often help a customer commit. So put on your vigilant and unrelenting hat. Just think, it may be perfect timing.