The internet gives us instant access to almost everything at our fingertips. On one side, this means that you can advertise and sell to more customers than ever before.
But on the flip side, this has also changed the way we buy products. We don’t just think of what we need and then buy it. You need to justify why your customer should buy from you and not the hundreds of other places they could turn to instead.
That’s why it’s important to understand the decision making process users go through before making a purchase. Knowing this will help make sure that more users buy from you, increasing your sales and conversions.
So, here are the 5 important things your customers are going to do before they buy from you…
1. Search For You Online
89% of customers begin their buying process with a search engine.
Search engines like Google are massively important for businesses, often acting as the first step to bringing customers to you.
So how can your business get easily found on search engines?
One way is to organically build your rank with Google using SEO (Search Engine Optimisation) techniques on your site. Yet, there’s no way to guarantee instant results.
If you want to be found now, you need to advertise on Google, with Google Ads. This means that your business and products will show at the top of your customer’s search results. Giving them the best chance to click on your website instead of your competitor’s.
Want a hand with Google Ads? Tools like Adzooma are great as they offer a free PPC health check. Analysing your adverts and data, they’ll automatically identify ways to optimise your campaigns, so you can increase your click-through rate whilst improving your ROI (return on investment).
If you don’t have a website already, Adzooma can also provide you with a webpage that is written, designed and built by experts. However, because everything is ‘done for you’, you don’t get a lot of say what goes on the site.
If you want more input on your website, DIY builders such as WIX will be a better option for your business. Quick and easy to get started, these platforms allow you to drag the elements and content that you want, exactly where you want them.
Be warned, however, that building your own websites has its downfalls. Without expert help, you’ll almost definitely include some common website mistakes that can harm your conversions.
2. Research Your Product Or Service
For many purchases, customers will make informed decisions before they buy. Generally, people buy because they have a problem and your product might be the solution they need. So, before anyone commits to buying they need to research your product to see if it’s the one they need.
When people need to know more about you or a product, the first place they’re likely to go to is your website. So, you need to make sure it has the information that your customers need. The goal is to give them enough information so they feel they can make a decision without heading off to a competitor’s website to find out more.
Keep in mind that you need to use the right information. It’s no use simply listing the features. You need to explain, in real terms, what they mean and how this will directly impact your customers. After all, they’re looking at your page to figure out what’s in it for them.
For example, instead of saying listing that your product is available in a range of colours, tell them that they can pick their favourite colour so it matches their personality, the rest of their belongings and fits in with the design and style of their home.
If you use this right, it won’t just tell customers about your product. It will also give you an extra opportunity to sell and tell customers why they need your product, putting them one step closer to the finish line.
3. Check your reviews online
Did you know that 77% of people read product reviews before they make any purchases online?
Once users have researched information about your product, they need a reason to trust you. What they don’t know is why they should trust you. That’s why they’ll take a look at reviews first, to build trust in your company and product by confirming that others have had positive experiences of it.
Don’t have any reviews on your website? Social media has become the go-to place for people to air out exactly what they think of your company.
If you’re not online to respond and control what people say on your social media, bad reviews can spread fast. This can be damaging for your reputation and can turn customers away from your business.
4. Check Out The Competition
Okay, so your customers have found your business. They know the product they want to buy and they’re happy that other customers have had good experiences with it.
But, to be sure that they’re getting the very best deal – they might also shop around until they’re certain that your company is the best. It’s your job to convince them that you are.
Don’t confuse the best deal for the cheapest price though. Although cost is a big factor, we’re sometimes prepared to pay more for higher quality and products that give us more value from our purchase.
Whatever it is that sets your company above the competition, make sure that you shout about it to your customers. Do you offer free delivery? Do you offer more customisation? Do you have a longer guarantee?
Whatever it is, tell them. Make them confident that they are buying from the right place.
5. Go Through The Checkout
The average eCommerce website loses over 75% of its sales to cart abandonment.
Getting your customers to the checkout isn’t the finishing line. This is the final thing they do before they buy – but it’s still an important process that you need to get right.
If your checkout is too complex, they’ll abandon ship.
One element that leads to a complex checkout is forcing your users to create an account before they can buy. In fact, research from the Baymard Institute shows that 37% of users abandon because of it.
This can also include having to enter personal information that stretches beyond a name, delivery, or billing address and not having the right payment options for them. If you only offer one option, such as a credit card, then some people might think that buying from you is simply just too much effort.
What you need is a simple checkout system that aims to get them through the entire process as quickly as possible.
Increase Your Online Sales And Conversions
One of the best ways to increase your online sales and conversions is to truly understand your customer. Part of this includes understanding how and why they buy, as well as the processes that they go through before they make that final decision.
Ultimately, you want to make every process simple and easy. This will make it easier for your customers to commit to buying from you, leaving you to reap the rewards.