Somebody walks into your retail store.
They immediately become a potential buyer as they browse.
What stages do they go through to make them decide to buy?
1. The Need:
For starters, there’s often a need.
It’s raining outside and an umbrella is required. Winter winds demand a need for an overcoat. Thirst drives a need for a bottle of water. Whatever it is, the buyer is often motivated and willing because of a strong need.
2. The Information:
Sometimes, the urgency of this need isn’t really there, so the process may be slowed down a little.
The buyer will probably have done some information gathering before stepping into the store.
They’re aware of either a brand or product to look for or they’ve had previous experiences with that brand or product.
Maybe someone has recommended it to them or they’ve been influenced by media marketing.
They enter the store armed with some degree of information.
3. The Weighing Up:
Once the information is present, they’re able to evaluate the different alternatives your brands or products offer to match their need.
They might ask themselves “What are the most suitable alternatives that best meet my needs?
How functional is the product?
How attractive is the product?
What are their price points?
Be aware that not every customer is the same. They will evaluate these characteristics differently.
4. The Decision to Purchase:
Once they have weighed up the pros and cons in relation to meeting their needs, the customer makes a decision.
It will depend on the information and the selections made in the previous steps.
How did the product’s features, price, value for money, and other capabilities important to them, match up?
5. The Post Purchase:
This stage has important consequences for a retail business.
Buyers will ask themselves: How satisfying has the brand or product been? Did it meet my needs? Was it the right choice?
Was the service as good as I expected? Was after-sales attention up to scratch?
Positive or negative, customers will share their opinions on social media and with friends.
Always be aware that a satisfied buyer is very likely to become a loyal customer and is more than likely to spread the good word to others.
There’s no doubt that if a retailer is tuned into the customer buying experience and creates the right environment for the customer to decide to buy, then relationships can strengthen and the reputation of the business can grow.