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What Is The Consumer Buying Process?

FACT: All purchasing decisions are largely guided by emotion. Emotional triggers drive buying decisions from identifying a need or problem all the way to making the purchase.  This is true of all sales and understanding how to trigger the buying impulse will help you in your online business building efforts.

If you’ve ever purchased products yourself, take a minute to think about the motivation that led to your decision to purchase. 

  • What were you feeling?
  • What were your frustrations & challenges?
  • What solution did this product or service offer you?
  • Why this particular product and not another?

What Makes Them Tick?

Utilize emotional triggers to boost your sales and your online business building marketing.

Taking some time to analyze the steps you go through when deciding on a purchase is an easy way of uncovering the various steps your own customers will likely go through when deciding whether or not to purchase from you. 

By clearly identifying each step in the decision process, you can then build content that will drive site visitors to you and convert a larger percentage of them into buyers.

There are several sources that can shed light on buyers’ decision making used by  online marketers:

  1. Join niche related Facebook Groups: People are in social media groups tend to be very transparent as to their challenges, questions, concerns, and solutions to problems they are having.
  2. Trade Magazines: Niche related, trade industry magazines. Analyze the ads inside and look for the ones that trigger emotions that would cause a reader to act on it. Use it to design your own ad template that will trigger the same or similar emotion.
  3. Amazon Reviews: Read product reviews on Amazon. Within the reviews look for problems that are identified.  So for instance, if you’re selling a particular soap or lotion, look it up on Amazon then read the reviews. You’ll find how people simply state their issues and whether or not that lotion/soap solved it. “I have very sensitive skin and cannot use soap because it makes me itch everywhere as soon as my skin dries.” The hot button there is “sensitive itchy skin”.
  4. Q&A Forums: These are a great research tool. You can ask very specific questions and see what kind of answers you get that will help you identify challenges and concerns that people are having.  However, take the answers with a grain of salt. Quite often, the questions are being asked or answered by a marketer. Nonetheless, you can still identify what hot buttons are being used.
  5. Offline Networking: Local club, organizations or meet-ups where you’ll meet like-minded people and may glean some news or a technique you weren’t aware of. At the very least, you’ll begin to make connections with real live people.
  6. Ask them! Reach out to your existing traffic. You could insert a survey at the end of a blog with a link to a simple google survey form with multiple choice answers. Ask them to leave a comment. so as to encourage engagement.

Understanding these psychological triggers will help you when crafting your marketing copy. As human beings we all have similar emotional needs and triggers that direct our thoughts and actions that follow.

To Belong – Most of us have a strong desire to feel like we are part of something larger than ourselves or a collective group of varying sizes. For instance a family unit, a social group, university or college groups, a professional group. Groups such as sports teams and military are good examples.

Fear – Few triggers, with the exception of love, are as powerful as fear. It can cause us to make spur of the moment decisions. Marketers play on this emotion by instilling the fear of missing out or running out of time, quite often.

Customer Purchase Lifecycle e-Course

Guilt – Guilt is often used against us early in life from grandparents, parents and even teachers. It’s also closely associated with depression. Retailers and non-profits will often use this emotional trigger to inspire action.

The key to your online business success is to build trust. There are several ways you can do that: 

  1. Build trust in your brand.
  2. Display reviews and testimonials for social proof.
  3. Reduce risk with price match guarantees or refund guarantees.
  4. Be transparent. Show them you’re human through your content, webinars and videos.
  5. Borrowed credibility – Offering products from a well known and trusted brand in your industry. Also quoting from industry leaders helps.

Need vs Want

So why do we purchase the things we do? Well there are three main reasons I can think of off the top of my head:

  1. Because I need it.
  2. Because I want it.
  3. Because it saves me time or makes my life better somehow.

Out of these three, I’d say that needing was the strongest of the three. If you need it, you’ll go out and get it, right? Things that fall into this category are the basics such as food in the fridge, a roof over your head, a car, a job, clothes on your back, furniture, etc. Things like those are your “must have’s”. Everything else is a “nice to have” but not necessarily a “must have”.

online business shopping

When writing your marketing copy, keep these things in mind but focus mainly on no more than two at a time. If you can convince a consumer that your product or service falls into the “must have” catagegory, all the better.

Wanting but not actually needing and convenience purchases satisfy our desires for pleasure in one way or another. This is often referred to as the Pleasure Principle.

The pleasure principle is the compelling force that human beings have to gratify their needs, wants, and desires. These can be as complex as the “need” to purchase a particular commodity or service. A “need” that is often driven by advertising and a desire to keep up with the Jones’s. 

Appealing To Instant Gratification

Since the widespread use of technology, we have been largely programmed to expect instant gratification. We get real-time feedback from our mobile apps, SMS messages, Facetime, Skype, YouTube just to name a few.

That’s the advantage that digital products have over everything else. Instant delivery and gratification. So how does your marketing copy appeal to satisfying this desire?

If they have to wait for delivery, offer up a magnet such as a free e-book version or free membership into an exclusive “members only” Facebook group. It’s a bonus offer that gets them excited.

Impulse Buys

When you purchase from Amazon, what is the first thing that comes up? You get a message that says, “customers like you also bought….” and the some images of other related products. That is Amazon’s way of inspiring impulse purchases.

online business e-commerce

Retailers have been employing this same strategy for ages. When you’re approaching the checkout at most retailers, they always seem to have racks of extra miscellaneous stuff you have to walk past or stand in front of while on your way to the register.

If it works for them, why not try it yourself? As part of your checkout process, you can offer them a discount for adding to or upgrading their purchase. VistaPrint.com does a very nice job of this. What can you offer?

Understanding and leveraging emotional triggers need to be woven into the very fabric of your brand. That’s your social media, email, ad copy, blog posts and web content.

Setting Up Your Online Business

Your website is your business, and it is important that you have the most advanced technology to keep your business operating at 100% at all times of the day.

I host my Word Press websites through Wealthy Affiliate (WA). They’ve been around for almost 20 years. The powerful hosting you have access you within WA is unparalleled in the Managed WordPress hosting industry. They truly specialize in providing a secure, robust and FAST platform for you to run your website.

online business

Wealthy Affiliates is a dedicated online training platform for all entrepreneurs of every level.  Their training is presented in bite-size manageable tasks and their live training webinars are one of the best. 

They offer a FREE Starter program where you can choose between two types of training programs with no time limits or credit card required. Check out this Wealthy Affiliate Introductory review for more info.

The following are just some of the powerful features included within the SiteRubix platform at Wealthy Affiliate.

  • SiteManager (Starter & Premium)
  • SiteContent (Starter & Premium)
  • SiteBuilder (Starter & Premium)
  • SiteDomains (Starter & Premium)

To make your sites secure and fast, they have some SiteRubix EXCLUSIVE technologies to make sure your websites are operating at lightening speeds, but also in a very secure way that protects you from hackers, spammers, and all forms of erroneous attacks.

  • SiteSpeed (Premium Only)
  • SiteProtect (Premium Only)
  • SiteSSL (Premium Only)
  • SiteComments (Premium Only)
  • SiteFeedback (Premium Only)
  • SiteSupport (Premium Only)

There you have it, the low down of the SiteRubix platform and you have your website officially up and running online in no time. Exciting stuff!

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