A buyers experience can usually be broken down into more or less six stages, from purchase to disposal of the purchase. While making a purchase a buyer moves through a verity of psychological thoughts that help him make proper decisions while making purchase.
Most of the times its effect of marketing strategies of various companies that influence the buyer to make a purchase.
But why is it important to understand the buyers experience cycle?
Because it helps marketing managers to understand the psyche of a buyer which in turn can be used to form various marketing strategies that can motivate a buyer to make a purchase. This can be used as one of the best tools to make sure that the strategies are inline with the requirements of buyer who will in turn become the customer of the product.
These six stages of buyers experience are termed as “utility levers” (The way in which companies / marketing managers can unlock the exceptional utility of buyers). There are certain aspects of this cycle that need to be explained a bit but rest are easy to understand.
There are many phase where a buyer gets stuck with the thought of moving ahead with the purchase. These are the blocks that product managers and marketing managers should take care of and try to check if their offerings are helping buyers to take a call on the purchase of “Their” product. The greatest blocks usually represent the most pressing opportunity to unlock exceptional value.
Stage 1: Purchase:
At this stage a buyer normally experiences a set of questions based on which help him to decide on what to buy and what not to buy. How long it takes to find the product he needs?
It’s interesting to see today there are shopping malls and shopping complex which have hundreds of products under one roof. These malls would have not survived if they failed to answer this question that pops up in minds of a buyer. It’s true, if you feel you have a better mall or a shop where you can find your desired product with ease why would you go to a huge mall where you often get lost while searching for the desired product?
This sounds simple but marketing managers must remember today’s life is fast and it’s always going to be much faster. Why not make the “Product Finding Experience” much simple?
The second question is “Is the place of purchase attractive and accessible?”
This is one more aspect that consumers look into while they move out for shopping. They tend to shop at places that are interesting in other words which are attractive and can help them chose best ad most attractive products. Accessibility on the other hand is crucial aspect that helps consumers move to places that are close and easily accessible but yes even if the stores are attractive and yet far for there reach they will switch there choices.
Another question that people ask is “How secure the transaction environment is?” This is something that’s very important and pays important role in the process the decision making process for where to buy.
This follows another question “How rapidly can you make purchases?” People prefer to buy from known places as they know its better to buy frequently bought stuff from known stores as they can expect a good customer service as and when needed. This is followed by “How rapidly can you make a purchase?”
Stage 2: Delivery:
The second Stage of Buyer Experience Cycle is Delivery which plays a crucial role in the purchase decision making process. This works different from your shopping in malls and shopping centers. It is more important for cases where you make an online purchase form ebay.com or any other online merchant store. Buyers often ask “How long will it take to deliver the product?”
This follows questions like:
- How difficult it is to unpack and install the product?
- Do buyers have to arrange delivery themselves? If yes how costly? And how difficult is this?
Stage 3: Use:
- Does the product require training or expert assistance?
- Is the product easy to store when not in use?
- How effective are the product’s features and functions?
- Does the product deliver more options that an average user can ask for?
Stage 4: Supplements:
Dependency on one product in order to use the other also plays an important role in the buyers’ experience. They often think of other products on which dependency of the use of this prospect buy depends. They tend to evaluate the effect of this dependency on there wallet so its understanding how much will the other product cost them. People tend to buy products where the use of one is not depending on the other. This can be one of the important factors that marketing managers should consider while thinking of introducing a new product. Buyer may consider many other factors like how much time do they take? How painful is it? How easy are they to obtain? How easy to use (Together).
Stage 5: Maintenance:
Maintenance is a crucial part of a product life cycle. People tend to buy products that don’t cost much of maintenance and even if they need they do look for maintenance people want this process to be hassle free. This is again a big factor for companies to keep the association of customer alive with the brand. So consumers do look into factors like External maintenance (What would it cost? How easy is it to approach a maintenance store? How costly will it be?)
Stage 6: Disposal:
People do take care that if the product is brought does it create waste? What kind of waste is it? Handling this waste will be easy or not? How easy is it to dispose the product? Though few thing of this but ya it’s important to understand the legal or environmental issues in disposing of the product safely.
It’s important to understand the buying experience from marketing point of view which helps understanding the consumer behavior to a great extent and helps brands hook the cust