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How to make customers choose you?

The point when the customer thought about potential buying for the first time is crucial as since that time communication of a manufacturer and a client begins.

Basically, the customer decision-making course is the period within which the client learns about the product or service, compares it with the competitors, detects its strong and weak sides, explores its price, quality, and other parameters, contacts with a seller utilizing social media, internet, other sources until purchasing the product or refusing to purchase. This is a complex phenomenon and it includes plenty of slightly visible factors affecting the decision critically. The trick is to find these factors and operate them in a way that brings the client to the right solution of buying the best value he could get on the market.

The significance of focusing on the customer decision-making journey has been rapidly growing since massive digitization of enterprise’s strategic planning began. Managing digital tools and applications enables not only the detailed analysis of the solution-bringing course but also influencing the whole process.

In particular, while studying the customer decision-making course it is possible to determine the following features characterizing purchasing behavioral patterns of the customer:

  • Likes and dislikes of a customer: here the basic tastes and preferences can be observed in terms of quality, ecological safety, usefulness for health and so on.
  • Preferred sources of getting information about the brand: knowing whether internet, social media, printed catalogs or physical examining in the store provide the customer with required data is helpful to supply more information supplying through some of them than through another.
  • Frequency of ‘touches’ with a brand before purchasing: for someone it is enough to read about the brand on the company’s website and then to take it from shelf, for another 3 or 4 observations are needed which may include various browsing about the brand online, getting references from those who have already bought it, testing in the show-room, then again browsing and only then buying it. With this knowledge, it is easy to navigate digital resources in order not to lose a client when he needs more data but fails to find it.
  • Customer’s specific information: age, occupation, the preferred type of leisure and many other things can be useful to anticipate customer’s purchasing behavior and his value expectations.

The practice of profound analysis of the customer decision-making course is actively applied in the online sales by tracking client’s search and browsing sequence and systematization of web pages that have been visited. Despite that, the digital component in studying customer’s course is becoming less rare to the offline trade, for example, when the customers come to the supermarket’s website to get more data on products, presented physically at the store.

In order to anticipate the value, which is expected by the customer in future, studying the customer decision-making course opens opportunities to determine microsegments of consumers, connected with one or few specific habits or characteristics based on which a new sort of value can be offered. For example, young couples who have just started living together and are furnishing their new houses, tend to buy not expensive and original solutions for their stuff storage without having enough money for solid pieces of furniture, so creating the online content with advising how to cope with temporary storage solutions can lead them to the online store with relevant products.

Although the main goal of researching a customer decision-making course it to find out the most individual preferences and specifics of the client to supply him with most matching value, practically, two main types of customers can be discovered due to their course operation approach: a ‘logic one-stop decision maker’ and a ‘cyclical chooser’. A ‘logic one-stop decision maker’ at the very beginning of his journey collects as much information about the brand as he can, analyses the received information and makes a single-time decision on a purchase. A ‘cyclical chooser’ is driven more by instinct than ratio which makes him rushing into prompt product observation and then coming close to making a purchase but at the same time he is getting doubted, so he suspends a purchase and returns back to learning about the product more, and these cycles can be repeated more than twice. Correlation between these two groups of customers and business field can help to remodify the marketing model of a seller.

In a nutshell, companies which concentrate on their customer’s characteristics, specifically on the decision-making course and especially utilizing digital tools, have much more chances to strengthen their business positions in the existing niches and also to find new segments by envisaging the value to be delivered to the customer.

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