Understanding the Buyer’s Journey and Where Content Fits In

June 13, 2023

by Emma Ertinger

In the increasingly competitive world of ecommerce, it’s important to understand how your customers think and act. How does a potential customer decide to make a purchase, and what factors affect their choice? Learn more about how buyers navigate the decision-making process, as well as how to implement ecommerce and content marketing solutions that attract and convert customers.

What Is the Buyer’s Journey?

The buyer’s journey is simply a marketing term for the process that a customer goes through when making a purchase. This framework helps companies of all sizes understand how a potential customer thinks – and tailor their website experience accordingly. There are three stages to the buyer’s journey:

Awareness stage

In this first step, a buyer discovers they have a problem. Perhaps their coffee maker breaks or their child needs new sports equipment. The buyer is looking for a potential solution, but they’re not ready to make a purchase right away.

In the awareness stage, retailers have an opportunity to inform and educate the buyer. Because they are interested in researching possible solutions, the buyer is open to different products, brands, and retailers. At this point, they might be looking online for research and product reviews. They may also talk with family and friends for general recommendations.

Consideration stage

In the consideration stage, the buyer is evaluating their different options. They could use a search engine, browse different websites, or check social media feeds to get a feel for different companies or products. They are open to a variety of different options to solve their problem, and they may compare and contrast different brands. In this stage, the buyer is narrowing down their options, but they aren’t quite ready to commit to a purchase.

Decision stage

The third and final stage of the buyer’s journey is when they make a decision. At this point, they’ve probably chosen the type of product they want, and now they’re deciding between two different brands that have comparable solutions. Or they may be looking at a couple of different retailers who sell the same product. The buyer is ready to place an order and will look more closely at final considerations, such as warranties, customer support, and return policies.

Differentiating Purchases and Non-Considered Purchases

The buyer’s journey applies to all kinds of online purchases. But the level of deliberation and research can vary, creating a shorter or longer buyer journey. We can group what people buy into two broad categories: considered and non-considered purchases.

Non-considered purchases tend to be low-effort and often low-cost. For example, if an office manager needs to buy new whiteboard markers, they probably won’t need to do much research. Their brand options are limited, they’ll probably have a good sense of how many they need, and their decision may simply come down to price. A non-considered purchase is quick and doesn’t require extensive evaluation or comparison.

With a considered purchase, a person will spend more time moving through the buyer’s journey. They will put more time and effort into reading product reviews, researching brands, and comparing similar items. Considered purchases tend to be bigger investments, such as appliances and electronics.

How Does Product Data and Content Affect the Buyer’s Journey?

Regardless of the type of purchase, the product information you provide has a major impact on buyer behavior. Each product on your ecommerce site needs to have clear and sufficient detail, including:

  • Name
  • Images
  • Description
  • Attributes

Product attributes might include color, quantity, dimensions, and price. For non-considered purchases, you might only need a short list of clear attributes to help a customer make a decision. For considered purchases, however, you may need a more detailed set of attributes and a longer product description. Comparison tables can be helpful, as well, as they offer an easy-to-understand visual representation of similarities and differences across a set of products.

Without clear product data, you risk confusing potential buyers, leading them to navigate away from your site. And if you have inaccurate or incomplete information, you may end up with product returns and dissatisfied customers.

Product Data Management with Virtucom Group

If you’re struggling to maintain accurate and consistent product data, Virtucom Group is here to help. Our team of seasoned writers and product data specialists creates custom ecommerce content solutions for clients across the United States and beyond, across a wide range of industries. Virtucom Group’s areas of expertise include:

  • Product hierarchy design
  • Attribute modeling
  • Data cleansing
  • Customized data feeds

We’ll provide personalized managed services that help you attract and retain customers. For more information about our ecommerce and content marketing solutions, contact us at Virtucom Group today.

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