If you’re an online shopper (and who isn’t these days!) then you likely understand that there are at least two types of purchase cycles that naturally occur.
The first is your impulse buy. It’s much easier to be impulsive when you are considering low-cost items or decisions that won’t result in significant consequences.
Other types of purchases are much more complex, involving products or services are expensive or that represent emotional or financial risk. These complicated transactions are called considered purchases. Because they matter more, we tend to research them more carefully, spend more time thinking through options, and look for different types of content at each stage of our decision-making process. This complexity can present a challenge for brands that offer products or services in this category.
At Kanopi, we’ve developed some frameworks to help clients influence the complicated ecosystem of the considered purchase. By understanding customer mindsets at each stage of their journey, you can tailor an experience that provides the right message at the right time, tipping the scales in favor of your brand.
First, it’s helpful to become familiar with the standard customer journey, pictured below.
Consider the needs of your personas at each of their journey stages. Think about how their needs may be different, where they overlap, and what types of content could help support them, taking the following details into account:
- Technology use
- Barriers to conversion
- Length of each journey stage
- Other forms of research they might use
- Personality traits
- Actionable needs
- Informational needs
Once you’ve mapped in your personas’ needs across their journey, you can more easily identify where existing content fits in, and where you may need to create fresh content to fill gaps in your experience.
It’s also important to think beyond the typical journey stages to identify the path that’s most likely for your product or service. This can vary quite a bit, especially for high-cost, high-stakes considered purchases. In those cases, users may follow a journey that looks a bit more like this:
While it’s possible to sell a luxury car or new home entirely online, that doesn’t mean that’s how your audience typically behaves. Let’s walk through an example:
Customers in the market for luxury cars understand that the purchase takes significant resources and commitment, and has the potential to provide great joy or become a big mistake. As a result, they will likely be cautious and conduct a lot of research. They may have been planning this purchase for a long time. Ask yourself, how long would each of their journey stages take? What are the barriers they might face? To what degree will they need a personal touch? How will they know they can trust you? How can you create content that gets your customer as close as possible to the sensory experience of that new car smell and the feel of sliding into a leather seat?
The best way to understand the real journey for your customers is to ask them. Customer research can yield invaluable insights into buying habits, preferences and emotional states that you can address to help set your brand apart.
It’s also helpful to work with a team of seasoned strategists who can guide your research process, stay focused on customer needs, and spot useful insights from the data you already have available.
Kanopi Studios’ strategy team partners with you to make sure that your customers’ needs are supported throughout their entire journey, especially if your product or service falls into the considered purchase category. Think of us as guides for navigating the right balance of information, credibility, personality, and persuasion that will remove barriers and deliver conversions. If you’d like to learn more, we’d love to hear from you!