Many world think the the most important stage in a sale is as soon as a client hands over the money. However actually, as soon as it pertains to how to influence consumer behavior, every solitary step in the customer decision-making procedure plays critical role. Because that businesses come maximize profit, that imperative the they pay attention to every stage in the purchase process.

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Consumers don’t just decide to buy. Their buying behavior is established by plenty of different factors. And too many businesses emphasis on optimizing specific steps — enhancing checkout, gaining customers v SEO or PPC, etc. — without looking in ~ the huge picture.

But prior to you have the right to start optimizing or using strategies choose UGC to support the buyer journey, you need to understand each and also every stage. Here’s what you should know about the decision making procedure for shoppers.

What Is the customer Decision do Process?

The consumer decision making procedure is the procedure by which consumers become aware of and identify your needs; collect info on exactly how to best solve these needs; advice alternative easily accessible options; do a purchasing decision; and also evaluate their purchase.

Understanding the consumer decision making procedure is crucial to any business, yet eCommerce businesses have a distinct opportunity to optimize it. since online shoppers generate so much an ext data than those in brick-and-mortar stores, virtual retailers deserve to use that data to implement conversion methods for every phase of the process. 

Reviews and UGC influence customer decision making
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The 5 step of the consumer Decision Making procedure — and How to Optimize

It’s important to keep in mind that the consumer decision making procedure has numerous different names, including yet not limited to the the person who lives journey, buying cycle, the person who lives funnel, and also consumer purchase decision process. However all the names essentially refer come the exact same thing: The trip a customer goes through as soon as making a purchase.

So, this is a break down of what happens in every step:

Need acknowledgment (awareness):
The first and most crucial stage the the to buy process, due to the fact that every sale starts when a customer becomes conscious that they have actually a require for a product or service.Search for info (research): throughout this stage, customers want to uncover out their options.Evaluation of alternatives (consideration): This is the stage when a customer is comparing choices to do the ideal choice.Purchasing decision (conversion): during this stage, buying actions turns into activity – it’s time because that the customer to buy!Post-purchase evaluation (re-purchase): ~ making a purchase, consumers think about whether it was worth it, even if it is they will recommend the product/service/brand come others, even if it is they would buy again, and also what feedback they would give.

Now, to display you how these step of the buying decision procedure play out in real life, here are customer buying procedure examples that summary each the the steps and ways for her eCommerce brand come maximize results throughout each stage.

1. Need recognition (awareness)

The need recognition phase of the customer decision making procedure starts as soon as a consumer realizes a need. Demands come about because of 2 reasons:

Internal stimuli, normally a physiological or emotional needs, such as hunger, thirst, sickness, sleepiness, sadness, jealousy, etc.External stimuli, prefer an advertisement, the smell of yummy food, etc.

Even if the core reason is vanity or convenience, at the most an easy level, almost all to buy are driven by genuine or perceived physiological or emotionally needs. The reasons for this stimuli deserve to be society (wanting come look cool and well dressed) or sensible (needing a better computer to perform work much more effectively), yet they speak to the same straightforward drivers.

We buy groceries because without food in the house, fine be hungry. Us buy new clothes due to the fact that we’ll it is in cold, or we feel like everyone else has actually the recent handbag of the season, and we don’t want to it is in left out.

Example: looking for a new camera

Think around it: Why does someone start trying to find a brand-new camera? Likely, their old camera isn’t functioning well anymore, or they merely want a nicer camera. Perhaps they have a holidays coming up. Or maybe they desire to give the camera as a present to their sister, that just had actually her an initial child.

How in the people is this regarded a physiological need? Simple. There is no a camera, they i will not ~ be maybe to record special moments; therefore, they have actually an emotionally desire to conserve these moment so the they room happy and not sad.

This emotionally desire is the interior stimuli in this situation. Sure, a camera isn’t a life necessity maintaining them from surviving, but it does fix a core emotional need.

What wake up after who identifies a need? They start looking because that a solution! i beg your pardon brings united state to the next step in the customer journey: trying to find information. 

2. Search for information (research)

As shortly as a consumer recognizes a need and also begins to find for an answer, you have to be over there to help! and also where carry out consumers usually go come look for answers today? Google!

Example: Researching cameras

Now the the customer has realized a require to get a new camera, that time to find solutions to his problem. In this stage, the imperative the you room visible to the customer searching for an answer.

Here room some points a customer may be looking for:

Best cameras 2020What is the ideal affordable camera?Which cameras space top-rated?

The quantity of details a customer needs to find for relies on how much he currently knows around the options available, and also the intricacy of choices. For example, let’s say yes someone in search of a camera together a gift, and he has no idea which kind of camera he wants, or what functions he needs.

He will need much more information than someone who already knows exactly the type of camera he wants to buy, however just requirements to find the appropriate product and also the right method to purchase it.

The amount of searching crucial is completely dependent top top the situation, and it deserve to vary widely.

So exactly how do customers search for information? By making use of internal information (their previous expertise of a product or brand) as well as external details (information about a product or brand indigenous friends or family, reviews, endorsements, press reviews, etc.).

The biggest means you have the right to optimize your online organization during the need recognition and awareness stage is by making certain you display up in search results — and also that what the consumer sees renders an impression.

Strategies come optimize during the research study stage

First, make sure you’re optimizing your eCommerce storefront come rank for the keywords that matter to your brand. For a complete guide ~ above eCommerce SEO, examine out our overview here.

Once girlfriend know just how to strategize your SEO, you’ll want to make certain your results are well optimized to convert. User-generated evaluate can help you to build brand awareness during the study stage. In fact, it’s one of the most efficient ways to do it. 

Reviews can help your store acquire seen in search outcomes by boosting the likelihood of your store getting here for long-tail keywords. Reviews boost SEO due to the fact that they provide your online company a steady resource of keyword rich, pertinent content.

So once someone opens up up their laptop and starts looking for a brand-new camera, reviews will help you be there:


Online enterprise that usage reviews see boost in find traffic. You deserve to leverage reviews in Google rich Snippets and also Product Listing Ads so that if a customer searches in Google, you’ve added credibility to your listing. Enterprise that display reviews in their search results stand the end from the competition!



3. Testimonial of alternatives (consideration)

Now that the consumer has done research, that time come evaluate your choices and also see if there are any promising alternatives. Throughout this phase, shoppers are aware of her brand and have been carried to your website to consider whether to acquisition from you or a competitor.

Consumers make purchase decisions based upon which accessible options ideal match their needs, and also to minimize the danger of investing poorly, they will certainly make certain there room no much better options for them.

Their evaluation is influenced by two significant characteristics:

Objective: Features, functionality, price, lull of useSubjective: Feelings about a brand (based ~ above previous endure or entry from past customers)

Example: compare shopping for a camera

If you’re a camera seller or brand, her goal in the consideration stage is to to convince customers your camera is the finest choice. And the most effective means to perform that is to store them ~ above your website longer and also find means to earn their trust.

Consumers will very first weigh the objective qualities of her camera. Does it have actually all the attributes I want? Is it basic to use? Is the in mine budget? Then, the subjective consideration will absent in: execute other civilization think it has all the features it should? has anyone else that bought that expressed any difficulty with learning exactly how to use it? Is the generally taken into consideration a great value for the money?

You only have one shooting – for this reason you need to make the many of it. Of course, it’s essential that your website is informative, your prices space competitive, your worth is clear, etc. However if you’re similar to a contender in every single way, the word of previous customers is what will collection you apart.

Strategies for optimizing in the factor to consider stage

In this stage, use reviews and user-generated content examples on your website to boost engagement and boost customer trust.

The first place you require to have actually reviews is top top your house page, so as soon as customers land on your site, they watch content from past buyers. You also need to screen reviews on her product pages, for this reason customers trying to find information deserve to see trusted input from past buyers.


Additionally, using reviews in a house page carousel reduce bounce rate while enhancing time spent on site and page views. That boost in engagement boosts the likelihood that customers will learn much more about your store and also leave your website with a optimistic memory of your brand.

Reviews also help kick start the navigating to various other product pages. Make certain to acquire reviews top top a wide range of commodities in stimulate to boost click throughs from classification pages into product pages.

Also, community questions and answers are another powerful kind of user-generated content that can aid answer shoppers’ questions so the they have no reason not to buy native you.


4. Purchase decision (conversion)

Alright, now it’s money time. This is the stage when customers are ready to buy, have made decision where and what they desire to buy, and also are ready to pull the end their credit transaction cards. 

But wait! no so fast. You deserve to still shed a client at this stage. This is the stage when the purchasing experience is key – it’s imperative to make it as straightforward as possible.

Example: Abandoning checkout for a camera

Let’s say your potential client has obtained to the checkout stage of his purchase, and has 2nd thoughts: What if the recipient wants a various camera? What if this camera is lacking a vital feature the the recipient would certainly want? How difficult will the be for the recipient come return the camera if that doesn’t accomplish their needs?

This shopper will likely abandon his cart, and also go earlier to the study stage. Maybe he’ll finish up ago on her site, however maybe the won’t. Her goal at this stage is to gain him to finish the acquisition now, so girlfriend don’t lose him forever.

Strategies for optimizing in the switch stage

Many businesses select to display screen reviews ~ above checkout pages. This deserve to be effective if done correctly. You require to focus on building trust, however don’t distract the client from perfect the purchase.

If you desire to display screen user-generated content throughout checkout, use website reviews quite than client photos or product reviews, and also make sure they aren’t clickable. You want to focus on structure trust and not distracting.

5. Post-purchase evaluation (re-purchase)

In this stage of the customer purchase decision process, consumers reflect on their recent purchase. They think around how they feel about it, if it to be a an excellent investment, and also most importantly, if castle will go back to the brand for future purchases and also recommend the brand to friends and family.

In this stage, you require to have a post-purchase strategy to boost the likelihood that customers will connect with your brand again in the future. Return client account for 1/3 the a store’s total income on average, therefore make certain you’re not absent out ~ above this super beneficial opportunity to boost your eCommerce conversion rate by transforming shoppers into repeat buyers.

Example: obtaining feedback and also encouraging repeat purchases

In the camera example, the client has currently bought from her brand and they’re evaluating their purchase. This is usually when they will leave a review about their experience. This is additionally when they space at your most involved with your brand, and also they deserve to be susceptible to methods that encourage lengthy term engagement. 

At this stage, you want to ensure that customers purchase again, and also you want to encourage castle to leave UGC that helps various other buyers in the future. 

Strategies because that optimizing in the switch stage

While your customer could take the upon us to leaving a review, lock far an ext likely to perform so if you request one. Asking customers because that reviews about their experience in a post-purchase email not only offers you understanding into your performance, however it likewise gives you an useful user-generated contents to leverage to tempt future customers.

It’s vital to remember that customers have already given friend something an extremely valuable: their money! So girlfriend don’t want to ask because that too much when requesting feedback. In order come encourage client to write reviews, do it as simple as possible for client to leaving feedback:


You can also use this email to cross-sell various other items. Data from end 2,000 stores mirrors that 27.5% that customers who see advocated products in post-purchase evaluation request emails end up convert – and these customers space valuable.


After purchase, it’s likewise a great opportunity to encourage your loyalty program. Client in loyalty programs consistently administer a greater lifetime worth than those who aren’t since the programs room designed to incentivize purchases. 

What Is the prominence of Pricing in the customer Buying Process?

One common question that eCommerce brands will ask is exactly how consumers aspect price right into their buying decisions. When consumers are examining a product, price is of food a substantial factor. Yet it’s no just about the product price — it’s around the entire price of the purchase.

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Let’s say her cameras room a great value because that the money, competitively priced, and also have kind reviews. What happens once your customers get to checkout, and also see the you have actually a high shipping cost? rather of perfect the purchase, they are going to view what the shipping price is on the various other cameras they were considering. And what if among them offers free shipping? friend may lose that customer.

You don’t desire shoppers to be surprised by any added costs as soon as they get to checkout. Make certain to calculate taxes and shipping costs prior to they acquire to the final step. The much more transparent you have the right to be about your pricing up front, the much more likely you’ll be to finish the sale. 

If you want to rotate a potential customer into a faithful brand advocate, it’s necessary to construct trust and keep them engaged at every action of the process. User-generated contents is a an effective tool for structure brand awareness, highlighting the ideal things about your products, and ultimately, growing your bottom line.