A customer’s online buying behavior is subjective. It can be controlled by external factors such as demographics, culture, and marketing. Or, it can be based on personal traits and behaviors, including attitudes, perceptions, and motivation.
Mostly it’s a combination of factors. Yet there is something even more fundamental that drives customers’ online buying behavior. And it’s either there, or not.
Stages of the user experience
Generally speaking, there are four stages in a purchasing decision. They are need recognition, solution searching, evaluating alternatives, and making the purchase.
That’s why it is so important to learn everything you can about your products and your target niche. For it is this knowledge, in particular, that forms the basis of your marketing plan—as well as visitors’ interactions with your site.
But if the experience feels impersonal to them, in any way, chances are they will not stick around for long.
“Most marketing tactics focus on short-term persuasion tactics to grab quick rewards,” explains Sven Ri from Userlike. “[This means] less attention goes to building long-term trust, even though that’s what drives customer loyalty.”
The value of trustworthiness
For sellers, the secret to understanding online buying behavior lies in building friendly and trustworthy relationships with customers.
There are many ways to achieve this, of course, but one of the most effective is by providing information on identity and transparency.
For example, you could have a separate page on your site that addresses questions about your store, daily operations, ordering details, data privacy, and more.
But if you neglect these, and similar fundamental principles, you will be seen as secretive. As a result, visitors won’t care about buyer incentives like discounts, free shipping or free returns.
Trust happens on an emotional level when you value customers’ feelings, and this, by extension, nurtures their online buying behavior. In other words, success comes down to offering an authentic customer care approach.
“Your service should be problem-oriented, friendly, patient, attentive, and, preferably, immediate,” adds Ri.
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