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How Do Consumers Think And Behave Across The Purchase Journey?

If you want to grow your business, or at the very least remain profitable, offering a great product or service is simply not enough. You need to have a detailed understanding of your customers, their habits and motivations, according to research by Feefo.

Consumer Behaviour

The survey of 2,000 UK shoppers by the independent review platform reveals that businesses must listen, learn and engage with consumers at every stage of the purchase journey, as their loyalty can quickly waver during times of uncertainty. Consumers don't just buy a product or service without giving it prior thought, several steps lead them toward making a purchasing decision and these form the consumer purchasing journey.

As soon as they decide they want to purchase something, 70% of people will immediately go searching for it online, with 79% automatically heading to Google or Amazon. Once they've begun their search, different factors will influence their purchase. For 82% of people, price is most important, for 4% of people, it's global issues such as the environment, while one in five admits to buying something purely to impress other people.

Feefo Head of Digital, Richard Tank says ‘While Google’s online monopoly on the web has long been documented, it’s clear that Amazon is now just as prominent as the search engine, even though it’s technically an online retailer. It’s important to recognise that while consumers may start their search on these websites, they often end up buying from somewhere else. Today’s digital landscape is ever-changing and businesses have to meet the needs of their customers across the whole purchase journey in order to maintain sales and brand loyalty. The findings of this survey emphasise that.’

The consumer will then look at what information they need to help them make a well-informed decision about what they are buying and where they are buying it. As many as 80% of customers will use the Frequently Asked Questions on the company's website, but 43% prefer to communicate with a business via email. However, companies need to be fast at responding to queries as three in 10 people only expect to have to wait 10 minutes at the most to get a response, regardless of how they communicate with the company.

Once the customer has done their research, they will then move on to making their purchasing decision, and this is where you need to ensure they feel confident about your business. While 28% of people prioritise product quality, 26% think that the helpfulness of the staff is just as important. Customer reviews are crucial in helping people make purchasing decisions with 64% trusting review websites to find out about a company. But for 30% of customers, being passed around a call centre is the most annoying part of their customer journey. However, for 21% of people, it's automated voice systems.

The customer is almost ready to make their purchase, but what drives them to click that crucial 'buy now' button? For 55% of consumers, they've been influenced by your brand values, and this has made them feel confident about purchasing from you. However, like 79% of online shoppers who abandon their shopping basket before completing the purchase, they could very easily change their minds at the last moment; 63% of online shoppers blame high shipping costs for their abandoned cart.

But even when they've clicked the button and purchased the item, their journey with your business is far from over, especially if you are interested in building your brand loyalty. For 70% of customers, they would prefer to hear from you via email after their purchase and around 72% will likely leave a review. However, disappoint your customer, and it may be the last time they buy from you as 30% will switch to a competitor even after just one bad purchasing experience.

Understanding your consumers is the key to ensuring you are giving good service, which in turn leads to stronger customer relationships and new sales through positive recommendations. However, understanding your consumers' psyche is not an easy feat and requires a thoughtful analysis of the purchase journey to enable you to anticipate their needs and exceed their expectations.

See the infographic below for the full set of results:

Source: feefo.com

How do consumers think and behave across the purchase journey? [Infographic]

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