Understanding the factors influencing the purchase decisions of your customers is the key to a successful business. How do customers decide what product or service to buy, & when? What compels them to select one company over their competitors? Product quality and seller reputation; is what most of you might think. It is very obvious.
But imagine a scenario where product quality matches the customer’s needs and they trust the brand or the seller. Will they immediately purchase the product? What are the factors that influence purchase decisions once these fundamentals are in place?
To increase sales & hence revenue, and grow the business; it’s critical for businesses to identify and utilize the factors that influence consumer’s purchasing decisions. Online reviews & feedbacks are the front-runners. Companies should gather customer interactions and understand; how a customer feels about them, and what are the needs/desires, – in order to succeed.
Now that it is imperative to identify what motivates your customers, upon taking a dive, you might encounter numerous blogs, articles, white papers and references on the topic of consumer behaviors. However, the need of the hour is to find out what exactly matches that of your customers and prospective customers’ needs. We found that below-mentioned factors often play a major role in why consumers buy products or services, they do.
Customers, more than often, either purchases products that suit their personality; or who they want to be and at times, both. It is all about how the customer sees himself/herself; prettier, popular, eco-conscious etc. Another side of it is how they perceive others look at them. Marketing researchers are of a firm opine that people buy products to enrich their identity in their own eyes and get closer to their ideal selves.
“Be All That You Can Be” used for several years by the U.S. Army to recruit soldiers was an effort to appeal to the self-concept. Joining the Army will make you a better version of yourself, which will eventually improve your life. Several companies offering beauty products and cosmetic procedures were prompt enough to advertise in a way that will appeal to the ideal self, people seek.
Definition of value is different and personal for every consumer. What one customer considers valuable, may not be for another. It is not only about where they live, what their gender is, which products they use, or which are the products they like? Instead, it is more about their likes and dislikes, what they do, how they spend their time and what are their priorities, values, opinions and general outlook of the world around. Who do they like to talk to and what do they usually talk or chat about?
Amazon customers may value the convenience and competitive prices they get, however, for whole foods customers – it is most of the time the trust that the products are natural and responsibly sourced. Assuming what matters to one, matters to all – can result in a nightmare.
Stores, products, services experience that consumers enjoy – which unfortunately is usually and easily forgotten. Physical factors which retailers can control includes the store layout, music played in the lobby, the lighting, temperature, and the strategic fragrancing is done as part of atmospherics. Doing all these, up to certain extent, gives organizations the capability to yield results in form of customers staying in stores for longer time, buying more products, and leaving with better impressions of the quality of stores’ services and products. It’s time you give a thought to this with your store and/or product.
In this era of internet, ideas explode across markets, but not all of them fill a need; and needs of any and every kind plays a huge role in consumer behavior. Google enthusiastically launched Google Glass product, however, the consumers felt otherwise and it made a huge dent on the sales. Which means identifying customer needs is really important. Leading to the tremendous economic meltdown in the year 2008, like other players, automobile sale dropped for Hyundai as well. They identified the need that customers wanted to feel secure and safe. They ran a campaign assuring car buyers that they could return the vehicles if they get laid and cannot make the payments, and all this without damaging their credit scores. Taking this example banks started offering “worry-free” mortgages to ease the minds of would-be home-buyers.
Customer reviews & feedbacks; good, bad and ugly
Customer needs and desires vary and the factors which influence these customers vary, too. However, that one thing common among all of them is that they never hesitate in expressing their opinions and reviews about a brand, product or service they used. It is the overall experience, the good, the bad and the ugly – everything – and most of the times – online. For this reason, it is just as important that brands gather and understand customer interactions to identify the factors that influence customer purchase decisions.
The conventional process of identifying customer needs and desires comprised of physical survey forms, questionnaire, telephonic or interface interviews and several such manual processes. That is how Amazon, Hyundai, and several other players identified their customer needs and fulfilled their wishes. But since the dawn of social media, it has opened up new avenues to track what consumers say and talk about the brand, product or services from a sentiment analysis perspective.
Data analysts track, collect, index and summarize customer opinions – instantaneously. Unlike traditional solutions, a combination of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and natural language processing can be very close to the equivalent of human judgment and accuracy. Advancements in technology make this fusion of machine-powered processing a good choice for opinion-mining, particularly for enterprises that generate vast amounts of data. This feedback is available in “real time” showcasing customers’ voices and opinions instantly and can spread across social media as fast as it could.
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