14 Mar2019

The Customer Buying Cycle

Customer buying cycle is a journey of any prospect from being a stranger to a brand towards being a customer. Here are three customer buying stages.

Awareness : Customer first becomes aware of your product. It is the point where a customer first becomes aware of a need that they want to fulfill.

Consideration – when a customer starts evaluating solutions to their need


Imagine a scenario where you are just looking through a clothing store. You dont have a particular idea of what you want to buy. You are approached by a hungry salesperson who is convinced they can get you to buy something. You are annoyed by attention and feel that they are ruining the peaceful browsing experience that you hoped to have.

Now, imagine the scenario when you have an urgent need to purchase a black sweater, have much less time. You want a salesperson to help you immediately, so you don’t spend your time looking for the item. However, you can’t seem to get the attention of any of the salespeople. You are highly irritated by the lack of focus.

Difference between two buying cycle?

In the first situation, you are much early in the Awareness stage, and in the second example, you are right at the end of the purchase cycle.

Depending on position in buying cycle, the expectations for how the sales people in the shop should treat you are different. If you are early in the period, you want to be left alone to browse around. If you are later in the cycle, you want highly responsive help to complete the purchase. Using the wrong sales approach leads to buyer frustration.

How do you adapt Marketing to a buyer’s stage in the cycle?

In the online world, we need to provide different paths through the website that are appropriate for each stage. It turns out that visitors will self-identiy where they are in the buying cycle by the ways they take, provided you give them the option.

How on-line lead sources relate to the Customer Buying Cycle?

Different lead sources produce buyers at various stages of the customer buying cycle: People in the late buying cycle use tools like Google, and review sites to search for vendors and products to solve a problem.

For markets where there is still education required, most leads will be very early in their buying cycles and will take time to convert.

Buying Triggers

A Trigger is an event that stimulates the need. As an example, you might have a vague interest in buying camera and you might check few reviews and search for products online. However, an upcoming safari trip could act as the trigger that gets you shopping with clear intent to purchase.

Other examples of triggers:

Your hard disk fails, and you realize you need a better backup system You have a burglary and know you want a far better video security system Your company grows beyond a certain size, and your old manual HR systems can no longer cope etc.

The specific trigger that gets their buyers going is not only different from startup to startup, but also different depending on their role in the organization. Having an apparent understanding of these triggers helps you:

Identify the buyer persona.

Identify the trigger or triggers that typically get them into a severe buying mode. Create messaging and content for each persona & trigger combination.

Trigger-specific messaging and content

Understanding the trigger helps create messaging for the persona on the front page of the web site, you could place messaging for each persona.

In Conclusion, understanding customer buying cycles and their needs in different cycles gives you a better look out at what content is required to process the purchases and drive conversions online.