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Marketing at the Six Stages of the Consumer Buying Process


How many times has it come to your mind that there is a process to buying a product? A lot of people see consumer buying as some random behavior. I can’t overemphasize on how wrong that is. Before someone makes a purchase, there are a series of actions that take place before and after the purchase itself. Understanding these actions/stages of consumer buying process will help build up your conversion rates.

The stages of consumer buying process include:

1. Problem Recognition:

Before a purchase can be made, the consumer must first recognize the need for the product or service. They must have the belief that they want your product or service. When the consumer sees a problem, this is an opportunity for the marketer. As a marketer, part of your job is to let you consumers realize that they have a “problem”. You are the one to start the buying process. Until the inventor of ring video doorbell made us see that our houses could be more secure with his invention of the video doorbell, we didn’t know our houses could be “safer”. This makes not having a video doorbell seem problematic to some people who will eventually embark on the purchasing process.

So as a marketer, you “create a problem” for your customers whilst providing them with a solution – your product or service. Start this process with great content marketing, sharing what solutions your products or service will provide. It is always a good idea to throw a question at your consumers to help them recognize a problem that needs solving.

2. Research:

Once the consumer realizes and recognizes a problem, the next line of action is to look for a solution. They begin the research process. Sometimes they know what it is they are looking for, sometimes they don’t. This is the point where you present yourself as a thought leader in that field to your consumers. Search engine optimization at this point is very vital. You must focus on being found by the consumer looking for the product or service that you provide.

3. Evaluation of Alternatives:

Consumers don’t just buy the first product they find. They want to be sure they are about to make the right purchase. To ensure that the research is thorough, they would compare products to see if there is even a better alternative out there.  The onus is on you as a marketer to keep the consumer on your site whilst providing a means for evaluation of your product with other products from your competitions. This is a good strategy as it doesn’t only simplify the process for your consumers but it builds trust for your brand. It says “I provide what you need but I’m not forcing it on you”.

4. Decision Making:

The consumer has conducted his research and has made up his mind. He may decide to purchase or not purchase. What they consider in making this decision revolves around quality, price, and payment. At this point, more content marketing is required of the marketing, clearly showing why purchasing your product or service is the best move the consumer can make.

Now if the consumer decides not to purchase your product or service, your next move as a marketer should be retarget marketing. This is the next step that is geared at bringing them back to the evaluation stage.

5. Purchase:

This is the goal of any marketing, to make sales.  The consumer has finished going through all the previous process and has decided to buy. This doesn’t mean work as a marketer is done. You have to see the buying process through. You need to ensure that the consumer’s buying process is hitch free. Website optimization at this point is paramount. Does your page load fast enough? Can your page open on a mobile device? Etc. think off all possible issues that may arise and ensure they are not an issue. One easy way to lose customers is to provide a fairly easy purchase process. Avoid that.

6. Post purchase evaluation:

After a purchase has been made, the consumer evaluates the product to know if he made the right choice or not. If he finds that he is not satisfied with your product he either tries to exchange it with some other product of yours or just walk away with the likelihood of not returning.  It is important you know if your customers are happy with their purchase by carrying out surveys to get feedback from consumers. Post buying services like refunds and exchanges or even a simple thank you, email should also be made available.


Written by: 

Tega Gabriel Ogigirigi

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