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Content for the customer buying process: purchase decision

The fourth and most important stage of the customer buying process is purchase decision, where your potential customer is at the point of purchasing from you. If an individual has come this far you may feel that the sale is in the bag. However, their decision to choose you over a competitor can still be disrupted.

With the right types of content and an effective message you can make sure they go all the way to a sale. The two content types below can help convince them to choose you.

Purchase decision explained

The purchase decision stage follows the evaluation of alternatives step, and involves a consumer’s final decision over who they will buy from. Their choice can still change at any moment as factors such as the opinion of peers, special offers, past brand experiences and even personal financial health have an influence. As they continue along the decision-making path, the right type of content delivered effectively can lead them towards you and not a rival.

Customer reviews

According to econsultancy, 61 percent of customers will read an online review before they make their final purchasing decision. What’s more, Nielsen’s 2015 Global Survey of Trust in Advertising found that online consumer opinions are the second most trusted form of advertising, behind personal recommendations.

So how does this relate to content? By publishing consumer reviews online through providers such as Reevoo (a ratings and reviews service for multichannel brands) you can reassure a would-be buyer that they are making the right decision. This is assuming your product or service adds value and that you care about customer service. If not, bad reviews don’t matter, as you probably won’t be in business for much longer…

Korean carmaker Kia makes great use of customer testimonials by having a dedicated reviews pagefor each of its models. And although only the most flattering verdicts can be cherry picked, they’ll still be viewed more favourably than a branded message.

We mentioned the effectiveness of testimonials at the problem recognition stage, and you can use them here too by pulling out statements of satisfaction from customers who have left a positive review.

Comparative content

With the trusted opinion of their peers still fresh in their mind, providing a potential customer with a comparison between your product or service and a competitor’s could finally cement the sale. This could involve publishing a simple table showing the features of your offering up against a rival’s, to highlight your USPs. The below comparison grid from pricerunner.co.uk is a good example of how to clearly display the key features of a product. You could easily add something similar to your own site, and this type of content is also more likely to keep a visitor on the page than a wall of text.

When carrying a persuasive and on-brand message, the above content types and all others mentioned in previous posts can turn a cold prospect into a buying customer. However, the influence of content doesn’t end there, as it can also be used to build loyalty and generate feedback

to improve your product or service. We’ll explain how in our next and final blog post in the series.

Do you have something to share about content and the customer buying process? Leave a comment below or tweet us @strattoncraig.

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