What Is the Buyer’s Journey and Why Is It Important?

We’d all love for customers to just find our websites and make snap purchases. The reality is the buyer’s journey tends to be a long, winding road, with all sorts of hurdles to get them to purchase, and repurchase.

That said, eCommerce is more and more firmly established by the year, and so best practices are increasingly well established too. In this post we’ll discuss what the buyer’s journey is, why it’s important and the various stages you should understand and master for best sales results.

What is the Buyer’s Journey?

Acquiring and keeping new customers, from start to finish, is what is defined as the buyer’s journey. This starts when someone is doing research, or just reading about things in their space, and find a particular seller. The seller then continues to raise awareness through various steps, with the goal of leading to a first purchase.

Once they’ve become an actual buyer, keeping those buyers engaged, and coming back, becomes the new target. Fortunately, once they’re buying from you, you also have more information to work with, and you can get even closer to that buyer with messaging that is relatable and entices them to come back.

Why is This Important?

Competition is fierce in eCommerce, and buyers are doing their homework, especially when it comes to B2B eCommerce. Forrester Research found that 74% of B2B buyers do research online before making a purchase.

Many B2B purchases involve multiple stakeholders, and therefore the purchase process is more deliberate. Price is an important aspect of the journey for many, so B2B businesses many times customize pricing based on customer groups.

As such, being visible when a potential buyer is doing their homework, and remaining top of mind as they begin to narrow down the choices, can strengthen your ability to bring in business. Then, once engaged, you can leverage what you know to further personalize any marketing to strengthen the affinity and encourage repeat business.

Stages of the Buyer’s Journey

The path from potential buyer to regular customer is pretty well defined, so if this is relatively new to you, the good news is you don’t have to figure it all out on your own.

Our friends at Hawke Media, who are experts in B2B marketing, shared as part of a recent blog post the buyer’s journey stages, also sometimes known as the marketing funnel, and what you should be doing at each step. They are:

Awareness

The first stage is building awareness of your brand and offerings. At this stage you’re in the “getting to know you” phase of the relationship, and simply making potential buyers aware you exist.

There are a variety of ways you can build awareness, such as content marketing and social media, as well as other standard digital ad types such as display.

Consideration

Once they’re aware of you, if the introduction resonated, they will begin to consider you among other options for a purchase. But that means you need to continue to be visible to them during this time.

This means leveraging options like retargeting/remarketing, which can keep your brand at top of mind in an affordable way. If they signed up for your email list, email marketing is another way to drive additional reminders in a more personalized way.

Purchase

If the various marketing steps have done their job, it’s time for the purchase. That means a website that’s optimized for making a purchase simple and easy. This is particularly important for B2B eCommerce, given the larger order sizes, to make building bulk orders quick and painless.

Retention

Getting more sales from existing customers is much more cost efficient than acquiring new ones, so the Retention stage is perhaps the most important because it has the most bang for its buck.

Similar tools are used in this stage as the Consideration stage, such as email and remarketing, to retain mindshare, with some additional knowledge now as to what they’ve bought and how often. This opens up a more targeted, personalized approach.

Zoey Supports the Buyer’s Journey

Our B2B eCommerce solution make bulk selling a breeze for you and your buyers. Learn about our tools and how they help support the buyer’s journey by requesting a demo:

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