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ecommerce buying cycle - consideration

Phase 2 of the Ecommerce Buying Cycle: Consideration

In part one of this series, we discussed how awareness is the first stage of the ecommerce buying cycle. To recap, awareness is two-fold. First, customers must be able to identify their need. Second, they must become aware that your online business can solve their need. (1)

The consideration stage is the next important step in the buying process. In it, your goal is to help buyers evaluate how your goods or services meet their need. When shopping online, the experience that your website creates for visitors is an important part of the consideration process. The user experience you create can either encourage them stay and complete the purchase, or encourage them leave and “consider” products or services from a competitor.

There are many ways you can leverage the power of the consideration phase but here we’ll explore one specific aspect, comparative content.

Comparative Content
As buyers, we compare. It’s natural for us to browse, evaluate our options, and choose what we feel best meets our needs. By the time a visitor has visited your website, they want to know what you can do for them and how you’re different.

So help them compare. Make sure your on-page content reflects your unique selling proposition and underscores how you’re different from the competition. Provide charts and graphs that show the differences in products or services, and the benefits of choosing you. Consider offering rich content like videos, infographics, case studies, and testimonials that provide specific comparison data for use during the consideration process.

Part one of this series discussed how facts and emotion can help convert a visitor into a buyer. Your digital experience can take it a step further by thoughtfully presenting a mix of both factual and emotional content to help encourage sales. This can help shoppers develop a preference for what they want and can also help solidify their intent to purchase with you.

All of this and so much more leads to a customer’s intent to buy. That’s the decision stage, which we’ll cover in part three of this series.

1 HubSpot, http://blog.hubspot.com/blog/tabid/6307/bid/19022/How-to-Leverage-the-5-Stages-of-the-Customer-Buying-Cycle-for-More-Sales.aspx, 2011.

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