Customer Buying Cycle: A Simple 4-Step Model For Your Analytics


Have you drawn out your customer buying cycle? A customer buying cycle maps the process of discovery to purchase of your product. A simple way to look at this is through a 4-step cycle: awareness, interest, purchase, and review.

Awareness

When a customer is first introduced to your product without having any prior interest in it. This typically happens through advertising, or from a second-hand account of someone who has heard or purchased. Awareness doesn’t lead to conversion.

Interest

When someone takes an action because they have become interested. Many times this involves searching for reviews or visiting the product website. Interest leads to conversion.

Purchase

When someone makes a purchase. It can be useful to analyze this stage to find ways of adding value to the customer after the purchase. This may involve enhancing the packaging or adding a follow-up thank you. Apple is really good at this, in that when you open an Apple product, the un-packaging is an experience in itself.

Review

Whether or not your customer writes a review, they will make a judgement on whether their purchase was worthwhile. This is the stage where you can get valuable feedback. This is the stage where customer services steps in.

Re-starting The Customer Buying Cycle

The customer restarts the cycle when they become aware of other offerings.

It can be helpful to group your analytics by each category. For instance, in Google Analytics, you can create a separate dashboard for each stage. This both declutters your view and allows you to hone in on each stage in your process to identify trends and improve.

This model doesn’t have to be limited to selling products, but can also be applied to conveying ideas. For instance, it can be useful to map out each step when proposing projects for your work.

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