The stages of ‘The Purchase Cycle’

Jane Blakeborough explains the stages of the purchase cycle to help beat "buyer's remorse"

19 Jun, 13
Jane Blakeborough explains the stages of the purchase cycle to help beat “buyer’s remorse”

Expert: Jane Blakeborough

Company: J.M.Blake Marketing

Background: Owner of J.M.Blake Marketing, a specialist consultancy, tailored to companies within the bathroom industry

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It happens to us all, we decide we need a new ‘something’, we spend time looking at all the alternatives, we make a decision and finally we purchase. Then we start to worry we’ve made the wrong decision. The bigger the purchase, the bigger the worry. In other words, we get buyer’s remorse.

Buyer’s remorse occurs when the buyer has stepped out of their comfort zone to make an expensive purchase. The adrenalin of making this purchase is replaced with the fear of the wrong choice, the guilt of the extravagance, or a suspicion of having been overly influenced by the salesperson.

There comes a point where that purchase no longer seems such a good idea and the buyer may even start to look at ways to back out. To avoid this happening with your customers, it helps to understand the five stages each consumer goes through when making a purchase.

Five stages of purchase cycle:

1. Need recognition and problem awareness

2. Information search

3. Evaluation of alternatives

4. Purchase

5. Post-purchase evaluation

Buyer’s remorse occurs in the post-purchase evaluation. But, by gently leading the buyer through the previous stages, it can be dramatically reduced.

Buying a bathroom is classed a ‘high-involvement purchase’ as it is a purchase not made very often, but very important to the buyer.

High-involvement purchases have the potential to cause a great deal of buyers remorse, and consumers tend to rely on a good brand name to give confidence in a purchase.

A bathroom customer will take extra time to get through the evaluation of alternatives stage.

They will engage in extended problem solving, where they spend a lot of time comparing different aspects such as features and benefits, prices, warranties, etc.

This is where your marketing communications strategy must be clear, comprehensive and ‘hand-holding’; not just about the actual product itself, but also covering other areas of concern such as returns policy, fitting instructions, product guarantees and contact details.

By making sure that this type of information is simple to understand, up to date, clearly displayed, and communicated regularly, you’ll be ahead of the competition in creating customer confidence and beating buyer’s remorse.

Jane Blakeborough on the purchase cycle

Pictured – Jane blakeborough