How People Buy Online



Do you know how people buy online? That is, how someone transitions from an online “window shopper” to a buyer with credit card in hand? This article describes the stages in the customer buying cycle.

Stages in the buying cycle

Customers typically go through three main stages when shopping for a product: research, evaluation, and buying.

In the research stage, people are gathering information. They are studying the product and its features, and determining whether the product will meet their needs or benefit them. Today, with the Internet, customers have unprecedented access to information about thousands of products. Although people may find out about a product from a television commercial, a magazine ad, or word-of-mouth, they usually conduct their research on the Internet. They can go to different sellers’ websites to read about and compare offerings by competing merchants.

In the evaluation stage, people are making up their minds whether to buy a product and which vendor’s brand and model to buy. This is where people often read expert reviews, side-by-side comparisons, and testimonials. An Internet marketer can influence an individual in this stage by featuring similar products that are on the market, and making a convincing case to best male masterbator one brand and model. In addition to information provided by the seller, customers can often read reviews by previous buyers. Research shows that buyers attach significant value to user reviews, often more than expert opinions.

In the buying stage, the customer has completed their research, decided on a specific brand and model, and is ready to buy. Customers in this stage have already decided to buy, and are looking for where they can get their chosen product at the best price. This is the most profitable stage for Internet marketers, since they are most likely to make a sale by aiming for customers in this stage.

Most profitable keywords

Now that we have an idea of how people buy online, we need to select the right keywords that are appropriate for different stages. Generic keywords that mention products without specific brands, like “running shoes”, are appropriate for customers in the research stage. Such people are typically gathering information about running shoes, seeing what the important features are, and what brands are available. People normally search at least a few times before they decide on a product, so an Internet marketer is unlikely to make significant sales from this keyword. These customers are not yet ready to buy.

More profitable keywords are those for people later in the buying cycle. Someone searching for “New Balance WR993GL” has this brand and model in mind and is on the verge of transitioning from a shopper to a buyer. An Internet marketer is likely to have higher conversions with such a keyword by promoting the benefits and advantages of this product to reinforce the buyer’s decision, and pointing to where products like this are available at good prices. Finally, someone in the buying stag


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