October 13, 2014
John Mulder

Why Do We Buy?

I’ve long believed, and still do, that we buy on emotion and rationalize our choices after we have already decided on a purchase. But recently, our resident SEO guru has me thinking that maybe technology has caused rationalizing to be done in the same moment as we do our emotional buying.

Often, we trust the people we know and other customer’s opinions more than we trust our own research. Most companies that have put uncensored and unfiltered customer reviews on their websites have found that they are far better off when they allow people to talk openly. What people say becomes much more of a deciding factor in a consumer’s decision to buy than an ad does.

The reason we buy is only occasionally dictated by a true need. More often than not we buy what we want. Because outside of air, water, food, clothing, and shelter, what do we really NEED? I suppose you could argue that on top of our physical needs, we do have emotional needs. In fact, an object could have, and often does have, a profound influence on our daily lives, and can be generally defined as a need.

So, maybe we can both agree that what the need is depends on the person. With that in mind let’s look at the types of buyers.

The majority of buyers are what I will call the Needs Shopper. They don’t know what to buy because they don’t know what they want, but they do know they have a problem. If you do your marketing properly, you may be able to provide the solution for them. It can take a long time to convert these buyers, and that’s why you need regular and repeated content marketing.

A second buying group is the Curious Shopper. They have an idea of what they want, but they want to be sure that your product or service is what they are looking for. They consume your content with urgency and will listen to whatever you have to say. More than anyone, you need to appeal to these buyers’ inner desires – not their needs.

The next group is the Loyal Buyer. These are the ones who already know that you are the solution for nearly every need they have. Usually loyal buyers are easy to sell. All they need is a gentle nudge and they will buy. This group is often as forgiving as a good friend.

The final type of buyers is the Insistent Client. These shoppers know that you are an authority in your field and insist that they get only your product or service. They view you as a commodity and have little interest in developing a relationship. To these people, what you deliver must be in line with their expectations. When it is, this is the customer you want to get a testimonial from.

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