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Customers go through the buying cycle before they finally decide to make a purchase, generally following this pattern:
- Need – Customers are aware they need something, they’re just not 100% sure what it is yet. For example, Shopper A just had his washing machine’s tumbler stop working. It’s a problem that he needs to fix, but he doesn’t know how.
- Initial research – The customer tries to find a solution. In the case of our friend with the broken washing machine, he’ll probably first look to figure out if a repair will suffice or whether he’ll need to purchase a washing machine replacement. He recognizes a new washer is needed and does research to find a model that fits his budget and offers the best quality for that price.
- Final research – The customer has found a solution; all that’s left is choosing where to purchase it.
- Purchase – The customer makes his purchase.