Tying the Traditional Buying Decision Process to Ecommerce
Posted by Varun Chhibber, Associate Consultant, MFGCSI- Digital Transformation Practice, Infosys
Ecommerce is still in its infancy in the manufacturing space as compared to other domains. Although the situation is improving and players are coming out with some innovative strategies to hook the consumers to the bandwagon.
I was pondering over the different facets of ecommerce and thought about tying the traditional & digital world together. As i went deeper I discovered that both these worlds are quite similar in terms of consumer buying behavior, although the tools that are used to influence the buying decision are vastly different.
The diagram above illustrates the traditional buying decision process; where I have tried to tie each step of the process to the initiatives we can take to provide a wholesome experience to our users.
Need recognition & Problem awareness: The customer identifies a need, and this need can be induced by various channels such as advertisements & promotions on Social media websites.
Information Search: The next step in the process is to find information and usually consumers will search on the net, here SEO comes into play. If your website is not easily searchable, does not have convenient navigation & search capabilities, it can lead to loss of customers to competitors. If consumers can't search you, you don't exist!
Evaluation of alternatives: Do you provide comparison functionality? Let your consumers compare products, write reviews, give ratings etc. all this lends a 'Trust' factor to your site. Consumers like to 'consult' before buying and ratings, reviews etc. provides a good reference point for it.
Purchase: Provide your customers various payment options. Shopping cart should feature detailed product information and images providing a seamless experience to the user. Customer is king, treat them like one!
Post purchase evaluation: Let users write reviews, they may be positive or negative. Some bad reviews lend 'authenticity' factor to your review section.
Hygiene Factors: What are Customer's expectations?
A few standard features that are expected by customers and considered to be a given these days, if you are not offering these please pay attention:
Ecommerce in the manufacturing domain has been traditionally Business to Business and has lagged behind the other sectors, which embraced Business to Customer digital innovations long time back.
It's now time for the manufacturing firms to take the plunge and reap the long due immense benefits of Digital commerce innovations!