Re-Design Your Website Around Powerful Buying Patterns

Are you doing everything you can to make buying easy on your website?

For most businesses, the primary objective of a website is related to sales. Yet, this “simple” objective is complicated because websites can’t hold a dynamic sales conversation (yet). It’s why you still get phone calls, hold strategy session meetings and talk to customers through email to help them make a decision.

You don’t sell your product or service to everyone in the same way because each person has different concerns and different processes they go through to make a buying decision.

Through deploying multiple websites, I’ve identified four main customer “buying patterns.” Implementing tweaks to your website based on these buying patterns will mean higher conversions and more sales. 

Frank Wazeter full-stack web developer

Rather than focus on intangible personality traits, the focus here is on tangible “how” someone goes about their buying process and “what” they’re looking for to make the decision.

The four buying patterns are abbreviated to B.R.A.G.

B = Bargainers

R = Researchers

A = Action takers

G = Group buyers

Everyone defaults to a primary buying pattern when they’re making a purchasing decision. But, people aren’t limited to just one pattern: Most often, you’ll find that people will support their decisions by supplementing their decision making with traits from other patterns. Plus, people will change their default primary pattern based on what they’re buying (e.g. buying a car vs. buying a book).

Where most websites go wrong is that they’re only really appealing to one of the buying patterns (usually modeling how the business owner buys). Let’s dive into the buying patterns and easy implementations you can make today.

Bargainers are always looking for a deal

These are the types of people who are always looking for a deal and are most often confused with “bargain hunters.” Bargain hunters are people who go shopping to find a bargain, which usually means getting the same product or service for a cheaper price. Here’s an example: Store A has the X3 model TV for $399. Store B has the X3 for $379, if you can’t match that, I’ll buy from store B.

Bargainers, on the other hand, are people who are seeking the best deal, which doesn’t always mean the cheapest price. They’re looking to get the most “bang for their buck.” Here’s an example of a bargainer’s thought process: Store A has the X3 model TV for $399, but store B has the X3 with a $75 speaker set for $450, I’ll buy from store B.

The difference is critical. You can’t always win a “cheapest price” war with a competitor, but you can almost certainly always create value-packed offers. The most common way of doing this is offering packages of different products and services or adding on additional upsells that are sold at a better rate when bought with something else.

Here are some website implementations:

  • Add “price box grids” that compare different offers with listed add-ons and features.
  • Bundle your products or services together and add meaningful upsells.
  • Add value through expertise, such as information / how-to guides, books or consulting sessions.
  • Emphasize tangible (pricing) and intangible (convenience, expertise) value.

Researchers want to make the “best” decision

Primarily, a researcher wants to make a purchase that is “empirically” or “factually” the best decision they could make based on their budget and their needs. 

As a result, researchers will judge product or service quality based on how easy it was for them to do their research. Brief explanations with no details are extremely frustrating. They’re seeking answers and want to delve into all the nitty-gritty. If you don’t provide that information, then you’re going to get eliminated as an option because you must be “worse” by default than your competitor who does.

They love reading through long documents explaining processes, explanations about things like how material choice impacts durability or efficiency and they’ll defend their purchasing decision based on logical “empirical fact” conclusions. Fortunately, since researchers will dig for information, this doesn’t mean you need to pile up 18,000 words on your home or service pages. Simply add an easy link for more information about key points to go to the long detail pages.

Here are some website implementations:

  • Create detailed content pages that delve into the nitty-gritty of your product or service, with related articles that go into even more specific detail.
  • Thoroughly explain your process or methodology on a page.
  • Objectively identify both the pros and cons of your offerings. 
  • Provide as much data as you can, often offered as a “whitepaper” for download.

Action takers want it short, simple and result-oriented

Contrary to the researcher, the action taker wants short content that gets straight to the point and is extremely result-focused. Overly long or complicated explanations lead to frustration and you’ll hear statements like, “Get to the point,” or “This is way too complicated for what I need.” 

It’s not that action takers are “less intelligent” than researchers, but more commonly are either pressed for time or just need a certain result now and don’t want to get “into the weeds.” They’ll judge you based on how clear and concise you are and how easy the buying process is.

Keep it brief, keep it simple, show results and data visually.

Here are some website implementations:

  • Summarize things in 2-3 sentences. Use “executive summaries” and bullet points.
  • Focus only on your most important stats and metrics and be result-oriented.
  • Show data in simple and visual graphs and charts.
  • Make buying extremely easy — one or two clicks and done.

Group buyers seek social proof

Group buyers are commonly known as “partner buyers” in sales lingo. Aside from legitimate purchases that require multiple parties to make decisions, the most common cause of the “need to talk to someone else” phenomenon is that the person simply isn’t confident in their ability or knowledge to make a decision. Because they’re not confident in their decision-making process, it’s very difficult for them to take action alone.

For example, I don’t know much about cars. I’ll even actively put off a car buying decision because I simply get paralyzed trying to “make the right choice.” I can’t trust the salesperson to be objective, as their primary motivation is to sell something from their inventory. Instead, I’ll ask friends who are passionate car aficionados what they think in order to make a decision.

That exact scenario is what leads to the majority of “I need to talk to someone” situations and nothing you say to them can convince them because they don’t trust themselves in the situation. What this buyer needs is third-party validation or to make a decision “together” so that they can either be confident they’re making the right choice or aren’t blamed for a decision. They need “group” validation and consensus.

Sure, they want to make the right choice, but most importantly they want to make the right socially acceptable choice. They want others to say things like “I’d have made the same choice.” 

Here are some website implementations:

  • Testimonials are critical — video is best but at least have written testimonials with pictures and names.
  • Don’t be generic with testimonials. Place testimonials talking about X next to content talking about X. 
  • Add easy “share” link buttons (share URL, via email, via social) so they can share it with someone they trust quickly. 
  • Get endorsements from respected influencers, public figures or local leaders.
  • Add high-profile credibility builders (credentials, companies you’ve worked with, etc.)
  • Build trust through regularly publishing new content and building followings.

kivuti kamau

Data Modelling, Design & Development

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