Product Life Cycle Marketing for Online Shopping: What You Need to Know

When it comes to purchasing online, a lot can go wrong. From ordering the wrong product to receiving one that’s faulty, the risk of experiencing a bad consumer experience is very high. That’s why it’s so important to be aware of all the stages that a product goes through from initial interest to eventual disposal.

The product life cycle begins with product discovery, which occurs when a consumer navigates to an online store seeking a particular item and either lands on the product page or makes a direct click-through to the product details. From here, the shopper can learn more about the product, including any key features, read reviews, and watch videos. This information is called product information and it forms the basis of the customer’s initial perception of the product.

Next up is product evaluation, where the consumer decides whether or not to purchase the product based on their research. This stage can vary from very passive to active. In the former case, the shopper merely visits a shop and adds a product to their cart. In the latter, the consumer actively compares two or more competing products and conducts all of the research needed to make an informed purchase. However, in most cases, the evaluation stage is a combination of the two. Once the shopper finds the product that best suits their needs, they move onto product purchase where they reveal their identity, enter payment details, and complete the checkout.

When the product is delivered, the buyer receives it, opens it, and begins using it. This is called product use and it forms part of the customer’s regular routine until they eventually discontinue or refuse to use the product in which case they undergo product disposal. When the product is disposed of, it enters a resource recovery process where it’s either resold to another shopper or incinerated.

Importance Of The Product Life Cycle

One of the biggest benefits of following a product life cycle is that it allows you to track the entire buyer’s journey. This way you can see all the steps that the customer take from the moment they discover your product to when they decide to buy or opt out of the product. With this information, you can identify key stages that need to be optimized and measure the success of your campaigns. For example, if you notice that most of your customers arrive at the purchase stage of the product life cycle spontaneously, this may indicate that your marketing efforts are working. However, if the majority of your customers click through to the product page and then cancel the purchase, you’ll know that you need to adjust your strategy to reach this audience effectively.

The product life cycle also provides you with the opportunity to market your product throughout the entire stage. So, if you notice that the majority of your customers are shopping for a specific feature that your product has, you can take this opportunity to market the feature and gain more traction.

In short, following a product life cycle allows you to segment your customers and target them effectively based on the stage that they’re in.

Key Elements To Include In Your Product Life Cycle

To help you track and analyze the product life cycle, we’ve identified key elements that you should include in your marketing strategy. To start with, the initial product discovery stage of the cycle should include all of the following:

  • Product details: Key features, technical specifications, and any other relevant information about the product that might be helpful to the customer. This includes anything from brand to availability of the product.
  • Comparisons: Since the customer is going to compare your product to others, you should include a variety of competitor products and let them know that you’re the best in the industry. This will help them make the right decision and avoid the common pitfall of choosing a product only because it’s the cheapest.
  • Video tutorials: If your product is difficult to use or understand, showing the customer how to use the product via a short video is a great way to gain trust and encourage them to try it.
  • Product reviews: If your product has been tried and tested by your target audience, consider including reviews from previous customers.
  • Contact information: If a customer has any questions about your product, delivering a quick and easy to use contact form is a good idea.
  • Social media: Integrating social media into your site is a great way to connect with potential customers and encourage them to engage with your company.

Once the customer decides to purchase your product, the following elements should be included:

  • Confirmation of purchase: After the customer makes a purchase, you should have a seamless transition to a confirmation screen where they can access their order and take advantage of any available resources. In the event that the customer needs assistance, you should have someone available to assist them.
  • Download or print a receipt: Having a printed receipt is great for tax purposes and it also allows the customer to prove that they made a purchase from your company. However, if your product is digital in nature, having an effective and user-friendly way to download the purchase is the best option.
  • Product use: As noted above, once the customer has purchased your product, it becomes part of their regular routine until they refuse to use it or it is discontinued. During this stage, you should have effective user-friendly tools available for the customer to access their orders and any support needed. In the case of digital products, you should have some method of email support or phone support if the customer needs help. Even in the case of physical products, you can send them a confirmation email or send them a letter by mail.
  • Product disposal: Finally, the day comes when the customer discards your product. In the event that they refuse to use it, you should have an effective way of getting rid of it properly. In the case of toxic products, you should have specialized agencies that you can consult with about proper disposal procedures.
  • Subscription: If your product is designed to be used regularly, offering a subscription plan that discounts regular prices and provides additional benefits is a good idea.
  • Access to additional merchandise: In the event that the customer continues to use your product, you can unlock additional products that are specific to the model or version that they’ve own. This can be material such as expandable storage, car parts, or any other type of merchandise that your company might offer.
  • Contact information: If the customer has any questions about their order, delivery, or the product itself, having a contact form or an understanding customer service rep is a good idea.
  • Social media: Integrating social media into your site is a great way to connect with potential customers and encourage them to engage with your company.

Once the customer disposes of your product, the following elements should be included: