You need to understand customer intent to keep up with today’s competitive business environment and market demands. A powerful way to do this is by identifying buying signals.
Buying signals are actions that demonstrate customers are getting closer to being ready to make a purchase. This happens in both B2C and B2B buying and selling. If you recognize buying signals, your business can tailor its strategies and engage with your target market more effectively, ultimately helping you generate more sales opportunities and stronger customer relationships.
Here are 13 examples of buying signals, the insights they provide, and how you can use them to improve the overall customer buying experience to ultimately close more deals.
Buying signals are indicators of customers’ intent, behavior, and interest in purchasing a product or service. To best understand the buyer’s journey — and become more effective at nurturing and closing more sales deals — you should proactively identify them.
Buying signals shed light on customer intent and tell sales it’s time to reach out. Understanding them can help you adjust marketing, sales, and engagement strategies accordingly. With this knowledge, you can provide the right sales techniques, follow-up messages, or incentives to nurture potential customers into making a purchase.
Here are 13 examples of buying signals and ways to react to them in order to sell more effectively.
1. Abandoned cart
We’ve all filled up an online cart full of items just to exit out of the tab as if nothing happened. This notorious buying signal can reveal barriers preventing conversion, like a slow or unresponsive website, price point drawbacks, or expensive shipping rates.
Here are some tactics to rectify cart abandonment:
Audit and optimize your website for speed, mobile responsiveness, and intuitive navigation to ensure the shopping experience is as seamless as possible.
Simplify the checkout process with fewer steps, auto-fill forms, and progress indicators to show users where they are in the checkout process.
Send personalized emails with reminders to finish the buying process — while considering discounts or other offers to help with the decision.
2. Repeated visits
There are many reasons why a prospect may repeatedly visit a specific product page on your website but never complete a purchase. Maybe they’re comparing options against your competitor or perhaps they’re seeking additional information before making the purchase decision.
Either way, this buying signal shows the prospect is interested and intends to purchase at some point. To capitalize on this opportunity, you should:
Invest in your overarching customer experience strategy via detailed product descriptions, responsive customer support, and a user-friendly website.
Provide valuable content that encourages repeat visits such as product showcase videos or detailed comparisons to competitor products.
Create a FAQ section to help them get essential information faster.
Send personalized emails with the latest offers.
3. Product comparison
When a member of your target audience actively compares your products or services to other competitor options, they’re often preparing to make a purchase. They’re trying to make an informed decision about which is best, and while you’re in the running, you haven’t won just yet.
Stand out among the competition with these strategies:
Offer comprehensive content about your product or services like use cases, demos, or pricing breakdowns.
Highlight unique features and how customers are going to benefit from them.
Create pages on your site that compare your pricing or features to the competition, highlighting your wins. Make sure they are specific to each competitor so it’s easy to see the clear winner.
Display customer reviews and testimonials.
4. Live chat engagement
When a potential client initiates a live chat, it signifies an active desire to explore your offerings and engage in real-time communication. To capitalize on this buying signal, consider the following strategies to guide the prospect toward conversion:
Prompt responses: Respond swiftly to live chat inquiries to keep the prospect’s interest high. A 24/7 live-staffed chat with Smith.ai can help increase your speed to lead and increase the likelihood of conversion.
Personalization: Couple your immediate engagement with tailored responses. Ask questions to get to the heart of the prospect’s needs so you can provide relevant information and solutions instead of generic responses.
Compelling CTA: Point the prospect in the right direction by putting them in touch with someone who can provide more information or by offering a clear and compelling next step like a relevant demo they could sign up for.
5. Free trial sign-ups
When individuals sign up for a free trial, it indicates their willingness to invest time in experiencing the product firsthand. It suggests they’re considering your product or service to the point that they’ll take it for a test run. Here are some ways to capitalize on this buying signal:
Offer a personalized demo of your product or service. This can be one that’s pre-recorded or fully carried out live by a salesperson or customer service representative.
Present limited-time offers.
Create feedback forms to provide after a demo to gather insight on how well the product met the customer’s needs and where it may have fallen short (and use that information in your response or future sales calls).
6. Wishlist activity
When a customer or lead adds to a wishlist, it shows purchasing intent and provides insight into product preferences.
To encourage wishlist creation and conversion for those purchases, follow these tips:
Strategize targeted promotions.
Make personalized recommendations based on related or similar products.
Provide time-sensitive reminders or offers.
7. Social media engagement
Prospects who like, comment, share, or tag others in your brand’s posts demonstrate a genuine connection, brand affinity, and inclination toward buying the product or service. Try these tips to leverage social media engagement further:
Incentive participation: Offer giveaways, contests, or exclusive deals to encourage further engagement with your brand.
Social listening: Monitor trending social media conversations to gain insights into customer preferences and sentiment, enabling better-tailored marketing efforts.
8. Extended browsing time
Customers who spend a significant amount of time exploring a website or specific product pages show deep interest and consideration of your product or service, suggesting a higher likelihood of conversion.
To push users toward conversion, implement these website best practices:
Optimize your website navigation with a sticky navigation bar, breadcrumbs, and content categorization.
Write detailed product information.
Offer live chat support.
Promote limited-time offers.
Invest in an intuitive user experience.
9. Positive reviews
As a buying signal, positive reviews demonstrate that customers are happy with their purchase and willing to publicly endorse it, making them more likely to become loyal advocates. To improve customer retention or encourage repeat purchases among past buyers, follow these tips:
Express gratitude: Thank customers for their positive reviews to reinforce a strong relationship and encourage continued loyalty.
Offer incentives: Provide exclusive discounts or promotions to customers who leave positive reviews to entice them to make another purchase.
Recommend related products: Use the information from their review to suggest related or complementary products they might be interested in.
After-sales support: Give excellent after-sales support and customer service to ensure a positive experience after completing the purchase.
10. Stock availability inquiries
If someone wants to know if a product is in stock, chances are pretty high that they want to purchase it. You should immediately act on their request to avoid losing a sale. Consider the following strategies to address stock inquiries effectively:
Offer real-time updates of product availability.
Create a pre-order request form or waitlist.
Notify customers of restocks and offer exclusive shipping rates or incentives
11. Notification sign-ups
If a prospective customer signs up for notifications about the availability or price changes of a specific product, they want to be among the first to make a purchase or stay informed on future buying opportunities. Since these prospects will likely convert, here’s how to further nurture them:
Provide timely updates.
Offer exclusive discounts or early access.
Allow users to customize notification preferences.
12. Multiple device engagement
Customers who interact with a brand or visit an online store through multiple devices like smartphones, tablets, and desktop computers generally have a higher level of interest and potential commitment to buying. Ensure a consistent and optimized experience across devices to facilitate seamless engagement and encourage conversion with:
Responsive design: Ensure you optimize your website for seamless browsing and purchasing across various devices.
Cross-device tracking: Track customer behavior across platforms and offer a consistent user experience or deliver targeted ads.
Integrated shopping cart: Allow users to save items to their shopping cart on one device and access it from another, facilitating a smooth purchasing process.
User accounts: Encourage users to create accounts to sync their preferences and browsing history across devices — making it easier to buy regardless of the device they use when they return.
13. Proposal engagement
When a prospective client reviews the details of a contract or proposal, it’s a strong indicator that they’re seriously considering your services and are evaluating the specifics of the arrangement. However, roadblocks can impede the journey from proposal engagement to signing. Take these actions to help cross the finish line with a contract:
View document analytics: Tools like PandaDocs allow you to review analytics like times viewed, total time spent, last view, PDF downloads, and links clicked. Investigating these analytics can give you insights into where clients might have gotten hung up and where more clarity or discussion may be needed.
Follow up: If a prospect has engaged with the proposal but hasn’t signed, send a follow-up message to check in on their decision-making process. Express your continued interest in working with them and gently inquire about any concerns that are holding them back.
Provide solutions: Based on the prospect’s hesitations, offer tailored solutions or clarifications that can ease their concerns. This could include adjustments to the proposal or more detailed explanations of certain terms.
Offer additional information: Provide supplementary materials like case studies, testimonials, or detailed service descriptions to further emphasize the value of your offerings and reinforce their decision to proceed.
Extend the deadline: If time constraints are a factor, consider extending the proposal acceptance deadline to give the prospect more time to make an informed decision without feeling rushed.
How to identify buying signals
It’s one thing to be familiar with common buying signals, but it’s another thing to recognize them when they’re directed toward your business. Here are ways to identify and quickly act on buying signals:
Pay attention to customer engagement: Monitor how customers interact with your brand, website, or products. Look for signs of active involvement, like exploring different pages, spending time on specific product descriptions, or leaving comments.
Evaluate customer inquiries: Pay attention to customers with specific inquiries about product availability, pricing, or features. These inquiries demonstrate high interest and potential readiness to buy.
Analyze product reviews and ratings: Review customer feedback, reviews, and ratings for your products. Positive reviews and high ratings indicate satisfied customers who may be inclined to make additional purchases.
Leverage automation: Utilize customer relationship management (CRM) systems or marketing tools with automation to track and analyze customer behavior based on set triggers and rules.
Capitalize on buying signals with sales outreach
Whether it’s an abandoned cart, repeated visits, or positive customer reviews, buying signals provide valuable insights into customer behavior and preferences to help shape your engagement and sales strategies.
If you want to capitalize on buying signals, consider utilizing a sales outreach service. Smith.ai’s sales-trained agents are specialized in outreach and available 24/7 to make calls on your behalf. We can nurture your leads and help create more sales opportunities —- while you focus on other aspects of your business.
Maddy Martin is Smith.ai's SVP of Growth. Over the last 15 years, Maddy has built her expertise and reputation in small-business communications, lead conversion, email marketing, partnerships, and SEO.