I think most retailers would agree that consumers are the foundation of their overall strategy. If that’s the case, then understanding online behavior is critical for any ecommerce site. But the last thing anyone needs is more data – and consumers generate endless data with their actions online. It’s important to know exactly how to use consumer behavioral data so you don’t end up overwhelmed.
If you’re not currently using behavioral data or unsure if you’re using it to its full potential, use this list to get you started.
Start at the top: Quantifying your market potential and current share
Do you know the size of your category or categories online? Or how much of it you own?
Using consumer behavior data allows you to quantify the number of shoppers and purchasers in your market (not just on your site). When you know this, you can measure your market share and compare that to your competitors to understand where you fit in the retailer landscape.
Focus your efforts: Segmenting your customers
The challenge with traditional consumer segmentation schemes based on attitudes, needs, or usage is that those segments are hard to identify and target effectively in the real world.
But segmenting based on behavior allows you to group consumers by where they spend time online or how they shop for a specific category. This helps you accurately size each segment and discover exactly how to reach them online.
Reach your consumers: Identifying critical touchpoints
When it comes to influencing consumers with your marketing efforts, you want to make sure you are focusing on touchpoints that consumers actually use (and not wasting your time and money on touchpoints they don’t use).
Once you’ve identified your critical segments, you can analyze their paths to purchase for your product. This analysis highlights the touchpoints that are most important to those segments, and the role those touchpoints play in the journey, telling you which touchpoints to focus on and how to use them to influence consumers to purchase on your site.
Measure ROI: Quantify the impact of your advertising
There is more to measuring the impact of online advertising on behavior than just clickthroughs. You can use behavioral data to create groups of similar consumers who saw the ad (exposed) and who didn’t (control) to measure the lift in online activity.
Did your ad drive more visits to your retailer site? More branded search activity? Increased conversions? Exposed/control methodologies can tell you the impact on these specific actions to let you know if your ad campaign had a real impact on consumer behavior.
Put it all in context: Competitive website benchmarking
You are already very familiar with consumer behavior on your own retail site. You know how many people visit, how engaged they are, how many convert, how many fall out of the funnel, and much more.
But unless you are regularly putting these insights in the context of the performance of your competitors, it’s hard to know for sure if your performance is good or bad. By measuring consumer behavior across the web, you can identify how your website compares to your competitors: how many consumers visit their site, how many convert, etc. This way you can identify your strengths and weaknesses compared to the rest of your industry, and even spot successful tactics from your competitors.
Katie Hrdy is Marketing Manager-Consumer Dynamics, Millward Brown Digital.