Understanding your customer’s behaviors and habits is essential to running and growing a successful e-commerce business. Generally, most companies reach their customers and obtain new business by deploying a marketing strategy. However, if that marketing strategy targets the wrong customer base or sends the wrong message, it could cost your business money.
Evaluating customer habits is thus not only about connecting with your customers to build relationships, but it’s also about understanding things from their perspective so you can more accurately market your product or services to the right audience. Customer relationships are essential to growing a business and the only way to attract new customers and connect with them is to ensure your marketing efforts are specifically targeting your preferred audience based on their habits and behaviors.
With more businesses turning to e-commerce, customer analysis is now more critical than ever. It’s harder to connect with consumers when you aren’t engaging them in person. So your digital marketing strategy must be refined and on point as an e-commerce business to grab your customer’s attention. Accomplishing this requires a quality behavior analysis strategy.
The Psychology Behind Consumer Habits
Customer behaviors can refer to a number of things, including their motivations for making a purchase, general buying habits, social trends, pain points, and any other factors that influence their decision to buy something. Behavior analysis is thus less about understanding who a customer is and more about why a customer is doing what they’re doing.
Identifying who a customer is can still be helpful. For example, creating customer persona profiles modeled after your target customers can help you fine-tune your marketing by helping you better understand the people you are targeting. But getting too caught up in the who and forgetting about the why can also do more harm than good. So, ultimately, it is more important to focus on the “why.”
Customer behavior is generally influenced by social, personal, and psychological factors.
- Social: The social behaviors or habits of customers are influenced by trends. This can include cultural fads, influencer and peer recommendations, and general societal norms. Customers today are heavily influenced by social media trends, so tracking consumer social media behaviors is key.
- Personal: A consumer’s personal behaviors are, as you would suspect, influenced by their personality. For example, a thoughtful and analytical person will likely not buy something on a whim but will instead take their time thinking about a purchase. In contrast, someone who is outgoing and spontaneous may be more inclined to make impulse buys. Though marketing to specific personalities should not be your main focus, having a generalized idea of your target audience's personalities can be helpful in understanding their buying habits.
- Psychological: An individual’s psychological buying habits are harder to narrow down but are generally based on needs or wants. However, they can also be influenced by mood from day to day. For example, if someone is out of face wash, the need for face wash will influence them to buy this product, but their mood at the time of purchase could also influence which face wash they buy. Understanding consumer pain points and needs are essential to developing a successful marketing strategy.
What is Behavior Analysis, and What are the Benefits?
Behavior analysis is the act of researching and analyzing consumer data to obtain a qualitative and quantitative observation of consumer habits and how they engage and interact with your brand. There are many benefits to conducting a behavior analysis. Analyzing customer data is especially important for e-commerce brands looking to grow their business and increase revenue as they lack those face-to-face customer interactions that can help build relationships and brand loyalty.
Some of the benefits of consumer behavior analysis include:
- Higher customer retention rates
- Optimized content that better reaches your target audience
- Improved customer value incentive which boosts brand loyalty
- More authentic personalized content that boosts customer acquisition and brand loyalty
- Increased revenue streams from new and loyal customer followings
Ways to Research and Evaluate Customer Habits
Again, how exactly you choose to conduct your research and analyze customer habits is up to you. There are many ways and channels through which brands can collect and evaluate consumer data and behaviors. Some of the most popular methods include:
Again, building customer personas is an excellent way to better understand your customers; just remember not to get too caught up in the “who” and focus more on the “why.” Generally, when building customer personas, you would create no more than a handful, assigning them traits and behaviors based on your ideal customers. You would then use those personas as a guide when creating marketing content.
Social Media Engagement
Another great way to learn about your customers is to actively engage with them on social media. The majority of today’s primary consumers are heavy social media users, and they use social media to learn about brands. Your marketing and customer service teams can communicate with your customers through the comments sections and via messages to connect with them and better understand their habits and what influences them.
Data analytics tools and software are essential for collecting and evaluating consumer data and to help you better understand customer behaviors and what drives them. If you don’t already have a solid data strategy or team well-versed in data analytics and using tools like Google Analytics, you should develop one. Most brands use data analytics these days as it can give you invaluable insights into consumer behaviors.
Sometimes the best way to get to know your customers and what they want is to simply ask them. Surveys are an easy and straightforward way for brands to quickly get the answers they need to help them provide better content and solutions to please their customers. Surveys also allow you to gather large amounts of information all in one place. You can email them, post them on your website, or even conduct them through your brand’s social media accounts.
CRM and CIAM tools
Customer relationship management (CRM) and customer identity access management tools (CIAM) and methods are also great ways your company can gather and analyze valuable information on your customers. CRM software allows you to collect basic information on your customers as well as data such as conversion rates, click-through rates, and a customer’s email and product preferences. This is all highly useful information that can help you better understand your customer’s habits.
CIAM software is similar to CRM, but it goes a bit further. With CIAM tools, you can gather customer information in addition to offering self-service customer registration, account management, data sharing, and more. A CIAM essentially allows you to collect and share customer information across multiple systems to provide a more secure, single source for access to management and analysis.
Ethical Customer Behavior Tracking
When conducting research and analyzing data, it’s crucial for brands to do so ethically. There is so much information stored and shared online today, which can put customers at risk and make them vulnerable to hackers and even companies that seek to abuse their information. So if you intend to collect sensitive customer data, it’s important that you be mindful of how you are gathering and sharing the information.
The goal is to help your customers and improve their satisfaction with your brand, not put them at risk. This means using the information you find in a responsible and ethical manner and ensuring their information is protected against malware like ransomware, as well as other types.
The key thing to remember when conducting consumer behavior analysis is that while it is about growing your business and increasing your revenue, it’s also about making your customer happy and building relationships. Your e-commerce brand cannot succeed without customer loyalty, and to build brand loyalty, you need to provide an incentive to your customers and show them that you care about their needs and appreciate their business.
So the research you conduct is not just for you, but it’s also for them. Use behavior analysis to provide authentic and engaging content and ensure that the data you collect is secure.