How To Win With Behavioral Marketing in eCommerce

At its simplest, behavioral marketing is any marketing effort based on customer behavior. From remarketing to email marketing, lots of different marketing practices fall into this group. The ultimate goal of behavioral marketing is to capture the complex behaviors of online customers and use these insights to create digital marketing campaigns that will result in online sales.

10 factors are said to affect the online shopping behaviors:

  1. External environment
  2. Demographics
  3. Personal characteristics
  4. Vendor/service characteristics
  5. Product features
  6. Attitude towards online shopping
  7. Intention to shop online
  8. Online shopping decision making
  9. Online purchasing
  10. Consumer satisfaction

In addition to those factors, results of an online survey with 602 Korean customers of online bookstores reveals that information quality, user interface quality, and security perceptions affect information satisfaction and relational benefit, that, in turn, are significantly related to each consumer’s site commitment and actual purchase behavior.

Download our free eBook and learn about the future of eCommerce.

We may comment once again that people are complex organisms!

The players in the digital world have long been searching for methods to reveal these complexities and use this consumer knowledge in the decision making process of online retailers.  Some of the crucial questions that are often asked by eCommerce execs are:

  • Who are my online visitors?
  • How can I convince them to make a purchase?
  • What price/discount shall I apply to gain my customers?
  • Which products shall I display for each individual?
  • How shall I prioritize my category listings?
  • Which communication channels are relevant for individual customers?
  • Where outside of my own eCommerce website shall I find my online visitors?

It is often quite hard for an eCommerce exec to answer all of these questions, at once. Luckily; digital advertising platforms, personalization engines like Perzonalization and marketing automation tools are in place to save eCommerce merchants.

Google and Facebook offer many opportunities to eCommerce execs who want to excel in behavioral marketing. Google has the remarketing code and Facebook offers the Facebook pixel to keep track of the clickstream behaviour on eCommerce sites. When it comes to behavioral email marketing, triggered emails such as Shopify abandoned cart emails are great tools in ensuring repeat purchases.

People who visit your online store, do it for several reasons. Some are there to buy your products, while some others might simply be browsing around with no particular buying intent. Similarly, some of them would be visiting your website from USA and while another might be logging in from Europe. An online visitor may simply be browsing as if she’s gone out for window shopping, another one may be looking for a specific product and trying to make price comparison.

Don’t find customers for your Products; find products for your customers” – Seth Godin

eCommerce stores have two options in these different situations. Either they display the same landing page with the exact same content for all these different segments of people, or they show different content and call-to-actions for different types of visitors. If you were a customer, would you want to see the same landing page every time you log in? Or would you rather want the eCommerce store to understand what you want and display a landing page accordingly?

Let’s look at this example below:

Paramore, is an American rock band’s merchandise store which uses geo-location data of its visitors to direct them to their respective pages in the following way:

This is how it looks when someone from US opens their site:

And like this if you do access it from the United Kingdom:

And, if you open it from Estonia, it looks like this:

This is both a good behavioral marketing example and a nice display of what web personalization can do for a multi-language eCommerce website.

What is Behavioral Marketing Segmentation in the context of eCommerce?

The marketing world has been trying to understand the purchasing, usage and spending habits of the consumers. eCommerce marketers are far more lucky than their counterparts working for brick and mortar stores in the sense that it is possible to track and analyze the visitors clickstream behavior and take actions to segment those visitors according to their behaviors. This forms the basis for behavioral marketing segmentation. The groups of customers who show similar patterns in their online shopping behaviors are clustered into the same behavioral segments i.e. active customers, discount-seekers, active life-style lovers. Marketing automation tools provide an interface for the eCommerce marketers through which certain type of commercial rules can be applied to execute behavioral digital marketing campaigns. Good behavioral segmentation marketing examples all have the below common features:

  • They are triggered by a customer behavior i.e. adding a product in the favorites list, leaving an item in cart
  • They are fed by previous clickstream and purchase behaviors of the customers
  • The goal is to target the invidual; the single mom, the sporty young lawyer or the comfort seeker middle aged guy.

Segmenting customers in such a way requires a thorough behavioral analysis of the online user and this is possible with the state-of-the-art big data and machine learning technologies.

Why is Behavioral Marketing so important for eCommerce?

Trust is very important in eCommerce. Unlike a brick and mortar store where an immediate trust is built when you come face to face with your customer, in an online scenario that trust is not built until you understand the customer and deliver accordingly. Personalized marketing becomes very important there. And the only way one can do personalized marketing is by behavioral segmentation.

Behavioral Targeting factors can be several – like geography, demographics, online history and activities etc. and these can be used in different marketing channels like automated email marketing campaigns, targeted ads, retargeting, to show special discounts and offers and the like.

Targeted advertisements are more likely to appeal to customers because these take into account their individual preferences and offer them what they might need or want. As a result, you have a much more receptive and engaged audience.

One classic example of behavioral segmentation was Dell. The company after realizing the importance of behavioral marketing, started targeting users according to the benefits sought by them, products viewed, items added to cart and final buyers. The consumers who added products to cart and did not purchase were re-targeted via customized ads while on other websites. This boosted cross-selling.

So, make a plan, if you don’t already have one and try out some campaign ideas to see how your online visitors respond.  Try out our product recommendation and personalized email marketing tools and you will be surprised with the results.


Download Perzonalization for your online store