How to Understand Customers’ Buying Behavior

These days, building up a booming web shop is about more than just attracting customers. With their biggest competitors only one Google search away, business owners are forced to divide their focus between building a new customer base and retaining or reclaiming their existing one. However, in order to keep your customers’ loyalty and prevent them from clicking on the next link down the list, it is important to understand what motivates them to make a purchase from a particular company at that moment in time. In short, analyzing and understanding your customers’ buying behaviour can help you adapt your business to what they are looking for.

Who are your customers?

Many online businesses have an internal database or basic analytics system at their disposal to analyze vital customer data, including demographics, age and gender. But these titbits of information are only the tip of the iceberg. Linking your website to a comprehensive social media marketing campaign, for instance, can provide you with additional knowledge of customers’ interests and preferences. To save yourself some time and effort, you can combine the information extracted from your own internal sources and the social networking data you received by using a Business Intelligence (BI) program. BI solutions superimpose data obtained from several sources to produce a virtual x-ray of individual customers and your customer base in general.

How did your customers find you?

Web analysis tools like Google Analytics provide a limited insight into how customers found your site, which keywords they used and if they are returning or additional customers. In addition, GA and other tools like it compile lists of the websites your traffic is coming from. This helps you understand the motivation of consumers who click through to your site. If they arrived from a comparison site, they are probably looking for the best online deal. Customers who clicked through from a review site, however, are more likely to be interested in product quality and standard of service.

What are your customers looking for?

GA can not only be used to analyze how customers behave on your site. Thanks to the Google Keyword Tool, it becomes an equally useful instrument to understand consumer needs and preferences in general. Analyzing the keyword choices of the average consumer can help you optimize your site’s SEO practices, review your product selection and perhaps even integrate free bonus features that pique your visitors’ interest. This doesn’t mean, however, that on-site analytics aren’t equally valuable. Just ask yourself the following questions. Which of your web pages have the lowest bounce rates and which are the main entry points to your site? How many customers abandon a full shopping cart before completing the purchase and at which point do they decide to walk away? Which of your past marketing campaigns has proven most successful in terms of attracting new customers and why? Gathering this type of information will make you more aware of the important parts of your site and those with room for improvement. Once you have a clear view of the preferences of your intended audience, you can optimize your site to suit their needs.