Retailers have typically approached marketing from a product-centric standpoint, but behavioral commerce technology now on the market enables retailers to take a more people-focused approach for giving shoppers an incentive to complete a purchase.
As online shopping gains momentum, shoppers are looking for online retailers to provide them with more personalized shopping experiences. Marketers can tailor these experiences to specifically defined target audiences by understanding the shopping personalities and buying behaviors of customers. Because when you've discovered what drives specific shoppers to buy, you're able to increase sales and margins.
Shopping behavior data derived from a behavioral commerce analytic platform used by several prominent online retailers was analyzed to determine the 10 most common shopping personality profiles.
1. The distracted shopper: "When I shop online, I often begin the check-out process but for one reason or another I don't always complete the purchase."
Note: This type of shopper is frequently distracted and is prone to multitasking while shopping.
To close the deal: Offer 10 percent off the next order if she completes this one. You can also show her the types of products she was browsing to remind her to return and complete the purchase.
2. The premium shopper: "I only buy the best. I want premium name brands with the latest features and most advanced technology."
Note: This shopper is a trendsetter who doesn't mind showing off or inciting a little jealousy in her friends.
To close the deal: Show this shopper the newest products that have just arrived. Increase the average order value by throwing in a small offer if she reaches a high order value threshold.
3. The determined shopper: "I always research before I buy. I'll view the exact item I want multiple times, looking for a drop in price, or a special offer."
Note: This shopper wants to be absolutely certain she has made the right choice before buying.
To close the deal: Provide positive reinforcement during her shopping process. Let the shopper know that this is the right product by showing positive consumer feedback on the items she's browsing and, if necessary, provide an incentive like $10 off to write a product review .
4. The active shopper: "I'm always browsing but not always buying. I'm not looking for incentives, but they can help me convert when I'm window shopping."
Note: Active shoppers like the positive psychological effects of browsing products online across different sites.
To close the deal: Try secret sales, daily deals, or flash sales to get these shoppers over the finish line. Try offering additional items that complement what they've been browsing.
5. The free shipping hunter: "I like to buy online, but if the retailer doesn't offer free shipping, I'll leave and find a website that does."
Note: This shopper is turned off even if shipping costs are minimal.
To close the deal: Offer free shipping to these shoppers to ensure that they complete the purchase.
6. The thrifty shopper: "I like to buy used or refurbished items. If I can get the same product used for much less, I'll buy it."
Note: For this shopper, the amount of savings can be more powerful than the product need itself.
To close the deal: Make used and returned items visible to them. Show her overstock and clearance items based on what she's been browsing. Those products might be just as attractive to her based on the savings.
7. The loyal shopper: "I only purchase if I can join a rewards club or special rewards program. This often leads to me purchasing at the same stores."
Note: This shopper likes to build up and then cash in points from loyalty reward programs. This type of shopper will generally spend more than others in the pursuit of rewards points.
To close the deal: Remind her how many points she'll get for buying certain items. Provide extra points for items you're trying to clear out. Offer loyalty club deals so club members feel they're getting something in return for their loyalty.
8. The methodical shopper: "When I shop online, I like to browse for the exact product I'm looking for. I often use site navigation until I find that perfect match."
Note: These shoppers are tenacious and don't like being distracted by marketing messages or product fluff. They follow site navigation and site maps to find the right product.
To close the deal: Present a message to these shoppers asking if they need help or have product questions if they seem to be getting lost within your site. Provide additional product suggestions combined with offers based on what they've been browsing to help generate sales.
9. The impatient shopper: "If I don't find what I want immediately, I look somewhere else."
Note: These shoppers are antsy to buy and be done with it. Making the navigation and checkout process fast will increase the likelihood of closing the sale.
To close the deal: Create a bold offer to grab their attention and maximize conversions. If they leave without purchasing, quickly present an offer combined with what they were browsing to try and win them back.
10. The wish list shopper: "I like to shop online, but I don't always purchase. I add everything I like to the shopping cart to see what the total price will be."
Note: This shopper needs help moving from fantasizing about products to actually purchasing the products.
To close the deal: Daily deals, flash sales, and secret sales work well for these shoppers. Add to their shopping excitement by showing additional items that complement existing items in their cart. This completes the visual picture for these shoppers and can drive them to purchase everything.
When retailers factor shoppers' personalities and buying behaviors into their marketing decisions, everyone wins. Shoppers find products they're looking for and are rewarded with incentives that mean the most to them, and retailers don't waste money giving away huge discounts across the board.
By using a behavioral commerce platform, retailers can have a more thorough understanding of the shopping personalities of their site visitors and can maximize sales and margins by making strategic offers.
This column was originally published on March 7, 2012.
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Aubrey is director of content for Salted Stone, an award-winning boutique digital agency that drives increased revenue for clients by producing extraordinary websites, digital collateral, and search marketing campaigns.
Aubrey specializes in helping businesses engage with their clients and respective audience. She has experience working in a broad range of industries, including technology, e-commerce, licensing, marketing, and publishing.