What is Behavioral Data in Marketing and How Your Online Store Can Benefit From It

Man and woman walking away with purchases
Time to read
8 min to read
By Alex
Alexey Baguzin
Nov 22 2022
Consumers nowadays are spoilt for choice: they can pick and choose an offer that interests them from dozens of sites by just typing up a couple of words in Google. As a result, online store owners are facing increasingly stiff competition for a place under the sun.

Customers' attention span is shrinking too, almost making fierce competition take a back seat. Businesses have less than 120 seconds to serve up what their visitors are looking for, otherwise disgruntled and impatient buyers will leave.

Getting your shoppers' attention by swiftly making them a personalized offer is the way to go. 9 in 10 customers are more likely to shop with brands that go personal. That's where behavioral data in marketing comes in.

What is Behavioral Marketing and How It Can Help Your Business?

Behavioral marketing is a process of gathering consumer behavioral data, and then acting on this data to make tailored offers. In simple terms, shop owners find out what their visitors like, and offer them more of the same. The bottom line is simple: companies that have a sound behavioral marketing strategy outperform their competitors by an unbelievable 85% in sales growth. According to Searchanise's experience, here's what behavioral-based marketing helps owners with.

1. It Improves User Experience

Behavioral marketing not only makes one particular offer enticing: it helps understand customers digital behavior on the whole, and build their experience around their habits. That means every additional interaction with a business gives its owner better insight into shoppers' minds, so that he can tailor his message across all platforms more efficiently.

Case in point:

Netflix implements this idea particularly well. Every new episode their subscribers watch helps create a more personalized experience. This results in unique home pages for every user, tailored recommendations in push notifications and individual emails with suggestions on what to watch next.

Netflix's "Not Sure What to Watch?" screen
Netflix can always offer you something to watch based on your history
Did you know that user experience depends a lot on how well your search functions? We went ahead and found out how the two are linked

2. It Helps Attract and Retain Shoppers

It's no secret that a healthy portion of site visitors are just looking around. They don't have a particular item or brand in mind: they are surfing online store pages out of curiosity.

However, those who leave give us an understanding of what they might like to purchase. Whether they've stayed on the product page too long and then left without buying, or even placed something in their cart: it's information you shop owners can act on to re-engage customers, potential or current.

Case in point:

Birchbox is good at this technique called behavioral retargeting. Below is an example of how they subtly create value for their existing customers by offering a discount on their next purchase.
Birchbox offers 20% off of next purchase if you complete current one
Birchbox's retargeting email offers a discount on next purchase
Looking to recover shoppers and make them repeat buyers? We argue an email retargeting campaign might be in order then

3. It Increases Average Order Value

This one works as the next logical step after acquiring a customer. Once he or she bought something, hooray: there's even more behvaioral data to go on: purchase history! This allows shop owners to offer personal recommendations.

Case in point:

Amazon pulls this off brilliantly. Their "Frequently Bought Together" recommendation block – coupled with their knowledge of buying habits – ensures they serve up a personalized offer every time someone visits their website. 35% of Amazon's sales come from those product recommendations.
Amazon's Frequently Bought Together recommendations block with a flashlight, batteries, charger and car adapter
Amazon subtly takes care of customer needs while cross-selling products along the way

3 Simple Steps to Make Your Store Benefit from Behavioral Marketing

Now that we know what behavioral marketing is and how it can benefit your online store, it's time to put it into practice:

1. Collect All the Data Possible

This is where you round up all the user behavior data. It can come from several sources: your website, your mobile app, your social media channels, your email newsletters. Below are the most important metrics you should keep an eye on. Remember the list is not exhaustive, so exercise your good judgment on which other possible data can help you tailor your marketing efforts.

  • How are visitors browsing your site (from desktop or mobile)? Which hours of the day?
  • Are they new or returning users?
  • How long do shoppers stay on your site, which pages do they go to?
  • What do customers search for?
  • Which products do visitors click on and purchase?
  • Which content do they engage with?

Searchanise can help with that: our Analytics section will tell you everything you need to know about your customers' behavior, including what shoppers search for, which products they click on & buy and when their queries end in "no results"!
Searchanise's Analytics dashboard with total clicks, total searches, total cost of clicked products and top searches with no results metrics
Check out how many useful metrics our dashboard tracks
However, our app offers much more than shopper behavior analytics. Searchanise replaces your default search bar with a smart one, which features autocomplete & autocorrect, as well as product previews and instant search results.

We also add filters you can customize to your search results and collection pages to help customers navigate your store catalog. Finally, we offer a bunch of merchandising tools to make your products easier to discover and purchase.
We offer a free trial period and don't ask for your credit card details!
Give us a try!

2. Segment Your Audience

Once you have all the necessary data about your shoppers, the next step is to break them up into groups with similar interests. You can carry out shoppers' segmentation based on several criteria:

Buyer Intent

How close your shoppers are to making a purchase? Which pages they've visited and stayed longest on, which products they clicked on? Did they put something in their cart? Or maybe they compared prices, or tried on your goods virtually, or watched demonstration videos?

Track these actions before segmenting your customers based on buyer intent.

Transactional Data

This method only works for returning visitors, naturally. You can ask yourself, what your customers returned for. Maybe you sell goods that need refilling every now and then, like shaving items. You can neatly offer a reminder via email, for example, and cross-sell something in the process. If you know what shoppers bought from you, it already tells you a lot about their preferences and what else on your site might interest them.
Dollar Shave Club offer a re-stock on face cleaner
Dollar Shave Club know when you last bought something, and offer a timely re-stock

Even if your customers are not looking to buy something right now, you can gauge their potential interest anyway. It can be easily done by tracking their activity: across your site, mobile app, social media channels, etc.

They could have visited and read your blog, watched tutorials on how to use your products on YouTube, liked your witty (or serious!) tweet, downloaded your ebook, and much more. Knowing where these customers went and what they did there gives you an opportunity to subtly market your goods where your shoppers flock.

3. Convert Data into Sales

Once you have the numbers and the customer segments you want to preach to, you can start working on your marketing message. It can come in many forms: social media ads, advertising campaigns on your website, email newsletters.

All that's left to shape your message is to determine what you want to accomplish:

  • Acquire new customers: this is where data on first-time visitors will come in handy – but luring in new customers will take a lot of resources still
  • Retain current customers: keeping your current clientele is both easier and more profitable than getting new faces in
  • Grow your sales: the easiest way to achieve that is upselling and cross-selling to existing customers – Amazon do that well with their product recommendations

Wrapping It Up

  • Behavioral marketing allows you to create a personalized experience for your shoppers by gathering data about their online habits.
  • There are 3 straightforward steps you need for behavioral marketing to work: collect the data about your shoppers, segment your shoppers based on that data, and then create tailored messaging for different groups.
  • Searchanise Search & Filter is a good choice of a behavioral data collection app: our Analytics section covers all the important behavioral metrics, such as search history, products clicked & bought, as well as "no results" pages.
  • But most importantly, don't forget why you are gathering the data: set a goal you want to achieve with behavioral marketing, and then build around it. Best of luck!

    Pick your platform and leverage behavioral marketing with Searchanise!

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