Understanding Online Consumer Behaviour

September 15, 2018 userclix 0 Comments

With digital technology creating a more connected world, the power structure in the relationship between the consumer and brands has shifted in favour of the consumer.

This shift in power was first driven by the home computer, then the laptop and in the last ten years, the smartphone. In the next ten years, smartphone technology will improve, offering even more freedom and providing even more power to the consumer. But the smartphone will not be alone in empowering the consumer. A new wave of technology, including the Internet of Things (IoT), Artificially Intelligent home hubs, and various wearable technologies will allow consumers to move ‘beyond the glass’ and will shift the balance of power even further in favour of the consumer.

Empowered by technology that allows them to connect and share information with anyone, anywhere in the world, at any time, today’s digital consumer expects businesses to react to all their needs and wants instantly.

In this regard, one of the most challenging aspects of running a successful eCommerce business is understanding online buyer behaviour. The decision-making processes of your customers can be very complex, with a number of factors like peer influence, product reviews, item pricing, level of education, and impulse triggers playing a part. Finding an effective way to ‘weather this storm’ can be key to achieving product appeal and boosting sales, and the key is to look at the clues your customers leave.

The focus should be on using technology that connects eCommerce businesses to real-time information.

The device used speaks volumes

In spite of the growth of new connected devices, the smartphone remains the key technology of our time, with penetration and usage levels still expected to increase in the next few years. In the UK, smartphone penetration among adults is now 85 per cent and we would expect this to reach 90 per cent by 2020, if not earlier.

Mobile device usage during product searches can be an indicator of an urgency that is absent from other devices. The majority of mobile device shoppers end up making a purchase within an hour, so it is vital that your eCommerce site is optimised for a fast, seamless experience on mobile devices. As the connectivity speeds and processing power become even faster, it makes sense to bolster consumer applications with Artificial Intelligence to offer them a smoother more enjoyable mobile shopping experience.

More information causes longer buying cycles

Consumers like to research, and there is an enormous amount of information out there.

This means the buying cycle takes longer, and many customers who appear to have abandoned a product may well return later, and even continue purchasing from that same seller. This indicates a more savvy approach to purchasing, so businesses need to ensure product quality is high. Consumers rarely turn down the opportunity for convenience, so enabling site visitors to discover, share and purchase goods and services they love, right from their phones will not only reduce the longer buying cycle but will enhance their lives.

Buyers prefer solutions that fit

When a customer contacts customer services regarding a potential purchase, they are often quite far along the buying cycle.

Consequently, representatives must be prepared to offer information that explains why a product will meet that customer’s needs. General benefits of a product are not much use at this stage, so a little sales skill will go a long way.

To offer the right information at the right time, machine learning (AI) can aid representatives to automatically discover patterns in consumer data and use these patterns to make predictions and provide consumers with information that will benefit them. This comes in the form of personalised recommendations for new/complementary/next best products based on a combination of data taking into account previous purchases, socioeconomic factors, demographic information and consumer behaviour. It also lays the foundation for chatbots as they become the go-to method for customer service.

How can your business leverage these principles?

The above information can be helpful, but it is vital to implement these principles in your business to understand online buyer behaviour. Take the following actions to achieve this:

  1. Explore the reasons why a customer chooses not to buy an item via analytics. Including a reward in exchange for this information will go a long way in discovering the actual reasons why customer’s abandon their shopping carts. It may even encourage them to carry on shopping.
  2. Use visitor monitoring tools to observe and track their buying cycle from start to finish. Understanding and analysing this data can provide your eCommerce business with a greater volume and quality of insights into your consumers’ behaviour.
  3. Initiate bespoke re-engagement processes targeted at consumers who don’t follow through with a purchase. From this perspective machine learning personalisation tools can help eCommerce businesses target consumers.
  4. Ensure your search and check-out procedures are optimised to guarantee the customer experience remains positive. Especially for mobile.

Ultimately eCommerce business need to recognise that consumer data is the most valuable resource. Knowing who is buying your products, what else they are buying, when and where they are buying them, what they are paying with, what they have bought in the past, what they left in their basket online and what else they searched for and then using this knowledge for targeting and personalisation is a real competitive advantage for the most data literate consumer businesses.

The brand new UserClix platform lets consumers discover, share and buy products and services from the brands they love from a device of their choice. Our platform allows eCommerce businesses and brands to connect and engage with consumers.

Our platform helps businesses to accurately interpret the real psychology behind online buyer behaviour thereby optimizing the sale of products and services from one easy-to-use platform.  To find out how we can help your business, click to become a testing partner.

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