Using Customer Behavior Analytics to Boost Your Multichannel Business
So you have an ecommerce business up and running and you’re starting to get some traffic. Congratulations! You’re well on your way to building a successful enterprise, and that takes hard work and determination. But now that you’re moving and shaking, what can you do to anticipate buyer behavior, increase transactions, and find out what your next campaign should be to drive the most sales? Customer behavior analytics.
What is customer behavior analytics?
There are plenty of ways to analyze the data associated with your online business, and a large number of categories to consider, from site visits to completed sales. While plenty of traditional measures (think the RFM model) have been successful in the past, as commerce expands into more platforms and sales channels, it’s becoming increasingly important for companies to look at their customer’s choices and behavior at every interaction point and across all channels, both digital and non-digital.
A more modern approach includes analyzing the potential lifetime value (LTV) of individual customers. This means tracking a customer’s behaviors throughout their entire relationship with your business in order to make positive changes to their experience, maximizing their LTV – and their impact to your company’s bottom line.
If you’re new to customer behavior analytics or find it a little difficult to wrap your head around, don’t worry. We’ll to spell it all out for you here.
Customer behavior analytics is about the how, not the who
In simple terms, customer behavior analytics is a way to understand how customers interact with your company, through both qualitative and quantitative observation.
Past models to understand customers and tailor marketing and customer experience for them were largely focused on who a person was, categorizing them based on factors like geographic location, age, gender, income, etc.
In recent years, this idea has proved less effective than focusing on how a customer finds their way to a business, navigates their online and offline platform, makes purchasing decisions and takes action. Tracking these metrics over time will give you a better understanding of your customers’ expectations, guide you towards strategies for retaining current customers and provide insight on how to attract new customers who share patterns of interest and behavior.
What metrics make up customer behavior analytics?
There’s a lot of data that goes into a customer’s journey to your business and their interactions with you over time. Here are just a few metrics and data sources that can make up customer behavior analytics, all available in Glew:
- Information like name, gender, age and geographic location
- Email and advertising campaigns they’ve seen and interacted with
- The campaign and channel that originally brought them in
- Order information, including purchased products and order dates
- Costs, revenue and profit associated with the customer
- Customer status – are they active, at-risk or lost?
- Lifetime value of the customer over time
- Total amount spent with your store
- Average order value
- Abandoned cart information, including total number of abandoned carts, products abandoned and total value of abandoned carts
- Reward or loyalty program information, including program enrollment, loyalty tier, points earned and points redeemed
- Customer support information, including support tickets placed and resolved
- Discount information – how many discounts have they used, and at what value?
- Sales channels – do they shop online or in-store, or both?
This data can come from a number of sources, including your ecommerce cart, retail point of sale, email automation and marketing platforms, loyalty and rewards programs, customer support systems and more. It’s hard to organize and analyze it all in one place – which is why a multichannel analytics platform can help.
Three critical outcomes
In the marketing world, customer acquisition, customer engagement, and customer retention are the three most crucial targets to focus on to ensure that your business is successful over time. How do customer behavior analytics affect these three goals?
Customer acquisition: By determining the LTV of individual customers, your company can identify and target high-value customer segments. Understanding their behavior and preferences – which ad campaigns and channels they respond to, which products they prefer, what offers or products originally encouraged them to buy the first time and more – can help you determine the right way to both attract more customers like them and keep those same high-value customers engaged and happy in the long run – through things like targeted marketing campaigns, smart loyalty programs, and unique promotions.
Customer engagement: Analyzing your customers’ buying patterns and tendencies will provide you with key information to tailor offers and campaigns specifically to them – whether that’s recommending related products they might be interested in, trying to upsell customers who you know are high spenders or offering discounts to customers you know are value shoppers. It can also help you in the longterm by understanding seasonal buying patterns, how likely customers are to make repeat purchases, how long they tend to go between purchases and more.
Customer retention: The customer churn struggle is real for most brands. In order to combat it effectively, it’s important to have information at your fingertips that will help you keep your customers buying from you – rather than checking out your competitors. Customer behavior analytics will help identify patterns of churn and retention and take action to draw buyers back before they step away for good.
How does customer behavior analytics work?
Customer behavior analytics can be carried out in a number of ways, from automated reporting tools to spreadsheets. There are the tried and true services like Google Analytics and Facebook Audience Insights of course, but many businesses prefer a more integrated and comprehensive tool to help them analyze every aspect of their customers’ interactions with their company – from the first ad campaigns they interacted with to their most recent purchases or customer support tickets. Modern analytics software is becoming ever more intuitive, targeted and customizable in order to elevate companies to a higher level of performance.
Whatever tool you choose, you’ll want to focus on these key areas:
Segmentation isn’t new as a means of personalization in marketing. But with the rise of customer behavior analytics, the ways in which businesses can segment their customer bases are changing and improving all the time.
Instead of looking solely at demographics, it’s becoming clear that looking at the preferences and behavior of customers over time provides a more accurate understanding of where that customer has been and where they are likely to head in the future. (Glew offers 24+ prebuilt customer segments based on customer behavior, plus the option to create custom segments based on any available data points.)
In contrast to analysis of a customer’s behavior at one specific point in time, customer journey mapping can provide a rich overview of that person’s engagement with your company over a period of time spanning weeks, months or even years.
Relationships between businesses and their customers are dynamic, so careful attention must be given to the ebb and flow of a customer’s purchasing habits and behaviors to anticipate their next move and better meet their needs.
In Glew, you can track a customer’s journey with your store from the moment they make their first purchase, including the campaign and channel that originally drove them to buy, all orders and products purchased since, total spent and average order value, purchase frequency, recommended products for that customer and more.
Pinpointing key benefits
Identifying key benefits for each individual customer or group of customers you’re looking at is crucial to getting customer behavior analytics right. After all, at the end of the day, it’s all about providing an experience that keeps customers coming back.
One key benefit is understanding what the customer is looking for from a functional, emotional and/or economic standpoint. Determining the pain points your customers are facing factors in here as well. Asking yourself what your customer needs, what problem they’re trying to solve and how your product or service can help will give you insight into your unique value proposition – and how you can best capitalize on it.
Why should my company invest in customer behavior analytics?
The short answer: the market is becoming more and more competitive every day. Any tool you can use to get a leg up on the competition is going to benefit you. And if you can customize and improve the interactions customers have with your company in the process, that’s a win-win. With customer behavior analytics, you’ll be able to provide better experiences across the board, from targeted and individualized campaigns to smoother, more enjoyable online and offline experiences.
But the benefits of customer behavior analytics don’t stop with the customer’s experience. Your organization will be able to better boost customer acquisition and conversion rates, lower costs, reduce customer churn, and increase your customers’ loyalty. In addition, customer behavior analytics can raise average order value and lifetime value, increase your repeat purchase rate and grow your business and your bottom line.
Who is customer behavior analytics for?
Some of the biggest companies in the world (think Netflix, Amazon, and Google) have achieved next-level success through customer behavior data and analytics, but you don’t have to be as big as Google in order to benefit from this type of analysis.
If you’re a smaller company, customer behavior analytics starts with knowing what your goals are and creating a comprehensive plan to help you reach them. There are a lot of tools available to help companies of any size to utilize their customer data to make smart, informed decisions and keep their businesses thriving.
If you’re going to do customer behavior analytics, do it right
While any business can benefit from the use of customer behavior analytics tools, there are some pitfalls if you’re not careful.
There are a number of customer experience management tools on the market, and not all are created equal. Some systems may seem like they have all the bells and whistles, but may be lacking when it comes to capturing all the relevant customer data sources, or may not be able to synthesize that data effectively.
Look for analytics software that hits all the important points for your business. Some questions to ask yourself when shopping around are:
- Does this software application leverage all the customer data sources I use?
- Once the data is collected, how is it analyzed? In silos, or across channels?
- Can I access insights across individual customers and groups of customers?
- Does it come with prebuilt customer segments and the option to create customer segments?
- Can I create my own custom reports for customer behavior analytics or customer segments?
- How easily can I integrate this tool with my business?
- What kind of support will I get once I begin using this tool?
If you do a little research to figure out what platform will best serve your company, it will be well worth your time. With the right software application, you’ll gain insights into your customers’ behavior that will allow you to make data-driven decisions to steer more shoppers your way, provide them with an enjoyable experience, and ultimately increase brand loyalty and repeat business.
Whether your company is big or small, tracking your customers’ decision-making behavior and buying tendencies will put you ahead of the game when it comes to creating experiences that will grow your customer base and keep them with you for the long haul.
As we head into the future, it will be increasingly challenging for companies to compete if they aren’t paying attention to their customers’ preferences and behavior over time. By utilizing sophisticated and comprehensive analytics tools, you can gain better insight into how people interact with your company at every stage in the customer journey, from discovery to purchase and beyond. This kind of thoughtful analysis and data-driven decision making will set you apart from the pack and keep you informed about how to create the most valuable experiences for your customers.
Interested in exploring customer behavior analytics with Glew? Start a free trial today: