Online shopper behavior has changed drastically in the past year. Pandemic shutdowns led many consumers to try ecommerce for the first time, while seasoned online shoppers experimented with new brands and changed their existing habits.
According to a report by McKinsey, the shift to online shopping is here to stay. “The crisis has prompted a surge of new activities, with an astonishing 75 percent of U.S. consumers trying a new shopping behavior in response to economic pressures, store closings, and changing priorities.”
Ecommerce has been around for over 20 years – long before the pandemic – and has slowly progressed as the go-to option for shoppers. Understanding shopper behavior will help any brand grow, but using shopper behavior to inform your ecommerce strategy will be a sure-fire way to beat the competition.
Shopper behavior you can track
Shopper behavior is about the “how” just as much as the “who”. Ideal customer profiles are extremely important, but when speaking about shopper behavior, we’re looking at how those customers are interacting with your brand, your online store, your products, your social media, etc. This is an important distinction to take note of.
There’s ample shopper behavior data that you can collect on your ideal customers, you just need to know where to look.
To start, you can collect past visitor actions on your website, from page visits and the customer journey, to repeat buying patterns and social media sharing.
Digging deeper, you can review your analytics to establish CLV (customer lifetime value), AOV (average order value), abandoned cart rates, email opens, email clickthroughs, types of questions they ask customer service, and so on.
Then, there’s the data and personal details that customers are willing to share with you directly. The Accenture 2018 Pulse Check report shows that 91% of shoppers are more likely to buy from companies that recognize/remember them and come up with relevant offers and personalized recommendations. The report also shows that 83% of shoppers are prepared to share their data in order to receive a more personalized shopping experience.
Monitor and respond to shopper behavior
With certain behaviors, you can easily monitor and respond in (virtually) real time. If you know which questions customer service always receives, you can easily address those on your site’s homepage, FAQ section, or add the information to a product description page. Or, if customers are abandoning their carts after they are informed of the shipping charges, you can adjust your policy or display fees more prominently so there are no surprises.
Your site search reports are another valuable insight into shopper behavior and preferences. For example, if you know that “black” is the most searched color, you can prioritize inventory in that color and consider displaying black products above other colors on category and search result pages.