Between Amazon's Prime Day and Best Buy's "Black Friday in July," the summer of 2015 has been the season of mega sales. But research shows that if you want to catch shoppers' wandering eyes, it's going to take more than just flash sales. 

According to a recent article from McKinsey Insights, businesses that want to attract a stable of loyal customers must first "crack the shopper genome." The big idea is to analyze the data on your customers' behavior and decode what it really means about their intent.

Authors Gadi BenMark and Maher Masri say that there are too many companies today that only address one aspect of a customer's needs and wants, such as designing a product to look more street style than high fashion. Or, they have a disjointed marketing strategy that winds up bombarding shoppers with emails, customer satisfaction surveys, and sales offers. There are so many data points on shoppers and few ways to bring them all together to form a more complete picture of who they are and what they want. 

So what's the key to mapping out a shopper's DNA? BenMark and Masri say that in order to come up with a more structured plan of action, you should analyze the following buckets of data: 

  • Stage in customer decision journey: What makes your customer decide they need to buy your product? Do they usually gather inspiration from Pinterest, turn to blogs for product reviews, or rely on word-of-mouth?
  • Demographics, preferences, needs: Demographics are more than just gender, age, location, etc. You also should know your customers' browsing behavior--what websites they are looking at, and when. BenMark and Masri recommend using data aggregators like Acxiom or Nielsen's eXelate. 
  • Life moments and context: This category examines how a customer behaves throughout the year--what kind of shopping does your target customer do during vacation or holidays? If they get a bonus at work, do they tend to put that money in a savings account, or spend it right away?
  • Digital-channel preference: With tons of digital channels at a marketer's disposal--Internet display advertising, video, and social media to name a few--figuring out which promotional channel your customers prefer is critical.
  • Product affinity: Figure out what keywords customers tend to search on your website and which sections of your website customers spend the most time in.  
  • Response to offers: What kind of rewards do your customers respond to the best? Do they prefer a points-based loyalty rewards system, or are they more likely to cash in coupons? 

The reward for keeping track of all of this data? According to BenMark and Masri, companies that can map out all of this data can see revenue increases of as much as 10 to 20 percent. 



Published on: Aug 17, 2015