September 10, 2015

Do You Know Who Your eCommerce Customers Are? 4 Ways to Gather Customer Data

by Mary Clare Riordan

By Josh George, Senior Applications Engineer

There are a lot of factors that go into having a successful eCommerce business. Fast site speed, easy check out, and mobile commerce are a few that most retailers would never pass on getting right for their online stores. However, there are plenty of other factors that store owners can implement at their discretion. The success of these channels depend more on what works best for each individual business rather than the industry as a whole.

For instance, when it comes to offering discounts and free shipping, retailers often decide to choose one or the other. But how do you decide what will be more successful? You’ve got to know your customers!

The chart below from eMarketer displays the percentage of people, broken down by age, who prefer a discount vs. free shipping when shopping online.

eMarketer discount vs free shipping

As you can see, the younger generations are swayed more by discount offers, while older shoppers are more inclined to prefer free shipping. So, if a significant number of your customers are within the older demographic, you may want to choose free shipping over discounts.

But how do you even begin to determine something like how old the customers buying from your site are?

Well if you’re selling something specific like fast fashion clothes geared towards young women, you might safely assume that the majority of your customers are within the younger age ranges.

However, it’s not always that easy. The following tips are a few approaches you can take to figure out who exactly is shopping your site.

Leverage Social Logins

Using social logins gives your customers the option of creating an account on your site via their already established social network (i.e. Facebook). If a customer does sign in using their social media account, you can access their profile data and then personalize your site and marketing efforts to their backgrounds. If you do allow this seamless way to create accounts on your storefront, it’s important to note the kinds of information the customer will be volunteering when doing so. This should be added into your Privacy Policy or through creating applications on various social networks.

Implement Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs with points and rewards are a great way for retailers to track customers’ behaviors while also encouraging them to shop your site, and even better, return in the future. By having a log of customers’ spending habits, you can identify trends and get a better understanding of who they are and what they like.

Apply Analytics to Your Storefront

Another effective way to determine the demographics of your customers is by adding site-wide analytics.  A couple of popular analytical options are Google Analytics and Adobe’s Marketing Cloud/Omniture.  Services like these not only provide demographic data on your audience, but a variety of other useful information such as insight into your customer’s journey as well.

Just Ask!

It doesn’t really get more direct than this.  When customers are registering for a promotion, entering a contest, signing up for an email list, checking out from your store, or completing any other form on your site, ask a few specific questions to get a better understanding of your customers background (Do this within reason! Too many unnecessary questions may turn a lot of people off). For example, you can find out their age by incentivizing them to add their birthday in order to receive personalized discounts on that day.

Understanding who your customers are and, in turn, what they like, will undoubtedly enable you to increase conversions and sales. Make it easy for your customers to share their data with you, and use that data to keep them engaged with your business. Want to learn more? Contact us.