Understanding Consumer Behavior With A Digital Tracking System

6 min read

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Why do you think we hear so much about Eco-friendly products these days? Companies that jump onto this bandwagon get recognized, sell more products and gain customers’ loyalty. Seeking out and purchasing Eco-friendly products is just one demand-driven consumer behavior from which companies can track and profit.

When consumers adopt sustainable behaviors, marketing agencies can track them. Merchants can leverage this information and offer the right products to the right segment.

Using the Eco-friendly example again, according to Nielsen data analytics company, “Among the 66% of global respondents willing to pay more, key sustainability factors influence over 50% of them. 58% will buy from an environmentally friendly company, and 56% will buy from a company known for its commitment to social value.”

Imagine this. A customer has a membership card from a supermarket. They use it to get a small percentage off. In turn, that brand knows what products are trending and what demographics tend to choose what. They can tell which seasons have the most pregnancies, weddings, parties, new electronic buys, and more. With this information, they can leverage their strategy for an effective product offering and promotional campaign.

As you can see here, understanding consumer behavior and adjusting your marketing strategy will create more opportunities to increase revenue.

But, how can you track your customers to understand how they make their buying decisions? Keep reading to find out.


What is Digital Tracking?

It’s a given that everything can be monitored, tracked, and traced from ATM withdrawals to cell phone records. For eCommerce marketers, there is digital tracking of consumer behavior. It comes in the form of permission-based tools such as cookies, device IDs, IP mapping, and Geo-location.

There is no one solution to these tools. It’s more of a shotgun approach to obtaining comprehensive real-time insights into online consumer behavior. These information-gathering tools must work together to get a complete picture of their path to purchase.

For example, a cookie can track when a customer is on a website and use the data to serve a retargeted ad later. However, unless the visitor offers their personal information, the cookie and the person’s data remain anonymous. You won’t know the age, gender, or other useful marketing data.

Device IDs are like cookies; they are anonymous unless the user offers their information. GEO-targeting is useful for local offers but must combine data from other sources to target accurately.

Gathering information is relatively easy. The difficult part is to gather useful information and apply it to practical uses. The biggest issues are having many tools that don’t talk to each other and failing to integrate learning for action. Thankfully, the right agencies can help implement effective systems and processes.


Why Does Consumer Behavior Matter in Marketing?

Knowing consumer behavior is critical to your business marketing strategy. This insight allows you to allocate your resources, plan accordingly and target more customers. The impetus is to serve the right advertisement at the right moment to your target audience.

Real-time consumer behavioral data makes digital marketing offers timely and relevant. One of the advantages of detailed data is that it helps to predict future activity. Digital marketers use the data to provide relevant information, personalize and improve the shopping experience.

There are three primary influencing factors:

Psychological- Your campaign will be more appealing to your audience if it meets their perception and attitude toward their need or situation.

Personal– This includes age, gender, background, culture, and other personal issues that influence buying decisions.

Social- People with whom a person affiliates can influence their buying choice including family, school, work, and social media.

Understanding the way consumers think allows marketers to optimize ad spend and make better choices.


Tools for Harvesting Customer Data

Digital marketers can select from a variety of third-party tools to help gather real-time customer data. Some of the better-known tools are:

Google Tools

Google offers many tools for businesses to capture data and use it for effective action. Many are free! You can use some of this information for future decisions. It’s also effective for highly targeted ads. Get to know some of these platforms and use them with your business strategy.

  • Google Surveys - Use custom surveys to target specific audiences.

  • Google Analytics - Uncover customer insights and the purchase process.

  • Google Trends – Learn what’s hot and customize your marketing to the trend.

  • Google Forms— Design forms for customers to fill out based on their experiences and needs.

Google has pioneered data collection on the internet. By taking advantage of their tools, you can use valuable information for real results.

YouTube Analytics

If you post videos as part of your marketing strategy, harness the deep analytics that YouTube has to offer. With 300 hours of video posted per minute, there is an incredible amount you can learn about your audience from YouTube’s data.

After Google, YouTube is the largest search engine. But unlike Google, there are a lot fewer pieces of content on the platform. That gives you a huge competitive advance. There’s also a considerable barrier to entry for many people when it comes to great production tools and organizations— things a business with an intentional strategy could easily invest in. When you take advantage of YouTube, you begin to gather the right information.

Videos like “How-tos”, product reviews, overcoming certain common frustrations, can all lead to great ideas and innovation to better serve the customer. Also, if a particular video is doing extraordinarily well, you know there’s a potential opportunity for your company to invest more in that topic and/or feature.

Facebook Audience Insights

Use Audience Insights to compile data about customer demographics by gender, age, relationship status, lifestyle, and job role. It also generates reports for the number of likes, purchase activity, and Facebook usage.

A huge treasure trove of data is also found through Facebook groups. People join by interest and interact with many people all over the world. This is useful information for everyone. For example, if you sell pet supplies and there is a Facebook group located in Southern California that’s focused on cats, you can dive into those communities and engage with them. You can also target those groups with ads.

BrightPearl CRM

Information for eCommerce retailers and wholesalers including centralized customer queries, trading data, and everything that happens after a customer hits the buy button. BrightPearl is easy to navigate CRM software that can track a customer’s entire purchase history.

eCommerce stores can usually obtain analytics directly from their store’s platform. For example, BigCommerce and Shopify have a full suite of built-in reporting tools including Customers report.

All these tools are powerful ways you can capture data and use it for your business.


Eight Top Data Silos

With all the data available, you’ll need to manage it once you have it.

Customer data collection should include the following eight categories:

  1. Ad Activity– Knowing the ads customers viewed and from which app

  2. Affinity– Brand and category affinity for customers

  3. App Activity– App ownership and usage activities

  4. Carrier;– Shopper’s mobile carrier and network info

  5. Content;– Identify a user’s content interests

  6. Demographics;– Typical consumer data including age group, gender, HHI, affluence, etc.

  7. Device;– A user’s device attributes such as device type, make, model, OS, browser, etc.

  8. Location;– Precise location data from GPS and Wi-Fi sources

Using tools to fill in the data gaps helps digital marketing experts and eCommerce companies understand real-world consumer journeys allowing for better business decisions.


The Goal of Tracking Consumer Behavior

The goal is to make a better customer experience. In a recent marketing survey, 86% of buyers are willing to pay more, on average between 13% to 18% more for luxury services and products that offer excellent customer experience.

An intelligent digital marketing strategy doesn’t rely on a single tracking software or method. Marketers must evaluate the right mix of tools for their budget and goals.

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