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How are you tracking customers’ behavior?

This week officially marks the beginning of the 2018 holiday shopping season! Every retailer in the nation will be competing against each other for customers and in turn sales. How are you acquiring your online customers? Is your marketing spend supporting your most profitable acquisition channel?

How are you tracking customers’ behavior?

It’s not enough just to track referrers, product demand and page navigation. You need to combine all of these together to have a holistic view of where customers came from, what they did on the site and what they eventually bought. Tracking all this means you have thousands of permutations to look at, but if you do this then you’ll quickly find real growth value.

You know what channel works best today. How do you track if customer behavior changes? Online retailers’ customer shopping behaviors can change for any number of reasons – a new product you launched may appeal to a different age demographic or a celebrity wore a product that appeals to a customer base you were not previously marketing to. These new customers may shop through different acquisition channels than your existing customer base or existing customers may have shifted their own shopping patterns.

Digging deeper into your data, identify which acquisition channel has the most traffic, which converts at the highest rate, and which has the highest average order value? Does your marketing spend per channel accurately support the success of each channel? The channel you spent the most marketing dollars on in 2017 may not be the channel you should be spending the most dollars on in 2018. Analyzing year-over-year changes in these data points will allow you to identify new marketing opportunities for the holiday season and ensure that your marketing spend is supporting your most profitable acquisition channel. With competition for customers at an all-time high this holiday season, you want to make sure the marketing dollars you are spending are effectively being spent on the most current customer acquisition channels.

True life examples of customer behavior changing in digital customer acquisition

By executing a year-over-year customer acquisition analysis, a national footwear brand saw changes in their online customers’ shopping behaviors. By using   Outlier’s Automated Business Analysis platform, the footwear brand identified customer behavior between paid search and paid social, which combined made up a majority of their digital marketing budget, a change from year over year. Recently they found, through the Outlier platform, that their most numerous and most profitable customers were now coming from paid social advertising and not from paid search advertising. Previously paid search had been the more profitable customer acquisition channel.

The retailer could then make data-supported marketing decisions for both their holiday marketing creative and their holiday marketing budgets. They put additional efforts into creating holiday content that was specific for social media advertising and they moved marketing ad spend from paid search to paid social, thus more efficiently utilizing their holiday marketing budget. Both of these actions will ensure more customers, and in-turn more sales, for their 2018 holiday season.

Analyze your own data today! There’s still time to affect your own holiday sales.