What’s your best selling product? What about your worst selling product? What about the product a first-time buyers is most likely to purchase?

If you don’t know your customer behavior intimately, you definitely should.

As a B2C marketer, you want to know as much as possible about your customer’s buying habits, including their first purchase, their last purchase, their customer lifetime value, and much more. The more data you have, the better you can tailor your marketing campaigns to their preferences and needs, and the more likely those campaigns are to convert.

So what’s holding you back? Probably your access to accurate customer data. But don’t feel bad — you’re not alone. In fact, 31% of senior marketing leaders believe integrating customer data is the greatest challenge their company faces. However, if you can do it well, it gives your business a huge advantage.

By really digging in and understanding your customer buying patterns, you can create B2C marketing campaigns that are more likely to drive repeat purchases, increase your average order value, and directly impact the bottom line.

Start by unifying customer data

It sounds boring (because it is), but unifying your customer data is a necessary first step in understanding and analyzing how your buyers buy. You need to have a single view of your customers — one that isn’t scattered across Google Analytics, Facebook ads, and your marketing automation platform.

With identity resolution technology, you can actually take the data from each of those individual platforms and unify it in a single place. By using the data you have today on your customers, you can also get all of the historic data about how they’ve interacted with your brand in the past. You can understand:

  • The first ad they clicked on
  • The first page they visited
  • What campaign made them convert and buy
  • And what they’ve clicked on since their first purchase

In aggregate, all of this data can help you start to understand which campaigns are doing best, and which are most effective at which phases in the buyer’s journey.

Map the customer lifecycle

The customer lifecycle is a vital guide for any B2C marketer. It can tell you so much about how your current marketing is functioning, and how your one-purchase, two-purchase, and loyal customers all interact with your brand. But most importantly, it can help you analyze whether you’re effectively driving new purchases or creating more loyal, happy customers.

AverageOrderValue

In this report, you can see valuable and detailed data like:

  • How many days customers spend in each stage
  • How much money they spend on average
  • How likely your buyers are to convert to the next lifecycle stage

Since repeat customers are so valuable to your business, you want to carefully monitor the conversion rates from one stage to the next. This is a great way to keep an eye on the overall health of your customer base and will give you early warning if, say, you accidentally lose a number of loyal customers. It can also tell you if things are going well and your newest campaign drives more new customers to make the all-important second purchase.

Measure customer behavior over time

Especially as you try out new types of omnichannel marketing campaigns and more sophisticated marketing strategies, your measurement of customers’ buying behavior will become even more vital to your success. You can optimize a simple campaign for opens or clicks, but what really matters is how your customers respond to your campaigns in aggregate over time. The more data you have, the more powerful your marketing campaigns will become as you tweak them to fit your buyer’s wants and needs.

CustomerLifetimeValue

In this report, you can see all of the many types of customer data you can gather to learn more about your audience. You not only want to understand who your customers are, their geographic location, and their personal preferences, but also data like:

  • Customer lifetime value
  • Preferred product lines
  • Participation in a rewards program
  • …and much more.

You can also look at metrics like: Has your overall average order value increased or decreased in the past few months? Why do you think that is? Is there a particular product line that is doing well with a certain demographic of your buyers? If yes, you should double down and send out a promotion to that specific segment. And this is just one small example of how the data could drive your marketing efforts.

There are a million ways to glean valuable insights from your customer data, and all of them come from that single, unified view. There is no one right way to look at the information, but you’ll find a number of interesting angles and useful data points that can help guide your B2C marketing strategy. So what are you waiting for? It’s time to start deeply analyzing your customer buying patterns.

Cara Hogan

Cara Hogan is the Content Strategist at Zaius, where she focuses on how technology can drive business growth. She is a grammar perfectionist, a data enthusiast, and a rock climber.