Responding to changing customer behaviors

Industry Insight

Since the dawn of time (or at least since people began selling goods to other people), customers have been purchasing items in different ways. Common behaviors and interactions today may be gone tomorrow, which can make it difficult for merchants to maintain success.

Today's consumer has an unprecedented amount of information at their fingertips – they aren't making blind purchases when they can easily look up product reviews and poll their social media acquaintances beforehand.

Changing to suit your customers needs allows you to stay competitive.

They also have a variety of means to research and actually purchase products, with mobile devices, social media, search engines and other channels all playing central roles in the process.

Consumers will always find new ways to shop, and it's up to retailers to respond in accord to secure their sales and patronage.

For instance, one report from Experian Hitwise suggests that search queries are growing longer and more specific. People looking to buy a smartphone aren't just searching "Samsung" anymore, they are using the phrase "red Samsung Galaxy S4." If retailers want these people to land on their eCommerce websites, they must improve their search engine optimization to cater longer queries. Product manager tools such as SalesWarp can help simplify this process.

Reacting in turn
If consumers are changing the way they buy, it's up to merchants to alter the way they engage prospects. One of the best ways of doing this is by improving your knowledge of consumer trends and behaviors. Data can indicate changing shopper behaviors and attitudes, allowing you to react – or perhaps even predict – these evolving mindsets.

"An optimized data feed is the key to meeting new consumer expectations and converting a browser into a shopper," Multichannel Merchant contributor Sheridan Orr adds. "Expert feed management has typically been necessary to make shopping programs successful."

You must remember your ultimate goal is to cater to the needs of your customer and provide them a stellar shopping experience. That means adjusting your operations to their preferences. If you can't keep up with the times, you'll only find yourself losing ground to competitors who will adjust. Proper use of technology can assist you in this goal.