Sometimes when the clicks fall short and conversions dry up can catch us by surprise. If your pipeline has turned from firehose to trickle, it’s time to ask if you’ve lost track of your customer behavior and need to figure out where you went wrong.

Customers don’t buy from a vacuum, and shopping trends continue to change rapidly. As an eCommerce business owner, you must understand the factors influencing online consumer behavior to attract and expand your customer base.

If you’re clueless about what influences your customers’ buying decisions, keep reading to learn the latest trends in online customer behavior and the four things you need to improve in 2022 for a higher ROI.

Customers want continuous engagement

The most profound online customer behavior is that customers want to be engaged throughout the buyer’s journey. Right from awareness to consideration, and decision-making, they want you to keep engaging them before they can buy from you. 

Start keeping in touch with your customers before, during, and after purchase. After the first purchase, you can upsell your previous customers by offering bundled product packages at a discounted price. When a potential customer visits your website, give them a reason to keep coming back by offering them a free or discounted product.

The easiest way to do this is by collecting their email addresses as soon as they visit your website. Use lead magnets such as discounted offers or product coupons, free shipping, or shopping guides to collect email addresses.

Additionally, consider gathering feedback from your customers via online surveys. It not only helps you measure customer satisfaction but also helps improve your product and services. You can motivate your customers to take surveys by offering rewards like product discounts. Some survey platforms you can use to collect feedback include Google Forms, SurveyMonkey, Crowdsignal, and Zoho Survey.

Customers prefer a personalised experience

As an online business owner in 2022, take the time to understand who your customers are, and start tailoring offers and online messaging to address their specific interests. Collect their demographic data and develop customer profiles to facilitate personalization. Start impressing your customers with personalized product offers and suggestions (e.g. hoodies printed with customer names). 

When customers visit your website, provide instant access to their recent purchases and show them products that may impress them personally. You can also send targeted notifications and make purchase recommendations based on the customer’s specific interests.

For instance, if you run an online vitamin store, collect data about your visitors’ energy, diet, age, and overall health. Create a personalized vitamin plan and send them their daily packs with their names printed on top. Whenever a customer makes a purchase, send them personalized thank-you notes as an appreciation and invitation for future purchases.

Additionally, start personalizing your email messaging to the perceived desires of your customers and window shoppers. If they’re enticed by free shipping offers but struggle to reach your threshold, offer other affordable shipping discounts that won’t break your bank account.

Customers love an omnichannel approach

Brands reap more from omnichannel marketing since customers love an omnichannel approach. According to a 2020 study by eMarketer, 37% of customers prefer email communication, 37% prefer TV adverts, and 20% love social media messaging. 

Consequently, a single-channel strategy doesn’t optimize ROI. This is because, with so many platforms on the internet, customers get easily distracted, and you’d never catch their full attention using one channel.

Consider combining two or three channels to yield the highest returns. Track your performance and identify the channels that have the greatest influence on your eCommerce business. Consistently engage customers on channels with the highest ROI. According to HubSpot, combining Facebook with Instagram is quite effective in creating collateral that appeals to target customers with specific interests. 

Customers prefer user-generated content

Customer experience is slowly overtaking price and product as the brand differentiator. As a result, customers love user-generated content, which reflects authenticity and provides a sense of approval. As an eCommerce business owner in 2022, focus on creating an excellent customer experience across all your customer touchpoints. You can do this by publishing user-generated content on your website, including:

  • Customer reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Screenshots of social proof

However, ensure you get approval from your customers before sharing their reviews on your website. 

Also, consider adding an FAQ section on your eCommerce website to help customers get answers to frequently asked questions about your products. User-generated content will improve the overall customer experience and significantly influence your customers’ buying decisions.

Customer behavior changes, and so should you

In this dynamic digital era, your marketing strategies should never be the same. Online customer behavior changes rapidly, and that’s why it is essential to keep track of these changes and adjust accordingly. 

Through continuous engagement and personalized content, you can use various online channels to build customer loyalty and attract more sales to your business. Never forget to share user-generated content since they show proof of customer experience and influence decision-making.

Jake Rheude is vice president of marketing for Red Stag Fulfillment.