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10 min read

So you want to grow your business online?

Understanding your customer, their buyer behavior, and the motivation behind purchase decisions is key to making sure your business thrives. 

In this article, we will explore some ways to grow your business by improving your online customer experience, how to navigate ecommerce niches, and what you need to bear in mind when considering your audience and their buying decisions on your website.

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Online Customer Experience

Creating a smooth online customer experience will help your business to grow. 

If your site is easy to navigate, your audience and clients will be able to browse around and discover what they need to without too much clutter or information overload.

Making sure your products and services are easy to identify, search for and buy, means money will start to come into your account a lot easier.

If you make your audience and clients have to search too hard for what they need or have confusing navigation, they will leave your site and that checkout basket will stay empty. 

A difficult buying experience also means they will be less likely to return or refer people to you; a poor user experience can result in a compounded loss of opportunities, clients, and profit!

Let’s look at some ways to make the user experience one that leads to sales.

Add value with content to grow your business

Make sure that your online customer experience adds value for your audience through content and resources. This could be blogs or vlogs on topics relevant to your audience, or training resources relevant to your people. 

Understanding your customer journey, and knowing how to leverage different tactics like SEO, long-form content and infographics helps move your customers towards a purchase. 

Giving your audience a reason to come to your site and learn about the problem they need to solve with your product or services, means you become a brand they trust.

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Ecommerce Examples of Added Value

Airbnb’s Help Center is an online learning resource center.

  • New customers can learn about pricing, making reservations and cancellations. 
  • Hosts also learn about getting started, managing their reservations, and getting paid.
  • Provides support and answers 24/7
  • Personalized recommendations about customer trips 
  • Clear headers and titles make finding information easy 
  • A search box for finding help articles saves time

Be easy to contact

Including a chatbox for help on your website means your customers feel able to contact somebody instantly and easily for support, advice, and sales information.

Making contact simple on your website, social media, and email builds brand trust and loyalty.

The more methods you use to reduce complexity and decision fatigue will pave the way to sales, and your business will grow as a result.

An older man and woman go shopping together and this article talks about the different buyer behaviors men and women have

Make it easy for customers to buy more

Making it easy for customers to purchase more one than one product or service really helps your business grow online. For example, if your customer is looking at a particular item of clothing, allow them to see what else is available in your online shop. 

Alternatively, if you are offering a service, make it easy for your customers to browse similar services you offer or alternative ways to consume the information you have, be it an online course, ebook or other.

Capturing your customers at the point of purchase to add more value makes it easy for them to buy more from you.

There are 3 options to consider:

  1. Customers also viewed: These show up on the product page and follows the logic that customers who viewed this product also viewed these products.
  2. Related products: This also shows up on the product page, and can be manually set using products with similar names or descriptions.
  3. You may also like: This is a pop-up after a customer adds an item to the cart and shows products that are similar based on name and description.

Ecommerce Examples: Ease of Purchase

ASOS offers ‘Online Shopping For The Latest Clothes and Fashion’. A leading online fashion retailer, they have an impressive ‘Related Products’ section for customers browsing clothing and accessories.

  • ‘You Might Also Like’ section is clean and noticeable
  • Located below everything else so not obtrusive
  • Tempts customers with the ‘Buy The Look’ section full of items that can complement their selection 
  • Also includes a ‘Recently Viewed’ section
ASOS image for an article about buying experience online

Key strategies to improve customer experience

  • Creating a smooth online customer experience will help your business to grow as customers are more likely to return and recommend you to others
  • Use high-value content to build trust and drive customers to your store
  • Make it easy for customers to contact someone who can help them, for example by including a chatbox on your website
  • Make it easy for customers to purchase more one than one product or service by highlighting what others have bought and adding more value at the point of purchase

Buyer Behavior and Ecommerce Niches

Understanding what the customers in your niche need and want is at the heart of any successful product or service.

Translating those needs to buyer behavior means both identifying the products and services that your clients want, and also knowing the language they use to search for them. 

Doing your research means you can create content around specific needs for your niche. There are several ways you can identify what your clients are already asking.

Use tools like Answer the Public and Google Keyword Search. Search in forums, Facebook groups, LinkedIn groups, and Reddit threads online to help fuel your understanding of your niche.

The more in-depth insights you have to help understand your customers, the easier it will be to craft marketing materials, content, and copy that speaks directly to them.

A woman shopping for baby clothes for an article about buyer behavior to grow your business from Selz the ecomerce platform for growing businesses

Be aware of what motivates your audience

Be aware of what motivates your particular target audience within your niche. This will be a huge factor in knowing how to market your products and services to them.

There are key problems that your products and services address for your audience and clients, and by understanding those you can tap into motivational behaviors that trigger people when they make a purchase.

Such motivational factors include:

Social proof

How, where and why are other people using this item, product or service?

Comparison

  • How does your offering compare to other items, products, and services in the same niche?
  • How does this particular product or service enhance the lives of the end user?
  • Does it increase wellbeing?
  • Meet an increased aspiration or lifestyle?
  • Does it save your client time or money or improve their health?

Reviews and Testimonials

Encouraging reviews in your ecommerce store will really help to grow your business.

Customers trust ecommerce sites much more when they are transparent in customer reviews, as they are able to relate to that user and can find commonalities in their own needs for the product or service that they are searching for.

A positive experience goes a long way towards helping your customers make a buying decision.

Men, Women, and Buyer Behavior

Understanding how people are motivated to buy online is an essential part of a successful online business. 

To grow your business online, you need to be able to hook into the buying decisions of your audience.  You also need to understand the nuances of how men and women buy online.

Research and comparison time

In general, women spend more time researching and comparing items online than men do.

If your target audience includes women, consider how to make it easy to compare products on your site. Clear specifications, pricing and the ability to compare products easily will help motivate a sale.

Make it easy to read the text describing your products and also highlight in your content and copy what makes your product different from the rest on the market.

Using deals for sales 

Coupons and offers are a great way to market your products and services when growing your business online. 

Consider using marketing campaigns that involve a coupon, a percentage off, limited-time discounts, and refer-a-friend incentives that allow your future customers to take advantage of a reduced price. 

It’s worth knowing that women are more deal-driven when shopping online, so this is a particularly useful strategy if you are marketing to women.

Men tend to respond to a faster checkout process, learn mor ein this article about buyer behavior

Easy checkout process

Men prefer a clear, efficient online buying experience, so make it as easy as possible to purchase and check out online. You want to create as little friction as possible for anybody in your audience, but particularly if you are targeting men as your primary audience. 

Make sure to create a simple linear process for searching for your product. Your customer should be able to find what they might want and check out with little complexity for a swift transaction.

For example, eliminate any unnecessary steps in your checkout process and skip unnecessary fields in forms. Don’t time them out and make them start over from the beginning.

Make it easy to recommend your products

A great way to grow your audience and incorporate your existing customers into your sales strategy is to invite customers who have just made a purchase to share what they have bought online.

This is really effective for a number of reasons:

  • It allows social proof, which is a powerful testimonial from your existing customers
  • It builds in organic and viral marketing with little to no extra effort
  • It taps into the drive of a female audience who like to share with their friends and recommend items that they have already purchased

Building in a simple referral button or shareability if you’re an ecommerce store means that you can leverage the networks of your customers to gain further reach simply from within the checkout process.

Your copy and target audience behaviors

Make sure that the descriptions of your products and services tie in with your target audience.

Bearing in mind the way that they might make buying decisions, you can tap into aspirational and motivational behavior triggers alongside the language that your own customer would use. 

Readers tend to skim down while reading anything online. The key is to “get to the point” as soon as possible without wasting your customer’s time.

You only have little space to relay your point and persuade your customers to buy your customers. You have to make the most out of it. Avoid unnecessary marketing jargon that your customer would have a hard time understanding. 

Ecommerce Examples of Targeting Specific Buyer Behaviors

Firebox offers ‘Unusual Gifts For People With Imagination’. They invite customers to ‘shop a curated range of unusual gifts, home decor, techie gadgets, food, drink.. and unicorns’. 

  • They sum everything up  in just a few sentences
  • Using bullet points, they neatly articulate the buyers’ persona (the target audience). For example, ‘Finally, a fun gift for Whiskey lovers’
  • Other bullets clearly list features that the product has and why the prospect should buy the product.
  • An in-depth product description is available further down the page
  • Product descriptions are devoid of any redundant words and sentences for quick reading
To grow your business it's important to think about your ecommerce niche and how to use buyer behavior to increase sales

Retargeting Customers

If you stay front of mind with your customers, even when they have navigated away from your site, they are more likely to return and make a purchase.

Make sure to remind customers who don’t buy immediately of your products through targeted ads on Facebook and Instagram, using a Facebook pixel code in your website.

In this way, even if a consumer does not make a purchase directly, you can still build up a Facebook audience to re-target people that have already landed on your site and browsed it and who are already interested in what you have to offer. 

This allows you to build segmented marketing and campaigns with different landing pages, different products, and different regional markets. 

The more you get to know the behavior of the people who land on your site, the more informed you can be around how to enhance the online customer experience.

Key Takeaways: Using Buyer Behavior to Grow Your Business

  • Understanding what the customers in your niche need and want is at the heart of any successful product or service
  • Do your research to know what motivates your audience to buy
  • Be aware of the nuances in buyer behavior according to your target audience. For example, women typically respond well to social proof, deals and the ability to research and compare products, while men generally like a streamlined, efficient check-out process.
  • Ensure your copy and product descriptions fit your target audience 
  • Understand the buyer behavior of your customers on your site, so you can retarget them when they leave.

To grow your business effectively, you need a number of tools in your business tool belt. Understanding exactly who your target audience is, and making their buying experience as easy as possible will go a long way to increase your sales. 

How have you refined your selling process online to make it easy for clients to buy from you?  What tips can you take from this article to implement and grow your business online? Let us know in the comments below.

About the author

Jo Gifford

A widely read contributor to Huffington Post, Selz, Regus, Prowess, YFS Magazine and many more interwebz rabbit holes, Jo is a respected UK voice on life as a pocket-sized enterprise owner.

Jo’s background – a seasoned blogger, copywriter, podcaster, and graphic designer with an MA and research interest in creative thinking for small business – makes for an eclectic and colourful killer content approach.

2 comments

  1. Karen

    Great tips! Especially the tips on checkout. Sometimes customers get irritated by too much information, especially when the consumer is so well-informed.

    1. Jana Rumberger

      Thanks so much Karen! We’re glad that this article was helpful. You can read more articles with customer experience tips here.

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