Think the best approach to marketing is a product-centric focus? Behavioural commerce technology is making marketers think again! Keep reading.

If you ask us, this is a bit of a no brainer: a people-focused marketing approach gives shoppers more of an incentive to make a purchase. As we know, the more online shopping gains traction, the more the average consumer expects in the way of a personalised shopping experience. By understanding people’s shopping personalities and buying behaviours, your brand can tailor customer experiences to ensure they are effective and unforgettable. Discover what drives shoppers to buy and you’ve struck gold: bring on increased sales and profit margins!


Do personality traits really matter?

In short, yes. It’s all about the way you present information to a certain personality type. Amazon is a great example: their huge range appeals most to those looking to find products at the lowest prices. With the reputation they’ve built over years, customers are likely to trust they have the best range of products on offer, at the best prices.


Bring on the research!

We love our data and research and a study conducted by the Journal of Business Research provides us with great insights into human behaviour. The study looked at the following four main ways to understand what influences people when it comes to purchasing decisions:


#1. Economics of information

This is all about that person who’s after the best ratio of search costs compared to the expected benefits. This means finding the best price in the shortest amount of time spent searching. With the Amazon example noted above, the retail giant has built a reputation where shoppers trust both their range and prices. Done deal!


#2. Cognitive costs

Enter search-related cognitive processes. Think of that someone in your life who optimises their decisions regarding price and quality of products, all while considering the reliability and credibility of a retailer. A shopper who falls into this category would be keen on sites with ratings and reviews.


#3. Lifestyle factors

Way of life, patterns of spending time and money… they are all important factors for this type of shopper. We know that online shopping behaviour is directly linked to people’s perception of time control and their desired control of their shopping environment in addition to their need for social interaction. Think sites that offer Live Chat, chatbots, interactive content and so on.


#4. Contextual influences

This category revolves around the external circumstantial factors that influence decisions that see people looking outside the box and analysing the influence of atmosphere and navigational aides of websites.

We’re talking about:

Surface traits: immediate determinants of behaviour. This is when the features of a product or service will evoke an immediate response/decision in the customer, leading to them either being interested in making a purchase or not. For example, someone who is instantly drawn to products with a high quality and health rating and good nutrition rating over any others.

Situational traits: effecting surface traits, this is a customer’s predisposition to act a certain way within general situational contexts.

For example, a customer might in many different situations act with the motivation of good health. Such as a bicycle company has a good chance at making a conversion by appealing to their ideal of a healthy lifestyle.

Compound traits: are cross-situational and typically developed during socialization, arisen from a combination of elemental traits (our basic needs) and cultural environment. However, we can’t say they’re only developed by external influences as a person’s learning experiences and socialization history with our basic needs (elemental traits) also comes into play.

For example: Customers paying attention to certain information as seen with certain people’s care and attention to food nutrition information because we as a society value health and a healthy lifestyle and hence the customer becomes health conscious.

Elemental traits: think basic genetic predispositions and characteristics people are often born with or that are gained in their early learning. For example, the need for necessities that the human body needs to stay alive such as food and water.


Understanding consumer personalities helps your brand to be more profitable. Industry leaders use what they know about their audience to push the right buttons, at the right time to convert sales. If you’re new to all things personality models, it’s well worth investing your time into learning more about them and truly honing them.

In 2018 and beyond, online retailers have a lot of consumer data on-hand with most businesses having more than they even know or understand what to do with. Leading businesses leverage this information to provide target audiences with what they want: incentives, discounts, offers… you name it and the aim comes back to driving customers to complete purchases, become repeat customers and ultimately, spread the word about their brand, acting as their unofficial brand ambassador.

It’s a skill to be able to analyse and interpret data and an intelligent neural network such as IBM’s Watson platform is of vital importance as it helps to present information to shoppers in a way that plays into their specific behaviour traits. Invest time in understanding your ideal customers and you won’t look back!


Need help with personalising your brand’s alternative shopper experiences? Contact our team today.