Entering the customer cycle
“This is the age of experiences,” says Liraz Margalit, a behavioural psychologist in data analytics. She sees this time as a golden era of online data experiences, not just for the online customer but for businesses too.
However, research shows that many enterprises simply don’t know how much consumer data is out there, and how much of it could be useful to them.
She explains that brands normally refer to the ‘3% conversion rate’ as the core area of focus, which leaves a whopping 97% of data to drop straight off the radar.
Margalit cites a personal example. As resident psychologist at Clicktale, a consultancy in customer behaviour analysis, Margalit began noticing in her research just how much data was not being gathered, or even used.
And at home, as her husband was busy trying to make a online purchase for their anniversary, he hovered and pulled away from buying a gift a couple of times – for this crucial purchase, he decided to let his wife into the surprise. As a result, the couple celebrated shopping together in person for the same product, but at the mall.
For many retailers, if they were to look at this data from her husband’s online clicks, it would be regarded as a failed purchase. No purchase equals no interest, right? Wrong.
Margalit is passionate about how data can be used as it can reveal much more about our shopping behaviours. She emphasises the importance of looking at the bigger picture and has coined the research term ‘conversion cycle’ instead of conversion rate. This approach deliberately draws the focus away from the ‘easy’ concept of conversion click to look at more of the customer’s behaviours.
The relationships between the product and the consumer can be revealed in more depth and yield more information when they are viewed as a cycle. In Margalit’s research at Clicktale activities can be focused on through the use of heat maps, for example.
In addition, a product or brand manager should consider the ‘irrational’ or ‘emotional’ customer mindset we have when we purchase. While many managers believe that if they look at every second of their customer’s journey they will understand what they need, they are missing the point.
Rather, they need to examine the customer’s psychology, which can be described as two ‘customer selves’. The first is the one of the experiencing self; the second is the remembering self. And it is the latter which always influences us more in the end. It dominates.