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4 Ways to Generate Consumer Insights in Ecommerce

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These days, data is heralded as king. But having all the data in the world means nothing if you don’t know what to do with it.

That’s where consumer insights come in. Data alone may identify how your audiences behave, but consumer insights answer the why. Knowing why your customers behave the way they do will help your ecommerce businesses make effective changes that will grow sales and improve retention.

In this piece, you’ll learn exactly what consumer insights are, why they’re important to ecommerce businesses, how to generate consumer insights, and how to apply the insights to a marketing strategy.

What are Consumer Insights?

Consumer insights are the interpretations revealed by analyzing research data that allows your business to better understand who your audiences are, what their attitudes are, and what motivates them. Consumer insights are actionable, meaning you can make changes to your marketing processes to improve conversion and retention rates.

Do not confuse consumer insights with market research, although they are similar. Market research is the effort of gathering data about your customers and provides valuable information about who your customers are and where they can be reached. Consumer research, on the other hand, is the application of this data to answer questions about behavior and motivations and point to actions that can be taken to better serve customers.

Why Consumer Insights are Important (Especially in Ecommerce)

Consumer insights are important because they allow ecommerce businesses to understand consumer thought processes and suggest actionable changes that can be implemented to improve retention and conversion rates as well as customer satisfaction.

Additionally, consumer insights open opportunities for personalized marketing approaches. Personalized marketing is an effective tactic, especially for ecommerce businesses. Ecommerce has a relatively low barrier to entry, so more online stores are competing for similar audiences. Consumer insights help refine customer personas for effective targeting and better use of marketing resources.

Ecommerce also has a unique customer journey and consumer insights help ecommerce stores visualize their distinct journey more accurately. Plus, applying consumer insights to a store’s customer journey helps identify where processes and communications can be improved so that shoppers are more likely to convert.

4 Ways to Generate Consumer Insights in Ecommerce

Generating consumer insights is a valuable piece of an ecommerce marketing strategy. Thankfully, ecommerce allows for real-time data that can be analyzed and turned into insights that will guide your marketing strategies. Here are five ways to get consumer insights for your ecommerce store:

Website and Purchase Behavior

Website analytics and data gathered from buyer behavior is a great resource for consumer insights. Google Analytics and data from your ecommerce platform (like Shopify or WooCommerce) is an easy-to-access way to gather information about how users behave on your site and what their purchase patterns look like.

This data can point to snags in the design or organization of your website that keep shoppers from converting, show you where your customers are coming from, and help you understand which products are most popular and frequently bought together. Synthesizing this information will suggest actions to take to refine your marketing strategy and customer journey to boost sales.

Keyword Research

Keyword research is often applied to search engine optimization (SEO) tactics, but it’s also a great way to gather insights about what people are searching for and why. Are terms related to your business related to problems that shoppers need to have solved, or are they focused on finding a specific type of product?

Understanding these types of queries provide insight into customer intent, which is valuable for creating a marketing strategy that resonates with your target audiences. Keyword research helps you understand audience motives for making the purchases that they do, and you can apply your findings throughout your marketing processes as well as with an SEO-specific strategy.

Review Mining

One of the most important discoveries made while examining consumer insights is shoppers’ attitudes toward your brand and product. Review mining is an effective tactic for gauging these attitudes. Examine both on-site and off-site reviews and look for patterns. For example, are there any common complaints about your products? What customer expectations were or were not met? What do users like about your products?

Looking for these patterns will answer a lot of questions about customer retention or lack of and will help your ecommerce business understand what needs to be done to keep customers coming back to your online store.

Social Media Analytics and Engagement

Social media is filled with data that can be used to generate consumer insights. Platforms like Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter collect plentiful data for business pages like demographic and psychographic information, geolocation data, devices used by audiences, when users are most active, and more. Synthesizing and analyzing this data will provide insights that will guide not only your social media presence, but your overall marketing strategy as well. 

How to Take Action on Consumer Insights to Grow Sales

Apply insights to your ecommerce store’s customer journey.

Every ecommerce store has a unique customer journey that is determined by the way customers interact with the brand. Consumer insights can be gathered at each stage in the journey so you know exactly how your customers are behaving and what they are feeling as they move throughout the buying process.

Understanding your customers’ thoughts and motives at each customer journey stage allows you to take action and use specific marketing tactics, known as touchpoints, to facilitate customers through the journey and influence their attitudes and actions, making them more likely to convert and remain a customer for the long term.

Personalize the marketing content your store sends to customers.

The information gathered about your customers as you examine customer insights provides an opportunity to create a personalized content strategy. Knowing what motivates your customers will help your marketing team know which channels your audiences respond best to, which products to recommend to them, and what type of tone to take in your messaging to encourage them to make a purchase.

Implement a retention-focused approach to marketing.

Ecommerce businesses need repeat customers to thrive. Focusing on existing customers and the insights gained about their motives and behaviors is a tried-and-true way to generate stable revenue. Plus, repeat customers are likely to become brand advocates who refer new business to your store, so a retention-focused strategy will boost new conversions as well.

Platforms like Apteo and Metrilo can be of assistance in a retention-focused approach. They provide retention-specific data on purchases, assist with automatic segmentation, and make recommendations for who to reach out to and products to recommend. In a sense, these platforms perform the research and analysis for you, so all you have to do is connect with your customers to boost retention and grow sales.

Final Thoughts

No consumer research project, big or small, has an impact unless it shows what can be done to solve a business’s problems. In ecommerce, consumer insights point to data-backed actions that can be taken to increase sales and encourage repeat purchases. It’s all about what you do with the data at your disposal that differentiates market research from consumer insights.

Ecommerce businesses have plenty of data available to them from website analytics, search engine data, information gathered from reviews, and social media metrics. The insights provided from these platforms can be applied into an effective marketing strategy by refining a store’s customer journey, personalizing marketing content, and taking a retention-based approach to growth.

About the author


Shanif Dhanani