Behavioral Marketing in eCommerce: 3 Ways to Close the Deal

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by Christina Petropoulos, Project Manager

Ever since Yahoo Advertising took the lead in the mid-2000s in introducing marketers to the concept of targeting online ads to the behavior of Internet users’ search patterns and the sites they visit, behavioral marketing has been a key component to any brand’s online marketing strategy. The principal idea is that if you understand your customer better, you can sell better.

Harnessing the insight from browser-based cookies, Yahoo showed marketers how to reach a more relevant online audience with expressed interests in a specific category or product. Behavioral marketing has since exploded, and eCommerce marketers continue to expand the use of targeted (or personal) marketing utilizing three key techniques:

  1. browser cookies,
  2. tracking pixels, and
  3. related product attributes.

Behavioral marketing works in several ways, but usually involves adding small snippets of tracking code to your website, and then once a visitor comes to your website, the tracking code will put a cookie on the visitor’s browser and begin collecting data.  This data allows marketers to target consumers with more relevant messaging in the following ways:


Remarketing with tracking code data allows site owners to use ad networks to show specific product ads once a visitor leaves the site.

If, for instance, they browse a selection of point-and-shoot cameras on your site, you can use remarketing to show them ads for cameras while they browse other sites.  Include a promotional code with the ad and you may have them coming back to complete the transaction.

Personalized Merchandising

Just like traditional brick and mortar storefronts, merchandising on a website has become an integral component to the online shopping experience. Amazon is the online leader in presenting users with a personalized selection of “recommended just for you” products and offerings.

Creating the right blend of product display for your online visitors improves the shopping experience and increases conversions.   Tracking code allows you to determine which products to display to unique visitors based on past purchases or product searches on your site. Showing your visitor a new product from her favorite make-up brand will increase the likelihood of a purchase.

Product Relations in eCommerce

Another useful tool in creating a meaningful shopping experience is found in setting up product relationships within your product data. These typically include “related product,” “upsells” and “cross-sells.”

Upsell products are related, more expensive products that show on the product information page for a specific product to entice a shopper to purchase a more expensive alternative, and cross-sell relationships are often those products that can be associated with a specific project as an additional purchase, and show on the shopping cart page.  For instance, if you have a camera in your shopping cart, you may be prompted to add other products such as lenses or camera bags.

Negotiating these advanced online marketing techniques can be challenging, however, Magento Enterprise is a robust eCommerce platform with an advanced built-in content management system that allows marketers to employ many of these behavioral marketing strategies utilizing Magento’s custom widgets and content static blocks features, as well as setting up useful product relations.  

Content static blocks allow site owners to embed tracking pixel code for remarketing purposes, or display featured products and promotions on individual pages throughout the site for targeted merchandising. Similarly, Magento offers site owners the flexibility to create product associations using these CMS features to create a more compelling shopping experience and increase conversions.

The online shopping space is more competitive than ever, and with only a few seconds to grab your shoppers’ attention, personalization on your eCommerce website is more essential than ever. With Magento, behavioral marketing is only a few clicks away, and offers the flexibility to help you ultimately increase your revenues.

Written by Guidance
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