I’m going to tell you a secret about eCommerce.

No existing e-Comm platform can virtualize the invaluable floor-walker. You've no doubt encountered this retail pro. She's the sharp-eyed sales linchpin who sizes up a customer and what they are after.

Recently after prolonged haggling, I recall a dealer asking me...

"What will it take for you to walk out of here today with this new car?"

Faced with an opportunity to take my measure, he knew I disliked being "sold" anything, and was smart enough to toss it in my court to give me a sense of control over the next offer.

In an online store, re-targeting users as they go off elsewhere, even with a dynamically generated image from their abandoned cart, is an ineffective if inelegant approach.

If I’m in the market for HDTV and go into a store 4 times in 2 weeks, someone would have walked over to see how to make this happen.

Yet, no matter how many times you return to “that website” to contemplate the exact same purchase, it’s far too common that you are re-targeted pretty much the same as you were the first time.

In Mark Douglas's Behavioral Commerce model, revisitors to an retail website get perks and incentives to buy targeted to their individual shopping personality.

It turns out there are scores of shopping profiles into which a visitor might fall, but SteelHouse has identified 10 that are most prevalent.

Here are just a few examples…

>>> The Distracted Shopper begins the checkout process but often doesn't complete it for one reason or another.
>>> The Premium Shopper is always on the lookout for the prestige brands and the latest features in products.
>>> The Free Shipping Hunter simply refuses to buy anything from anyone who won't throw in free shipping.
>>> The Wish List Shopper rarely makes a purchase, but loves to pile items into the online cart just to see what it adds up to.

The objective of Behavioral Commerce is to find and understand the shopper's tipping point.

Unlike traditional Behavioral Targeting that tries to identify and segment people according to who is "in-market," B-Commerce targets the online shopper who’s ready to buy and needs the right offer to get them over the finish line."

The shopper into the appropriate profile - based on things like...

- How often they visit
- How far along they get in the shopping process
- When they abandon a cart

That same data allows the retailer to craft a custom profile. It might be to see everyone who came to the site…
- In the last 7 days
- Looked at over $200 worth of items
- Put at least $100 of product in carts before abandoning

“Let's make them a direct incentive."

Contouring offers based on behaviors can give the retailer a wide range of possibilities and levers to pull when instigating a sale.

One retailer’s messaging targets to people who were shopping for items that were low or out of stock. They get alerts that specific things are back in stock.

SteelHouse worked with Cooking.com, which runs stores for Starbucks, The Food Network and Pillsbury.

They were looking to increase conversions but had not gotten the results they wanted from traditional retargeting and demographic and product targeting.

For Cooking.com, SteelHouse located 3 shopping types that were especially ripe for offers.

The Coupon Code Shopper waited to pull the trigger until a specific offer was made for limited time coupons. These shoppers got a free shipping coupon code, and the company saw a 498% lift in conversions compared to a control group.
Targeting Distracted Shoppers with special offers that kicked in if they completed the online order brought a 382% lift.
And for Premium Shoppers, the offer pushed high ticket items and special offer that activated for orders over $300. This brought a 163% lift.

While every retailer has its particular audience, it is remarkable how consistently you find the major shopping types across retail segments.

There will always be the premium shopper who are looking for the top 25 items, or the free shipping hunter who just refuse to pay for shipping.

Author's Bio: 

Joey Barker is a Memphis-based digital marketing consultant and promotional copywriter.

He has led traditional and interactive campaigns for a variety of leading and insurgent brands, including ServiceMASTER, Caesars Entertainment, World Series of Poker, Peabody Hotel, FRED’s, Inc. and many others.