Cracking the code of customer preferences can make a huge difference for your e-Commerce store in terms of attracting and retaining customers. These 3 insights will get you there.

The human mind is an intricate web of delicate preferences.

A clear understanding of the typical customer is marketing gold, and if you can crack this code then it is the most effective way for you to shape the growth strategy for your business and connect with an entire potential customer base.

The question, however, lies in how we unravel the subtleties of our customers’ preferences, and more importantly: how we can help them to want to return to shop time and again.

Here are a 3 simple factors to consider when deciphering customer preferences;

1. Make it easy to find the needle in the haystack

alt Thanks to our adoption of Social Media, we are all familiar with the process of giving likes, hearts or favourites to items which we find interesting, but a more important question to ask is, ‘What do my Customers Dislike?’

Personally, I hate to shop, but it is purely the drama of the needle in a haystack-search which I detest.

In an ideal world, I would walk into a shop, tell the assistant what I need and have them present me with a short list of potential matches. Bingo, take my money, and I’m free.

Yet, with the absence of a physical shopping assistant on e-Commerce stores this, of course, poses a problem. But thankfully there is a simple solution to this.

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By having a search engine that supports long-tail searches, you can capture those customers, who simply don’t have the patience to scroll through a large number of items.

If they are searching for a fuschia dress for a wedding, then let them type ‘fuschia dress for a wedding’ into the search bar.

This way you will hold their attention for much longer, maximising the chance that they will go ahead and proceed to payment.

2. Personalise the shopping experience

alt Consumers have a vast array of choice when it comes to shopping online, which poses a dilemma for e-Commerce stores in uncovering the reason why a customer chooses to shop with you rather than a competitor.

However, once you find this out, you can replicate the approach with a larger number of browsing consumers.

And the answer to this dilemma lies in simple human nature: Each and every one of us has a desire to feel valued and unique, and this is exactly what you need to bring to your individual customers.

Consumers choose the brands that engage them on their passions and interests 42% more often than they do those that simply urge them to buy something. (Google, TNS & Ogilvy)

Personalising the shopping experience is a guaranteed way to provide a lasting impression on your customers, which you can be sure they will remember the next time that they shop online.

But how exactly can you achieve this?

It's quite simple, really: You need to become an expert at understanding each unique customer, from their shopping patterns to purchase history and why they did not complete a potential sale.

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Monitoring customer shopping behaviours, purchase history and understanding which of your products sell well together, will allow you to bring tailored recommendations to each customer as they move through the purchase process.

For example, if I am shopping for my fuschia dress for a wedding, then perhaps it makes sense for you to suggest a variety of shoes and handbags for me to also consider.

Increasing the basket size is a fantastic side-effect of bringing personalised product recommendations to your customers’ attention, but more importantly, you can be sure that your customers will remember how seamless their experience was and begin to form an affinity to your brand.

3. Build trust

alt Trust in a brand can often be the deciding factor between shopping time and again or leaving the site to purchase elsewhere. We can see that customers find it much easier to trust those brands, who show that they have their best interests at heart.

Tailoring a unique shopping experience for each customer is a fantastic way to achieve this, and one which will differentiate your brand from the competition.

In-house marketers who are personalising their web experiences and who are able to quantify the improvement see, on average, a 19% uplift in sales. (Econsultancy & Monetate)

It is important to keep up to date with the items which your customer base is likely to find interesting, and find a way to bring this to their attention in a stylistic manner.

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A great way to do this is to automatically display products which are trending within a category, with real-time results. This approach will capture the imagination of browsing customers, build a sense of community between your shoppers and increase the likelihood that new customers will follow suit.

You can apply this method on a broader level by displaying those products which are trending right now throughout your entire webshop.

Again, if you can automate the entire process so you do not need to monitor and manually upload the latest information, this becomes a remarkably easy way to generate interest in your products and a general buzz around your brand.


Those were your 3 insights. The ability to inspire a browsing customer is an incredible achievement for any e-Commerce store, and one which you can seamlessly draw into the process using:

1. Smart search functionality
2. Product recommendations
3. Knowledge of your unique customers.

If you are hungry for more input, then be sure to check out the rest of our blog packed with tips and tricks. And don't forget to sign up for our newsletter (below) to have our tips sent directly to your inbox every 2 weeks.