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Ecommerce Growth

20 behavioral targeting ideas for 2023 (+ some inspiration)

Customers today are smart—the old tricks won’t work anymore. Find out in this post how you can use behavioral targeting to earn long-term customers

20 behavioral targeting ideas for 2023 (+ some inspiration)

Since it’s almost impossible to identify every single customer who will definitely purchase from your eCommerce store, marketers have settled for the next best thing—Behavioral Targeting.

With behavioral targeting, you can convert all acquired leads by offering relevant and personalized products to them. It also increases the number of sales you’ll get from your existing customers. 

For example, Sunuva, a UK-based eCommerce store changed its marketing approach by choosing to use behavioral data from browsing behavior and visitor crowdsourced data to redesign its website. This website redesign was able to properly target their current customer base, prospective leads, and website visitors with relevant production recommendations that increased their turnover rate by 8.9% from the very first day. 

In this post, we’ll be discussing some creative ways you can use behavioral targeting on your eCommerce store to improve your conversions and sales.

1. Use exit-intent popups to forward user buying journey

Exit-intent popups are a popular method of targeting visitors that are ready to leave your website without making a purchase or carrying out any action. 

This kind of behavioral targeting is very effective because through a simple popup web form, it converts about 15% of your website abandoners into leads you can further market to. 

Exit-intent popups are great for collecting data about your website visitors which can then be used to build your email lists.

You can target users who add to cart without checking out or creating an account. So you can recover abandoned carts on checkout pages by adding timed discounts or coupons to your exit popup. 

Example of using behavioral targeting through exit-intent popups

Sometimes, your visitors might not be ready to make a purchase yet—and that’s okay. With your exit-intent popup, you can redirect users to another piece of content they might find interesting. 

The bottom line is to ensure you offer value for whatever action you’re requiring them to take on that popup. In our example above, you’d see a 5% discount code. So you could use a discount, a freebie, or anything else they might find valuable.

2. Send timely and contextual cart-recovery emails 

The typical shopping cart abandonment rate for online retailers varies between 60% and 80%, with an average of 69.89%.

Through timely and contextual emails, you can tackle prospective customers who abandon their carts. 

Start by analyzing your consumer behavior through user sessions to figure out the optimal time for sending these emails. Timing is very essential in achieving the best level of engagement. These emails should be a gentle reminder that nudges them to return to your store and complete a purchase. 

You could personalize it by adding a sneak peek of what they left in their cart to reinforce their initial interest. In some cases, you could even offer discounts to get them to complete a purchase.

See how Kate Spade uses the pictures of the cart orders to reinforce the buying decision

Example of behavioral targeting through cart recovery emails

3. Increase average order value through relevant product recommendations

Intelligent product recommendations involve the use of AI to gather data of a customer’s interaction with your website and recommend products they would most likely be interested in.

While this might seem like just another eCommerce thing, 35% of Amazon’s sales come from product recommendations. 

The key to cracking conversions from product recommendations is by making them relevant to each user. So once your customers add items to cart, display product recommendations based on their current interests. 

You can also add these recommendations on the product page just in case they like to have options. Your customers will be more likely to increase their purchase by adding more products if they find product recommendations relevant.

See how Fresh Foam intelligently offers similar products on the product description page. 

Example of behavioral targeting through personalization

4. Reach out to niche customers with location-specific product results

9 out of 10 marketers said location-specific marketing increased their customer base by 86%.  And this is a valid behavioral targeting because due to cultural differences, and location-specific needs, customers from certain locations will have interests in (and preference for) specific products.

Set up geo-targeting on your website to collect locations when customers land on your eCommerce store.

For certain products available in specific locations, you can use geo-targeting to reach your customers or leads in these areas instead of showing the entire catalog that may not be available in these specific locations. 

For example, see how Madewell collects customer location immediately they land on the website to help personalize user experience and improve user conversions.

Example of behavioral targeting through geo-targeting

You can also use this data gathered from geo-targeting to improve campaign strategies like search ads or drive customer engagement by showing relevant products, language and offering relevant services to them. 

Again, when prospects find your recommendations or services relevant it will definitely increase conversions.

5. Fast-track the customer journey with behavior-triggered emails in real-time

Compared to other email campaign types, behavior-triggered emails have a 53% higher click-to-open rate. This means that customers tend to resonate and find these emails quite useful. 

Behavior-triggered emails focus on increasing the average number of returning customers by providing value before they even need it.

In your eCommerce store, you can target customers who have recently purchased an item that will need a restock. You can get this from their past purchasing behavior insights.

If they’ve purchased more than twice in the past, or even if they haven’t, target them just before the time they’d usually restock. A subtle email reminder will significantly reduce their chances of buying elsewhere.  

See how Sephora nudges a customer to restock their past purchase.

Example of behavior-targeted emails

Another example of behavior-triggered emails is when a visitor browses a section of an eCommerce store after opting in. Rather than sending the conventional emails, gather the customer buying-intent data and send an email that focuses on that. 

It could be a buying guide featuring products from the collection they browsed along with a promo code to encourage purchase. 

6. Win at personalization through dynamic landing pages

A dynamic landing page converts 25.2 mobile users when compared to the general landing pages. And this is because when a specific page is tailored to a customer’s interest or needs, they’ll be more likely to carry out your requested action or click on your CTA. 

Sabon wanted to maximize the sales they were likely to get from their holiday traffic. What they did was to implement dynamic landing pages with different holiday offers targeted at audience segments. Each landing page was targeted at audiences based on their behavior and interaction with the website. 

Example of behavioral targeting through landing pages

After implementation, Sabon recorded a 35% increase in their Black Friday sales and a 20% increase in their landing page order value. 

Through behavioral dynamic landing pages, Sabon learned that their returning customers were more inclined to click on single landing pages that offered value based on their previous purchases. 

So consider creating a variety of dynamic landing pages during high traffic seasons based on specific customer behavior. You can gain insights by watching the interactions they currently have with your promotional offers. With the data you gain from the current interactions, offer personalized value to customers who may have varying interests in your store. Not only will it provide a tailored user experience to your visitors, but you’ll also rack up sales and increase your average order value.

7. Create irresistible offers with your cart data

While we are focused on looking at data around the homepage, product pages, and other external links as marketers, we often overlook a landmine of data—the cart data.

Neutrogena had loyal customers however, from analyzing their customer shopping basket data they realized that customers were only purchasing from one segment. So they decided to increase order value from both existing and new users by creating a sales offer that pairs up products for a discounted price. 

Example of behavioral targeting through cart data

This means they first studied the existing customer behavior before providing an offer.

In this offer, Neutrogena paired up products that complemented each other. A mascara came with an eye remover and so on. Here’s the fun part—customers were offered value packages based on their cart behavior. So while one customer may get a value package with lip products another will get something different.  

After implementing this behavioral marketing strategy, Neutrogena exceeded their own benchmarks by 289% because both brand and non-brand users were buying from them.

When creating sales offers, use shopper insights from your cart data like Neutrogena. Plug the data into Google sheet and play around to uncover insights. Find out what drives the most sales and what the higher percentage of your visitors are interested in. You can then use the interest insights to provide relevant offers and value packages

8. Make a fan out of your customers with behavioral targeting

Just like we meet people in our daily lives, try to get to know them and create some type of personal connection and make them friends, sales are no different. To create a fan out of a customer, you must connect with them.

How do you do that?

Uncover things that interest them and what they hold special. Then share content, rewards, messaging, or even discounts that resonate with these things special to them. It shows customers they are valued. What you get in return is a fan of your brand and not just a customer.

Gather data from the purchasing behavior of your first-time customers like products they’ve purchased, a number of items bought, or a number of carts created to find out what their interests are.

In this example below, David'sTea used the purchasing behavior of customers to create a very personalized anniversary email they can resonate with.

Example of behavioral targeting through personalized emails

Asides from customer retention that will be gotten from being loyal, prospective customers will be inclined to purchase more based on the level of personalization they are likely to receive. It’s a refreshing break from the typical sales offer they get every day.

9. Go beyond generic ads with ‘dynamic segmented ads’

Dynamic segmented ads are a way to serve personalized ads based on not just customer behavior but on the specific audience experience. These types of ads ensure your ads are shown to your audience are not just relevant to them but that the timing is also perfect.

In our example below, you’ll see that this clothing ad isn’t just a one-ad fit-all. Rather it’s personalized based on location and weather. So for each season, there’s a relevant ad.

Example of behavioral targeting with the help of dynamic ads 

Matsmart used this behavioral targeting method to run dynamic ads across Facebook based on customer profiles. This ad was supposed to re-engage visitors and boost sales. Through offering relevant food items to segmented audiences, they were able to increase their website revenue by 84% in three months.

So once you segment your audience by demographics, find out the details of these demographics like what they browsed, what they added to cart, and use these insights to offer dynamic ads. As our example, it could be by location, the weather, interests, etc. Use the data to offer value in your ads.

10. Utilize highly-targeted peer recommendations

Research shows that for the average consumer, peer recommendations carry ten times more weight than recommendations from salespeople. And that’s because people trust their network more.

So rather than struggle to gain that attention by trying to outsell recommendations from friends and family, use highly targeted peer recommendations to augment your marketing and gain more conversions on your eCommerce store.

How do you do this?

Simulate peer recommendations by displaying what other customers are buying in real-time (or just bought) from the product category a store visitor is browsing. There are tools you can integrate into your stores to help you do this easily.

See how Sports Center shows what other shoppers with similar behavioral eCommerce traits are buying:

Example of behavioral targeting through peer recommendations

Another way to push peer recommendations is by showing off customer case studies and reviews on specific products/categories store visitors are browsing. 92% of customers would like to read reviews from their peers before buying a product. 

So you could drive this type of peer recommendation on your landing page, home page, or social media posts. Targeted peer recommendations are as effective as personal referrals by prospects’ friends and family.

11. Increase average order value by celebrating customer milestones 

A great way to maximize customers’ behavior towards personalized incentives on your eCommerce store, is by celebrating customer milestones. And this is going beyond the typical holiday offers.

56% of consumers said receiving a personalized incentive would improve their consideration of a brand. 

Optimize your signup form fields to collect more interesting data. Next, target your existing customers by analyzing your data to find what they find valuable. 

For high-frequency customers, you could celebrate a milestone focused on them reaching a particular order value. Some customers rarely make a purchase but when they do, they opt for a high-value product. This audience segment will find anniversaries much more relevant.

See how Sephora celebrates a customer’s birthday by adding a free mini makeup kit along with a specific discount code on their landing page:

Example of behavioral targeting through anniversary emails

Now, whether or not you add a discount is up to your team.

However, identifying your customers, segmenting them based on their purchasing behavior, and sending a congratulatory message is a step towards increasing your retention. 

12. Use dynamic pricing to increase sales

80% of customers see pricing as the number one factor for making a purchase. Now your customer’s disposable income and spending are largely dependent on a lot of factors. This is where your data analysis should come in. 

Take time to analyze the purchasing behavior and demand pattern of your customers across your store. You can get this from your CRM data. Check out what your highest demand products are by location and find the average pricing. It’ll give you insights as to what your customers in each location can afford. You can also try this out with other influencing factors like age, gender, etc.

Now do a little competitive pricing analysis to figure out how similar stores are offering these products.

Once you find the disparities, based on the data you receive, you can offer dynamic pricing on your discount offers, retargeting ads, or other campaigns.

In our example below, you’ll see that shoes 1 and 4 are the same product in different colors. However, Amazon offers dynamic pricing based on our location which means a 26% price drop when compared to Footlocker.

example of behavioral targeting through dynamic pricing

If you can, you should also consider automated dynamic pricing solutions that can do the hard work for you and provide data-driven pricing recommendations by analyzing customer web data. However, ensure that your pricing is thoroughly aligned so that you still make a profit in the end.

Get your eCommerce pricing right with this guide - Pick the right product price: 8 eCommerce pricing best practices

13. Convert more leads through behavioral retargeting ads

Retargeted customers are three times more likely to click on an ad than people who haven’t interacted with your online store business before. However, this can only be achieved when the ads are targeted at the specifics of a visitor like their demographics or interests when browsing at your eCommerce store.

Target your store visitors who didn’t create an account or purchase an item but browsed certain catalogs. You can do this by letting them accept cookies on your website and then showing off product interests on other websites they visit through retargeting display ads. 

Over time, through consistent and interesting ads, you can increase the return rates and sales on your eCommerce store.

See how Warby Parker retargets a visitor who browsed on a seasonal catalog by showing off their spring collection.

Example of behavioral retargeting ads by Warby Parker

Now here’s another retargeting banner offering a free trial. This is targeted at visitors who explored the home try-on section of the website.

Example of behavioral targeting through retargeting ads

14. Increase conversions with intelligent chatbots

Using abandoned cart chatbots alongside Messenger has been proven to boost eCommerce revenue by 7-25%. So using your chatbots to drive behavioral targeting is one way to increase your conversions.

Start by identifying customer pain points across your eCommerce store. Do they have trouble checking out or is there a gap in customer education on your website? Once you know where these pain points are, you can creatively assign your chatbots to help improve the user experience in these areas.

For instance, new website visitors who are very busy, want to make a bulk purchase, and are not familiar with your website may not have time to go through every single product you have in stock. Some might have even been searching through a category endlessly. An intelligent chatbot can be set up to pop up at that point and offer help to such store visitors.

By targeting these not-so-patient customers with conversational chatbots, you can help alleviate the potential frustration they’ll face on your website and increase your conversion rates. 

You can see how eBay uses ShopBot to target website visitors who might encounter fatigue on the website by helping them do all the research.

Example of behavioral targeting through chatbots

15. Understand all customer touch points (omnichannel marketing)

Consumers use an average of six touchpoints along their path to purchase today and brands that provide an omnichannel experience to their customers see an astounding 91% higher year-over-year retention rates than those that do not.

This is why omnichannel marketing is an important behavioral targeting tactic to explore.

Identify what channels a specific lead last interacted with you. Did they check your email, visit your blog or see your ad on a search engine?  You can deduce where they’d be most likely to interact with you through this data and send targeted messaging via that channel.

It’s also helpful to know what the most popular channels of interaction are on your eCommerce ads. Do your customers prefer to order directly from your social media or do they actively search for your store on search engines? When you have seasonal promos or upsell offers, you can target them through these ad channels. 

You can do this by compiling all your first-party data from your CRM. If you don’t have this, ensure you add pixels to your eCommerce store and ads so you can collect behavioral data from everyone who lands on your website.

For instance, a customer will have a higher chance of engaging with a popup or a banner on a desktop device and a retargeting ad when on a mobile device.

Check out hoe Crate & Barrel creates an omnichannel customer experience with its 3D Room Designer feature.

Example of behavioral targeting through omnichannel marketing

16. Creatively re-engage inactive customers with personalized coupons

Being a pet store, Royal Canin realized that to reduce their offline sales and push the online option, they needed a lot of effort to go into personalization. So they analyzed all stages of their CRM to collect specific data about the pet like birthday, breed, size, medical records, and even data about the pet owner.

By using this data, they were able to design personalized email coupons that redirected customers to a list of products specifically chosen for their pets. In this example, you’d see this coupon was targeted at a pet owner who has a 2lbs puppy.

The personalized coupon campaign gave the brand more visibility because 74% of the customers who received the email visited the online store. Also, they were able to significantly reduce logistic costs and reduce the wait time for customers. 

Example of behavioral targeting through personalized coupons
Example of behavioral targeting by Royal Canin

Like Royal Canin, target your first-time buyers and customers who haven’t engaged with your eCommerce store in a while. Start by analyzing your CRM data at multi-stages and compile their behavioral data. Do they shop for kids, pets? What other details can you gather? Use these details to either create an email campaign, a discount coupon, or even targeted ads that’ll bring them back to your store.

17.  Identify and optimize high purchase intent actions on your store

In our examples above, we’ve discussed the power of utilizing customer behavior to detect purchasing intent. However, to identify users who have a high purchase intent you should pay attention to the smaller user behavior across your eCommerce. 

Some high purchase intent actions you should look out for includes:

  • Leaving a review after purchase: A customer who leaves a review either negative or positive will have a higher chance of returning to your store because it shows they really care about getting excellent service. 
  • Visiting your review section: When prospective customers visit your customer review section, they are already considering purchasing that item. They just need that extra confirmation that they’d be getting what they are being promised. 
  • Adding to cart: Adding to cart distinguishes window shoppers from customers who are ready to buy immediately.
  • Searching for specific items: A website visitor who goes straight to the search icon isn’t about to check your product categories. They have one goal and that’s finding a specific item. Usually, customers like this are likely to immediately purchase that item especially if it’s low on stock. You can offer auto-complete suggestions to help them find their interests even faster.

To get this data, set these goals as conversion events on your google analytics or other analytics tool and then measure the behavior across specific points on your website. 

With this data, you can then optimize the areas of your eCommerce store you think will take your sales to the next stage. It could be making your review section more visible, making the add to cart button bigger, or improving your on-site search engine. 

In the example below, Etsy offers a prominent add to cart button knowing it’s a high purchase intent CTA.

Example of behavioral targeting by optimizing for high purchase-intent actions

18.  Target hesitant leads with incentives 

Instead of spending on guaranteed customers who will purchase regardless of an incentive and window shoppers, focus your efforts on hesitant buyers—those who are sitting on the fence. These visitors are most likely to buy when there’s a coupon or incentive to do so. 22% of buyers only shop when their favorite brand offers a coupon or there’s a sale.

You can identify hesitant customers based on their interactions with your site. Watch user sessions or use heatmaps to gain insights on customers who are hesitant and how they interact with your website. Some examples of hesitant buyer actions include:

  • Filtering from best-selling to price: These customers are interested in a cheaper alternative. You could offer these segments of customers a discount to get them to consider purchasing.
  • Adding to cart and then taking it out again: Customers like this probably got hesitant due to the total amount in their cart and are looking for a way to reduce cost. Offering value at this point by either offering free shipping or a free item based on how much they’ve added.
  • Switching to a different tab: This action could mean they are comparing other stores to yours. It could also mean that they’d get back to your store or not. Rather than taking this risk, use exit-intent popups with a countdown timer to nudge them towards taking an action immediately.
  • Spending a lot of time browsing categories: Customers like this are hesitant about picking out a product they might have an issue with. For situations like this, you can offer product recommendations and a timed discount as well so they don’t end up leaving after a while.
Example of behavioral targeting with the help of incentives

19. Don’t leave out the occasion based shoppers

Just as there are regular shoppers, there are seasonal shoppers. These customers prefer to buy during specific seasons like holidays, summer, etc.

Bid prices can increase by 140% over their yearly average during the holidays! So it's an opportunity to get a significant increase in the number of sales. 

Identify these customers by comparing the website visitors you get during these seasons to those on average. You can get this from your CRM or user sessions. Once you identify them, target the segment of customers that interact with these specific categories when it’s close to another season.

For instance, Halloween decorations will gain traction during the Halloween season. You can target users who visited or made a purchase this season during Christmas. Then proceed to advertise your Christmas decorations to them as well.

Example of behavioral targeting with holiday season marketing

Keep in mind that seasonal shoppers are available during general holiday seasons, unpredictable seasons like weddings, or personal ones like anniversaries, etc.

20. Target by Traffic Sources

Targeting users based on where they came from might seem a little odd but it shows what attracted them to your website in the first place. For example, a user who found your store through a discount ad on social media might be more interested in the discounts you have to offer than the value your store offers. 

By analyzing the keywords, copy, and other elements from their traffic source, you can provide a consistent user experience throughout their interaction with your website. So the visitor who was interested in lower prices would see discounts and cheaper alternatives on landing pages or recommendations.

Another example is if a user comes from a Facebook ad, you can offer personalized experiences like the option to log in with Facebook.

You can analyze this by adding UTM parameters to the destination links of specific users.

Example of behavioral targeting through traffic sources

On Google Analytics, you can segment traffic by source, and for search campaigns, you can even see what exact query they searched for on Google Search Console.


Behavioral targeting is a very effective way to increase sales, average order value, and improve the retention rate of your current customers.

However, it is only effective when you truly understand the behavior of your customer segments and target them based on their respective behavior.

You can get started by analyzing your current website with CRO360 for more behavioral insights. 

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