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How to use key performance indicators to understand customer buying behaviour

Published on
July 10, 2023

How to use key performance indicators to understand and influence customer buying behavior

Influencing customer buying behavior has become an integral part of businesses seeking to increase sales. Gaining deep insights into customer preferences and behaviors enables businesses to make data-driven decisions and tailor their strategies accordingly.

By understanding key performance indicators (KPIs) and what these metrics say about customer behavior, online retailers can employ marketing techniques to drive sales growth and foster customer loyalty.

Key performance indicators (KPIs) for understanding customer behavior

Although there are many KPIs, each highlighting specific information about customer behavior, here are three major ones that every online store can benefit from.

Conversion rate

Conversion rate measures the percentage of website visitors who take a desired action, such as making a purchase or subscribing to a newsletter. A high conversion rate indicates that customers are engaged and motivated to buy.

By analyzing conversion rates, online stores can gain insights into what drives customers to convert and identify any barriers or friction points in the purchasing process. This knowledge is useful for website optimization, streamlining the checkout process, and tailoring marketing efforts to maximize conversions.

Average order value (AOV)

This metric refers to the average amount customers spend per order. By tracking AOV, online stores can understand:

  • customer preferences,
  • buying patterns,
  • and the effectiveness of their upselling and cross-selling strategies.

A high AOV suggests customers are willing to spend more, while a low AOV may indicate missed sales opportunities. Analyzing AOV helps businesses identify strategies to boost order values, like offering product bundles or incentives for larger purchases.

Customer lifetime value (CLV)

CLV represents the predicted value a customer will bring to a business over their entire lifetime as a customer. By calculating CLV, online stores can:

  • prioritize their marketing efforts,
  • segment customers based on their value,
  • and tailor personalized experiences to retain high-value customers.

Understanding CLV enables businesses to focus on long-term customer relationships, rather than short-term transactions, leading to increased customer loyalty and higher profitability.

Influencing customer behavior to increase online sales

Understanding customer behavior through KPIs sets the foundation for businesses to implement effective strategies that drive sales. In the next part of the blog, we will explore 4 actionable methods that any online store can employ today to influence customer behavior and boost their sales.


Tailoring product recommendations and content based on customer preferences and past behaviors enhances the shopping experience, leading to higher engagement and conversion rates. By leveraging customer data and using metrics such as conversion rate or AOV, online stores can implement personalized marketing strategies and create a sense of individuality and relevance for each customer. Read our former article where we list 12 tips for personalization in e-commerce.

Social proof

Positive customer reviews, ratings, and testimonials act as social proof, instilling trust and confidence in potential buyers. By showcasing social proof prominently on product pages and utilizing user-generated content, online stores can significantly influence purchasing decisions and increase sales.


Implementing elements like points, badges, and leaderboards can make the shopping experience more interactive and enjoyable. By gamifying the shopping process, online stores can increase customer participation, boost customer loyalty, and ultimately drive sales.

Behavioral retargeting

Behavioral retargeting uses customer browsing and purchase history to create personalized campaigns. It includes strategies like abandoned cart reminders and dynamic product ads, increasing the chances of converting potential customers into buyers. Read our previous blog to learn more about retargeting.

In conclusion

By analyzing KPIs and employing the strategies discussed, businesses can not only drive sales but also establish their position amidst intense competition. It is imperative to leverage these insights and techniques to influence customer behavior, ensuring both survival and success in the dynamic online retail landscape.

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