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How to feed your customers with products that they don’t want

“After reading the title devil inside you might be reassuring you that there is no way a company can convert me into a ‘customer’ no matter what they write. I am immune! These persuasion techniques are meant for puny humans, I am above the rest!”

invincible iron man

Like everyone else, even I have the same opinion about myself. To substantiate that, let me share an incident that happened with me. Recently I was browsing through a bunch of ecommerce portals for a cooling pad for my laptop. After about an hour of persistent research, I finalized one I found suitable. What did I do after finalizing my pad? Like a true Indian , I closed my laptop and went to sleep. Yes, you read that right. I just was not ready to part with my money for a cooling pad. After all I have survived without one for over 4 years that I had a laptop.

After two days, the cooling pad came back to my mind. This time I already had the product I wanted. I Logged into the website and kept staring at the product for a few minutes. While I was browsing, I saw a message, which read, only 3 left.

I was staring at the “only 3 left”. Let me tell you, the above message made my heartbeat rise.  I did not want to waste more time looking for another one. Then, all of a sudden, I see a pop up. Get INR 50 off on the pad. Enter your mobile number to get the coupon. The offer is valid for next 15 minutes. I immediately obtained the coupon code and purchased the item. The process was almost involuntary. Before I knew it, I paid the money. After the payment was done, I was happy and exhilarated and gave a high 5 to myself. After all I managed to grab the last pieces of the item, that too on a discount, exclusive to me.

internet high-five

Let’s break in down further. I have seen so many of the ecommerce websites doing it completely wrong. Bombarding customers with discounts upon discounts. The click through rate for banner ads has continually decreased over the years from the 1990s. Email open rates have decreased over the years and people are becoming blind to offers and discounts. Unless the offer is targeted you will be wasting your money.

ecommerce offer

I spotted the above “offer banner” on the homepage of a very popular ecommerce website in India. Wow, 115% discount. Come on, seriously, are you going to pay me for purchasing from your website? What does this even mean? Yes, I can’t even attempt to decode the discount offer.

It is easy for anyone to say “target the right people” but how does one actually do it? It does seem like a daunting task to balance the cost of marketing, the number of people to reach out to and the ROI on marketing. Here’s where predictive analytics can come to your rescue.

Gone are the days when you could target customers with just demographics, gender, age and profession. It’s is time for real time segmentation. How has the customer behaved in his last few visits to the website? What is the amount time he spent on each page? If it is too less, he is not interested, too much and you know he has opened multiple tabs and might have skipped to the next one. Was he browsing for curiosity or a specific product?  If it is a specific product the probability of purchase is higher. What specific product did he buy? What was the average ticket size for his purchase? Is he a deals &discount shopper? How did he land your website? After reading a review posted by a friend (with similar purchase behaviour) on social media?  All these factors and much more are ingredients to targeting the right candidate.

Behavioural modelling backed by data driven analytics helps marketers solve not just whom to target but also how to target and when to target and what specific suit of products to offer. Leveraging predictive analytics for targeted marketing also helps improve marketing efficiency and results. Companies that adopt targeted marketing see a significant needle movement in cross sell and upsell. They are able to tailor specific marketing messages to niche audiences and also track the performance of marketing messages and also improvise on the successful campaigns.

We at BRIDGEi2i have worked with a large enterprise that uses direct response infomercials to sell fitness products, We helped them understand different customer behaviour patterns and identified customers having homogeneous behaviour for efficient targeted marketing. During the engagement, we were able to profile people into different buckets after analyzing their behaviour. And the outcome was to recommend new products for High valued customers and attractive promotions for Old, onetime, low valued customers. This brought in a significant value to our customers and opened up doors for new era of diverse customer preferences in our customer’s organization.

When it comes to using predictive analytics to understand customers, the possibilities are endless. If you are looking to give an impetus to your marketing campaigns, feel free to reach out to us!


This blog is written by Charles Joseph, Analytics Consultant at BRIDGEi2i

About BRIDGEi2i: BRIDGEi2i provides Business Analytics Solutions to enterprises globally, enabling them to achieve accelerated business impact harnessing the power of data. Our analytics services and technology solutions enable business managers to consume more meaningful information from big data, generate actionable insights from complex business problems and make data driven decisions across pan-enterprise processes to create sustainable business impact. To know more visit

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The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect