Three quarters of data professionals think consumers are irrational when they shop, finds Clicktale


Despite the growing role of big data analytics within retail, over three quarters (76%) of data experts admit that consumers are fundamentally irrational when making purchases. That’s according to new research from Experience Analytics firm Clicktale, which surveyed over 120 data professionals at the Big Data LDN tradeshow.

Clicktale’s research asked whether these data professionals believe that consumers are fundamentally rational or emotional when shopping, both online and off. Of those surveyed, only 24% said that they see shoppers as rational. By contrast, the vast majority believe that consumer buying behaviours are heavily influenced by a person’s current impulses, moods or emotions.

Commenting on this research, Geoff Galat, CMO at Clicktale, said: “Given the huge emphasis that’s placed on repeat purchases within retail, it’s concerning to see so many data professionals agreeing that consumers are fundamentally emotive in their shopping behaviors. With consumer behavior increasingly based on impulses rather than repeatable rational decisions, the ability of retailers to track and predict future purchases becomes all the more difficult.

“To overcome this fact, retailers must start to think beyond traditional metrics such as sales, conversion rates and repeat purchases, and start to look at the psychology behind consumer decisions. Data will always be critical to the development of a retail strategy, but it must also be underpinned by consumer psychology.

“By applying new technologies such as Experience Analytics to their websites, brands can begin to understand what we term the customer’s ‘digital body language’. This body language allows retailers to build a far more accurate persona around their customers, treating shoppers as fluid personalities rather than as numbers in a spreadsheet.”