Why Purchase History Is Becoming Ever More Important To Marketing

Why Purchase History Is Becoming Ever More Important To Marketing

The concept of promoting products to people based on data you can gather about what they’ve bought in the past is not an especially novel concept. This was the original reason behind supermarket loyalty cards. By incentivizing people to use cards that allow shops to match purchases to customers with discounts, they are able to find out far more about the type of people who are buying different items, which items tend to be bought together, and therefore, who is most likely to take up a given offer.


With online shopping, it’s even easier for retailers to gather information about what customers are buying and send relevant offers directly to the best audience. As well as purchase history, search history is also being used in this manner. But why are these tried and tested approaches set to become even more important in 2016?

Social Media Shopping

One of the key advances in online shopping and marketing this year is likely to be greater integration between social networks and purchasing. In China, it is already the norm to buy items right from the nation’s equivalent of Facebook, rather than following links from adverts to external sites to make a purchase. With networks like Facebook and Pinterest set to add functionality that lets you buy items you see advertised without leaving their sites, this could soon become the norm in the rest of the world. And this will mean that data on what people purchase will not just be collected by the end retailer themselves, but also by the social networks. This will make targeting people who are active online shoppers and have bought products from other companies that compliment your own easier, and that is likely to play a part in many people’s online marketing strategies.

B2B Purchase History

Advances in purchase history information gathering are not just limited to businesses who sell to end consumers. With more B2B companies now using their own portals to connect their customers with their business, the options for gathering purchase history data that can be used for ongoing marketing are growing. Using SAP B2B portals, B2B companies can offer greater functionality to their customers while also collecting valuable metrics about their buying behaviour, analyzing that data and developing useful marketing intelligence.

Cost Per Action Advertising

Online advertising is on a trend in which companies are more readily adopting models where they pay for actions like purchases, rather than just clicks or site visits. By understanding purchase histories, it’s much easier to push these types of ads to the people most likely to buy, vastly improving ROI and allowing the advertising publisher to charge less due to better ad efficiency. As cost per action advertising grows, it’s likely purchase history data will be used in refining models to offer better efficiency for both publishers and advertisers.