5 Tools to Target Customers Based on Past Purchase Behavior

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Discounts. Shopping cart and cubes with percentOne of the best ways to predict how someone will behave in the future is to look at what they’ve done in the past. By tracking a consumer’s past purchasing behavior, marketers can design highly targeted ads based on the specific preferences and tastes of individual customers.

The question, of course, is how to gain access to data about a consumer’s spending history without violating privacy standards. For many marketers, the answer is to partner with a vendor that provides card-linked offers. A survey of 300 marketers found that three-quarters believe card-linking marketing programs will replace existing types of advertising in the years to come—a strong vote of confidence from the very industry vendors are trying to tap.

Here are five tools that marketers can use to gather information about their customers’ past purchasing habits.

1. Cardlytics: Learn where else your customers shop.
Cardlytics provides advertisers with insight into the purchasing behavior of approximately 70% of American households. Marketers have the option to target only those buyers who have been active in their sector. Cardlytics tracks where a consumer shops, when they shop, where they live, and how much they spend. For example, a retailer might only collect information about consumers who have spent more than $1,000 at competing businesses in the tri-state area. Using the Cardlytics platform, advertisers can create targeted offers meant to improve loyalty or build stronger customer relationships. Cardlytics offers pay-for-performance pricing.

2. Catalina: Actively pinpoint the shopping behaviors of specific buyers.
Using Catalina’s BuyerVision tool, marketers are able to target their digital advertising — including display, video and mobile — based on past purchasing behaviors. Catalina analyzes the in-store purchasing behavior of consumers and matches that data to online behaviors using cookies. For example, a grocery store could send recipe ideas to consumers who have purchased a specific combination of items in the past week. The company says it has access to transactions at more than 30,000 stores, allowing its clients to define their target audiences send mobile ads to more than 70 million households.

3. edo Interactive: Target consumers based on competitive spending patterns.
Brands, agencies, and even small businesses can use edo Interactive’s card-linked marketing platform to send targeted offers to consumers based on their competitive spending patterns. The company has partnered with more than 200 banks, giving clients access to information about 200 million consumers. As a result, marketers connect their advertising to in-store purchases and send consumers relevant offers that they’re likely to redeem. Taking it a step further, edo’s Geocommerce feature combines purchase data with location information. Edo operates on a pay-for-performance model, which means marketers only pay when the customers they’ve targeted make purchases at their businesses.

4. BlueKai: Find prospects based on previous buying habits.
BlueKai offers marketers a third-party marketplace, known as the Audience Data Marketplace, where they can collect data on consumers in their target demographics. One type of data that marketers can collect is past purchasing behavior. Marketers can search for consumers who are likely to buy their products based on their previous spending habits. For example, an electronics brand may search for data about consumers who’ve purchased laptops in the past year. Using this information, marketers are able to create more targeted campaigns that are delivered only to those shoppers in qualified demographics.

5. Cartera: Reward consumers for shopping at retail partners.
Businesses that are looking to improve the effectiveness of their rewards programs can use Cartera’s card-linked platform to gain additional insight into the spending patterns of their top customers. By connecting loyalty programs to their customer’s credit and debit cards, marketers can offer better rewards — including cash back and airline miles. Retailers also have the option to reward consumers for shopping at “complementary merchants.” A few of Cartera’s best-known clients include Best Buy and Charter Communication.

Stephanie Miles is an associate editor at Street Fight.

Stephanie Miles is a journalist who covers personal finance, technology, and real estate. As Street Fight’s senior editor, she is particularly interested in how local merchants and national brands are utilizing hyperlocal technology to reach consumers. She has written for FHM, the Daily News, Working World, Gawker, Cityfile, and Recessionwire.