Finding customers with the right purchase intent.


As an entrepreneur the importance of customers to your business can not be over-emphasized as they are the life of your business, no business can live without customers.

With customers being the life of your business it should be known to you that not everyone is your customer and also your target should be people with the right purchase intent.

Your current alongside your potential customers are your greatest assets as an entrepreneur.

Today’s article will be shedding more lights on what purchase intent is all about and how you can find customers with the right purchase intent.

What is purchase intent?

Purchase intent is generally defined as “a measurement of the probability that a consumer will purchase a service or product.” And today businesses cannot afford to passively wait for consumers to search for what they have to offer. Instead they need to create purchase intent by strategically placing their products in front of consumers who didn’t even have the product or service on their radar. For example a dog owner may not be in the market for a harness that clips directly into the seat belt of a vehicle but after seeing an ad about the safety benefits of the harness the dog-loving mom is now intent on purchasing the product to keep her furry loved one safe.

By now you should get the idea of what purchase intent is all about. Isn’t this great? Isn’t it great to have a system that will tell you how far or close is someone to buy something from you?

Yes, it is excellent, but still, it is not something very tangible when it comes to how to find the right purchase intent.

There are many ways to measure purchase intent. Some of them includes surveys, social listening and relevant timely data. This data can also be combined with the sales data they already have and thanks to RFM analysis that will give three important things related to your customers:

  • Recency or, how recently a customer has purchased something from you,
  • Frequency or, how often they buy from you, and
  • Monetary or, how much the customer spends when they make a purchase.

Types of intent.

Transactional intent: Transactional intent involves acting in a way that indicates a possible purchase. This, for example, might be viewing a pricing page, searching a highly specific keyword phrase, or adding a product to a cart. Of course this intent will vary from business to business.

Informational intent: Informational intent is classified by the pursuit of knowledge on behalf of the lead. When they exhibit informational intent, leads are educating themselves on the potential solutions to the problem your product alleviates.

Steps to finding customers with the right intent.

Track devices

Having a good understanding on the data of various kinds of devices your customers use to access your website will go a long way in helping you target the right devices during advertising.

Desktop, for example, is more likely to be used for browsing at home or work. That’s not to say mobile can’t be used for browsing — it often is. However, nobody is browsing on their laptop in the mall to look for places to eat. That’s a task reserved for mobile.

When you combine information like this with keywords being searched, and location data, you can determine how high your visitors purchase intent is. If we use the example of someone in a mall searching for a place to eat, we can determine they’re probably more likely to come to our restaurant in the mall than someone who is searching from 60 miles away on their desktop at home.

Understand their demography

Take for example a brand that sells baby products, we see that while a certain portion of baby product sales come from homes without a child or from couples expecting a child, most of the sales comes from a house with a child. Therefore, the likelihood someone without a child will buy is lower than the likelihood someone with a child will buy.

In this case, demographics like marital status, family size, age, can be powerful indicators of purchase intent. It’s a mistake to think that they’re not helpful at all just because they’re older methods of targeting.


As always, the best way to figure out what your users want is to ask them. And the ways you can do it vary.

Exit pop-ups, surveys, chat modules, customer support queries — these are all ways to collect invaluable qualitative feedback. In this case, you do not have to uncover what’s important to your users through data analysis; they’re telling you outright.

Rather than asking your customers specifically about unnecessary stuff related to purchasing intent, ask them easy-to-answer questions that reveal valuable answers about the preceding parameters.

This can be a great shortcut to finding out demographics, channel usage, content consumption habits of high-likelihood buyers. Although, they should always be double-checked against data. It’s not uncommon for people to answer one way and act another.

Take notes of the channels with the most converting traffic

On which platform did they last interact with you? What are your most popular channels of interaction, and from which are the most purchases made?

Some channels are traditionally known for earning higher intent traffic, while others are known for reaching those just starting the buying process. For example:

  • Search is known as a high-intent channel because of the level of action taken by a prospect. In this case, they’re actively seeking something out as opposed to scrolling through social when they click an ad, for example.
  • Email can also indicate high purchase intent. While the level of intent does depend on the content they’re engaging with, remember, email subscribers are people who have already offered their email address to you. That means their purchase intent is already higher than the average visitor to your website.
  • Pages of your website can indicate different levels of purchase intent, too. For example, someone who visits your pricing page is likely closer to purchase than someone on your home page, or blog, or features page.