If only 17% of shoppers say price is a dealbreaker, according to Forrester Research, then why do 76% of retailers aim to sell goods at the lowest price? This is a good question, and it’s one your customers should be asking when they put together their marketing campaigns.

Of course, customers still want to feel like they are getting a deal. (According to Statista, 93% of consumers use coupons or discounts at some point during the year.) It’s just that other factors are becoming as or more important than price. For example, a survey from NRF found that 75% of customers expect free delivery of online orders up to $50. It also found that customers are looking for things like hassle-free shopping and increased convenience, such as online shopping with pick-up of all items, prepaid, at the store.

So it’s not that price isn’t important. It’s that getting the most value and feeling the most satisfied with the purchase may be more so. After all, notes Lori Wagoner, community manager of Inbound Junction, “Consumers aren’t price-conscious when it comes to spending on the goods and services that they really want. This is apparent from the way we max out our credit cards or sell our kidneys to buy gadgets or shoes.”

This is where data plays an increasingly important role, and why investment in data analysis, customer profiling, and development of personas is so critical. We need to understand the real triggers for purchasing decisions.

  • Are people buying because they have a need?
  • Are they buying because other people are buying?
  • Is it a spontaneous purchase because, in the moment, they just feeling like doing it?
  • Are they driven by social, cultural, or other factors?

While we cannot predict every buying behavior, data can give brands amazing insight into who, when, and why customers buy. Take just the nonprofit sector. Did you know that Mac users give more to charity than PC users? (According to QGive, Mac users give an average of $182 per donation, while PC users give an average of $137 per donation.) Or that households earning less than $25,000 per year donate the largest share (16.6%) of their income to charity?

All of this adds up to one thing: data. It is increasingly clear that marketers can’t leave the mail house or email delivery server without it. The more we understand about consumer behavior, the more we understand that price is not always the greatest motivator, and it’s not necessarily even the most important one. Identifying the right buying triggers for each audience is going to take data—lots of data—and the willingness to figure out how to apply it.