For your e-commerce shop to thrive, you need a clear understanding of your ideal customers. If you try to create a shopping experience for everyone, it won’t make a lasting impression on anyone.
Instead of trying to market to any visitor who lands on your e-commerce website, plan to nail down your customer personas early on. Your content will then speak to exactly who you want to attract.
While a customer persona is a fictionalized profile that represents who you serve, it can (and should) be influenced by real customers.
When crafting a customer persona, begin by exploring your audience’s demographics. This usually includes an age range, gender, location, income level, education level, and more.
These demographics are helpful, but they’re only the beginning.
To truly understand your audience, you must also consider their psychographics. Think about their interests, their skills, what their ideal day looks like, and what they wish to achieve.
By combining the demographics with the psychographics, you’ll begin to see the foundations of your customer personas emerge. This is essential to making an emotional connection with your customers.
4 types of customer personas in e-commerce marketing
As you craft your e-commerce customer personas, it helps to understand how they fit into the customer journey.
Along this journey, you will find these four customer personas:
Let’s review each e-commerce customer persona in more detail and determine how to help each persona right where they are.
The Curious Researcher
This describes potential customers who feel the need to gather enough information to make a confident purchase decision. The Curious Researcher is known for lurking behind the scenes, usually participating as a listener.
The best way to attract someone who falls into The Curious Researcher type is to provide valuable content that’s freely available. This can be accomplished through lead magnets, tutorials, and how-to guides.
Ultimately, The Curious Researcher needs to build trust with an e-commerce brand before they make a purchase. A simple coupon code may not be enough to warrant a positive response, so be sure to keep your blog and social media channels stocked with insightful content.
The Careful Buyer
Much like The Curious Researcher, The Careful Buyer needs solid information before taking action. They’ve already passed the awareness stage of the customer journey and may find themselves stuck in the consideration phase.
The best way to nurture The Careful Buyer is to ensure they have enough social proof. Since the average customer reads around ten online reviews before making a purchase, it’s safe to assume The Careful Buyer may need to see even more.
Social proof can take the form of customer reviews, text testimonials, video testimonials, case studies, and more. Ideally, you’ll feature social proof examples on every page of your e-commerce website and have it readily available in your other content channels.
The Confident Buyer
The Confident Buyer doesn’t need the same social proof or research as the other two personas. Instead, The Confident Buyer typically has everything they need to make their first purchase at this stage.
This type of customer already has their mind made up and is willing to take the chance on your product. Since they already see the product as a potential solution, your main job is to help The Confident Buyer make a swift purchase.
At this stage of the customer journey, offering a discount code for new email subscribers or a personalized product recommendation through a quiz could seal the deal. The Confident Buyer is ready to take action, so you must focus on thoughtfully converting them.
The Brand Advocate
This customer persona type is what every brand dreams of. The Brand Advocate is a customer who is so satisfied and thrilled with their experience that they actively promote your brand.
Brand Advocates are incredibly valuable to an e-commerce shop because they bring access to a larger audience and their inner circle. They’re brilliant at spreading positive word of mouth and are willing to market your brand on your behalf.
With this in mind, it could be smart to create a private community of Brand Advocates who get sneak peeks of your upcoming products, special offers, and more. Finding and nurturing these individuals for the long-term should be one of your shop’s highest priorities.
Best practices when creating e-commerce customer personas
Now that you have your e-commerce customer personas nailed down, it’s time to put them to action. Before you put the finishing touches on your personas, take a moment to read through these best practices.
Interview real customers
Instead of guessing what your ideal customers care about and what they want from you, why not ask them? One of the best ways to get inside your customers’ minds is to ask the right questions.
While you are interviewing past customers, you may want to ask questions like:
- What are your interests?
- What topics would you like to learn more about?
- What did you like or dislike about your customer experience?
- What influences your purchase decisions?
- What made you decide to purchase our products?
- How did you find out about our brand?
If you have any other questions to add to the list, feel free to jot them down before the interview.
As a token of your appreciation, give interviewees a special coupon code, free product, or a gift card to your shop. This may help those in The Confident Buyer persona become Brand Advocates.
Create content for each persona
By applying your knowledge of your customer base, you’ll be able to craft engaging, thought-provoking content that attracts more people like them.
Inside your content marketing plan, you’ll need content that:
- Educates your audience on topics they care about
- Entertains them, so your message is memorable
- Motivates them to become the best they can be
- Inspires them to envision new possibilities
Your content marketing strategy might include personal stories, interviews with experts, case studies with past customers, how-to content, and more.
Once you find your unique blend, it’s time to create engaging blog posts, insightful podcast episodes, and helpful videos. Remember to use repurposing strategies, so you don’t have to start from scratch.
With an archive of valuable content, you’ll be able to focus on strategizing product recommendations.
Use personas to recommend products
Once you have a potential customer’s attention, it’s time to nurture the relationship. Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar stores, you won’t have a personal shopper to guide new customers to the right products. However, the next best thing is to create a product recommendations quiz.
Through a quiz, you’ll be able to serve each persona with accurate results and recommendations automatically. This will help you build your email list and sell more of your products.
Take Tonic Site Shop, for example. They generated over $60,000 in additional sales by recommending website templates based on each person’s quiz result type.
Primally Pure generated over $100,000 directly from their product recommendations quiz. If they could accomplish this with a deodorant quiz, you can do the same in virtually any industry!
Consider how you might use the four customer personas you’ve already identified to influence your quiz results. If you’re ready to create your own product recommendation quiz, you can read our guide: Everything You Need to Know to Launch Your First Quiz.
Next steps for your e-commerce customer personas
Now that you’re armed with these best practices, it’s time to create customer personas that fit your e-commerce shop.
To refresh your memory, here are the four customer personas:
You may discover other personas as you perform your own audience research, but feel free to use these pre-built personas as a guide.
We’re excited to see how these personas impact your e-commerce marketing strategy!