What Is an eCommerce Buyer Persona and Why You Need One
According to SharpSpring, a marketing automation platform, 71% of companies surpassing lead generation and revenue goals use various buyer personas. Despite being around for decades, the process of building a buyer persona has evolved substantially, and its implementation has the utmost potential to yield profitable results.
- A Very Short Introduction to Buyer Persona’s
- Building Your eCommerce Buyer Persona
- Focus Groups
- How Buyer Personas Can Revolutionize Your Business
- The Amazon Buyer Persona Example
- Adapting Strategies to Target Your Amazon Buyer Persona
- Final Remarks
A Very Short Introduction to Buyer Persona’s
Behavioral demographics provide invaluable insights such as customers’ preferred shopping medium, brand loyalty status, monthly spending, and interest in discovering new products. Perhaps one of the main benefits of building a buyer persona is a decrease in shopping cart abandonment rate and a subsequent increase in conversion rates. Creating one or multiple buyer personas makes it easier for businesses to market their products and tailor content that is most receptive to them.
Building Your eCommerce Buyer Persona
Buyer personas rely heavily on actual research and are based on insights collected from existing and prospective customers. For instance, research can focus on demographics such as age, gender, and income level to help brands better understand what constitutes a particular product’s target audience. Factors such as age and education are especially helpful in ensuring marketing messaging resonates. To take research one step further, one can also identify their target audience’s behaviors, motivations, and frustrations.
The ultimate goal of such research is to comprehend what kind of shoppers may be interested in a product, how they go about searching for the product, what the product can do for them, and how they use the product. The most common way to obtain valuable insights on consumers is to conduct customer-based research through traditional qualitative and quantitative studies, such as focus groups, surveys, and interviews.
Surveys are extremely valuable in creating accurate buyer personas as they collect direct feedback and eliminate the potentiality of guesswork. To start building your eCommerce buyer persona, survey existing customers. Keep in mind recipients are more likely to respond to surveys if they are multiple-choice and not excessively long. Typically, a buyer persona survey should contain 8-10 questions, each with no more than six multiple-choice options. Some preliminary questions to ask in order to construct a basic understanding of your buyer persona include:
- How old are you?
- 20 years old or younger
- 21-26 years old
- 27-34 years old
- 35-44 years old
- 45-55 years old
- 55 years old or older
- What is the highest level of education you have completed?
- High school diploma
- Associate degree
- Bachelors degree
- Masters degree
- Doctorate degree
- How do you prefer to communicate with friends and colleagues?
- Phone call
- Text messages
- Social media
- What social networks do you use?
- Tik Tok
- How do you learn about new information?
- Through friends and colleagues
- Reading articles online
- Reading hard copy books
- Search engines
After conducting initial research, interviews are an excellent next step. Meeting actual consumers one-on-one and asking them questions about their day-to-day lives can welcome valuable insights to help you develop your persona.
To obtain the most qualified leads, you should know details about your buyer personas business to better understand how competitive their market may be. For example, when conducting interviews, either in person or over the phone, it may be helpful to ask questions such as:
- What is the size of your organization? How many employees?
- What is your job and role?
- Which industry does your company work?
- What does a typical day look like to you?
- Do you live alone or with family?
- What do you enjoy doing in your spare time outside of work?
- What sorts of publications or blogs do you read?
Knowing how much your customers make may also indicate how much they are willing to splurge and allows you to determine what they can afford and, in turn, helps you price your products competitively. Additionally, knowing your customers’ profession can be advantageous to accommodate their professional needs.
For example, suppose most of your customers are high school basketball coaches. In that case, it might be beneficial to reach out to different basketball coaches either at the start or end of the school year to offer them a solution to restocking their gym equipment.
Focus groups are perhaps the most useful form of market information gathering. They typically involve a small group of people with similar traits and experiences gathered together in a moderated setting to obtain information about a particular product or subject at large.
To run a focus group, start by selecting a topic you wish to discuss. Then, appoint a notetaker, a discussion leader, and start recruiting and scheduling participants. Once everything is organized, begin by preparing your focus group questionnaire. Some questions may include:
- What do you know about this product?
- How and when did you first hear about it?
- What are the words or thoughts that come to mind when thinking about it?
- What brands do you associate with it?
- What are some of the reasons that would limit or prevent you from buying this product?
- When buying this product, what objective would you like it to satisfy?
- Can you tell us about your most recent purchase, what you bought, why you bought it, and how it made you feel?
This kind of market research can help you gain insights into how shoppers interact with your product and how they discover it, among other things that can substantially improve marketing and advertising efforts.
Focus groups allow you to hear about shoppers’ experiences directly from them and uncover ideas and issues that you may not have even thought about. Essentially, the more researched and detailed your buyer persona is, the more accurate and clearly defined your audience will be.
How Buyer Personas Can Revolutionize Your Business
In an attention economy where human interest and attention are increasingly scarce, eCommerce brands need to rely on persona-based marketing to captivate the attention of new and existing shoppers.
Building one or several buyer personas can allow eCommerce businesses to prosper by helping them improve conversion rates, boost RoAS, increase product and brand discoverability, optimize sales, and decrease shopping cart abandonment rates. Demographics, which comprise brand personas, are a determinant part of today’s eCommerce marketing strategy.
Knowing where your customers live can help brands determine when to advertise their products. For instance, if your customers live in areas that get very cold in the winter, you can use this information to upsell or promote winter products right before the winter season.
Knowing how much your customers make may also indicate how much they are willing to splurge and allows you to determine what they can afford and, in turn, helps you price your products competitively.
Knowing your customers’ profession can be advantageous to accommodate their professional needs. For example, suppose most of your customers are high school basketball coaches. In that case, it might be beneficial to reach out to different basketball coaches either at the start or end of the school year to offer them a solution to restocking their gym equipment.
The list goes on, each additional insight a brand gains from their ideal customer, the more they can fulfill their customers’ wants and needs. The following section will provide a detailed example of an Amazon buyer persona to help eCommerce brands create their own personas.
The Amazon Buyer Persona Example
Chatty Cathy is a 42-year-old graphic designer who lives in Miami, Florida. Divorced with two teenage boys, Cathy resides in a three-bedroom house. She has worked at the same company for over ten years, earning a managerial position in marketing as a graphic designer.
Chatty Cathy loves her girl time and her 7-year-old cat Milo. She participates in a monthly book club, enjoys wine Wednesdays, spends her weekends hanging out with her son’s mothers, and indulges in arts and crafts in her downtime. She is also a fan of online shopping, especially on Amazon, and is a sucker for sales and promotions.
Chatty Cathy wants to retire early and move to West Palm Beach. She is keen on learning how to needlepoint and grow her own produce in her garden.
How to Please Cathy
She likes to maintain long-term friendships and cultivate new ones. Developing an ongoing repertoire with Cathy will please her by making her feel valued and needed.
Adapting Strategies to Target Your Amazon Buyer Persona
Building your buyer persona is only half the battle. To fully leverage the many benefits of having a comprehensive eCommerce buyer persona, one must also adapt their selling and advertising efforts to accommodate a particular buyer persona’s shopping behavior.
Based on the knowledge acquired from Cathy’s brand persona, brand selling products on Amazon’ would implement the following marketing and advertising strategies to appeal to Cathy.
Given that Cathy’s preferred online shopping medium is a laptop, brands might focus on optimizing their Amazon product detail page, specifically images and videos. Additionally, because Cathy has a creative and artsy side to her, brands may be interested in looking into adopting virtual and augmented reality into their product listing pages.
These trends allow customers to preview and virtually engage with products in real-time from the comfort of their own home; doing so also eases consumer doubts and can lower return rates. Another excellent way to appeal to Cathy’s persona is to use Amazon product inserts, as they are known to cultivate customer loyalty. Moreover, since Cathy likes feeling valued and needed, product inserts would be the way to her heart and encourage her to keep coming back to your store.
Considering Cathy is highly interested in discovering new products, brands can also leverage product bundling promotions to enhance customer experience and increase product exposure. After obtaining a better idea of your buyer persona, you can reallocate your ad spend to ads that more effectively target your ideal customer.
For instance, brands advertising to Cathy may be keener on investing in Amazon Sponsored Brand ad campaigns as they are focused on increasing traffic and building brand awareness by targeting customers who have a high purchasing intent. These ad types are featured above and within product detail pages and are highly visible on mobile and desktop devices.
In today’s competitive digital marketplace, where clicks are becoming more valuable and data is the new “gold standard” of determining which brands will be successful, it is imperative that brands focus on curating the most relevant content to consumers.
It is quite simple, the more you understand your ideal customer, the better you can create campaigns and messages that resonate with them. Create buyer personas to better target the market segment that they are aiming to reach. Brands can narrow their marketing parameters to reach their target audience more effectively by creating a buyer persona.
Furthermore, to continuously adapt to the ever-changing eCommerce landscape, brands should revisit their brand personas every year and conduct follow-up surveys, interviews, and focus groups to ensure the market dynamics have not drastically changed. Think of your eCommerce buyer persona as a living document, one that changes and evolves with the times and needs to be amended accordingly.