Building a Buyer Persona: How to Identify and Attract Your Customer
Everybody likes to feel special. And the people that are in contact with your ecommerce website are no different. Each person, whether offline or online, has their personality and specific exigences, and for that, deserves to be treated as an individual, and not like a big, faceless group of people.
Even so, lots of companies forget this simple psychological fact and tries to hit as many people as possible at the same time, with a general message. The results of this kind of marketing strategy cannot be more ineffective.
By treating all your customers and potential buyers the same way, more than the risk of having your message ignored, you will be showing them you do not care enough about who they really are, and this will push people away.
This is the reason why it is so important to define your average customer types: to identify their differences and be able to captivate these groups with different marketing approaches.
In order to help with this task, many companies like to establish their buyer personas.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona is an invented character that illustrates better what sort of buyers make part of a company’s market. Different from determining a audience – an information that is generally only associated with demographic information (age, sex, location, income) – the buyer personas also enclose psychological details like what are the motivations to buy, their concerns and interests.
For ecommerces stores in particular, in which there is the lack of physical interaction, building a buyer persona is a great technique to understand better how your online buyer thinks and behaves, so you can target your ads smartly and create an assertive content, saving some money and engaging more customers.
To show your customers you understand their needs is the first step to get their trust, especially when entering a new market.
How many buyer personas does a company need?
The number of buyer personas can vary between 2 to 5, depending on the line of business and its customer base. It is important to know that having too many profiles can become confusing and disruptive for this purpose.
Thereby, in this post we will show you how to build the buyer personas for your ecommerce store, dividing it in two parts: the demographic data (quantitative), and the psychological facet (qualitative).
Part 1: Demographic Data
You cannot start thinking about a buyer persona without some demographics information, that is the base to explain who and where are your customers. This will also help you fill the second part of your buyer persona creation, with the more psychological characteristics.
Some factors to consider here are their age, gender, relationship status, education level, job, income level, and location.
Like that, it becomes easier to subdivide your buyers the way is more convenient to your marketing and sales purposes.
Our tip: one of the fastest ways to capture updated information about your customer’s demographics is having Google Analytics installed on your website.
Finally, you can also assess the information on your own ecommerce database: your customer’s account also indicates the average ticket per order, the frequency they enter or buy on it, their complaints and feedbacks, in order to create more specific profiles.
Part 2: The Psychological Facet of a Buyer Persona
Even being a subjective aspect, this is what differentiates a buyer persona from a simply numeric data, showing the human side of your audience. These informations are formed by your customer’s attitudes, interests and habits, that can reveal the reasons they search and buy your products.
To get this kind of information, we recommend you to answer the questions we indicate below. Just like mostly marketing strategies, studies and researches about your buyers and the market you want to reach can help answering them.
The questions you need to answer to create a buyer persona
For which reasons would they buy your product?
As we said before, to understand your customers needs is probably the key to the success of any business. No doubt the product or services you have must meet the demand of your market and maybe offer advantages that other brands do not bring, if you want to make headway in a competitive sector.
However, there are other elements you should be aware of, that are not directly related to the product itself, but that definitely has a big influence on their opinion and choices. By that I mean, for example, customer support, delivery efficiency, marketing strategies and brand positioning.
So what is the thing your buyer persona is more sensitive about? What are the values he or she preserves? There are online stores that guarantee the fast deliveries, others that invest heavily on customer support, those that focus on design and customization, or companies that are all about packaging.
We know it is not only about the money and having the lowest price, but also setting an added value that people do not mind spending for. The market is full of examples about this, like the glass art online shop Big Blue Hug, that send handwritten thank you notes together with the purchased products, making it an unforgettable experience for their customers and increasing their loyalty.
Finding out their needs, you will be also discovering the way to their hearts.
What are the buyer persona main goals?
After their needs, you can also ask yourself about their ambitions and future plans. If somehow your product, service, or communication strategy is able to embrace and support the objectives this persona has, helping to achieve them, it is very probable that your buyers will embrace your brand back.
What does concern your customer personas? Can your product solve or relieve them?
Following the reasoning above, it becomes simple to understand why this is another important question to be answered. If you can adequate your product or service to offer an original solution for a setback they experience, you will be gaining extra points with them.
Does this buyer know about my product?
It doesn’t matter if you are trying sell something completely new for this buyer, if it is a known product of daily life, or if it is something he or she just heard about it. The most important here is to find out if the level of awareness and need about your product, so you categorize this persona and later plan specific strategies on how to reach each group.
What are the media they use and what communication channels they prefer?
By knowing from which media they usually consume information, you can be more secure where spending your budget with advertising, for example.
Which TV channels do they watch? Which magazines do they like to read?
Take a special time to discover where your customers like to spend time online, after all, your webstore is the point of arrival for them and internet provides the closest path to it. Do they watch Youtube? Do they like to read the news online? Blogs? What about social media? If yes, discover on which networks they are, so you can focus your efforts and investments more appropriately.
How do your buyer persona react to different stylistics?
Does this persona feel more enthusiastic about last minute deals, exclamation marks and colorful promotions or prefer a soberer, logical approach?
The words you use and how you arrange them can play another decisive role in the shopping process, so you should pay attention to it and adapt your website content, advertising appeals and also the responses in customer server.
Otherwise, realize that using the wrong rhetorical appeal can annoy and keep some buyers away.
Who are the people that influence your buyer personas decision?
In some cases, the customer persona is not the one who is going to use your product, but pays for it and is influenced by the user. An example is parents with kids, but we can also think about a company manager, when buying an office chair for his employees. Sometimes the buyer persona can be also a couple, a family or a group of friends.
We could ask an infinite number of things to a buyer persona, depending on the depth of knowledge or goals you want to achieve with this study. It is up to you to decide which ones can objectively what
Here we give more examples of topics to explore:
- Hobbies and interests;
- Daily life routines;
- Impacts of your products in their lives;
- Relationship with competitors.
Your buyer persona profile
When the time to put all this information together arrives, we recommend you to find a clear, attractive layout to organize the ideas and make the work worthwhile.
Here is an example from Brightspark:
There are many platforms where you can find templates like the one above, also for free:
We hope this post was helpful to the present structure of a buyer persona, so you can create an accurate picture of your customers, tailoring your ecommerce strategies for successful results and consequently supporting all the other actions in your online store.