Getting to know your customers is the first step towards serving them in the best possible manner. When it comes to building a strong ecommerce brand, there are two aspects you shouldn’t ignore.
- The first is to pick a memorable and meaningful domain name for your website on a relevant new domain extension such as .store.
- The second is having a thorough knowledge of your buyer to ensure you’re selling the right product to the right person at the right time in the right way.
Whilst you can rely on new domain extensions to help you get a relevant and meaningful domain name, there’s a bit of work that goes into understanding your customers. Before you sell your product, you need to understand who it is that you’re selling to. Creating buyer personas will not only help you in this understanding but also in creating a brand and product that people can identify with and eventually love.
What is a buyer persona?
A buyer persona, also called marketing or consumer persona, is a representation of your ideal customer. It is created on the basis of data obtained from researching your existing and potential customer base. Depending on the nature of your business, you can have one or more buyer personas. For instance, a company such as Amazon may have several hundred personas because of the sheer variety of products they sell, whilst a sporting gear company may have just a few.
Why are buyer personas important?
1. Better customer insights
Creating buyer personas will help you identify and connect with your customers on an accurate and intimate level. It ensures that you truly understand who they are and where they’re coming from, not just geographically but also culturally and psychographically. Buyer personas will ensure that all of your efforts are aligned towards a single, categorical goal: customer satisfaction; and this, in turn, will help you generate more sales and revenue.
2. Better segmentation and targeting
Businesses rarely cater to a single customer type and for this very reason, there’s no one right way of approaching your customers. By dividing your customer base into well-defined segments, you can tailor your communication to reach them more effectively and convincingly. For instance, instead of sending the same email for promotions and discounts to everyone on your mailing list, you can create a few customised email templates that cater to different customer segments and improve your chances of positive engagement.
3. Better campaign efficiency
Buyer personas can help you identify where a particular consumer group is spending the maximum time. You can then use those channels to effectively communicate the message of your integrated campaign for better conversions. For instance, if your targeted customer segment spends more time on Instagram than Facebook, then it makes sense to adopt a more Instagram-focused strategy rather than other social media channels.
4. Better products
A big part of buyer personas involves psychographic profiling of your target customer, which includes understanding why they buy, where they buy from, how they expect a product to solve their problem, what their pain points are, and so on. This gives you a better insight into the kind of product messaging you should create, pre-empt challenges that you might face and solutions to tackle those challenges effectively.
How to create buyer personas?
By using these four simple yet effective tips, you can create buyer personas for your business.
1. Gather feedback and data through surveys
The best and most reliable source of information about your customers is to simply ask them. Surveys are one of the most useful ways to gain valuable insights into the lives and minds of customers. They are easy to execute and enable you to target a much larger audience which can even include people who are not your existing customers. Broadly speaking, you can divide your customers into three focus groups:
Focus Group #1: Existing customers
You already have some idea about this segment based on what they have purchased from you. You may also already have their contact details on your mailing list. Share your survey with them on an email and add an additional discount coupon to further encourage them to take the survey.
Focus Group #2: Potential customers
These are people who have visited your website but not bought anything yet or have abandoned their shopping cart. This is a crucial segment to target as it can give you useful insights about why customers abandon their shopping carts, especially if it is something you see happening often. To further persuade them to take your survey, offer them incentives such as a free product or a discount coupon.
Focus Group #3: Non-visitors
Thanks to the various social media tools, you can find a large segment of people online who have the potential to be converted into customers. You can reach out to them through Facebook or Google Ads by defining the audience you would like to target. Get them interested by offering free samples or discounts on their first purchases.
Your survey needs to cover both demographic and psychographic aspects of your focus group. However, you must refrain from asking questions that are too personal, such as religious beliefs or sexuality. Questions regarding income, likes/dislikes, beliefs, and aspirations are acceptable. It is also crucial to assure users that their information will remain absolutely confidential.
2. Use Google Analytics data to gain deeper insights
Buyer personas evolve over time, but that does not mean you should be shooting in the dark. Fortunately, there are several tools, including Google Analytics, that can provide you with useful information, especially about the demographic aspects of your users. Combine this data with your survey data to get a deeper understanding of your buyer personas. Once you have all the necessary data, you can:
- Create effective marketing and communication strategies,
- Execute high-quality product promotions and,
- Provide impeccable customer service.
3. Classify all the data into segments
Once you are convinced that you have enough information, you can start classifying the data into your basic framework. This will help you organise your data better. It will also allow you to find common threads and patterns between consumer segments and behaviours, which are critical to creating accurate buyer personas.
4. Create a detailed consumer profile
Based on inferences from the classification of your survey and analytics data, you can now flesh out real consumer profiles and test them out using targeted emails and social media ads. You can use an assortment of ways to reach out to these identified groups and see which group responds more favourably to a particular type of communication. Consider this the trial period of your buyer personas and be adaptive enough to make necessary changes to the profiles as you go along.
Creating well-defined and accurate buyer personas is the first step towards maximising the effectivity of your content, marketing, and sales strategies. It will allow you to narrow down to what your customers are looking for and create a brand that truly resonates with them.