Advantages of Understanding Your Ecommerce Customers
Online stores are freed of the physical limitations brick-and-mortar shops face. Digital customers can shop from all over the world. However, despite this boost in accessibility, ecommerce merchants must hone in on a specific subset of the population. You’ve likely heard some variation of the expression; “if you try to please all, you please none.” Well, this principle holds true in ecommerce. While it’s very unlikely your store will have universal appeal across the board, it’s highly possible you’ll be a bit hit with a narrower target audience.
Here are the primary advantages of understanding your ecommerce customers.
You’ll Learn How to Market
Online retailers devote a significant chunk of their marketing budget to acquiring new customers. If you waste resources “barking up the wrong tree,” you’ll have less money to devote to effective campaigns that produce results. Before you can develop a marketing strategy, here are some things you should know about your ideal customer:
- Demographic information (like age, gender, income bracket, lifestyle, etc.)
- Their online behaviors (like sites they visit, blogs they read, keywords they search)
- How they research, compare and choose products
- What they consider valuable/what they want an online store to offer
- The specific benefits and value your store can provide
Only when you understand your target customer can you tailor messaging and promotions—thus resulting in higher conversion and engagement rates.
It often helps to create a fictional buyer persona representing the group at large. So, instead of marketing to a large, anonymous group of potential buyers, you’re focusing on one representative character. A cosmetics brand may find it helpful to market to “Sophie,” a 22-year-old recent college graduate living on an entry-level salary in a major city like New York City or Los Angeles. By gearing social media and content marketing toward Sophie, this brand will appeal to buyers similar to her.
You Will Know What to Sell—And How
The very definition of ecommerce centers around the act of buying and selling products online. It sounds simple enough, but there are many factors that can make or break a sale along the way: product selection, pricing, customizability, shipping, etc.
Knowing and understanding your customers’ wants and needs is central to setting your product lineup and adjusting it over time. If your finger is on the pulse of what your target audience wants, you’ll see higher conversion rates. This will also help you forecast accurately so your inventory includes enough of what people want without going overboard—thereby sticking you with leftover products and forcing you to eat those costs.
If you know what your target customers value above all, you can emphasize these attributes on your website. Price-conscious shoppers appreciate a good deal, not to mention free shipping. Customers seeking luxury items or exclusivity want an experience that feels personalized and valuable. Some types of consumers simply want convenience—their idea of a good online shopping trip involves placing an order quickly and without difficulty. Socially conscious buyers want to know their money is supporting an ethically upstanding company, and that a portion of each sale is potentially supporting a good cause.
Understanding your ecommerce customers is the first step toward more effective, targeted marketing and sales efforts. Instead of trying to appeal to everyone on the internet, you’ll be able to focus on engaging with your ideal buyer.