Persona: Ecommerce Shoppers You Need to Know

by Sarah Ruhlman
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So, you’re an entrepreneur. You’ve started an online business, and you’re learning to market your business to potential customers. Odds are, you’ve had run-ins with a lot of different types of shoppers. Sometimes the sheer variety of personas can be a lot to handle, especially if their aim is to give you a hard time. However, if you have an in-depth understanding of each of these customers, you can actually take advantage of their experiences. Here’s a quick guide to the personas of ecommerce shoppers you need to know.

The Penny Pincher

We all know the penny pincher because we all love to save money on purchases. With this persona, the shopper tends to only buy products when your company offers deals. Although the customer has bought from your company, they probably aren’t loyal. They really only come to your online store when you’re offering some sort of discount.

If we’re being honest, this is a reasonable method of consuming. It’s smart to want to save money by penny pinching. You can take advantage of this target audience by grabbing their attention with certain kinds of promotions. For example, if the holidays are nearing, Black Friday sales and Cyber Monday may be the perfect opportunity to attract their business.

Target this customer with emails highlighting promotions in the subject line. Additionally, if you pair your email with social media to expand your shopper base using Facebook custom audiences, the customer will see your brand more. This way, they’re more likely to click on your link and browse through the store.  

The Complainer

Dealing with the complainer in your ecommerce business is inevitable. There’s always going to be at least one customer who won’t stop calling or emailing because the product isn’t exactly how they imagined, is taking too long to be shipped, or basically anything else.

Carefully managing the complainer persona is important because they can be detrimental to your company’s reputation and sales. Research shows that as many as 66 percent of unsatisfied customers will not shop with you again if they purchase a faulty product or experience bad service—and they love sharing their woes with others.

Here’s how you deal with them.

Take every precaution to avoid creating a complaining customer in the first place. Strive to provide the best service at all times. Make sure your staff is trained well and do everything possible to ensure you’re shipping quality products.

Always show the complainer you care. Listen carefully to what they to say to determine the nature of the problem and come up with a quick plan for a solution. However, remember to stay professional and avoid emotional responses.

Be personalized in your answers and put yourself in their shoes before you decide upon the solution you want to effect. Maybe they have good reason for being upset with your company. Another thing to remember is to keep the conversation short. Entertaining a bad experience with a customer for too long might just give them time to come up with more reasons to be angry. When you offer the right solution fast they’ll know they can trust your business and will refrain from spreading negative feedback about your company.

The I-Need-It-Now Shopper

Successful online stores want to offer the best customer service. This can be tough with bad retail shoppers. Another example of a bad customer is the I-need-it-now shopper. They’re impatient, a little angry, and can be pretty unreasonable when you offer explanations.

As long as your company is properly communicating its policies, this customer doesn’t have reason to complain. Make sure you and your team take all precautions when defining your company’s terms and conditions. Having a secure cloud based ecommerce platform that provides useful information should help keep the I-need-it-now shopper content.

If your information is faulty and the customer really has been waiting a long time for the product to arrive, consider their point of view. It’s useful to provide fast shipping times, but sometimes that’s just not possible. Some bad ecommerce shoppers will push their unreasonable expectations on you regardless. In those cases, there’s not much you can do about it—except explain your policies in a courteous manner.

The Super Fan

We’ve talked about three of the worst customer personas. Now it’s time to discuss a very loyal customer: the super fan. Although you’ll love having such a die-hard shopper, dealing with the super fan must be approached with care as well.

This customer loves to recommend your ecommerce business to friends and family. What’s more, they’ve left countless reviews of your company online and regularly post about you on social media. Simply put, you’re very lucky to have this type of customer. Your job here is to show them you appreciate and care about their support. For instance, you can send them a thank you email for the continued support and positive reviews.

Additionally, you should definitely personalize the content you send to this customer. Including their first name in the email message will create a more nuanced account of the interaction, making your company seem human and showing the customer you are aware of who they are. Additionally, send this shopper gifts and discounts to show your appreciation for their patronage. Yes, they’ll be shopping your site regardless, but going the extra mile for them will show you’re grateful for their support.

So, you’re getting to know your online business and the typical ecommerce personas that come with the territory. As long as you have the right team, provide exceptional customer service, be clear about expectations, and show you care, you should be on the right track when dealing with these customers.

Just remember, there will sometimes be customers with unreasonable expectations. With these people, even when you’ve done all of the right things, they still won’t seem to understand. The good news is these people are few and far between. For the rest, paying attention to the personas of ecommerce shoppers will position you to handle their needs with the utmost consideration.

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