Here’s a pop quiz for you.
Is your ideal customer:
A. A 20-year-old college student who loves football and wants a custom-printed t-shirt with their team’s fight song?
B. A 30-something parent looking for healthy snacks for their family?
C. A 50-something triathlete who buys top-of-the-line performance fitness gear?
D. None of the above.
Unless I’m great at reading minds, your answer is most likely D. These are all incredibly specific buyers who are all looking for something very different from an ecommerce brand. Most likely, your brand can’t give every individual on this list exactly what they want. (Unless your brand is, say, Amazon.)
As a B2C marketer, you can’t market to everyone or you’ll sell to no one. You have to specifically target your ideal customers, and to do that, you must really understand your top buyers. That means not just knowing their names, addresses, and product preferences, but actually taking the time to get to know them as people.
What makes them happy customers? What do they love about your brand? What would make them stop buying? What would keep them around for years to come?
The more you can identify and understand your ideal ecommerce buyer, the better you can do your job as a marketer. Don’t be afraid to get specific and really dig into your customer profile so you can better target your ideal customers and find who really wants to buy from your brand. This is exactly why you need an ideal ecommerce customer profile.
Collect your loyal customer data
You can’t understand your buyers without first having the right data. Everyone understands that collecting customer data is a vital part of ecommerce marketing, however, not everyone collects and analyzes data effectively. Specifically, when trying to understand your ideal buyers, you should look at your most loyal customers first. Segment out buyers by their stage in the customer lifecycle and run an analysis, trying to see if there are any consistent patterns in the data that will help you better understand who your loyal customers are and why they buy.
In addition to your traditional data collection, a customer survey is also a great way to get more detailed and personalized information about your buyers. Write up your most pressing questions and send a survey to your most loyal customers, asking them for honest feedback in exchange for something valuable like a gift card. You’ll be surprised how many people will answer, and how much interesting feedback you’ll receive!
Build an ideal customer profile
With the data in hand, you’re ready to actually create your company’s ideal customer profile. What is an ideal customer profile exactly? Also known as a buyer persona, it’s simply a broad outline of your target customer. You can look at everything from age, sex, and geographic location to income, job, purchase history, product critiques, and other brand loyalties. Analyze everything by percentages, so you know that, for example, 63% of your customers are located in the Northeast.
Based on that data, you can then create a short and concise description of your ideal buyer. For example, here is the ideal customer profile for an imaginary women’s ecommerce fashion brand:
The Trend-Conscious Buyer:
Our ideal customer is in her mid-20s and is always looking to buy trendy clothes, but at a reasonable cost. Coupons will significantly up conversion rates, as will partnerships with fashion influencers.
Most engaged channels: Instagram/Facebook
Biggest blocker to purchase: Price
Biggest incentive to purchase: On-trend fashion
Influenced most by: Online reviews
Depending on your product, you may have just one ideal buyer profile, or you may have 10. We recommend that you think deeply about the specific verticals you sell into as you build your ideal customer profiles. Most ecommerce businesses have at least three different personas they consider when setting their B2C marketing strategy.
Create an informed ecommerce marketing strategy
With your thoughtful and data-backed customer profiles in hand, it’s time to start implementing a strategy with those buyers in mind. If you’re always thinking back to your ideal ecommerce customer, it will actually make your life as a marketer much easier. This data could help you with a number of tough marketing decisions, including:
- Ideal targeting for paid campaigns like Facebook ads
- Potential partnerships with other brands that align with your target market
- Branding shifts to better fit your customer profile
- …and much more.
If you’re always thinking about making your ideal customer happy, you’ll almost always make solid B2C marketing decisions. Instead of focusing on what you think your buyers will respond to, you can get inside their minds and really target and personalize your marketing. All you have to do is care enough to get to know them.