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Marketing and Product Strategies Based on E-commerce Personas

Know your audience. Without a clear understanding of who you’re targeting, where they are and what defines them, you are likely to end up with an inefficient marketing and produt strategy that wastes time and resources on targeting low-converting, unqualified individuals. Read on to find a way to creating a real impact and getting real revenue!

March 29, 2022
mins read
Marketing and Product Strategies Based on E-commerce Personas

The world is your oyster, but when you're an e-commerce business owner or marketer, you're not selling to the entire world. Before you devise product marketing strategies for your e-commerce brand, it's important to understand exactly who you're selling to.

And that's where the e-commerce buyer persona comes in. Without extracting concrete data regarding the demographics, background, interests, hobbies, pain points, and goals of your ideal target audience – you don't really know your customers.

But understand that your success depends on e-commerce personas.

Why are E-commerce Personas Important?

E-commerce personas are defined as semi-fictitious profiles of people that are formed on the basis of real data. This data concerns your existing as well as target customer segments. In the age of personalization, customers have developed an extremely low tolerance for irrelevant messaging.

Poor online shopping experiences or unwanted email marketing can tank even the mightiest of establishments. No wonder a 2018 report by Accenture found that nearly 50% of customers took their business elsewhere because of a poorly curated experience.

  • Another study found that roughly 40% of people don't feel like tailored marketing messages are personalized.
  • In a separate study, an impressive 80% of shoppers expressed their desire to buy from brands that offer personalized experiences.
  • The 2017 State of Personalization Report by Segment confirmed that 44% of people expressed their willingness to become repeat buyers if they are satisfied with the personalized shopping experience offered by an e-commerce brand.

Why all this talk about personalization?

Because it's not possible to send personalized marketing messages without creating e-commerce buyer personas first.

How Do Personas Impact Product Positioning and Marketing?

As established in the previous section, generic marketing messages no longer work. Customers need something they can resonate with, and for that, e-commerce companies need to deeply understand their customers first.

Creating e-commerce personas is a crucial step in that regard because it allows you to create and deliver personally relevant and compelling campaigns. Therefore, everyone involved in creating the product(s) and selling them can benefit by referring to these buyer personas.

This, in turn, will improve your customer retention, product positioning, and product marketing strategy. For example, if you identify that managing personal finance is the pain point of your target audience (freelancers aged between 18-40 years), you can position your finance management app in such a way that it solves the specific challenges faced by freelancers.

And then, you can build a product marketing strategy, run campaigns that help your target buyers understand exactly what your product is about, how it solves their challenges, and how it's different from other personal finance apps in the market.

What is Considered a "Good Buyer Persona"?

If by reading the e-commerce persona, you can immediately tell your target buyer's concerns, behavioral drivers, goals, and expectations, then it's a good e-commerce persona.

You can create single or multiple buyer personas for your e-commerce brand through qualitative and quantitative persona research. Most businesses create 3-4 clear-cut archetypes in the form of brief digital presentations. However, it's your choice to make them as detailed as possible.

What are the Key Elements of E-commerce Personas?

There is no hard and fast rule about the things you can include in e-commerce buyer personas.

However, these are the typical components:

  • Name: Many marketers use memorable names for buyer personas (mostly alliterations). Examples are Copywriter Chris, Landlord Luke, Electrician Erik (you get the idea).
  • Demographic information: This contains details such as education level, job title, location, gender, age, and average household income.
  • Background: Your research should reveal key information like buyer preferences and habits. What are their preferred social media platforms? What sources do they rely on to find credible information? How much time do they dedicate to finding solutions? These questions should be answered in this e-commerce buyer persona component.
  • Goals: What professional and personal objectives drive your customers? Which one ranks first? Are these goals related to one another? This section answers these important questions.
  • Challenges: What's stopping your ideal buyer from achieving the above-mentioned goals? Try and find their pain points related to their age, family, job, or otherwise.
  • Common objections: If you were to pitch your product to this buyer, what would their common objections be, and how would you counter them? Did they reject a similar solution by a competitor of yours? The responses you find to these questions will guide your messaging
  • Hobbies and interests: To inspire more content ideas, you need to understand your customer's hobbies and interests. Do they prefer browsing shopping brands in their spare time, sending out tweets, or reading magazines, perhaps? Every detail matters.
  • Photo: This is optional but great for "humanizing" your e-commerce buyer persona. You can use a digital graphic, a real photograph (with your customer's permission), or a stock photo.

If you need more help, you may use the free buyer persona template offered by HubSpot to get started. You may add more components, such as their favorite color, favorite food, or even a few made-up qualities so that these personas feel more human.

How to Create E-commerce Personas?

Now that you are familiar with buyer personas and understand why they're important for e-commerce business, it's time that you discover how to craft your own.

Use these four simple steps:

1. Conduct Broad Quantitative Market Research

When it comes to extracting key demographic information, Google Analytics is your best guide. Integrate your online store with Google Analytics, and you're golden.

If your business has been operating for a while, your CRM (customer relationship management) software is a great source of information too. That said, if your online store is yet to be launched, you need not worry. Social media channels are great resources to understand your target buyer.

Apart from that, use trusted sites like the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLU) to gather data related to salaries and industry segments.

2. Gather Qualitative Feedback

Leverage focus groups, questionnaires, interviews, in-person meetings, or phone calls to reach your customers directly.

You may also contact them via LinkedIn or other social networks. In fact, you can conduct your own survey via tools like Google Forms and SurveyMonkey to gather qualitative feedback.

3. Narrow Down Your Research

After completing qualitative and quantitative research, you need to narrow down your findings through segmentation. How you wish to segment your target audience is entirely up to you. Look for commonalities and trends to craft accurate e-commerce personas.

4. Organize Your Data

By now, most of the legwork is done. You've gathered all the essential data, narrowed down your research, and now it's time to organize the responses and key customer data to create an e-commerce persona. You may use the free template by HubSpot shared earlier.

Distribute the persona(s) to your marketing team so that they can evaluate them and devise a better product marketing strategy.

Product Strategies Based on E-commerce Personas

Building a product strategy is no easy feat. There's no standardized how-to guide on creating a product strategy as every product is unique. But if you need to introduce changes in your product design, you need to (drumroll please) identify and assess your target audience.

And what better way to do that than create a buyer persona? One of the reasons why most startups fail is the poor product-market fit. If you build and distribute your product without a concrete understanding of your ideal buyer, you're soon going to meet a dead-end.

The author of Lean Startup, Laura Klein, says "Leveraging predictive personas makes product design much easier because by analyzing them, product teams learn not only what their users like and dislike, but also come to understand the exact factors that make a person want to become a user."

Marketing Strategies Based on E-commerce Personas

Here's how e-commerce personas shape your product marketing strategy:

  • Refine your content marketing strategy: Using e-commerce buyer personas, you can quickly update or change your content strategy. Since you have more knowledge about your target buyer, your content can become more compelling and relevant. For instance, if you have created a real estate investor persona, you can create a detailed article on hot markets to invest in in 2022.
  • Avoid alienating your customers: As your marketing material becomes more useful and valuable to your customers, your chances of alienating them are minimal. Now they won't look for options and run to competitors.
  • Improve ad targeting: If you're running Facebook and Google Ads, creating buyer personas will quite literally change your life. These platforms have hundreds of targeting options to choose from. Because you understand your buyers deeply, you can further improve your ad targeting so that your ads are shown to people who truly need your product.
  • Measure performance: By testing your product marketing strategies on multiple e-commerce personas, you can determine which persona is performing the best. And you can further update, tweak, and test the personas as new data is researched and analyzed.

As you can see, there are immense benefits to crafting e-commerce buyer personas. You're now equipped with the information to mold your product positioning and product marketing strategy in a way that wins the heart of your target customers.

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