Online Shopping Personas Every Ecommerce Store Owner Should Know
  • By: Ricky Hayes October 9, 2020

6 Key Online Shopping Personas Every Ecommerce Store Owner Should Know

Every ecommerce store wants to maximize their sales by targeting the right kind of customer. This is called an online shopping persona. It is also called a buyer persona. Basically, it is a description of the business’ ideal customer in a target audience.

Online shoppers are global. That means many different customers are going to buy the same product. Try to use a theme that makes it easier to categorize and understand your traffic, supporting additional tools where necessary.

Download Debutify, the highest-converting free Shopify theme that will help you manage customer data to create and target personas that bring in more sales.

Key Features To Consider When Building A Shopping Persona

Demographics are details about a similar group of people. They include their location, age range, and gender.

Professional status describes the typical education level of a persona. It also points to the income level and general types of jobs that persona does.

Psychographics are the attitudes, interests and relationship statuses of a persona. Psychographics also include typical languages spoken, especially when dealing with an area where people speak multiple languages.

Pain points and challenges faced by the persona in their daily life are the reasons a person will come to your ecommerce store to buy a product, or choose your competition.

Influences are the factors in the persona’s environment that may affect how information about your product is viewed and received. The websites they visit and how they link back to your product.

Online shopping personas have common features. Different products in an ecommerce store may have buyer personas with different demographic or psychographic features but the same pain points and influences.

Similar pain points and influences are likely to lead to the same buying choices across different stores and target audiences so it’s important to pay attention. Let’s look at the key online shopping personas to keep an eye out for:

  1. Opinionated Ollie
Opinionated Ollie

Ollie is a persona that is easily frustrated by a store interface that they don’t like and will let you know. Very likely to leave negative reviews and bash your store on social media too! Yikes!

However, they are also very engaged and mainly shop online. This means a little effort is all it takes to convert members of this persona into returning, high value customers.

Use as many channels as possible to connect with this persona. They are all over social media, blog comments, product reviews and so on.

Be sure to reply to comments and reviews as it builds more trust and leads this persona to giving your store a second chance. Time is money for this persona so the faster you engage, the better.

User experience is one area to pay close attention when dealing with this persona. Conduct tests on your page load speed and size with usability tools like ClickHeat, Usability Hub and Pingdom. Reconfigure the poorly graded areas.

Build better navigation menus that help reduce on cursor movement and hovering. Optimize your store for mobile shoppers. Add Google Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) where supported.

Resize CTA buttons to fit the screen width on mobile devices. The online shopping experience should be super smooth and fast. They should be able to click/tap their way through it with minimal lagging.

  1. Discount Danielle

This persona takes as many discount deals as they can get from online and offline sales. People under this persona respond well to messages about deals and offers in adverts, newsletters and social media.

This means that they are not loyal to any brand and will definitely support early stage ecommerce stores with good prices compared to the competition.

More established ecommerce stores can take advantage of people under this persona to sell off unwanted stock.

The budget range for this persona is not very high but it is variable. So it is very important to show them the value of the product if it is pricey.

Ensure you collect as many email addresses from this group as possible. Always notify them when you have an upcoming sale, seasonal discount or other offers.

Slip in some conditions where necessary, like sharing on social media to be eligible. This will help you benefit too, keeping it a two-way street since you get more traffic as they get to save.

To stay on top of all this, you need a theme that integrates well with your email marketing automation software. It should also enable you to put out timely and effective secondary CTAs, especially for lead generation.

Get yourself the free Debutify theme and put out ultra-specific CTAs and emails that speak to discount lovers. This will eventually get you more conversions on your Shopify store.

  1. Researcher Rachael

The careful researcher analyses every detail about a product before buying. They will read the product description thoroughly and check out the product reviews as well. A slow reaction to new products is normal for this persona.

To get more familiar, they may even contact sales staff directly. They will ask friends and family what they think before buying most things.

Encourage past customers to leave detailed reviews and maybe even photos to help get careful researchers to buy. Mixed reviews are necessary to give this buyer persona a balanced view.

Redesign your product pages and their copy to accommodate product benefits. Display multiple angles of product images with the help of carousels. Offer zooming and other descriptive/how-to pictures emphasizing important details.

Find suitable spots on your website to show other resources. It could be on a product page itself or through anchor text to another page. These resources should include stuff like demonstration videos.

These help to instill more confidence in this type of buyer when they see features of the product solving problems in real-life. Additionally, get all your standards badges and seals shown near the product.

These kinds of shoppers obsess about things like “Asbestos-free”, child-proof caps and locks, “no additives/preservatives”. Ingredients and safety features are crucial for this persona so don’t make them work too hard to find out these things.

Sustainably-sourced/eco-friendly raw materials, cruelty free practices, and adherence to supply chain standards like avoiding modern slavery. These are also getting more attention.

Dedicate a separate page detailing how you stay in line on some of these issues, with a visible link. Have a look at some trust badges that can increase conversions.

Try to lead them to articles on your blog that address topics related to the products in an expert manner. With product categories where there are several options, you may need more than a product page to make one stand out.

If they read your blog post and leave feeling like they learnt something new on how to select products, it doesn’t matter if your listings are second or third overall. They’ll have more confidence in you and be more likely to buy.

  1. Returning Rosie

These are shoppers with a high purchase rate. They will buy a lot of products but also return a lot of them. This is painful and causes a lot of losses in shipping and packing costs.

Those costs affect margins and can affect reviews and future conversions. It’s important to keep monitoring members of this persona because the cost of returns is acceptable and doesn’t affect the margins.

A strategy of dealing with this persona is to understand the reason for the frequent returns. Is it due to low quality of the product or there aren’t enough versions to please these customers?

Next is to offer as much customer support as you can. They are not likely to leave a good customer review. Reply to as many reviews and social media posts to maintain goodwill.

This can lead to customer return or you will win a different customer.

Revisit your return policies to find solutions that serve both you and the customer. These may include getting a product swap with no additional costs (like shipping) instead of a cash refund.

It can help make them feel like the online shopping work wasn’t wasted, and also help you keep the money.

Stay familiar with their interests and match them to your offerings. This will enable you to suggest product alternatives that are within their liking and don’t cost you much more.

Personalize their experiences as much as you can. If a person returns a jacket because it is way heavier and warmer than they thought, why suggest a sundress? Especially if they are from a region that’s cold for most of the year.

Instead, throw some fur boots or a beanie in front of their eyes. If their issue was damage during shipping, try giving them different carrier options where possible.

More so if you already know that they are comfortable with a particular service provider. Consider changing the packaging used and find a way to make up for it in your delivery costs.

Offer drop off points (in stores where possible) within their locality where they can return the products. Have the alternatives ready as quickly as possible to shorten the time between returning a product and getting another one.

The longer the buyer waits for this situation to be fixed, the more you’re at risk of getting bad reviews traveling far and wide. Post clear content on your return policies and any updates to it. Make it easy to access. Here’s more on handling product returns.

This will help put the shopper at ease if they know that you’ll assist them in case they change their mind. Provide pre-printed return labels to simplify the work of the shopper and the carriers. They may also help protect you from fraud.

Pick a theme with friendly page design to help you create policy pages that are presentable and easy to access. Download the high-performing Debutify theme for free to do that for your Shopify store and boost conversions from increased customer trust.

  1. Wayward Watson

This person embodies high value customers who are no longer purchasing from your store. They have lapsed. This may be because the product is no longer relevant or they switched to your competition.

But you can’t know what you don’t know. This is why the key strategy for winning over this persona is to dig for information. Buyer surveys and product catalogs will show that your brand cares about people in this persona.

They will also reveal deeper interests of this group that can be used to improve a brand’s product.

Some of the most effective tools to apply to this persona are email retargeting campaigns and ads. Keep track of the last purchases they made, products they viewed, carts and wishlists saved etc.

Craft persuasive messages that highlight changes on your store since they last visited. These could be new account features and other user capabilities. Inform them about new listings, especially upgraded models of products they like.

If you have discounts, contests, sales, giveaways etc. running, notify them. You can also reel them back in with less demanding requests that still carry value. Put a pause on asking them to purchase. Point them to insightful posts on your blog.

Share links to videos where you hosted authoritative figures. Let them know about upcoming live streams on your social media pages. If they gain something from this without spending money, they may feel like you still have value to give.

Just make sure you blend the right CTAs into these videos, social media and blog posts. Create new Facebook ad presets that zero in on this persona by checking all the descriptive boxes that match the data you already have on them.

If most of the shoppers under this persona were of a certain age, make that age adjustment in the ad settings. Find out everything that’s changed about their behavior. The payment options they use. The competitor they chose, etc.

Where changes are required on your site to bring them back, install them. Include these advancements in your ad. For example, if what used to be your best performing product becomes your competitors’ bestseller, study its support.

Maybe they provided another payment option for it. Perhaps free shipping, a slashed price, or some other incentive.

Since some of the customers share the store’s listings, follow its pages and have it as part of their interests, targeting them on social networks will be easier.

  1. Suggestible Sam
Suggestible Sam

This is the persona that includes customers who respond very well to marketing. Every new campaign is received well by this group. This is the dream customer.

They open newsletter emails, spend time clicking through the ecommerce website and engage with suggested products. A great strategy to engage with this person is to give product suggestions as often as possible.

These should be relevant and included in all communications. This persona gives a lot of trust to an ecommerce brand or store. So the store should create more value by providing industry knowledge.

Since members of this persona represent about 20% of the database, they are worth the effort. With this persona, you can go beyond marketing copy since they may associate with your brand more.

Offer customized products with your branding. T-shirts, mugs etc. with your logo and slogans. Give away some of this merchandise as gifts, preferably attached to certain orders. Check out these great giveaway ideas.

Make sure that these people are promptly updated on these offers. Lead them to your landing pages that promote specific products and product categories. Utilize sections like “related products”, “frequently bought together” etc.

These are about doing more than presenting a product but actually wrapping it in a narrative. To avoid drowning them in email communications and ads, shift some of the work to user generated content.

Show them bestsellers, most searched and most viewed products. Speak to them as more of a curator who recommends good products.

In Conclusion

When dealing with online shopping personas, try to zero in on a singular unique pressure point.

The other factors will help you speak to a larger intersection of personas, but that one major concern will be the tipping point for each group. Always take advantage of other channels like your phone and store attendants’ feedback.

You may speak to an age bracket and location, but different shoppers in those groups will require special attention. For some, it will come down to something as particular as page load speed which they equate to standing in queues for long.

Others will be all about a payment method. Or a return policy. Whenever you’re about to carry out an action, ascertain whether it speaks to one persona or several.

As you try different things, you will discover overlaps and slowly build strategies that appeal to many people in one go. If you make good use of Google Analytics and other tools of the sort, you’ll see this mixture.

The next step will be to make sure that your site is set up to lead each of them to the checkout in the required manner. Those who benefit from a personalized experience (as with product returns) will have to be given one.

The ones who are open to a variety of information (like suggestible Sam) should be spoken to in that way. With a flexible theme like Debutify, you can easily embed some of these intentions into elements like product search and user generated content.

This enables you to cater to different personas without some shoppers feeling like the site is set up for a type that isn’t them. Download Debutify, the top-performing free Shopify theme and build a Shopify store that gets conversions out of different personas consistently.

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