How To Develop Customer Personas for Your Ecommerce Brand

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The constant challenge for ecommerce brands is truly understanding their customers, but with the right planning, this challenge is much less daunting. Brands can gain a full picture of their customers by developing customer personas. Little is more valuable than the ability to communicate with customers in a personalized way. Having the right information helps.

In B2C ecommerce, developing customer personas is a crucial step for understanding customers, learning how to develop marketing campaigns that reach customers where they are, and building your business.

What Is a Customer Persona in Marketing?

A customer persona is a fictional character or profile that provides a realistic representation of your company’s actual customers. This persona provides a range of information about customer demographics and habits so that brands can anticipate behaviors and build an effective  B2C ecommerce strategy. Ecommerce brands develop this persona to better understand their customers and determine how to reach them. Customer personas may also be referred to as marketing personas or ecommerce personas.

Why Are Marketing Personas Important?

When it comes to marketing, it may feel like you need to get your message out as many potential customers as possible. However, it is crucial to take a step back and develop an accurate and informative profile of ideal customers first. Customer personas provide direction for marketing campaigns, allowing you to determine how to reach customers with the most effective messaging possible.

Personalization plays an important part in marketing. As much as 71% of customers expect personalized interactions with brands. With the help of reliable marketing personas, brands can develop personalized messaging to keep their target customers engaged,  even in the smallest ways. These personas also allow brands to craft a customer journey that can properly guide customers from the point of contact to conversion.

Altogether, ecommerce personas streamline the marketing process, they also allow brands to better connect and communicate with their customers.

How To Create Buyer Personas

Once you understand the value of creating a marketing persona, you need to have a specific plan to get started. Creating buyer personas is a valuable and involved process, and it needs to be treated as such so that you gather the right information with the right purpose. When developing a marketing persona in B2C ecommerce, follow these key steps.

Develop a Plan

As with any aspect of marketing, having a plan is crucial. Creating a plan for building buyer personas allows you to determine what information is needed and how you will use it. A plan will give direction and goals as you figure out what the final objective is with the personas and what is needed to achieve it.

To create an effective marketing persona, you need to ask the right questions and determine how they are going to build an accurate profile of your customers. Some of the questions a team should ask when creating this plan include:

  • Who is the target audience?
  • What information do you want to collect?
  • What tools are being used to gather this information?
  • How will you use the information collected?

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Study Your Audience

When developing a marketing persona for a B2C business, the most important thing is knowing your customers. Having an understanding of the audience helps to adapt messaging and learn how to appeal to current and potential customers. To determine how to identify customer personas, ask the following questions:

  • What prevents customers from completing a purchase?
  • How does the product support customer needs?
  • What motivates customers to complete a sale?
  • Through what channels do customers communicate most?
  • What are your customers’ pain points?

Buyer personas should also include an accurate picture of customer demographics. Some helpful demographics include age, gender, location, and financial status. All of these things will give a better idea of how to target customers with customized messaging. For example, an outdoor brand that is popular amongst young people might invest more in short-form video marketing on social media.

When gathering information about your audience, use tools like Google Analytics to understand site traffic, a customer management platform to recognize trends, and social media to learn what’s important to customers. Then segment data to better understand how to reach groups of customers.

Gather Customer Feedback

Customer feedback is a guiding light in creating valuable customer personas. Understanding customers' needs, desires, and pain points will help you develop personas to effectively prepare to address their concerns and target their preferences.

Remember that feedback from unsatisfied customers is just as valuable as feedback from happy customers. All forms of feedback help change your approach to improve the customer experience everywhere, from the ecommerce platform to communications with customers. By understanding which methods are working and which or not, you can determine the best action plan for the brand.

Some ways you can gather customer feedback include:

  • Sending out customer surveys through email
  • Asking customers to provide feedback after a purchase
  • Offering incentives to customers who follow a survey link
  • Building a chat function into the website

With the right feedback, brands can determine how to build strategies that prioritize customer needs and concerns. For example, at Guidance, we use customer insights to inform website development for ecommerce brands and create a site that speaks to the  ideal customer experience.

Craft Your Personas

After gathering enough information and establishing goals, start creating your customer personas. A marketing persona should compile as much information as possible to provide a full picture of hypothetical customers. Some of the information that should be included in an ecommerce persona is:

  • Personal information
  • Use cases
  • Customer pain points
  • Buying triggers
  • Choice factors
  • Potential sales pitch

Carefully crafted personas are crucial for developing actionable insights. These personas should determine how to meet customers where they are. For example, if you know that a customer pain point is an overcomplicated buying process, focus more on improving the website experience to streamline the customer experience and provide proper support.  

Aim for Established Goals

As we said, every marketing campaign needs direction to be successful. By establishing goals and keeping them top of mind, you can make the most of your efforts and turn marketing into tangible sales. Some goals for using ecommerce personas can include maintaining a conversion rate above a certain threshold, obtaining a certain amount of information for each customer, or maintaining customer profiles with an average percentage of completeness.

Develop Marketing Personas for Long-Term Success

A strong picture of your brand’s customers is one of the most valuable tools a business can leverage. Understanding customer demographics and behaviors will allow you to tailor the strategy for reaching your audience and generating more sales.

At  Guidance, we can support you in building ecommerce personas and targeting them effectively. From helping gather analytics about customers to helping  develop a website that speaks to customer needs, we are here to support you in maintaining successful customer interactions.

Written by Guidance
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