If thousands of people visit your ecommerce store every week, day or even hour, who should you target? You can’t position your brand for everybody, so who are the right people?
This dilemma is exactly why creating a customer profile is vital for ecommerce success. Thanks to the digital revolution, businesses have access to more customer data than ever before – all of which can be used to create in-depth customer profiles.
But I’ve never needed a customer profile before!
If you’ve been in business a while, you may be wondering why establishing a customer profile is important. After all, you probably know your customers pretty well by now, right? So, why bother using a customer profile?
When it comes to ecommerce, the competition gets bigger and better every day. New businesses are cropping up faster than you can blink, and they shouldn’t be underestimated.
Plus, the technologies you’re using will continue to advance and change. Ecommerce platforms, like Magento, continue to progress – whilst your source of traffic might change the landscape too. For example, Google’s ranking factors are constantly shifting and their pay-per-click service is forever adding new features.
All in all, things can and will change – so you can’t stand still. And what if you don’t quite know who your ideal customer is after all. A dip into your data might reveal that you’re missing out on a big opportunity, such as a key section of your consumers that you’re currently ignoring.
Research and creating customer profiles provides the extensive information you need to ensure you’re targeting the right people. With this information you can determine how best to reach and attract your target audience, whether that’s via a digital marketing campaign or traditional advertisements for example. The best weapon you have against any competitor is knowing your audience well.
So, where’s the best place to start…?
1. Questions to answer
Start with the basics. There are certain questions that can help you to create a customer profile – here are some of the most frequently used:
- What are the most common interests of your audience?
- Where does your audience reside?
- What is the age of your audience?
- What devices do they use to view your business pages?
Knowing the answers to these questions can save you valuable time and money. If you’re just presenting products in the hope that they’ll be popular, without researching your audience, you may be disappointed.
Does your website look incredible on desktop? It won’t help you much if your customers love mobile shopping.
And what if you’re focusing on why your products is the coolest option for teens that are keen to impress? That’s no use if it’s actually their parents making the purchases.
When you know your audience, you can begin to predict what they’ll like.
2. Use Facebook to your advantage
Facebook isn’t just a social media platform. For businesses, it’s an invaluable tool. Many customers will use Facebook to interact with businesses and Facebook Insights can help deliver important data about those customers. You can learn your customers age ranges, their interests and the time of day they interact with your posts.
However, that isn’t the only thing you can get from Facebook Insights. You can also gather information from the type of reactions your customers have to your posts. Which segment of your target customers are reacting well to the things you post? Which topics appeal to which segment?
When you know the type of person that’s reacting to your posts, you can then look into information like where they live and what they do for a living. All of this will help you to start creating a customer profile – and understand the results you can expect from social media.
3. Pay attention to site analytics
The way your customers interact with social media pages and your website will differ. However, analytic tools like Google Analytics will provide more information on your customers’ choices and preferences. Analysing the journey your customer takes from the initial search to your ecommerce store and then (fingers-crossed) the checkout, will help you understand your customer’s behaviour.
It’s a good idea to make a list of the words and terms used to reach your website so you can get an idea of how your customers think. The results may surprise you. You should also be aware of which pages and blogs are most popular among your customers. What type of content does your audience like to view? And what are your most popular products and why?
4. Ask your customers
There’s no better way to find out about your customers than to ask your customers – a tactic which is often overlooked. Creating a customer survey is a great way to fill in any blanks that are left after analytics. Why not try free tools like Survey Monkey to get your customers’ opinions?
This is the last piece of the puzzle when it comes to creating a customer profile. Knowing your customers feelings can help to humanise an all-digital profile and get insights that aren’t available via technology.
Going right to the source can help businesses establish a clearer picture of what their audience is looking for. It can also help businesses improve their service and communication, so they don’t lose customers over unnecessary mistakes. Find out how customers view your brand, why they use your products and why they would consider buying from a competitor.
5. Pay attention
The answers to your questions could be staring you in the face. Customers often interact with businesses via comments, messages or reviews. Vital information is often left during these interactions. Perhaps a customer has had a bad experience with your customer service department or maybe a customer is telling you exactly what they love about your products.
It’s important to pay attention to any kind of feedback – positive or negative – and implement suggestions when they make sense for your business. When you know how your customers are reacting, it gives you information that can be added to your customer profile without you having to search for it.
Your history of communication with customers will tell you what they are likely to be concerned about and what means the most to them when they’re shopping with you.
Remember – you don’t have to act on every bit of feedback. Take what you need but keep an open mind.
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