The old-style brick-and-mortar stores allowed for an intimate, friendly relationship between customer and retailer. Retail workers and the business owners who employed them knew all of their customers by name. Even with the advent of the shopping mall and an ever-growing population to service, keen-eyed retailers could identify their customer base’s wants, personalities, and desires simply by engaging with them in person and observing their buying patterns.
Today’s online retail market, however, is shrouded in anonymity. Buyers hide behind their computer screens, and the long, drawn out retail conversations of yesterday are long extinct. In such an environment, it can be hard to identify trends and shopping styles within a customer base, posing a risk to targeted advertisements and even your business’s bottom line.
Yes, Your Customers Have Online Personality!
Just like everybody you meet day-to-day has their own distinct personality, so too does everybody online. Online behavior can actually be observed and analyzed to produce a reliable image of a customer’s online personality, which can be invaluable to a growing business looking to better appeal to their customer base. The following list includes some of the most common online personalities, and the indicators which give them away:
Some customers only buy name brands. While this might seem insignificant at first, this allows an amount of insight into that person’s worldview and online personality that is anything but trivial. The brand buyer buys more often than not on impulse, spending hours at a time examining different colors or accessories from a single designer or name brand. This buyer is asking the question “how will it make me feel?” and is obsessed with the status imparted by their purchasing choices. For the brand buyer, functionality or necessity are afterthoughts, so these customers can be catered to by minimizing the amount of raw text and information you have attached to your products and by ensuring that your online display is attractive and captivating with lots of photos taken from numerous angles. These shoppers work mostly on their “gut feeling,” so aim to exploit that emotional connection.
The opposite of the brand buyer is the deliberator. Deliberators painstakingly examine every detail of their purchases to ensure that they are getting the best possible value for their money. They spend a lot of time researching their options and will generally purchase within a predetermined price range. To appeal to the deliberator, offer detailed information that is easy to read and low on jargon. Prominent dot points attached to each product that concisely convey its benefits and explain its value are exactly what this kind of customer is looking for. When you offer a deliberator specific, minute details, they feel well-informed by your site and are more likely to make a purchase, choosing to use your service over the competitors they are browsing at the same time.
Buyer’s remorse is the feeling you get in the pit of your stomach when you’ve made a purchase (usually an expensive one), open your brand-new product, and find it unable to meet your expectations. Customers who fill their shopping cart or wish list but don’t check out right away and leave tabs with similar products open to compare their various virtues are hesitant because they fear incurring the wrath of their own buyer’s remorse. These customers can be extremely valuable, as once they are satisfied with a brand or retailer they are notoriously loyal and will forsake all competitors in order to avoid the dreaded remorse. Their anxiety can be quelled by customer loyalty bonuses and positive, personalized language on the site. You want to offer the hesitant consumer positive feedback for each step of the way to the checkout button, keeping blocks of text to a minimum so as to calm their anxiety. Ensure that each purchase comes with a reward of some kind – perhaps ten percent off their next purchase from you, a bulk discount, or even free shipping over a certain price range – so that this customer feels empowered by your online retail service rather than overwhelmed or cajoled into their purchases.
The key here is to flatter your customers and build their confidence in your brand by giving them the virtual olive branches that will ensure their loyalty.
- 22 Jan, 2016