Commerce. It’s one of those things that’s like going to the gym. It can be painful to get started on, but once you’ve built in a process and routine, the gains are usually worth the effort. According to research by OptinMonster, 93.5% of internet users globally have made at least one purchase previously online.
And if anything, COVID fast-tracked its use and adoption – with data from GWI showing that the acceleration of online purchase will continue to surpass pre-pandemic levels. So it’s a pretty clear indicator that’s hard to ignore. However, the competition in the e-commerce space is fierce, so it would be foolhardy to jump in without a clear objective or framework of what you want to achieve in mind.
That is why, to beat your competitors, retain customers, and boost your sales, you need the right e-commerce strategies in place. So before taking the plunge and committing precious time and resources into building out your plan (which is always better than doing the whole finger in the wind thing), it’s important to take a look at your customers to better understand who they are, what they are looking for, and what action you’d like from them.
Here are 4 categories of online shoppers and how brand marketers can appeal to them.
#1 The Casual Shopper
This is like going to IKEA – you walk in thinking that you’re just going to pick up a flower pot and a chest of drawers, and end up buying half the store. However, while it might look attractive to go after these shoppers, in order to build your top of funnel audience, the main challenge is that their attention and focus is limited, making it hard to engage with them beyond the initial discount-driven transaction (for example, the “10% off for new customers who sign up for a newsletter” tactic).
However, if you’re looking to build your initial audience base, give the following a whirl:-
- Simplify the checkout process. The lesser the friction, the easier impulse purchases become.
- Give them a recommendation to create desire and reason to come back with content that potentially follows up the conversation with said recommendation.
- Build trust through education. No one wants to make a wrong decision, so the more informed you make them, the better your chances of conversion.
#2 The Price Conscious
This is probably the most common type of online shopper. The deal seekers, they get a kick out of finding value with their purchases and are a highly fickle bunch. Cart abandonment is common and they do most of their brand research either in-store or on brand pages prior to purchase.
So how can we appeal to them? Try this:-
- Time limited offers activate a fear of missing out as well as give the impression that it’s the best possible offer, hence the short time frame.
- Shift the conversation away from price. People are usually willing to pay a premium for value, so it’s up to brands to demonstrate value beyond the dollar number by highlighting benefits that sets your products/services apart.
#3 The Person of Convenience
As they say, time is money, and this audience is a reflection of that. These are usually needs based shoppers and prefer to shop online in order to save travel time and the hassle of lugging one’s haul home.
Here’s what you can do to capture and convert them:-
- Implement ID authentication as part of your digital UI/UX, so that upon login, all the key information for purchase are already in place, effectively reducing form fills, keeping the path to purchase short and sharp.
- For frequent or repeat purchase items (such as groceries, contact lenses, etc), encourage them to setup a regular standing order to remove the effort and inconvenience of having to do it time and time again.
#4 The Committed Loyalist
This group is most likely to make repeat purchases because they genuinely care about your brand, and are highly involved and engaged. Although they may make up a small amount of your customer base, they would most likely generate a large chunk of your sales, and are willing to be brand advocates as well.
How to draw your most loyal customers into a conversation:-
- Loyalty programs are key in engaging this audience. They want to be shown love for their loyalty, and to feel like they are part of something bigger – so tiered benefits and early access to sales and new items will help to drive the customer recognition.
- Ask them to share product reviews in exchange for access to exclusive customer workshops and experiences. People want to hear real reviews from other people before buying, so this is your best chance to get some good press on a great product.
If there’s one key takeaway, it’s that not all customers are made equal and not everyone is worth the acquisition cost to target, so it’s vital to identify where your biggest share of market is going to come from, and then woo them with passion with carefully created communication that speaks to their needs and clutter-cutting creative.