Do you know who your customers are? Do you care? You should. Understanding your customers can help you create more effective advertising, optimize your shop listings, and keep people coming back.
While most people can easily put together an ideal customer profile of who they want to purchase their products, it can sometimes be difficult to create a profile of your actual customers. The best profiles include information about not just demographics but also psychographics, pain points, priorities, and identifying characteristics. So how do you figure out all of this? The information you need is likely already in the data you have – you just have to find it.
Start with the Basics
Most profiles begin with some simple information:
- Where are most of your customers located? (demographics)
- Why are your customers looking for your products? (psychographics)
- Are your customers buying for personal use or company use? What devices are your customers using to purchase your products? (buying habits)
Information like this is easy to find and will create the baseline for your profile. If your site requires an account, you likely have this and even more information readily available about your customers. Even if you don’t, most analytic software will provide a lot of what you need to get started. Aggregating this data and other relevant factors allow you to form an initial idea of who is buying your product. The next step is to figure out what else you need to know.
Dig a Little Deeper
Knowing what occupation or industry your customers are in, what their pain points and objectives are, and what kind of budget they are working with can be extremely helpful in determining why your customers are buying your product. You can use this information when making future decisions for your products.
- Are your customers looking for a variety or do they simply want the best option available?
- Do they have a single specific need that you are filling or multiple problems?
- Are they looking for a long-term solution or a quick fix?
While this information is a little harder to come by, you can find these answers by utilizing additional resources and making inferences from the data you have. For example, if 90% of your customers are accessing your site via an iPhone X, they probably have a high disposable income or are willing to spend more on the right technology. If most of your customers are shipping to a business address, you know to target more B2B customers rather than direct consumers. With a little more research, you could even get an idea of what types of businesses are buying from you to better understand their budgets and needs.
Now that you know some information about your customers, it’s time to get creative and determine what other details you may want. There are a number of different ways to better understand how to set up your site, stock inventory, and market to your customers.
Some suggestions for where to start include:
- Looking at how customers navigate your site. Are there pages or items that get more view time? Should these be featured or easier to find?
- Knowing your customer loyalty. Do you have a lot of repeat customers or a lot of one-time buyers?
- Understanding what drives more sales. Do your customers buy more when items are severely discounted or when you post rare, expensive, or luxury items?
- Tracking other avenues for additional information. Are your customers talking about your products on social media, review sites, or other online channels?
Putting It All Together
So now that you have all this information, what do you do with it? There is any number of ways to put together a profile. How you put it together will depend on how you plan to use it. A simple straightforward ideal customer profile is great for marketing to determine the best advertising strategy. A more detailed customer profile can help with UX design for your website development as well as your buyers or product team.
Simple profiles often look something like this: A more detailed profile may look more like this: You may have multiple profiles or several variations of a master profile. Your profiles will likely also change or need to be updated regularly. Additionally, you may need to try several versions before you find the perfect fit for your needs. The important step is discovering the best way to understand who your customers are.
Once you've figured out the right customer profiles and built them, it's time to put them to good use. Using your profiles, you can determine:
- What needs can be anticipated?
- What do you still not know about your customers that you should?
- Are any changes needed for your processes or products to be more helpful to your customers?
- How can you change your marketing campaigns to better showcase your products for your target customers?
- Do suggested items on your site fit your customer profile and are they in the right places?
- Is your current loyalty program based on what you know is important to your shoppers or do changes need to be made? Do you need to begin a loyalty program?
These changes can make a big difference for your company and enhance your customer satisfaction.