To truly become a master of the e-commerce world, you need to understand your target market. That means getting into the minds of the people buying your product and predicting how they will act. This guide will show you how to understand your e-commerce target market.
Consider Your Current Customers First
The first step is to look at your current customers (and then think about your potential customers). You need to know everything possible about both of them before creating a product you intend to sell online. Without knowing the ins and outs of your target market, you risk wasting time, money, and resources on an idea that will never work the way it was intended.
Using the information you know about your existing customers, think about what kind of consumer would purchase the same product.
What are their demographics?
Where do they live?
Are they male or female?
How old are they?
If you don’t have an idea of the potential customer’s demographics, research them online.
If you sell children’s clothes, for example, you know you already have customers with children. Think about what kind of parents would buy your clothes and who they are buying them for.
Are they upper-middle-class parents buying expensive name brands or lower-income families looking to save money?
Create a Buyer Persona
Creating a buyer persona will help you understand your target market better. By creating this persona, you’ll have the knowledge of what kind of person they are, what their needs are, what challenges they may face in life, etc. It can even be helpful to create an emotional profile for them to further understand how they think and act when buying a product.
A buyer persona should have a name, age, occupation, social standing in their community, and interests. If it’s helpful, you can even add personality traits to the personas. Once you have a list of buyer personas for your target market, use them when creating your product selection and advertising strategies to help improve your chance of success.
Evaluate Your Competitor’s Marketing Strategies
Another way to understand your target market is to look at the marketing strategies of your competition. Do they offer a product similar to what you plan to sell? If so, find out as much as possible about it and how their customers perceive their products. By looking at competitors’ success and failure ratios, you can see which strategies are the most beneficial and what type of products work best for different target markets.
Examine why a product may be a success or failure, and use this information to improve your own marketing campaign. However, it might not always be wise to follow the example of other companies (even if they are successful). What works for similar businesses may not work with your target market. You don’t want to make the same mistakes your competition made; you want to be different and better than them in every way possible.
Combine the information about what your competitors do well and where they struggle with your buyer persona knowledge, and you have a very good idea of how to create an effective online marketing campaign.
Consider Both Demographics and Psychographics
One of the most important things to know about your target market is their demographics, or how old they are, where they live, and what sort of job they hold. It’s also good to consider psychographics, which refers to how a person thinks and why they make the purchases they do (this can be very helpful information when creating your product selection).
A simple example of the difference between demographics and psychographics is toy preference. More often than not, gender is a large factor in what children toy they want to play with. But why? Is it because boys naturally like trucks and girls prefer dolls, or are young boys pressured by their parents to play with masculine toys? Be sure to think about the psychographics of your products when researching your target market so you can better understand them.
It’s also important to consider both demographics and psychographics when creating advertisements, especially on social media platforms. A successful Facebook ad campaign will have a very different copy if it’s aimed at young adults versus people in their 50s. The information that you can find through demographic and psychographic research will help you to target your ads and increase the likelihood of a sale.
Target them Directly with Advertising and Marketing
When you understand your target market, it’s much easier to advertise to them directly. You’ll know what type of language works best for them so they don’t get turned off by your ads or choose to ignore them. You can also see what platforms they’re using the most and advertise there first, as well as making sure any social media posts are aimed at the right people.
Perform Studies and Surveys
If you’re really looking for a clear and accurate picture of your target market, research studies and surveys are the way to go. It’s possible to get the information you need from online group discussions and questionnaires, but when it comes to accuracy, there’s no beating a good old survey or study. If you want access to actual numbers and statistics, be sure to include as many details as possible (age, location, preferred platform) when creating your survey or study. You might need to hire a company like Nuanced Media to help with this process.
Read Every Review and Testimonial of your Product
There’s no better way to understand what people think of a particular product or service than by reading firsthand reviews and testimonials. By seeing what others like (and don’t like) about your products, you can better understand why they’re appealing to certain groups of people over others. Then, use this information to help improve your next product selection. In some cases, you might even want to rework a product to make it more appealing to your target market.
For example, if most of the reviews are negative about an aspect of your product, it means it doesn’t work well for your target market, so consider removing this feature from future versions or updates. You can also use this information to advertise better. If a lot of people mention how your product doesn’t last very long, make sure the testimonials for your next version include praise about its durability and lifespan.