Figuring out your target audience is like finding your friendship group. You know the friends who are there when the crap really hits the fan, the ones that hang around when all you want to do is go to bed at 9pm.
Because from this target audience you will find your rich leads. Not the ones with wealth but the ones who are the right fit for your business. The leads that will convert into customers who will, in time, become loyal customers and advocates for your business.
What you ultimately want from this target audience is the lead who doesn’t just show up when expected or when called upon but the lead who makes you a priority.
So what is the best way to find this target audience for your eCommerce business?
What is eCommerce?
eCommerce is basically buying and selling online.
Any commercial transaction that happens over the internet is categorised as eCommerce.
Some examples are; Ebay, Etsy and Snapfish.
If you are selling services or products online then you are an eCommerce business.
There are three main types of eCommerce;
B2B (business to business)
B2C (business to consumer)
C2C (consumer to consumer)
It’s important to know where your business fits in because this will directly impact your starting point when you need to figure out who your ideal customers are.
What is a target audience?
Target audience: “a particular group at which a product such as an advertisement is aimed”
You wouldn’t advertise meat to a vegan community and you wouldn’t advertise pork to a muslim community...this seems like common sense but if you are casting your net over a random selection of people you may be catching people who are completely uninterested and probably even offended.
Finding your target audience means establishing who your ideal customer is and directing your products to them.
This is about being wholly focused on finding the exact audience you can help best.
Lifecycle marketing starts with reaching your target audience so this is the very raw starting point for the strategy we are going to build together.
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Where do I start identifying my target audience?
The first thing you need to do is identify who you are targeting.
The last thing you want to do is run in blind shouting your mouth off about how fantastic your product or service is. This would be as useful as wearing a sandwich board advertising free cake in the middle of an isolated forest.
The best place to start is with demographics.
Demographics are specific groups in the population. Statistics like age, gender, ethnicity, income, geographic location, where they live, what they do and who they are.
Demographics give you the core structure you need. They can help establish where to add value which is useful.
They are also crucial in telling you what platform your audience is spending their time on. They may be flocking to Facebook (79% of adults use Facebook) but this may be too busy and distracting so maybe a more focused platform like LinkedIn may be better for your business.
Demographics can be superficial because they lack human behaviour and most importantly personality.
Let’s imagine you sell personalised baby items and the demographics tell you that you target audience is;
A very simple example but you are potentially missing out on:
Two father households
Single or partnered parents
Older demographic who would like to buy gifts
Most customer profiles are created from demographics only which as you can see leaves huge gaps in your potential target audience. Demographics don’t account for the human element.
How do we add the human element of your target audience?
Psychographics is “the study and classification of people according to their attitudes, aspirations, and other psychological criteria, especially in market research” and psychographics is the missing piece every target audience planning needs.
The addition of the human element means that the bare statistics demographics come to life which will help you figure out what is important to your prospects and give you insight into their desires and motivations.
Combining demographics and psychographics gives you the core statistics plus you know what motivates them and you know more about their interests which gives you a great leg up when it comes to establishing effective engagement.
Going back to our previous example, you will now have something that looks like this;
- Has children/is pregnant
- Has interacted with baby related items
- Visited website or blog
- Has searched for keyword “personalised baby”
So now you have a much more defined audience of prospects who have already shown interest in your product, even if indirectly. You now have a prospect that is more aligned with what you’re creating and selling.
Research research research
We know we need demographics and we know we need psychographics but where do we get to know our prospects?
Firstly, you need to develop buyer personas. Buyer personas are profiles of your ideal customer, an avatar if you will.
These ideal customers will help guide you in what you’re looking for. They are basically your perfect repeat customer.
Let’s stick with the personalised baby products, our ideal customer will be;
- Active on the blog
- Has bought two to three different products
- Leaves reviews after every purchase
- Visits website regularly
- Shares purchases on social media
In my head we have a woman in her mid to late twenties who has a bunch of friends who are pregnant or having babies and she just loves to gift them with personalised items. The perfect customer for an eCommerce business like this.
This would enhance your communication with your prospect because you know who they are and what they really want. It’s sending a personal letter as opposed to shoving a generic pamphlet through their door.
Once you have your buyer personas in place, you need to build your customer journey. This is your customer’s experience from start to finish. This will equip you with where to engage with them and when. The customer journey will also help you pick up leads that may have been missed and improve your target audience as time goes on.
We will be working through the customer journey on this series of blogs, so don’t worry if you don’t have one in place because we will go step by step.
If you need to get a customer journey in place for your strategy and need an expert to do it for you then have a read about our Customer Journey Project.
Part of the researching process is getting to know your target audience, there are several ways to do this;
Getting to grips with your target audience is the snowball at the top of the mountain. Before you can enhance your products, develop your content or automate your marketing you need to identify who you’re trying to target.
Make sure you’re targeting people who will ultimately benefit from what your eCommerce business offers rather than just anyone who will part with their hard earned cash.
Building that core relationship with the most relevant audience means that you have repeat customers that want to spend with you. One of our clients, New Zealand Natural Clothing, increased their customer lifetime value by 231.13% over Black Friday and Cyber Monday by focusing on their ideal target audience.
We’re always here to help if you need some help getting to know your ideal customers and we will be bringing you blog posts to get you where you need to be with your eCommerce strategy.