Developing a Target Persona for E-commerce

For independent e-commerce retailers, determining a target persona for your niche is an important part of your marketing strategy. Every customer in your demographic is not the same, but they do share many similarities in interests, behaviors, and activities. Identifying the correct target person will yield great results for your marketing efforts and ad campaigns!

Identify age, sex, SES
This is the first, and most basic step in understanding and reaching your target persona. What is the age range? Is there a certain sex you want to target? What is their socio-economic status?

Job and level of seniority

The days of mass marketing are long behind us. With social media platforms like LinkedIn, which has over 400 million users, your marketing needs to be hyper-focused towards your target persona and niche.

What does their average day look like?
An effective way to understand your target audience is by putting yourself in their shoes. Imagine what a normal day looks like for them. When are they working? How often do they have time to use their phone? What hours of the day do they have free? These questions will help you decide important marketing tactics such as posting schedules and ad placement.

What problems do they face? How can your product alienate these problems?
Perhaps the most important question for you to find the answer to. What issues does your target persona face, and how does your product solve them? This is the very question that potential customers will be asking themselves when they visit your online store. An issue or problem can be something as big as needing a new car part, or something as little as wanting a cool t-shirt.

What do they value and fear most?
Understanding the values and fears of your target persona will go a long way. Does your average customer value price over quality, or maybe design over quantity? Recognizing their fears are an important aspect as well. We are not necessarily referring to a fear of fire or public speaking, but rather fear of damage during shipping, the inability to return an item, or a lack of customer service.

How do they find information?
For most online store owners, the broad answer to this question is going to be social media. However, there are much deeper question you will need answers to, to effectively get your message in front of customers. What social media platforms do they find information on? How often are they searching for certain keywords or phrases?

Identify how you will know when you are effectively communicating with the target persona
The final step. Once you have created your target persona, determine how you will know when you are successfully communicating with them. For instance, if your target persona is a college student with interest in sports, you can identify success by the number of third-party back-links to your website, the mention of your brand or product on forums, or your engagement on social media.