Buyer Personas: A Guide for eCommerce Sellers to Connect with Customers

Building your eCommerce business can be a stressful process. There are so many moving parts and it can be difficult to know where to focus your attention, but to take the guesswork out of the equation, your customers are going to be your greatest investment. 

Business is about people, so it makes sense that focusing your marketing efforts on attracting the right customers is the kind of investment that pays off in the long run. 

But how do you do that? 

Enter: the buyer persona. 

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a way to focus and define your target audience. It is a detailed profile of a fictional person who is representing that audience and someone who embodies the traits of your most promising potential buyer.

This profile consists of giving the person a name, defining their demographic, their behaviors, their interests, and so on. Through this process, you can come to understand what their goals and pain points are, which will help define their patterns when it comes to making purchases. The whole idea is to utilize this model of an ideal customer as though they were real, which allows you to hone your marketing messages to be specifically tailored to them. 

Now, we all know that most of the time there is more than one kind of customer that is going to buy your product. For this reason, you can create multiple buyer personas to represent different parts of your audience. 

How to create buyer personas

A quick tip before we begin: be sure to gather your information as you go through each step. Again, you can create multiple personas to give you a more well-rounded message. 

  1. Start with research

This step might seem obvious, but it is often the Achilles heel of the average buyer persona. While the customer we’re crafting is fictional, they can’t come straight from your imagination. This profile needs to be based on real data so that you can get an accurate picture. 

Start by gathering data on your existing customers and social media following. Think about specific aspects of them such as age, interests, occupation, education, location, challenges, where they spend their time, where they spend their money, and so on. 

  1. Find the pain points

Now that you’ve gotten to know your customer a little bit better and hopefully spent some time studying their information, you can start to identify their pain points. 

Pain points are the problems your customer is trying to solve or the obstacles they are trying to overcome. A good idea is to go through your customer service team to figure out what kind of pain points your existing customers are already experiencing and build from there. 

  1. Flip the coin (identify their goals)

While pain points are issues your customer is trying to resolve, their goals are going to be things they want to achieve. 

As you’re figuring out what your customer’s goals are, don’t limit yourself to just their personal or professional aspirations. Include both and really dive deep into the desires of your potential customer. In this instance, your sales team can be a useful resource. They are listening to what your potential customers are attempting to achieve or remedy through your business. Taking some of that data and using that as a solid foundation will propel you forward. 

  1. Craft the story

At this point, you’ve gotten to know your potential customer pretty well. It’s time to get even more clear on how your business can help resolve your customer’s pain points and help them achieve their goals. 

Dive in and define the aspects of your business that can resolve each of your customer’s pain points and attain each one of their goals. 

How to use buyer personas in marketing

Now that you have your buyer persona(s), you’re ready to start implementing them into your marketing strategy. 

Buyer personas are incredibly useful in helping you to reframe your thinking and look at your message from the customer’s perspective. Using your personas as a way to get a more objective view of your business, what you’re offering, and how you’re communicating your value to the world is going to help you focus your campaigns and get real results. 

Your personas can also be helpful in targeting your social media ads. Promoting content on social media can feel like a shot in the dark, but when done right, it can be extremely effective. Now that you have a detailed perspective on your audience, you can craft this content in a way that is going to attract the right people to your business and increase your sales. 

All in all, buyer personas are a highly valuable tool in your arsenal to grow your business and get more clear on who you are, what you’re saying, and who you’re saying it to. All of which is going to bring in more sales, create stronger relationships between you and your customers, lead to more loyalty from your customers, and take your eCommerce business to new heights.