E-commerce Tools & Best Practices

The Importance of Understanding Your Customer Audience Beyond Basic Demographic Data

By: Shan Lian | September 14, 2015

Understanding what makes your customer who they are is of vital importance to every single part of both launching your company and your ongoing brand development. Of course this might seem obvious off the bat, but putting some serious thought into who you are selling to should be an integral part of your work day (and for most entrepreneurs, of your off-days too). This will make it easier to connect with your customers and for them to connect with your brand.

Before you even begin to spec out your store design and product, put some thought into who you are targeting. Your audience is more than just whether they are male or female, a teenager or adult, are married or single. Your audience can also be determined by whether they are likely to purchase a vehicle, their preference for the rain or sun, or which political party they identify with. Flesh out your buyer personas as much as possible, it will help you establish a much better sense of your brand identity. You are going to want to talk to any friends and family who are in the target demographic to better understand their interests, desires, and what they respond to.

How does your ideal customer affect different areas of your business?

>>Product

When designing and iterating on your products, do regular check-ins with the buyer personas you’ve built and imagine how they would react at each stage. Many factors should be considered during these brainstorming sessions, such as, simplicity of use, size, and even variants.

>>Pricing

When pricing your item, again consider who you are targeting. Don’t take the flat approach of “it costs $X to make and ship, if I raise the price by $10 per item, I will make $X more profit per year.” Consider the purchasing power of your potential audience!

If you lower the price by a few dollars, can you sell two per person instead of just one? Is your audience mostly teenagers with a limited amount of money to spend per month or the parents of newborns who are willing to spend more for higher quality goods?

>>Branding

Your logo and brand identity should appeal to your customer base before they even see your products. The three primary things you should focus on when developing your logo are:

  • Colors

  • Complexity

  • Shape

>>Customer Success

How you interact with your customers goes much beyond the tone used in your emails and copy. In a short period of time, customer success has become a focus of most successful SaaS companies, and it should also be a focus of yours. Is your customer fine handling everything over text message or would they prefer a phone call? Can your emails be short and to the point or do they need a lot of detail? Use your buyer personas to help define these interactions.

>>Loyalty

All of the above are brought together to determine how loyal your customers are, not only to your product, but also to your brand as a whole. If you price everything properly and make sure they feel the love when engaging with you, they will keeping coming back. Loyalty is the holy grail -what ties everything together. And you must first understand who you are selling to before you can understand what makes them loyal.

Remember, your audience is more than just statistics on a page. Potential customers have depth beyond just their age and gender. The more thought you put into who you are engaging with, the more successful you will be.

 

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This post is contributed by Quinn Duffy at KitCRM. Kit is the world’s first virtual marketing assistant focused on helping you better market your products, grow your business, and make more sales. Using innovative SMS technology they help simplify and automate the marketing process so you can spend time doing what you love and running your business.


Shippo is a multi-carrier API and web app that helps retailers, marketplaces and platforms connect to a global network of carriers. Businesses use Shippo to get real-time rates, print labels, automate international paperwork, track packages and facilitate returns. Shippo provides the tools to help businesses succeed through shipping.

Shan Lian

Product Marketing at Shippo

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