How to Create a Buyer Persona for Your Online Store
Knowing your target market is one of the most basic yet most important elements of marketing. By understanding their needs, wants, and preferences, you can create a buying experience that caters to your customers’ exact interests. And crafting a buyer persona takes this concept one step further.
Whether you’re just about to open your online store or you’re looking to revamp your current web presence, creating consumer personas can be a great starting point. In this article, we’ll explain what buyer personas are, why they’re important, and how you can get started creating them for your own business.
Buyer Personas: What Are They and Why Are They Important?
Buyer personas, also known as customer avatars, are semi-fictional representations of your ideal customer. They help you better understand the needs and wants of your target market, which can then inform your marketing and product decisions. Think of it as your market research data and qualitative insights all rolled into one. Except it’s much easier to remember and use on a daily basis.
In other words, they’re like a quick reference guide about your customers, allowing you to immediately understand who your primary market is and how to better serve them. With a solid buyer persona in your back pocket, you can easily craft and tailor your marketing messages, product offerings, and web content to meet their needs.
Types of Buyer Personas
There are three types of buyer personas. While each one serves a slightly different purpose, having one of each type can help you gain a more comprehensive understanding of your target market.
Primary Buyer Persona
Your primary buyer persona is the main character of your story. It’s the type of customer that makes up the majority of your sales. By focusing on this particular avatar, you can create a more engaging and personalized experience for the people who are already interested in your products.
Secondary Buyer Persona
Secondary buyer personas represent those consumers whom you may consider targeting in the future. This could be a new demographic that you want to attract or an existing market that you’re trying to expand into. While they aren’t your focus at the moment, it can be helpful to learn more about them so that you have an idea of what to do when the time comes.
Negative Buyer Persona
The negative buyer persona is an avatar of a person whom you don’t want to sell your products to. This could be a person who doesn’t fit your target market or someone you don’t want to associate with for ethical reasons. While the purpose of crafting buyer personas is to strategize your marketing efforts, understanding who you don’t want to target is just as important. This is especially the case if you keep encountering the same type of customer who just isn’t interested in buying from you or is causing unnecessarily negative word-of-mouth.
How to Create Primary Buyer Personas
So, how exactly do you create a buyer persona?
Think of it like creating a profile on any social media platform. You’ll want to start with the basics and then add more details as you go along. Thus, you can start by giving your avatar a name.
Now, the name doesn’t have to be a real one. As long as it represents the type of person you’re trying to target, it works. After that, you can easily proceed to the steps below.
Step 1: Create the Base of Their Profile
Once your buyer persona has a name, it’s time to start detailing their characteristics. This should include the following information:
Of course, the foundation of your buyer persona should be their demographic information. This includes factors such as age, gender, income level, education, location, and more. These solidify your primary market and give you an idea of who you’re actually targeting.
Attitudes and Interests
Your persona isn’t just part of a certain demographic—they are also made up of unique interests and attitudes. What do they enjoy? What social issues do they care about? Which public figures do they follow? These can all serve as indicators when it comes to crafting your marketing messages.
Apart from their attitudes and interests, having an insight into your customer’s behaviors can also help you better understand them. How often do they shop for products like yours? Where do they typically look for information? What devices do they use to access your website?
Step 1a: How to Gather the Above Information
Hmm, but how exactly do you find and collect the information above? Here are a few tips:
Refer to Your Existing/Past Customers
If your business has been around for a while, you’ll likely have existing or past customers that you can refer to. The mission now is to collect and analyze their data. If you’re using social media sites like Instagram or e-commerce platforms such as Shopify, you can easily peek into your customer analytics and do a thorough analysis.
Add an Optional Survey on Your Website
Next, you can add an optional survey to your website where people are encouraged to give their feedback. For instance, you can ask questions like “Where did you hear about us?” and “What made you purchase our product?” This can give you an idea of their browsing and purchasing behaviors. Just remember to update your Policy Page to ensure that your site visitors are informed of how you plan to use their data.
Search Influencers on Social Media That Look and Act Like Who You Want To Buy From You
To dig deeper into your customers’ psychographics and interests, you can search for influencers that look and act like the buyer persona you want to target. This is a great way to find out what kind of content and topics are popular among your target audience. You can also check out their interactions and how they engage with other brands and their followers.
Step 2: Identify Customer Goals and Pain Points
Using all the info you’ve gathered so far, you can now start to identify your buyer persona’s goals and pain points. What do they aim to achieve? Why are they looking for a product like yours? What challenges or problems do they face when trying to achieve their goals?
This step is especially important when creating personalized content. Understanding your customer’s needs and motivations will allow you to craft messages that speak directly to them.
Step 3: Segment and Organize Your Buyer Persona/s
Once you’re done creating your buyer persona, you can start organizing them into segments. This will make it easier for you to target specific groups that you want to market your product/services.
For example, if you sell baby clothes, you could have a buyer persona representing new moms and another one representing grandparents. The former would likely be looking for more fashionable items whereas the latter might want more classic pieces that are easy to care for. The key is to segment your audience so that you can focus your campaigns on those who are more likely to buy from you.
How to Create Secondary Buyer Personas
Got your primary buyer personas set? Great! Now it’s time to create secondary buyer personas.
If you’ve created your primary buyer persona using your existing customers’ information and purchase history, crafting secondary personas will be much easier. All you need to do is look for patterns in the data and use it to create new personas that represent different kinds of customers.
For example, if your primary buyer persona is a new mom looking for fashionable baby clothes, you can use the data to create a secondary buyer persona of dads who want practical yet stylish pieces. You can also check out your social media pages’ follower data and see which demographics may be interested in your offerings but are not part of your current customer base yet.
By taking the time to create secondary buyer personas, you can start targeting and connecting with a wider audience — one that may potentially become your future customers.
How to Create Negative Buyer Personas
Now, here’s the tricky part: creating negative buyer personas.
As mentioned, negative buyer personas are people you don’t want to target with your marketing efforts. They may be active critics of your brand or customers that are unlikely to buy from you based on your existing customer data.
Similar to the secondary buyer personas, you’ll need to dig through your data and look for patterns that indicate who these people are. For instance, you can check out which leads do not convert or what people are saying about your brand on social media. You can also visit online forums or social media groups and look out for users who are likely to be negative about products or brands similar to yours.
By understanding who these people are, you can take steps to mitigate any potential damage or bad press they may cause and focus your efforts on creating better content and campaigns for the audiences that do matter.
Create a Marketing Strategy Around Your Buyer Persona
Once your buyer personas are all set, the last step is to create a marketing strategy around them.
Think of this as your roadmap — it’ll guide all your content marketing strategies and help you stay on track. The key is to align your content with the goals, motivations, and pain points of your target audience. With a buyer persona that you can always go back to, crafting personalized campaigns becomes easier.
Once you’ve conceptualized your marketing strategy, here are some things you can do:
Test Your Strategy
Before launching your campaigns, it’s best to do some tests first. You can start by sharing your content with a small group of people that represent your buyer persona and see how they respond. This way, you can have an idea of what works and tweak your campaign further before rolling it out to the public.
If possible, you can also interview or survey people who fit your buyer persona. This will give you an even better understanding of how they perceive your campaign and what else they’re looking for.
Set Your KPIs
You have to be able to know if your campaigns are successful or not. Thus, it’s important to set key performance indicators (KPIs) and closely monitor how your campaigns are doing. This will help you determine if you need to adjust your strategy or continue what’s already working.
Some of the KPIs you can use are lead conversion rates, website traffic and page views, email open rates, and social media engagement. Your sales and customer service teams can also provide useful insights as to whether your campaigns and strategies are resonating with customers.
Be Ready to Make Adjustments
As you go along, don’t be afraid to tweak your strategies when needed. Remember that buyer personas and their behaviors are ever-changing. So, it’s important to keep up with the times and always be prepared to make adjustments when needed.
Think of your buyer persona as an actual customer whose wants and needs are constantly in flux. By doing so, you can tailor your campaigns and strategies more effectively and stay ahead of the competition.
Ready To Open Your Online Store?
Establishing who your target audience is and creating buyer personas are key components of launching an online store. This will help you understand your customer base better and create relevant offerings and content for them.
But of course, this is just the first step. You’ll still need to take other measures such as actually setting up your store, finding the right integrations, and finalizing your product offerings. Fortunately, for those planning to venture specifically into the fashion e-commerce industry, this doesn’t have to be a daunting task.
With a print-on-demand partner like Awkward Styles, you can easily find, create, and sell products to consumers represented by your buyer persona that match their needs and preferences.
Sign up for your free account and explore over 150 customizable products that you can sell with no order minimums on Shopify, Etsy, WooCommerce and more.