Many eCommerce stores have comparable products and prices, yet there are always standout retailers in every market. What, exactly, separates these top sellers from the rest? In most cases, it’s the fact that they have taken the time to learn their customers exceptionally well.
In order to identify what you can do to drive sales, you must first understand what compels your shoppers to buy. And, that all begins with getting to know your target market.
Blair Warren, author of The One Sentence Persuasion Course, states, “People will do anything for those who encourage their dreams, justify their failures, allay their fears, confirm their suspicions, and help them throw rocks at their enemies.” Your target market is the seed to your eCommerce store’s fruitfulness, and the very group for whom you must be willing to do anything. This means going beyond general demographics and performing some in-depth research – but we’ve done the hard part already for you. Below, you’ll find some of the best places to find the true voice of your target market.
3 Ways to Get to Know Your eCommerce Target Market Exceptionally Well
1. Read Bad Reviews
There’s no better way to understand your target market’s pain points than to assess where their expectations have gone unfulfilled. The most reliable source for this information is the review section for products similar to yours.
What do customers who have given one- and two-star ratings have to say? What are their gripes and perceived shortcomings of the products? What did they expect to gain from their purchase, and how did your competitor fail to deliver on that expectation? Whether shipping took too long, the product failed after a couple of uses, or the item simply didn’t solve their problem, this information is invaluable for painting a clear picture of your target market’s wants and needs. Use these findings to uncover precisely what it is your target market expects but can’t find elsewhere; this will help you in shaping your brand’s unique value proposition.
2. Join Facebook Groups
Want to determine what type of messaging would resonate best with your target market? Search for Facebook groups where you suspect your audience might be. A seller of custom-engraved knives, for instance, might find value in joining groups for tactical gear enthusiasts. But you can take this a step further, too: think about the podcasts, television shows, and similar hobbies this group might enjoy. Are their Facebook groups dedicate to these, too?
By joining these platforms, you’ll get an insider’s view of the qualities that shape your target audience. Take the time to look at the memes, comments, and posts that get the most reactions. Aside from age, gender, and other demographics, you’ll also begin to understand their hopes, dreams, fears, and biggest problems. These key findings can be woven into your branding and marketing efforts, helping you create an identity to which your target audience can relate.
3. Ask Them Directly
Finally, the best way to determine why your customers make the purchasing decisions they do is to simply ask. Reach out to anyone who makes a purchase through your store to find out what led them to buy from you. If possible, get on the phone with them – this human interaction can go a long way in demonstrating your commitment to understanding the customer as a person, not a dollar sign. Don’t forget to ask them what you could improve, what they liked, and what they still want.
These three sources will help you establish a well-rounded view of your target audience, but learning your customers is not a one-and-done activity. Needs, expectations, and desires are constantly evolving, so we recommend keeping a detailed spreadsheet with information and updating it quarterly. Track the distinguishing characteristics to formulate a shopper profile, including age and gender, but be sure to include other important details as well. Are their common sentiments or points of view shared among your group? Do they have similar family lives or occupations? How might their needs or wants evolve over time?
Ultimately, shoppers want to feel like the brands they support actually “get” them. It’s no longer enough to provide a product that solves a problem. In order to succeed, your brand needs to have the whole package: your messaging, mission statement, customer service efforts, and overall identity should align fully with the personality of your target market. By creating an accessible and relatable brand, you’ll be able to convince both existing and potential customers that purchasing from you is in their best interests.