Who are your ecommerce site visitors? Could you describe them in detail? Would you be sure of your answers, or would you be taking educated guesses?

Surprisingly, many ecommerce companies have very little understanding of the people they are trying to turn into customers. This leaves them open to a variety of problems, not the least of which include:

  • Incorrect or Ineffective Keyword Optimization. Without a clear knowledge of your target population, you may be optimizing your landing, product, home, and blog pages to the wrong individuals. For instance, let’s say you are trying to sell a piece of furniture with drawers. Would you call it a dresser? A chest of drawers? A bureau? What would your target audience call it? As you can see, the more you understand about their use of language and descriptors, the more likely you can be to get their attention.
  • Pricing That Doesn’t Work for Visitors. If your ideal client is a thrifty mom, it will be tough to sell high-end products at your ecommerce site. Sometimes, you have to experiment with price ranges. This can be difficult without knowing your perfect customer type.
  • Content That Doesn’t Make Any Sense. Millennials don’t speak like baby boomers, and vice versa. College students use different slang than their parents. These are all considerations when creating content for your ecommerce site. Choose a style that doesn’t resonate with visitors, and you will be losing sales in the process.
  • PPC Campaigns That Bring in the Wrong Type of People. A pay-per-click (PPC) campaign is only useful if it brings you people who are likely to convert to customers. If individuals without an interest in your products keep landing on your pages, they’ll just abandon you — and you’ll end up paying per click without getting anything in return.
  • Revenue Streams That Keep Trending Downward or Flat-Lining. Who wants to run an ecommerce site where it seems like you can never get ahead? A downward or flat-lined trend in sales could have a correlation between the target audience you think you have and the people you should actually be targeting.

Obviously, there are other issues that come from having little understanding of your preferred buying population. However, these alone make it imperative for you to start taking steps toward getting to know your customers much better.

How to Get Information About Your Audience Members

What’s the best way to get insider info about your audience members? There’s honestly no one method. Instead, it’s a good idea to try a combination of several:

  • Send a Customer Survey to Your Current Customers. Offer a special coupon for completing the survey, and make sure you ask pointed, relevant questions. You should get a wealth of data back, and you can use that data to help you tweak your content and ad copy.
  • Analyze What Your Biggest Competition Is Doing. Who are they targeting with their PPC ads, other ads, and site content? You can skip a huge learning curve by checking them out and seeing if their content makes sense.
  • See Who Is Talking About You on Social Media. If you have a social media page — and you should — you can see who is following you and sharing your products/story. You’ll be able to build a profile of your average customer over time using the information you cull from social platforms.
  • Read Product Reviews, If applicable. Do you allow customers to leave reviews on your website? Read them over and glean data about the reviewers.
  • Dive Into Your Google Analytics. Google Analytics can start to tell you a lot about who is visiting your site, such as where they are coming from and how long they are staying. You can also see the keywords they are using to find you, which will help you in understanding their psychological searching and buying habits.

Is this an exact science? No. You’ll always have outliers who surprise you by becoming buyers and fans. But you should definitely have some key buying types in mind. Just having great products available isn’t enough. As an ecommerce site owner, you need to know who is most apt to want your items. Then, you can encourage them to make purchases by highlighting your product’s advantages that are most meaningful to them.

Why It’s Important for Your Ecommerce Site to Know Its Audience

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