Published: 3rd January 2021

12 Hacks of Ecommerce- #9 Buyer Personas

Written by : eCAI Admin
Read Time: 5 Min | 3312

Welcome to Day 9 of our 12 Hacks of Ecommerce growth hacking series. We’ve covered an extensive range of concepts to date, so be sure to look back at previous hacks if this is your first time checking in. Today’s blog is centered around buyer personas. We explain what they are, as well as the benefits and how you can apply them to your online business straight away.


What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona can be defined as a semi-fictional representation of your business's ideal customer based on data and research. They are identified by using your current customer network. If you do not possess customers as of yet, it is also possible to discover your buyer personas.


A buyer persona contains a broad range of details such as demographics, behaviours, feelings and goals. When reading this, you might be thinking that a buyer persona is similar to a target audience. In fact, they are quite different. A target audience focuses solely on demographics, whereas a buyer persona examines behaviours. A target audience provides a birds-eye view of your customer base, while a buyer persona focuses on a deeper level of traits.

Here is an example of the difference between target audience and buyer persona for an Irish-made watches company:

Target Audience: Male and Female aged 18-40 in Ireland

Buyer Persona: Martin Fahy is a 25-year old working professional in the tech sector in Dublin. He is a price-conscious individual seeking high-quality watches made in Ireland. His budget is €250. He has experienced issues in the past of buying high-end watches that were stolen or lost. He wants to wear a watch that he is proud of and is not going to be financially devastated if lost or stolen.

Notice how much more detail goes into a buyer persona. They unravel a wider perspective of the customer, assisting the business with their marketing strategy and product development.


Importance of Buyer Personas

(i) Personalisation: Each customer is unique and therefore requires individuals wants and needs. By evaluating the goals, challenges and frustrations of customers, we can determine what they need from our business and what they want out of a company. Furthermore, such knowledge is crucial in understanding how to sell to them and what you should offer them.

It could lead you to new opportunities to develop new products or services to solve other problems they may experience. Additionally, by segmenting similar personas types you can gain a more comprehensive understanding of marketing to different audiences.

(ii) Negative personas: Buyer personas can document which customers you are not targeting. Ultimately this helps you to increase efficiency and sales productivity. You won’t spend time and resources chasing down the wrong customer and you can focus your attention on prosperous customers.

(iii) Gain Insight into Purchasing Decisions: As buyer personas assist with customer behaviours, you may learn the path taken by customers to buy from your company. For example, if your audience spends a long time viewing your website before purchasing, you could provide them with more content such as blog posts or news articles to heighten their trust in your brand.


How to Create a Buyer Persona

(1) Learn from existing customers: If you already have an established customer base then you have a distinct advantage. By contacting them either for a call or getting them to fill out a pre-made survey, you will gain a serious insight into their reasons for purchasing from you.

If you do not have customers already do not worry. There are several ways you can develop buyer personas. You may already possess a social media following or email subscriber list. Therefore, use these platforms to send out surveys or questionnaires to learn more about the people aware of your company.

Alternatively, take a look at competitors. If they are performing well, then they may have an understanding of their buyer persona. Look for similarities and traits within their customer cohort and how you can target them using your products or services.

(2) Research: Today, almost everyone has an online presence. Take a look at existing/potential customers social media profiles to learn more about them. You’d be surprised what you can discover when you search for someone on the internet. 

(3) Buyer Persona Tools: Finally, once you have gathered customer information, begin to narrow down your prospects to an ideal buyer persona. There are several useful websites such as Xtensio, Hubspot and Marketo that offer useful templates and tools to assist you with your personas.

When using these tools, have a list of questions completed regarding your customers that covers areas such as demographics, personality, purchase behaviours, finances, goals, challenges and pain points. Find a common denominator amongst each category to help you create the perfect buyer persona.

In conclusion, buyer personas offer a deep insight into your customers. You will learn an incredible amount about buyer similarities and differences. You can put in place an effective marketing strategy going forward as you have more knowledge regarding your ideal customer. As a result, your conversions, targeting and customer loyalty will boost significantly.


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