Thrifty and extravagant, cautious and impulsive, savvy and innocent – online shoppers are all of this and more. But while every e-shopper’s behavior is unique, a few broad types stand out.
If you run or build e-commerce stores for a living, most of your success will depend on offering your shoppers exactly what they need. It all starts with understanding them and why they shop.
Newcomers have never visited your store before. They are curious to explore what you have to offer. Some of them may be older and relatively new to online shopping. That’s why having an easy-to-use website with an intuitive interface and simple navigation helps you keep them interested.
These shoppers may be daunted by a sophisticated website layout. At the same time, information overload tends to make them uneasy. That’s why in the world of e-commerce, keeping things easy usually pays off.
The first impression your website makes on newcomers will determine whether they will become regular customers or never return. This includes the website design, the content, and, of course, the catalog of products and prices.
Trying to please all newcomers may isn’t always realistic. No matter how hard you try, there may be some users who won’t be all that impressed with your website. You have to determine which newcomers are the most important to you and craft the right shopping experience for them.
For example, you may focus on newcomers who use specific keywords and devices. Or those who access your website from a specific area. The better you understand your audience, the easier will it be for you to attract the right types of newcomers to your website.
The Deal Hunter
Deal hunters are elusive. They know what they are after, but once they get it, they may never come back to your website. For them, the price is usually the number one consideration, though they may also look for the best value offer. Getting more features and better specs while staying within their budget is one of their priorities.
Deal hunters navigate your website in two ways. They use the search bar to find the specific product they want – if Google or their shopping app hasn’t led them to the right product page already. Or they look for the Sales/Promotions banner or category and start there.
In general, deal hunters are fast shoppers. They don’t like to waste time navigating a whole category of products or comparing them one by one. They swoop down on what they want and grab it before others. Since what they really want is the best deal, they may not pay all that much attention to the refinements your website offers. Still, even the most ruthless deal hunters will appreciate clear and detailed product descriptions.
Deal hunters are very active during the holiday shopping season, on Black Friday, and before other shopping holidays like Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, and the Fourth of July. In general, though, it’s good to recognize the difference between shoppers who are deal hunters only around shopping holidays (when virtually all shoppers become deal hunters), and those who relentlessly look for deals all year round.
The Savvy Shopper
Savvy shoppers have probably visited your store before. They tend to compare deals to different stores in the same category and take their time to explore all their options. They pay close attention to product pages and get annoyed when your website navigation slows them down. Because they’re seasoned shoppers, they don’t easily fall for promos, free shipping, or discounts.
Savvy shoppers are the hardest to please. Price is never their only consideration. They consider the sum total of your website experience and penalize you for any shortcomings. Website speed, design, product presentation, customer support – everything matters to savvy shoppers.
There isn’t one particular thing you can focus on to make them happy – other than your complete customer experience, of course. These shoppers have time to burn and won’t rush to buy until they consider all their options. Some of them are shopaholics. They use price comparison platforms, mobile shopping apps, and read detailed product reviews on specialized websites.
But while savvy shoppers may challenge you to constantly refine and improve your customer experience, they also determine the appeal of your web store. Savvy shoppers are the ones you can count on returning to your store. They have money, and they have time. What’s more, they have a real need for the products they buy – they don’t buy on a whim all that often.
If you manage to keep savvy shoppers, they will spread the word about your store and make up the largest portion of your user base.
The Passionate Shopper
Passionate shoppers share some similarities with savvy shoppers, in that they may do plenty of research before choosing what to buy. But while the latter mostly shop when they need to, passionate shoppers buy things as a form of recreation. They shop because it’s fun.
Passionate shoppers like to explore products across categories. They like to discover new and exciting new arrivals and won’t say no to a good deal. They buy on impulse and expect fast shipping and good customer service. Nothing alienates a passionate shopper worse than disappointing customer service.
Passionate shoppers return to the websites they like. They enjoy loyalty programs, like to collect points, and love to earn cashback when shopping.
If you build a community around your online store, they may become some of the most active members. They also enjoy creating user accounts and extensive shopping lists, and they shop a lot on mobile.
The Wishlist Shopper
Wishlist shoppers tend to check their impulse to buy, whether it’s because they are cautious or because they are short on cash. Instead, they fill up their shopping cart with products but don’t proceed to checkout. Often, they focus on high-end, expensive products, or create elaborate shopping lists featuring a large selection of products.
Email reminders and retargeting marketing tend to be effective with wishlist shoppers. You have to remember that they tend to have left products in shopping carts on other websites too. Even better than simple reminders are notifications when the price of a product goes down.
Wishlist shoppers like to keep an eye on major product launches. While they may need a nudge now and then to proceed to checkout, they tend to remain a constant presence on your website.
Having a beautiful website design with wishlists that are easy to create and customize will attract these shoppers. But even more important is selling great products that they can long for.
How Can You Please Them All?
With so many different types of shoppers around, and some of them so different, how can you make them all happy? There is no easy answer. Building a great e-commerce website with an intuitive and enticing user experience helps, but it’s not enough.
What matters is to offer a rich catalog of products people actually want to buy. If you sell great products, you will attract all types of e-commerce shoppers. And if at the same time you offer them an accessible and beautiful website, and add to that a responsive customer service, you will keep them coming back for more.
Meta description: From savvy to impulsive, from wishlist dreamers to practical best deal hunters, e-Shoppers are an interesting lot. Learn more about the main types of shoppers.