Personas in eCommerce
Traditional marketing has used personas for marketing typically using census data and demographics. However, recent research shows that traditional demographics are fast breaking due to various reasons. For example adage recently published an article titled (“In a Digital World, Are Generations Dead?”) Though very relevant to the US, the idea of demographics not being the only way to target is getting real.
As eCommerce store owners, we naturally think demographics – region, gender, age, etc. However, those are not the correct personas and targeting so is making a mistake.
Personas however are extremely important in eCommerce. In this article we will review some material on personas as it applies to online marketing and eCommerce.
Seth Godin in his famous book “Tribes: We Need You to Lead Us” uses the word tribes to describe “A tribe is a group of people connected to one another, connected to a leader, and connected to an idea. For millions of years, human beings have been part of one tribe or another. A group needs only two things to be a tribe: a shared interest and a way to communicate.”
Seth’s description of tribes is perhaps the most transformational in understanding online behaviour. What it means is we need to study all the data we have about our visitors and customers and derive what is a tribe for our complete or a part of our store.
In 2013, Mastercard published a very well researched article on personas based on how willing they are ready to share online – and effectively said there were 5 key ones each representing 20% of the market. This is very relevant to eCommerce as if it were possible to classify your visitors into these personas, you could decide how to market to them!.
Open Sharers, 21% of the population, “are particularly aware of targeted marketing, with nearly full understanding of the value of their data and how merchants, marketers, and consumers interact online. When they share their personal information, they expect deals, access, and offers in return.”
Simply Interactors, 21% of the population, “are aware of targeted marketing, but don’t see their data as that valuable, and so do not express significant concern about. . When looking to shop online, seven in 10 Simply Interactors will look for reviews about unknown companies before making a purchase.”
Solely shoppers, 21% of the population, “generally do not see their personal information as valuable to merchants and advertisers, though they appreciate getting special offers and discounts for checking into a store. They have very little awareness of targeted marketing, as only 37 percent of this segment are aware that social media sites use their personal data to inform targeted ads.”
Passive users, 20% of the population, “are more willing than other personas to trade their data for something in return. Passive Users are not heavy online shoppers, but they are more likely than other personas to shop via a mobile device”.
Proactive protectors, 17% of the population, “Fully 90 percent say they only share information about themselves online when they know how it will be used, and 76 percent clear the cookies stored on their browser. While they shop online because it saves them time, they are not willing to trade information about themselves to access deals”.