Sellerscast: Figuring Out Your E-Commerce Customer Profile

On July 9th, 2019, our Marketing Director, Andrew Maff, and Head of Accounts, Gina Milazzo, sat down to talk the best strategies to putting together a customer profile, to determine your ideal customer, and more!



Andrew Maff:  What's up, this is episode number 35 of the Sellerscast. I'm Andrew Maffettone.

Gina Milazzo:  I'm Gina Milazzo.

Andrew Maff:  And today we are talking about figuring out your eCommerce customer profile.

Andrew Maff:  So, here's what we're going to talk about. A, you absolutely need to know who you're selling to, B, not everyone who buys from you is your idea customer. I know you'd like to think that, "Hey, they bought from me, so yes, that is my ideal customer." You're wrong.

Gina Milazzo:  Or, "Everyone is my ideal customer." Also wrong.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, also wrong. You need to be able to cater to a certain type of person to personalize your marketing strategy. It does not mean that other people will not shop with you. We work with a ton of different sellers. I can tell you the ones that cater 25-35 definitely sell to 45-year-old men sometimes. It just means that this is what they cater to, this is what our marketing's aimed for. This will help you adjust your brand voice, this will help you adjust your brand aesthetic, and this will allow you to know who it is you're speaking to, just like you wouldn't talk to a 65-year-old guy like you would a 12-year-old girl. You're going to want to adjust as long as you know specifically who you're trying to target. So what we're going to do is we're going to go through every question that we actually ask ourselves before we bring on a new client, and that way, I would highly suggest you guys start to use these questions internally as well, so that you'll know specifically who it is you're trying to target, and I will also send you our slides for you to fill everything out yourself if you ask. I will not put it in the description, because I'm going to make you work for it.

Andrew Maff:  So first question, what we're going over, demographics, psychographics, and geographics. So you want to know who they are, what they act like, and where they live. So what is the typical age range of your customer? You want to try and keep this within 20 years, so 25 to 45, 35 to 55, you don't want to do 15 to 80. That's not going to help you. So try to keep it within 20 years. Gender, boy, girl, both.

Gina Milazzo:  Both, something else.

Andrew Maff:  I know that's a thing, so whatever. Just know who you're talking to. Level of education, you don't want to talk down to someone, but you do want to not ... you don't want to talk down to someone period. So you don't want to talk to someone like, "All of my customers have a PhD," when in reality the majority of them just have middle school. You want to know who you're talking to specifically. Occupation, you may know this, you may not. In some cases, all of your customers are radiologists. In other situations, all of your customers are-

Gina Milazzo:  College students.

Andrew Maff:  College students, so they don't have an occupation, or that's their occupation, however you want to look at that. Where do they live? Sometimes it's relevant, sometimes it's not. This could be suburbs, this could be city, this could literally be, "I only cater to people in Texas." You're going to want to know specifically where they live. Household composition, so children-

Gina Milazzo:  This one's interesting.

Andrew Maff:  ... parents, yeah. This one's kind of, it could be anything. But it's going to help you kind of know, is there pets in the house? Is there other people in the house? This would be relevant obviously for pet owners, but parents or anything along those lines. Race or ethnicity, going to help depending on what your product is. This is going to be relevant to some people, not everyone.

Gina Milazzo:  Might not matter at all.

Andrew Maff:  Correct. Then I just have a blank, any more relevant demographics stuff. So then we have hobbies, interests, are they super into building trains or they love football? Something along those lines.

Gina Milazzo:  Do they work out?

Andrew Maff:  Do they work out? I work out. What are there favorite TV shows? We worked with a client for a little while who sold Seinfeld replica TV set things. Guess what one of their favorite shows was? Friends. What problem are they solving using your product or service?

Gina Milazzo:  This will vary.

Andrew Maff:  This one, yeah, this one's interesting, because you need to a very ... not opinionated. You have to actually say, "What do I think that I'm solving here," not, "My product's great."

Gina Milazzo:  "Oh my God, it's a ShamWow, you use it for everything."

Andrew Maff:  Yeah. [crosstalk 00:04:07] Vince.

Gina Milazzo:  Unless you actually sell Shamwows, in which case, good for you.

Andrew Maff:  Concerns or anxieties the customer may have about your business, so what are the barriers to entry in the beginning. Some of the potential turnoffs that would make the customer not return to your business, so they shop with you, but what would make them not want to come back again?

Gina Milazzo:  What are their expectations? What are your competitors doing is a big one.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah. So maybe your barrier to entry's a little bit lower, but then they start to work with you and they're like, "I might go somewhere else," so you want to try to figure that part out too. That's almost partially like SWOT analysis stuff. What would make the customer recommend your business to a friend? So-

Gina Milazzo:  Also expectations, also competitor-based.

Andrew Maff:  Correct, and providing that little extra value, which was five Sellerscast videos ago. You'll find that one too.

Gina Milazzo:  That was a long one. Free stuff.

Andrew Maff:  Yes. How much are they willing to spend on your type of product? That's always a great question, because you have to know who you're talking to dependent on the product that you're trying to price at. So this is like the Coach versus Walmart kind of thing. That was a bit of an interesting comparison.

Gina Milazzo:  He doesn't buy bags so he can't tell.

Andrew Maff:  I don't. But know who you're talking to, because if you're going to say, "My customer is willing to spend $150 on a bag," then know that you're targeting a certain demographic, a person, so you need to know the customer you're going after. Any other important psychographic details, so just another catch-all. And then of course the best, the best way to reach your customer. Is it social media? Is it paid advertising? Is it email marketing? Is it phone calls? Is it direct mail? Any of those. It could be TV, it could be commercial. Types of promotions. So back to the premium side, premium, it could be none. It could be they will not-

Gina Milazzo:  Maybe free shipping. Maybe.

Andrew Maff:  Yeah, maybe free shipping, or maybe-

Gina Milazzo:  Gift purchase.

Andrew Maff:  ... consignment shop stuff, that's the only place that they'll buy your product on a promotion or on a discount, but otherwise they won't buy it from you directly. Otherwise in some cases or in most cases, coupons, discount codes, free shipping, buy one get one free kind of stuff could all work as well. What promotions are not going to work? So opposite of that first question. New products that are going to interest the customer. So of the stuff that you're selling, what else may be interesting to them? It may not even be yours. Maybe it's something that you extend your product line into later, or maybe it's something that you partner with another company with later on down the line, but that is something to keep in mind. And that was it.

Gina Milazzo:  Yay.

Andrew Maff:  I thought there was one more, there's not. So psychographics, demographics, geographics, you want to know what type of person they are, what they're interested in, and where they live. And that should tell you specifically who they're targeting. It's really fun to give them a name. We always try to give them a name internally, so it's like-

Gina Milazzo:  Like a person.

Andrew Maff:  "Today we're going after-"

Gina Milazzo:  Ashley.

Andrew Maff:  Ashley.

Gina Milazzo:  She's in a big state school.

Andrew Maff:  Exactly. Give them a name, and that way everyone will know, "Oh, I know Ashley."

Gina Milazzo:  "Oh, I'm talking to Ashley." Everyone knows an Ashley.

Andrew Maff:  I did hear of a company once who actually hired a paid actor, so I think it was a guy, and actually gave him the customer profile and had him come in for a day to tell them, tell the employees about himself, when he was just an actor. And it was like, "We're targeting that guy," and it really helped dig it into everyone's head about who they were going after. I thought it was a really cool idea. It might be fun for you guys to do, or just pay your next door neighbor to come talk to your staff for a little while.

Gina Milazzo:  Or [crosstalk 00:07:25]. Buy a wig.

Andrew Maff:  Yes. Do that, and send a video.

Gina Milazzo:  Please.

Andrew Maff:  But if you want the slides, let me know. Happy to send them over. Just comment below. If not, comment below and let us know if you have any questions, comments, or concerns, or if there's anything you want us to talk about next time. But if not, that was today's episode of the Sellerscast, and we'll see you again soon.

amazon listing optimization ebook





Gain access to our exclusive list of top rated events for e-commerce sellers


Get E-Commerce News Right To Your FB Inbox!