Understanding the different types of online shoppers

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Understanding the different types of online shoppers

By Akira Terwin

There’s a variety of different types of online shoppers out there, whose attitude toward spending money on a e-commerce site, instead of a regular bricks and mortar store, may be shaped by a host of different things; such a personality traits, age and experiences.
It’s important to adapt your offering to appeal to many different types of shopper in order to change them from browsers into buyers. In this article, I’ll break down some of the most common types of online shoppers and share some quick tips on how to get them to convert.

1.The ‘Okay I’ll come back later’
We all have them, shoppers who put items into their baskets but for some reason, never end up paying for their order. Using software like google analytics can show you where in the checkout process your customers are dropping off. It could be that the checkout process is simply too long winded, with several steps that eventually snap the consumer out of buying. If this is the case, try implementing a one page checkout to make the process as short as possible. They could also be going from the checkout page, back to search, or a category – you can use heat mapping tools like Crazy Egg to show this. If you find this to be a frequent occurrence, you may want to consider removing the nav bar and any other distractions from the final checkout pages. Lastly, set up abandoned basket mails. These will be sent to anybody who adds items to their basket but does not checkout. It will contain a reminder of what they intended to purchase and urge them to continue with payment. You could even offer an incentive if you’re able to.

2.The ‘But is it secure?’
Believe it or not there are still some sites out there that offer purchases on an unsecure environment. Too many of us have been burned by internet scams and credit card fraud so it’s understandable that there are online shoppers (mostly older shoppers in my findings) who are hesitant to purchase for these reasons. While you can prominently show throughout your site and checkout page that shopping is secure, at the end of the day, this alone may not be enough to convert a browser, and you may need to look into offering more traditional forms of purchasing, such as bank deposit. A tricky one – as this gives the customer time to re-think the purchase and decide not to follow through with payment. But here too, automated mailers can be used to coax them back.

3.The ‘I’m just looking, I’m not buying
Bounce rates on e-commerce sites can be high. We’re bombarded by Google, display and social networking ads – not to mention paid search results that often lead us to a page or product that wasn’t exactly what we were hoping for. So when setting up ads based on keywords, try to link them to results that are as specific as possible, to avoid customers leaving your site immediately and risking distrust toward your brand.

4. The ‘Bargain Hunters’
These are the customers who will stand in a long queue at a store to buy a bulk pack of toilet paper just because they’re saving R30. There’s a lot of choice out there and these sorts of customers are really looking for the best possible value. Make no mistake, they will visit many sites looking for the same product and eventually it’s the best value that will win them over. While it’s a no brainer to say you should offer your product at the best possible price – various factors may make this option unfeasible. So instead, try offer special bundles and discounts based on actions you want the customer to take, like buy 2 get one free, sign up for our newsletter and get a discount or buy a bigger size and save money.

5. The ‘Experience Seeker’
These types of shoppers are looking to be acknowledged for choosing your website as the one they’ve spent their hard earned cash on and wants to feel like a member of a community. This can work especially well for fashion and beauty e-commerce sites. By offering a loyalty programme that allows customers access to better deals, discounts and free products the more they buy or review products, you’re giving them an incentive to convert and keep coming back

6. The ‘Am I getting the best product for my needs’
Money is not necessarily a concern for this type of online shopper. Instead they will spend a lot of time researching the product they want to buy, and also compare several sites selling it, to make sure they aren’t making uninformed decisions. Ensure you educate this type of customer on the product by providing different types of pictures, making sure you offer an option of an expanded product description if applicable and even pulling tutorial videos into your page. Blogs on your site are also a good way to showcase the product in a practical way and ease a customer’s mind.