How Well Do You Really Know Your Ideal Customer?
We’ve all done the exercise. It’s the first thing you’re taught when you first start your business: Create an ideal customer avatar.
This vision of your ideal customer guides everything you do, including pricing (you can’t charge that single mom as much as you can the CEO of a Fortune 500 company), pain points (mom probably isn’t worried about shareholders), and even the color of your logo.
So you spend a few hours considering things such as:
- Age group
- Family status
- Lifestyle goals
Maybe you even write up a nice little story about your ideal customer. You give her a name, a couple of kids, a husband/wife who just doesn’t get it, and a load of student loans. You know quite a bit about her/him, you think.
But you would be wrong, and if you stop there, you may be missing a huge piece of the puzzle—and losing out on the best customers because of it.
Here’s something that’s rarely considered in the “ideal customer” equation, and it’s arguably the most important part: personality.
If you’re brand is snarky, sarcastic, fun-loving and loud, then a quiet, middle-aged mom who spends her time volunteering at the church is probably not a good fit for your store. Sure, she might need your help, and she might love your products, but for the important purchases, this match-up is a disaster. Either she will be uncomfortable with your style, or you’ll be miserable trying to reign in your natural exuberance to reach this customer.
Better to pass mom on to another boutique who is a better fit for her personality wise.
Drive Determines Success
This one can be difficult to calculate from the start, but once you recognize it (or the lack thereof) it’s worth paying attention to. The customer without the drive to make a purchase will—more often than not—only end up frustrating you both.
If you look at your current and past store customers, you’ll begin to see patterns. You can easily look back and see what made some first time customers become regular customers, while others were a struggle. Think about what those differences are, and add them to your ideal customer profile. Then compare any new potential customers to this ideal profile, and you’ll be less likely to reach the wrong sort of customer.
Maybe when they joined your list, they were only looking for freebies (like giveaways). Or maybe they were only interested in one product that was discontinued. Maybe they decided to take their business elsewhere because of pricing, lack of attention, or poor design of your store front.
If you’re not surveying your customers every quarter, you should start. Having hard data backing up your business decisions is the smartest way to make those decisions and it doesn’t take a lot of time on your part. And those are all things you could consider with potential customers, as well as one-time or regular customers.
Ask So You Can Grow
You’ll need a really smart survey which you can build in Google Docs, or Survey Monkey.
Make sure one section asks about demographics. Things like age, location, gender, income.
Then ask how often the purchase or plan to purchase. What made them purchase, were they satisfied, etc. Ask what you could have done to make the experience better. Ask what motivates better: discounts, sales or Exclusive access?
When you’re asking these questions, give as many options as you care to, but don’t allow them to choose more than one for each question. Many things might be important, but doing one thing extremely well is always better than doing many things mediocrely.
If you’re reading this after starting your store and you realize you don’t have any idea who your ideal customer is, then chances are your store needs a marketing plan. That’s where Shopify 120 comes in. Shopify 120 is a marketing program to help you plan out and implement your first sales quarter (four months, – 120 days). Shopify 120 introduces you to marketing concepts, but also shows you how to take those ideas and turn them into money. If you want to learn more, click here.