Buyer personas in retail

Fleur Elise Muller
Jun 19, 2019

Back in the days, before the Internet, customer-retailer relationship was different. When a customer bought something, they had to bear significant risk if a product did not meet their expectations. Nowadays, the buying process has completely changed. Retailers have to invest in customer satisfaction. Customers have a lot of information and choice at their fingertips.   They can browse through different suppliers, and can easily return products. It is important that retailers differentiate themselves from their competition and focus on their own strengths and unique selling points. Most importantly, they need to find smart ways to stay relevant and  fulfil their customers’ needs.  

Buyer Personas in retail

As retailer, you have to offer the right product to the right person, both online and offline, to create and maintain traction. For every marketing strategy, it is crucial to know what your target group is, as well as what drives and motivates them. It is important to understand how they make a decision to purchase. To better understand this, you can create Buyer Personas. Buyer personas can help you understand customers according to their emotions and behaviour.

What is a buyer persona?

A buyer persona is a semi-fictional representation of your target group, which allows you to put a face to data. A buyer persona does not represent your ideal customer, it represents the corresponding purchase behaviour of your customers. Every company has their own unique persona or multiple personas. A company usually creates around 2 or 3 primary buyer personas, based on their target groups, with each persona representing one target group.

The strongest personas are based on data, market research and your own insights. You should conduct desk research, research statistics of the communication channels, hold surveys, and interview your target group. You can also create secondary personas, which are focused on the characteristics of a particular branch or market segment. The behavior and the goals of those secondary personas are the same as of the primary personas.

How to create a Buyer Persona for your retail

To set up a good profile for your buyer persona, you should research the following components:

  • Characteristics: to understand your customer throughout
  • Scenarios: to understand the how and why of their buying decision
  • Gaps: to understand where they are now and where they want to go
  • Bridge: to understand what they need to bridge this gab
  • Goal: to understand what the customer wants to achieve

The right marketing content

Buyer personas should inspire you to produce relevant marketing content that appeals to your target group. Communication between you and your customers will be enriched by using the information of a buyer persona, because it allows you to accurately align your message with your target group. It is key to develop different buyer persona- specific content to approach your target group in an effective way.

Allocate marketing budget efficiently

Buyer personas can help you to optimize your online marketing budget. When you understand your customers’ behavior, which tells you how your customers obtain information and which goals and motives they have, you can target your customers at the right time, with the right product. This results in an increase of online traffic and repeated purchases. Besides, a buyer persona help you make better decisions when it comes to promoting content and choosing appropriate marketing channels (Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram etc).

In conclusion, buyer personas can help you understand your customers better. Buyer personas enable you to match your marketing content to your target group, which makes your marketing content more relevant to your (potential) customers. In addition, it can help you approach your customers through the right channels with the right content.

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