The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increase in the popularity of online shopping. A recent survey revealed that the pandemic has changed the way people shop and purchase products and services. The survey shows online purchases have increased by 6 to 10 percent across most product categories.
But even before the pandemic, many customers have been doing online shopping. As of 2021, there were 900 million more digital buyers compared to 2020, a 4.4 percent year-over-year increase. The biggest advantage of online shopping is convenience as people can buy products from their devices anytime anywhere.
As an online retailer, your objective is to generate revenue and make the most out of e-commerce. To get the most out of your online store, you need to know the different types of online shoppers so you can offer them the right products or services.
Types of E-commerce Customers
- Bargain Hunter
- The Window Shoppers
- Impulsive Buyers
- Indecisive Buyers
- The Researcher
- Product Focused
- One-Time Shoppers
- Mobile Shoppers
- Anxious Tracker
- The Loyal Customer
Types of E-Commerce Customers
As an online retailer, you need to be aware that each e-commerce shopper is unique. The shopping behavior of a customer may be different from another. Have you ever found yourself thinking that “any customer is better than no customer?” Knowing the type of customer buying products on your online store will help you deliver the best customer experience.
1. Bargain Hunters
These customers come to your website looking for flash sales offers, deals, discounts, and others. They find thrill in purchasing products at a discounted price and can be convinced to buy more products if they get a good deal. Bargain hunters are focused on the value they will save. They shop around searching multiple websites in search of the best price.
A whopping 67% of customers are bargain hunters. They do not have loyalty to the brands they choose to make purchases with. In order to attract bargain hunters, you should focus on highlighting how much they will save on a particular deal. As a retailer, you should get bargain hunters interested by offering a compelling value proposition that communicates the benefits and worth of your products.
Generate a sale by offering coupons, flash sales, or other exclusive website promotions. With bargain hunters, your objective is to turn them into repeat customers. You can do this by showing them the benefits of your products. By doing this you shift the focus from what you do compared to your competitors and emphasize what makes your product stand out.
2. The Window Shoppers
Window shoppers have no idea what they want to buy but want to make purchases quickly. They explore a lot, visit multiple websites, compare prices and details, and try out products before deciding to purchase. Window shoppers like to add products to their cart but do not have an intention to buy them. Although they can generate traffic on your site, they will spend the least amount of money on your store.
Window shoppers want to see what’s new, what’s popular, and what’s on sale. They are only interested in the latest items, latest deals, and what other people are buying. They may visit your site on a regular basis but not to see the same information they saw the week before but what has changed. These types of customers are costly to acquire without any benefit for you.
While you would not waste your time trying to attract window shoppers to your store, there are things you can do to increase the likelihood of purchase. Window shoppers are looking for convenience so remove any obstacle in your checkout process. Slow load times, too many steps, and onerous forms can turn window shoppers off and force them to jump ship.
3. Impulsive Buyers
As the name implies, impulsive buyers will buy something online because they came across an item that they wanted or got attracted to. These types of e-commerce customers are known for their unpredictable and spontaneous behavior. They don’t do any advanced research and purchase an item on a whim or for non-material reasons.
Impulsive buyers are receptive to recommendations and are always looking for their next exciting purchase. They are easy to upsell and make unplanned purchases based on items that are currently appealing to them. According to a recent survey, 73 percent of customers made spontaneous purchases in 2022 compared to 59 percent who had the same sentiment the previous year. In addition, impulse shoppers spent an average of $314 a month in 2022 compared to $276 and $183 in 2021 and 2020, respectively.
The most effective way of attracting them is by keeping them informed. Find a way to always keep them in the loop. Encourage them to subscribe to your newsletter. Because they shop when they like without second thoughts, show them what’s new in the store and make them feel that they will be out of the race if they don’t own it.
4. Indecisive Buyers
This happens when you are laying down several options for the customer. Choosing a product to buy becomes difficult when hundreds of products start to appear in various stores. Indecisive buyers need to be guided to reach a decision. As an online retailer, you can help indecisive buyers decide what they want.
You can beef up your online store with chat support or in-store assistance to help them choose the right product. Also, you can add a product custom field with the product description. Fields with related questions can help you better understand the needs of the buyer. Ask the customer about what is keeping them from buying and ask them to be completely honest.
Converting indecisive buyers can lead to frustration but there has to be a cause for their indecision. Is there a lack of information or value? Offer them a flexible return policy. Indecisive buyers will be encouraged if they know that the product they will purchase can be returned.
5. The Researcher
Researchers are goal-driven. They have a plan to purchase which may happen today, tomorrow, in the coming weeks, or in the following months. These types of ecommerce customers collect information about products and prices. They may be in the process of learning about new product types or may already be well educated about the products they are researching.
These customers may visit several websites to gather information before making a purchase commitment. They like to take time to learn about your products and their potential benefits. Trust building is important when dealing with researchers. If they see that your product offers detailed product descriptions, excellent support, and clear navigation, they are more likely to buy from your site.
As a shop owner, your goal is to convert researchers into buyers. You could leverage reviews, testimonials, and case studies. Also, you will want to communicate how your products will deliver on their brand promise. Moreover, you need to explain how your products can add value to your shoppers’ lives. Make yourself a knowledgeable and trustworthy source of information and products.
6. Product Focused
Product-focused shoppers know exactly what they want. They want to replace items they already have. They have done previous research and have selected an item they want. They have visited showrooms, and researched items in stores but will still buy online. These shoppers are goal-oriented. They know what they need and want the online store to give it to them quickly.
Unlike the browsers, product-focused shoppers only want to locate the product, confirm it’s the right one, and buy it. They don’t even look at the product descriptions anymore. They just quickly look at the name and picture for confirmation that it is the right product they want. To attract these customers, speed is the key. They may not be in a hurry but will not linger around and spend quality time on your website. He would not let any distractions stop them from buying what he wants.
For product-focused shoppers, you need to offer them a streamlined checkout process to get them in and out as quickly as possible. Provide them with a clear identification of each product using descriptive names and clear product images. Moreover, you should give them easy access to previously purchased items for simple reorder.
7. One-Time Shoppers
One-time shoppers can be any one of the previous types of ecommerce buyers mentioned above. More often than not, they are gift-card recipients, gift-card buyers, or gift buyers. They are also goal-oriented to claim gift items they are interested in. They do not have further intentions to visit your website after the initial purchase.
One-time shoppers are not familiar with your website or the products you carry. However, they need clear site navigation to get their product of interest as well as your inventory and product selection. Since they would be sharing their personal and financial information, providing them your company information can help them trust an unfamiliar store like yours.
To convert one-time shoppers, ensure that you have a simple site registration. One complaint of one-time shoppers is the laborious registration and checkout process. They find required registration annoying because they are doubtful if they would return to a website and did not want to create an account.
8. Mobile Shoppers
Mobile shopping is continuously on the rise and there is no indication that it will end very soon. In the US alone, the amount of time spent by consumers on their mobile devices has increased from 188 minutes in 2016 to 234 minutes in 2021, marking a 24.5 percent increase in a span of five years. In addition, smartphones have become the driving force behind the growth of mobile shopping as sales are poised to increase from $128.4 billion in 2019 to $553.28 billion through 2024.
Mobile shoppers expect a convenient buying process and distraction-free path to purchase. 3 out of 4 consumers carry out purchases on their mobile devices because it saves them time. As such, you need to deliver excellent mobile shopping experiences for your customers. Statistics show that 40 percent of shoppers will go to the competitor after a bad mobile experience.
On top of a mobile responsive website, you should also leverage local pickup options like click and collect to ensure convenience and instant gratification. The two most common concerns hindering mobile shoppers are pages and links that are too small to click on and security issues. Also consumers are looking for more product reviews and information.
9. Anxious Tracker
Anxious trackers can be every online store’s nightmare. These shoppers tend to make certain outrageous demands like expediting shipments. For example, asking an order that is scheduled for delivery in 4-5 days to be delivered one day instead. Another example of outrageous demand is the preference for a certain courier or logistics company.
Anxious trackers have the tendency to keep clicking the “Shipment Tracker” every hour to check on their delivery status. They also keep on calling the platform, the marketer, and the logistics company every few hours to ask when their order can be delivered. If the delivery period is between 3-4 days, they get triggered from the 1st hour of the 3rd day onwards.
However, anxious trackers are the ones who push their entire system to be more efficient and faster. They help ensure that there will be no lapses that will happen at multiple points of an order management system. Any delays will put a lot of firefighting efforts to track the delivery of a certain order.
10. The Loyal Customer
Just because they are last on this list does not mean that they are the least important. It’s quite the opposite because behind repeat purchases and brand success and longevity are the loyal customers. They may be bargain hunters or impulsive buyers but they will always be loyal to your online store.
These types of customers are deeply familiar with your products to the point that they become brand ambassadors. Loyal customers are after the experience. They are not looking for items based on price or features but will buy because you make them feel elite. These types of customers will make them feel like they are part of something not just like ordinary customers.
Be sure to provide them with an engaging user experience. Offering customer loyalty programs will help ensure that they will come back to your online store. You could offer perks like special discounts, free products, or invites to exclusive events.
Knowing these types of e-commerce customers will help you devise the perfect strategy for attracting and converting them to purchase your products and services.
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