How to determine the target audience of e-commerce: Features of segmentation and analysis

marketing strategy

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Advertising has long been considered an engine of trade, but each engine needs direction. And it is the definition of the target audience (TA) that will help you choose the right direction in advertising and further development of the online store. This is necessary for owners of trading platforms on the Internet at different levels to improve the effectiveness of advertising and reduce the road to potential consumers.

What is the target audience

The target audience (or target group) is the group of people who are most likely to be interested in an offer and order a particular product or service.

The main value of the target audience in marketing is that members of the selected group are very likely to want to buy a particular product. Therefore, the marketer forms an advertisement taking into account the taste preferences or peculiarities of this group, which significantly increases the effectiveness of the advertising campaign.

And if you think that the target audience of your store “women and men 25-35 years old, with the high income”, then proceed to the next item. Such a summary of information will not give positive results!

Why do you need to know your target audience in person?

There are several reasons for that:

  • Building the most successful advertising campaign (SMM, banner, contextual, mailing lists);
  • formation of optimal assortment for a particular Central Asian region;
  • communication with clients, holding actions, sales and other campaigns aimed at attracting new customers;
  • reduction of time for store development and promotion;
  • selecting new products, creating unique products that will be of interest to a specific audience.

Target audience structure

Good and bad target audience:

When choosing an online store’s TA, owners often make one mistake: choosing a wide target audience. It seems to cover all potential customers, but does not contribute to the payback of advertising and business promotion.

Wide TA implies that the product being sold may be of interest not only to a representative of a particular audience but also to another group that is reputable in the choice of goods. For example, toys are chosen by children, but parents buy the goods, a woman will choose cosmetics herself, but for a gift may be bought by a man.

Usually, the wide target audience of the marketer divides into several segments to meet the requirements of customers from different target groups.

According to eCommerce analytics, All groups require special advertising, promotions and other offers. But representatives of these groups who are interested in different advertising, still find themselves on the same bus.

Market segmentation process

How to determine the target audience of the site

To determine the audience of the site should follow the list consisting of the following items:

  • basic characteristics (gender, age, geography);
  • interests that you can learn about by searching on social networks and target communities;
  • the solvency of potential customers. If you sell VIP-tours to exotic countries, then in most cases, in your TA can not include students, moms on maternity leave, state employees and so on;
  • tasks. It’s simple here, ask a question about what problems your product will solve? The answer to this question will help to clarify the situation. The larger the list, the more TA is, but there are special methods and auxiliary criteria for determining TA, let’s consider them.

B2B and B2C in TA construction

Can the TA of one online store belong to b2b and b2c types at the same time? Of course, because the cosmetics store can sell products to private customers and beauty salons.

If your end consumers are only of b2b type, it will be easier for you. The fact is that the b2b segment is more stable, of course, excluding periods of crisis. But type b2c cannot boast of stability, because the market of goods is annually filled with modern technologies, new developments, improved formulas of cosmetics, which leads to sharp fluctuations in demand.

Therefore, marketers who develop a campaign for the b2c sector need to monitor the market almost every month, noticing the slightest changes. When choosing buyers for b2c, you should keep in mind the main mistake – it is a wide TA. In order to avoid errors, segmenting must be done.

Mark Sherrington’s 5W Methodology

To determine TA, it is necessary to segment the market using 5 key issues (5W Sherrington):

What? – type of product.

Who? – type of consumer.

Why? – purchase motivation.

When? – When customers want to shop.

Where? – The place of purchase.

5W Methodology

As we can see, the results obtained will be the final touch in the market segmentation process, helping to identify TA. With this technique, you can create effective advertising and presentation for your product by looking back at the needs, demands, and lifestyle of the audience.

Target audience portrait

Portrait of TA is an exact characteristic of a bright representative of a certain TA. That is it is an imaginary person to whom marketers invent a name, age, hobby and so on. Sometimes they even choose a photo. Naturally, all the characteristics of this person are taken from the audience to which he belongs.

To make a portrait of the target audience, the following scheme is used:

  • Social characteristics, which include gender, age, family status, income, profession.
  • Data on pastime (forums, thematic sites, online stores, social resources).
  • What problems will help a potential buyer to solve your product?
  • What are the feelings of a potential buyer that will cause your product? Will it provide beauty, tucked-up body, rest or something else?
  • Why should a customer buy your product and not follow the competitors’ link?
  • Creating a portrait of TA will help you find common ground with your target audience. The purpose of the portrait is to give the person and character to the data you receive. After all, working with impersonal statistics is not so effective.

Let’s sum it up.

At any stage of the development of the online store, it is advisable to put the search for the target audience one of the items in the list of first-priority cases. A blurred or inaccurately made portrait of TA leads to the fact that you simply will not find buyers for your goods.


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