Types of Internet Shoppers and How to Make Them Your Customers

More people than ever are shopping online and eCommerce is certainly a field many companies can benefit from getting involved with, no matter what product they sell. However, before you call in the web designers and start creating your website you need to recognize that not all internet shoppers are created alike and in order to be successful your eCommerce site needs to meet the needs of all of them.

Internet shoppers can be broken down into several different "types" and there are different ways to turn each of them into regular, loyal customers who will keep coming back to your site, credit card in hand.

The Net Newbie—Despite its increase in popularity, there are still plenty of people who are new to the idea of shopping online. They may be thinking of just using the Internet to research a purchase rather than actually taking the plunge and buying online.

What you need to give them: an easy to navigate site with a lot of product information and pictures. The checkout procedure should be as simple as possible and you should have an easy and preferably immediate way for these customers to contact you and have their questions or concerns addressed without delay.

The Scaredy Cat Shopper—They like the idea of buying online rather than taking a trip to the store, they really do, but they are worried about security and privacy issues.

What you need to give them: very clearly stated security and privacy policies and instant online customer support to quell their concerns. These shoppers have quite possibly read all those articles that offer tips to online shoppers so will have been warned many times that doing business with a site that is difficult to contact or track down is a no-no.

The Bargain Hunter—The bargain hunter is not one for brand loyalty and has likely mastered any number of online tools to help them find the best possible price on what they are looking for. The keenest bargain shoppers are willing to spend hours surfing around the net to save money.

What you need to give them: you have to convince these shoppers that they have indeed found the best deal and that there is no need for them to continue their search any longer. Posting sale prices prominently or offering special "one day only" deals are effective ways to capture these customers.

The Surgical Shopper—The surgical shopper goes online knowing exactly what they need to buy and purchases only that item. They will purchase, but only when they are sure that they have found what they are looking for.

What you need to give them: information. Product specifications, product reviews, product pictures. The surgical shopper needs to be assured that they have indeed found exactly what they were seeking.

The Recreational Shopper—these are the customers that every website wants to capture and turn into regulars. These people shop for fun without any specific product in mind. Some people go to sites like Amazon and eBay each and every day, just to see what they might be able to find.

What you need to give them: these shoppers are fun loving people and a boring looking site will probably have them clicking away quickly. Offer them lots of pictures and product descriptions as well as customer reviews.