Sometimes it is difficult to walk around a mall or public area because of all the people wandering around almost aimlessly with thier faces glued to a smartphone. Almost half of all Americans have smartphones, with many reports confirming that the worldwide average is about double that, bringing the total number of mobile device users to around 6 billion.
With consumer focus shifting from traditional sales to electronic sales, it is easy to think that many new tactics should be employed. The traditional sales and marketing techniques still apply, though. The same types of people are using their purchasing power through electronic channels that were buying things the old-fashioned way before smart phones came along. It is important to remember these five types of customers in any online marketing strategy.
These customers leave their homes for specific items or services, with no intention of spending money on anything besides the thing they are out to get. Customers like this are often habitual in nature, shopping the same brand or location out of convenience. Keeping these people in their groove is considerably easier than actively trying to change them to new habits, but keep in mind that a significant negative experience can easily be enough to sway them from your product. Purchases made by this type of customer may not be frequent, but they make up a significant portion of the market and attention should be given appropriately. (Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/hades)
Discount customers are habitual in nature like need-based customers, but they are definitely not driven by location- or convenience-based habits. Commonly known as coupon clippers and discount divas, these types of spenders will scout out the largest markdowns and most significant sales regardless of the location or loyalty.
Many shoppers have impulsive tendencies in them, which is why impulse items placed in high traffic and high visibility areas have been traditionally successful. These tactics should definitely be used in electronic campaigns as well, but keep in mind that some customers are exclusively impulsive, and need special treatment. Purely impulsive buyers are not usually looking for anything specifically, but like finding items of value in an almost random way. For these customers, a complete and accurate list of all products and merchandise should be readily available.
This type of customer is the least valuable in terms of purchase power. They are either unsure of what to buy or are not even intending to buy anything at all. These people are in the shopping experience for just that, the experience of shopping. Developing these people to have an interest in your product is the first step in winning their business. Starting with giving them a sense of relationship or community is key to getting their ever-so-important interest.
Loyal customers make up only 20 percent of the customer base, but they contribute over half of the income from sales. Obviously, this is the category to shape all customers into. Every other kind of customer is a potential loyal customer, and should be treated as such. Maintaining high quality and consistent exceptional treatment of all clients will engender loyalty; giving people a pleasant experience when they visit – whether online or in person – will make them feel good about your business or brand and encourage them to visit again. (Photo from http://www.flickr.com/photos/verticalpharmacy)
Customers have driven the financial stability and growth of traditional business for decades. Electronic commerce is no different and marketing principles should not change just because the medium of sales has. Keep to the basics and satisfying the fundamental component of your business, the customer, will be a piece of cake.
Jeff Jacobsen is a freelance writer and editor who specializes in lead management software with an enthusiasm for sales techniques.