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Online shopper personas for e-commerce stores

Learn how to create online shopper personas with behavioral analysis. Use these ecommerce customer personas to improve messaging, targeting and buyer experiences.
9 Min Read    |   April 13, 2024

Table Of Contents

    E-commerce selling has evolved a lot over the years. Online retailers should provide next-level personalization and a superior experience when trying to woo potential customers. The biggest trump card that marketers have is customer information and the ability to gather insights from it.

    After collecting relevant customer information, the first thing that you need to do is to create personas. In this case, we can call it an e-commerce shopper persona. Personas aren’t the reflection of stray opinions but are rather insights drawn after collecting data about prospective customers from various sources. Even though you might have thousands of customers, you need to treat each of them like an individual. With the help of refined shopper personas, you might actually be able to do that.

    How do e-commerce buyer personas work?

    Buyer personas in e-commerce work the same way how other personas work too, but there are a few other considerations here. You can create your marketing personas with the help of a variety of sources. Only by considering the demographics, you can segment your customers, but it would make sense to have even more refined versions of your customers based on similarities in behavior. The more you know about them, the easier it becomes to give what they expect from you.

    Online shopper personas

    Here are some of the personas that e-commerce marketers can create using behavioral data:

    E-commerce non transaction segments and personas


    These are people who are not sure what they want and are only here to look. They are not serious about what you have to offer either. If your site takes more than 1 or 2 seconds to load, they will go to a different site. To help reduce the number of bouncers on your website, you should ensure that you are driving the right audience to your website with precise audience targeting, improve your website’s loading speed and offer visitors terrific experiences in the little time that they spend on your website.

    Passive browsers

    Getting new visitors to your website is always a happy thing. As a marketer, you would surely know that not everyone who visits is going to become a customer. For passive browsers who haven’t yet started any shopping activity, you should try and collect their contact details, using email subscription popup forms, before they leave the site so that you could nurture them with emails. This is a great way to increase the size of your email list. With targeted emails, your website should be the e-commerce destination they think of once they are ready to buy.

    Cart abandoners

    E-commerce customers are rarely loyal because there are a lot of options. Each of the vendors are scrambling for the customer’s attention. There are some potential customers who are sure about what they want, but have not really decided if they want to buy from you or a competitor of yours.

    How can you convert potential customers like them?

    Unless you are an Amazon or Walmart, people have trust issues buying from a new website. You need to show social proof of other customers who have had a delightful experience with you. Show reviews and ratings about your website on many websites. Plus, if possible, offer shipping for free. People hate paying extra for shipping.

    Make it easy to complete the checkout process. Do not ask for information that will not help them directly with completing the purchase. One more important thing that you need to include is to send cart abandonment emails.

    If a particular product is subject to availability, then tell the customers about it. For more persuasive ways, you could offer them a freebie.

    E-commerce non transaction segments and personas

    First-time buyers (Low Average Order Value)

    Your first-time customer is precious because they trust in your services and products. Now is the time for you to validate their purchase by giving them a superior after-sales service. By ensuring that you keep them happy, you will be able to get them to buy more from you. The chances of converting them from a one-time customer to a regular customer is high if your product works exactly like they wanted it to.

    Collect more information from your customers about what they want and see if you can offer them at a price that is economical for them. Your existing customers are easy to upsell and cross-sell to. Invite them to be a part of your loyalty program where you offer them incentives for referring you to more customers and offer them more perks when they purchase from you.

    First-time buyers (High Average Order Value)

    Your first-time buyer who has bought a high-ticket product is more likely to expect the moon from you. In fact, you should go out of your way to keep the customer engaged with your product. Get in touch with them at regular intervals to see if they are making maximum use of your product and ask if they are looking for any sort of assistance from you.

    While a high ticket customer doesn’t necessarily have to be someone who can be a repeat customer, this persona consists of people/businesses who can afford your offering. They are also likely to have peers who will be interested in your products too. If you give your high ticket customers the service they expect, they are more likely to recommend you to others.

    The high ticket personas are not those who are looking for discounts. They will expect priority treatment, want a more personalized offering or exclusive access to your products and services. Instead of doling out discounts to them, offer them a luxury gift if they purchase above a certain value.

    Repeat buyers

    Not every industry will have repeat purchases regularly, but if you are an online retailer selling products like cosmetics or clothing, you can get them to order from you regularly. The repeat buyer persona is someone that you need to consider because they are highly likely to be a cash cow. For repeat buyers, send them an email every time there is a promotion running. Make it easy for them to buy from you by keeping as little friction as possible. Ensure that you are at the top of their mind always so that there is no competitor who captures your customer’s interest.

    In addition to the above mentioned non-transacting and transacting segments, you can also consider personas in terms of what drives customers purchases.

    Discount chasers

    In this type of persona, the prospect is looking for a good bargain. In fact, they might purchase a product just because it is on sale. The most straightforward way to make customers of this persona to buy your product is to engage them during your promotions.

    If you want them to spend more on your business without having to offer discounts regularly, then this is what you can do: 1. Offer them discounts if they buy in bundles, 2. Offer them free shipping, 3. Add them to your loyalty scheme and tell them how they could gain more points and how they can leverage them.

    Impulse buyers

    Online shoppers of this persona do not require a lot of persuasion to buy something. They love discounts too, but that is not the only criteria for them when they are looking to buy something they want. Ensure that you send customers of this persona regular updates on the products that you are selling along with a ticker which depicts a countdown of the number of products available.

    You can easily up-sell and cross-sell to customers of this persona, especially when they checkout. Even after they make the purchase, send them product recommendations. Impulse buyers are emotionally driven when making a purchase, so it is best if you use reviews and testimonials from your previous customers to prove that you are a legit seller.

    How to guide prospective customers further along the buying process?

    After you create customer personas, the next step is to engage with them based on who they are and what they are looking for. Motivate them to purchase based on everything that you know about each of these personas. Conversion of an e-commerce store visitor doesn’t happen easily, you need to optimize it.

    Here are ten ways to increase your e-commerce conversion rate.

    Delve AI sample persona details

    #1 Use top quality images:

    The product pages are a reflection of what your brand stands for. If your product pages are filled with low quality images, the prospective customer will not think twice before moving on to your competitor. Not only should you take professional images of your products, but also ensure that you have written the product description with full details.

    #2 Test and improve your checkout process:

    If the checkout process takes up a lot of time or you end up asking a lot of questions, then you can be sure that your customers will go somewhere else. It is even worse than losing a first-time visitor who randomly sees your website because this one was ready to make a purchase. So here’s what you need to do, keep tweaking your checkout process to ensure that it is as smooth as possible.

    #3 Live chat:

    When a customer who is about to make a purchase has something to ask you, do not direct them to an email ID. They are more likely to lose interest. Instead, give them immediate solutions so that they do not have to go to a competitor. Build a line of communication directly with your customer by being available online. You can use live chat software like LiveChat, Olark, Tidio, etc.

    #4 Increase trust signals:

    You have to let your customers know that your e-commerce store is safe for them. While most people are open to paying online, you will still need to assure them that your site follows industry-standard security measures. Install SSL in your entire site. Use payment options that customers trust. Display security badges like that of McAfee, GeoTrust, etc.

    #5 Structure product categories:

    If a customer who wants to buy stationery items in your e-commerce store finds that there is no product category that is even remotely connected to what they wanted to buy, they will be frustrated and leave your site. That’s exactly why you need to identify the product categories wisely so that it is extremely easy for your customers while they are shopping.

    #6 Personalization:

    With the help of buyer personas, personalization becomes easier. On top of that, there are tools which make it easier to 1:1 personalize the visitor’s experience. These tools present customized content, offers, product recommendations, etc., based on demographic and geographic data.

    #7 Social proof:

    The number of testimonials and reviews on your website and on third-party websites is a testament to your credibility. Customers trust recommendations from people who are like them. For some customers, just seeing social proof is enough of a reason for them to trust in your brand.

    #8 Allow for guest checkout:

    One of the biggest reasons why customers abandon their carts is because they are presented with a long registration process to complete the checkout. While you might want all your customers to become repeat buyers by creating an account, it is too much to expect from a customer who might not be ready for such a commitment. They may be buying something for a friend or were just interested in one product that you sell, so they have no reason to create an account. It is best for you if you allow your customers to checkout as a guest.

    #9 Provide multiple payment options:

    There are a lot of ways for the average customer to make a payment in an e-commerce store. While you cannot cater to every possible payment option out there, make sure that you offer the ones that are most popularly used in the customer’s demographic. You should have options in place that will appeal to all of your customers, even though not all options will be in terms of cost. You do not want to lose out on a customer because of lack of payment options.

    #10 Retargeting campaigns:

    Retarget people who have visited your website and remind them about the products that they were interested in. Show them tailored ads so that you can get them closer to the checkout page. Retargeting keeps your brand and product in front of the customer’s mind. It is one of the best strategies out there to increase your conversion rates.

    Create e-commerce personas automatically with Delve AI

    Live Persona by Delve AI is a persona generator tool that creates data-driven personas automatically from your website’s Google Analytics data. You can try it for free and results are usually available in minutes.

    If you have enabled e-commerce or enhanced e-commerce tracking in Google Analytics, irrespective of the ecommerce platform that your online retail store uses such as Shopify, BigCommerce, Magento or WooCommerce, Live Persona tool can use the aggregated and anonymized analytics data from Google Analytics to:

    • enrich data for deeper user context,
    • add industry specific insights,
    • segment users automatically based on their behavior, and
    • abstract personas for each segment, leveraging advances in machine learning.

    No more time-consuming manual analysis! Gain clarity on your best-performing segment, refine your customer experiences and get targeting ideas from your most valuable segment to grow your business.

    Further, even though online shopper personas keep evolving based on market conditions and changing consumer behaviors, Live Persona tool automatically updates and keeps them accurate and relevant over time.

    Delve AI sample persona details
    Delve AI sample persona details
    Delve AI sample persona details


    Creating e-commerce shopper personas isn’t the end of your work. There is a lot more that requires to be done. Behavioral personas can not only help improve marketing communication/content/promotions and targeting, but also help deliver delightful customer experiences. Share your buyer personas with your team and leverage the information to get more sales and happier customers. Please keep in mind that buyer personas keep evolving based on market conditions and customer’s demands and hence need to be kept updated over time.

    Using persona generator tools, you can leverage advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning to generate data-driven e-commerce buyer personas automatically with ease. Making use of such resources not only helps you save time and money but also gives unique ideas to expand your business.

    Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

    What is an eCommerce persona?

    E-commerce personas, or online shopper personas, are semi-fictional representations of your online customers and display their goals, pain points, hobbies, interests, motivations, frustrations, personality traits, and more.

    Created using different data sources, like website analytics, social media, CRM, and competitor data, they help you identify your best-performing customer segments, customize marketing campaigns, and enhance the e-commerce experience.

    What are the different types of ecommerce personas?

    There are quite a few types of e-commerce personas that marketers can create using customer data, like bouncers, passive browsers, cart abandoners, first-time buyers (low AOV), first-time buyers (high AOV), repeat buyers, discount chasers, and impulse buyers.

    How do I create a buyer persona for ecommerce?

    It's hard to create personas manually. However, you can follow these steps to develop buyer personas for e-commerce:

    1. Gather qualitative and quantitative customer data
    2. Identify consumer pain points and challenges
    3. Set your marketing goals, objectives, and KPIs
    4. Draft buyer personas
    5. Test, update, and refine personas periodically

    For an easy and accurate persona development process, you can try Persona by Delve AI to automatically create online shopper personas for your business.

    Create online shopper personas using Persona by Delve AI
    Compare buyer segments with non-transacting user segments

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