What’s Your Type? Bolster Your Website’s Experience With a Shopper Spectrum

By Allison Sall
August 15, 2022

The design of your website works in various ways to connect with customers, from your messaging to product positioning and to features. But not every customer comes to you with the same motivations, values, or needs. As a result, making a connection with everyone is tricky. To succeed, you must address different customers’ needs at the right time and touchpoints. Simple, right?

Fortunately, it is, especially when you utilize a shopper spectrum to understand your customers better. The shopper spectrum is an effective starting place to use in tandem with customer research. When you are ready, you can conduct customer research to refine your product and give deeper details of what matters to your customers.

Like the results of a personality test, a shopper spectrum groups common motivations and needs of five types of buyers. You can use the shopper spectrum to give you the insights to design a user experience that connects with each type of buyer where they are.

Apply Shopper Types Like Shades of Sunglasses to View Your Website

Like trying different colored hues of sunglasses, each shopper spectrum helps uniquely illuminate how different customers evaluate and experience your website. 

To see where your website has gaps or opportunities, “try on” each pair and go through your website. Make notes on where your messaging, positioning or features get lost in translation for each customer type.

Along with your notes, double-check your assumptions about what customers want and need from your product. Consider if you’re explaining your product well enough and whether or not you could make a more compelling pitch.

For example, a simplified product description might help a fresh buyer understand what you’re selling. On the other hand, a refined and targeted message or video may hook a driven customer who is seeking that solution.

The modifications you make don’t have to be huge to make a difference. Even the most minor changes in words or imagery can help your customers understand who you are, what you’re selling, and whether it meets their needs.

Feeding the Five Types of Customers on the Shopper Spectrum

While each shopper type is distinct, that doesn’t mean customers fall squarely into one bin. Instead, they may blend into a couple of different categories, hence the spectrum. And that’s a good thing because it means you can address multiple needs and desires at the same time.

Consider the five different kinds of shoppers. Where do you see opportunities to give each one a little TLC?

1. The Fresh Shopper

These shoppers don’t know what they don’t know. They are not as familiar with your product and possibly the whole category. They have likely discovered you through a Google search or ad on Instagram.

This shopper has little to no knowledge about your brand, product, or service, and they need an overview. Make sure you explain who you are and what you’re selling simply.

  • Clarify what you offer, so they understand your product in just a few seconds. This means striking a balance between being descriptive, compelling, and concise. Visually demonstrating your product or service is an excellent way to do this, but it shouldn’t take the place of effective messaging.
  • Break down the value of your product, giving them commitment-free ways to explore and understand what you offer. Don’t scare them away by asking for an email address right off the bat; allow them to explore your product and it’s exciting possibilities. 

2. The Impulse Shopper

This customer buys on emotion. If they see something they want, they’re off to buy it like it’s midnight on Black Friday. So, making this customer feel good and confident in their purchase is essential. You want to turn them into an intentional shopper when they return next time.

  • Reinforce the value of their purchase throughout the flow and into the checkout. Highlight the most significant reasons your product or service brings value or offers a better way of doing things in a way your customer may not have experienced before. You can conduct research to refine and further target what your customers value. 
  • Use social proof to further make them feel good about buying from you. Multiple five-star reviews, a collection of viral TikToks, or testimonials can do wonders in building confidence and trust in an impulse shopper’s purchase.
  • Make the path to conversion smooth, by offering different ways to pay, including Apple Pay or Buy Now Pay Later options. Are there any other sources of friction they may encounter? Could the purchase CTAs be on the PDP or PLP to provide a faster path to conversion?

3. The Comparison Shopper

This shopper does their due diligence. They are constantly looking around to see how your product compares to other products available.

They measure you against competitors for features, price, and convenience. So, what are the reasons that they might pick you over your competitor?

Even if your product might not have an existing or relevant competitor, how do you convince them that what you offer is something they need to add to their life?

  • Emphasize your differentiator. Reinforce how your product is of higher quality, is more effective, or does more social good than your competitors.
  • Eliminate distractions where possible. You want comparison shoppers to stay on your site as long as possible without bouncing to see what else is out there.
  • Create a comparison chart to highlight your product’s benefits and how they compare to the competition. This visual representation can help spell out your differentiator and value more persuasively for someone considering many factors.

4. The Solution-Driven Shopper

This customer has a specific need and wants to trust that your product or service will solve it. Unlike your fresh shopper, this one knows exactly what they are looking for — and they aren’t interested in an upsell.

Also, in contrast to your fresh shopper, this customer is familiar with the solutions available to alleviate their problem. They’ve done their research, which typically means their conversion rate will be higher. But only if you offer speed, an organized experience, and quality customer service.

  • Offer targeted search and filter capabilities to help them quickly find what they want. They’ll bail if they can’t quickly narrow down the many factors to see the available options.  
  • Create a clear path to purchase that prioritizes speed. Much like your impulse shopper, this customer appreciates convenience. Making for a smooth checkout process only enhances their overall experience.
  • Provide excellent customer service to solidify their experience. If the rest of their needs are supported, and they’ve formed a relationship with your brand, they’re likely to become loyalists.

5. The Loyalist Shopper

The loyalist is someone who’s already converted and is coming back as your biggest fan. They’re an avid shopper — and the most important to please because they can be your biggest referrers.  

Look for ways to make them feel valued and heard. And give them opportunities for deeper connections with your brand.

  • Provide a platform for sharing and referrals. Don’t underestimate the power of word-of-mouth marketing, especially from brand loyalists who aren’t afraid to share what they think. 
  • Create ways for them to connect and reward them through loyalty programs. Offer first access to exclusive content or members-only advantages. Find ways to engage with them through social channels. 
  • Be responsive to their requests and feedback. These customers want to see you succeed, so take their thoughts seriously. Not only will they give you good insight, but you’ll also build trust by showing them you value their opinion. 

Whether you’re looking to retain your loyal shoppers or give your fresh shoppers a better experience, looking to the shopper spectrum can spark new ideas that serve everyone.