When your marketing is aimed at everyone, your message gets watered down and results suffer. Creating eCommerce buyer personas is a smart way to move beyond a one-size-fits all approach.

In this blog post, we explore nine personas businesses can use to improve their marketing. These are based on how customers behave at each stage in the customer journey.

How do eCommerce buyer personas work?

Buyer personas are fictional biographies that help you segment your audience. This allows you to tailor your marketing for each segment, increase engagement, and drive conversions.

They can be created in a number of different ways. Some marketers use demographic data, others try to analyse mind-set. Marketers in eCommerce normally use online behaviour data to build personas.

Behavioural-based personas help marketers target promotions, communications and content to different stages of the customer journey.

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So, what personas can eCommerce marketers create based on behavioural data? And which tactics work best to convert each persona? Here are nine examples to get you started:

1. Browsers

Attracting new visitors to browse your website is a great feeling. But this is just the beginning. Now, it’s your job to encourage them to make a purchase.

Some people might not be ready to purchase the first time they visit your site, so capturing their email is a great way to ensure an anonymous browser doesn’t just slip away.

So, how do you persuade the browser to part with their details? Subscription popovers should be your first port of call.


Subscription popovers are email sign-up forms that appear when someone is browsing a website. Reported to increase subscriptions by up to 300 percent, subscription popovers are a great way to grow your email list.

Unlike popups (those annoying adverts that ‘pop up’ and get in the way of what you’re reading) popovers are unobtrusive.

A good popover should be on brand, explain the benefits of signing up for emails, and have a snappy call to action.

2. New subscriber

The new subscriber persona are folks who got tempted by your promise of unmissable emails. (Nice work.)

Don’t forget there’s a difference between interest in your emails and intent to buy. Be prepared to work hard to nurture this intent. You may need to use multiple tactics to convert subscribers to customers.

A welcome email campaign is your chance to impress. Create a welcome series that introduces your brand in bite-sized chunks. Show them what’s unique about your brand, what products you offer, and all the ways they can engage with you.

If your welcome campaign doesn’t result in a flurry of sales, try other tactics on those who need more convincing.

Send subscribers a discount coupon to use on their first purchase. Use a countdown timer with this to create a sense of urgency.

Give them 24 hours to buy before they miss out. This should get them back to browsing your site. But don’t be perturbed if they leave without putting anything in their basket.

Send a browse abandonment email with a further discount on the product they were browsing to seal the deal.

3. Hesitant buyer

Customers are a fickle bunch, especially online. Over 69 percent of eCommerce customers abandon their baskets.

How do you market to these hesitant buyers who got cold feet before completing their purchase? There are a few tactics you can use to convert the hesitant buyer persona.

First up, give them reasons not to abandon their basket. Use social proof to show how many others have browsed or bought that product. Display ratings and reviews to persuade them further.

Make it clear how much shipping is so this is not a shock. Or even better, offer it for free. Offer one-click purchasing, or a guest login so they don’t have to sign up to buy.

These are all ways to unblock conversion. But some people are tough cookies to convert or simply get distracted. These guys may still abandon their baskets.

Cart abandonment email automation example
Cart abandonment emails are your best chance to convert them. Showing that stock is limited, offering a discount, or suggesting similar alternative products are persuasive elements you could include.

4. First-time buyer

Our fourth eCommerce persona is the first-time buyer. These are the folk who just made a purchase. Your aim is to get them back from more.

If you can convince someone to buy from you a second time, research suggests they are nine times more likely to become long-term repeat customers.

One way to tempt these guys back to buy is buy upselling and cross-selling. Send them automated emails with personalised product recommendations based on their first purchase.

Another way to convert them to become a long-term customer is through your loyalty scheme. Send them an email selling the benefits of your scheme and encourage them to join.

Loyalty schemes create a community around your brand. Inviting people to join builds rapport and first-time buyers them feel like they’re now a part of something. Once they join, it makes sense for them to keep buying from you take advantage of loyalty perks.

5. Repeat purchaser

If you sell consumable products like protein powder or make-up, repeat purchaser are a persona you need to know about. This persona is your new best friend. (And your ticket to increasing customer lifetime value.)


Send repeat purchasers replenishment emails when their product is about to run out. This makes it easy and convenient for them to buy from you again.

What’s more, getting in front of them again at the right time decreases the chance they’ll be tempted to buy from a competitor.

6. VIPs

The VIP persona is for those wonderful people who spent a lot with you, frequently. It’s important to learn how to treat these guys right.

Unlike other personas, you want to avoid offering VIPs discounts. Doing so will just cannibalise your revenue. VIPs have money to spend. Give them reasons to spend it.

This persona enjoys being made to feel special. Offer them early access to sales, first views of new product lines, or exclusive access to limited editions.

While they aren’t discount-led, VIPs still need the occasional deal-sweetener. Offer them a luxury free gift if they checkout over a certain value. Be sure to set the bar high.

Your VIPs are also a persona that you can use to build your customer base. Offer them perks if they refer a friend and ask them for reviews. In this way, your VIPs become your brand ambassadors.

7. Impulse buyers

Our seventh persona is the impulse buyer. These are those impulsive people who make snap decisions in response to marketing.

They love to jump on discounts before they miss out and they never miss a sale. Keep drip-feeding them these opportunities. Rather than counting down to the end of the sale, send impulse buyers a countdown to the start of one.

Cross-sell and upsell to them when they checkout. They won’t be able to resist an offer to “completing the look”. Send them post-purchase emails with product recommendations too.

Use social proof and stock counts alongside products for these guys too. Impulse buying is an emotional response and the fear of missing out is something impulse buyers feel strongly.

8. Discount chaser

Discount chasers. Bargain hunters. Sale revelers. These guys simple love getting a good deal. So much so, sale time is pretty much the only time they purchase.

The obvious way to market to this persona is to make them aware of sales. But is there a way to encourage them to buy all year round? There is if you’re clever.

To cater to discount chasers when you haven’t got a sale on, find other ways to respond to their price sensitivity. Offer discounts when they buy a bundle of products. Give them free shipping. Promote your loyalty scheme to them and show them how they can redeem points.

9. Lapsed customers

Our ninth eCommerce persona is lapsed customers. These are sleeping subscribers who have stopped interacting with your emails and haven’t bought in yonks.

Send re-engagement campaigns that remind them why your brand rocks. Tempt them back to buy by showing them what they’re missing. Offer them discounts to entice them. Show them how many people are enjoying your products so they wonder why they aren’t.


Now you have nine eCommerce personas to tailor your marketing to. We suggest you prioritise them according your company objectives and the nature of your products.

Personalisation technology is key to scaling behaviour-driven marketing in eCommerce. If you want to see our personalisation platform in action, say hello to the button below.

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