Shopify 101: Figuring Out Your Target Audience
Table of Contents:
- Find Your Niche
- How Old Spice Found Its Target Audience
- Shoppers vs. Consumers
- Using Google Keyword Planner
The biggest mistake you can make as a rookie Shopify owner is casting a wide net. It’s simply impossible to run a one-stop-shop; if you do, you’ll spread yourself too thin attempting to please people who just aren’t interested.
Remember – you’re a store, not an outlet.
Find Your Niche
Rather than follow a one-size-fits-all approach, we recommend shifting your branding, design, and marketing to attract a small group of people. Imagine your ideal shopper: Visualize their age, gender, relationship status, occupation, average income, likes and dislikes; and build your Shopify store around them.
Your brand’s ultimate goal is to build empathy with a small niche of customers, and the only way to do that is by studying and understanding them. Figure out what they like to buy, and learn how they search for those items. The more specific your target audience, the better your research will be; the better your research, the more likely you will complete sales.
Think of it like this: Your customers are heroes, and their lives are rife with monsters. Your products should be the exact tools they need to slay those monsters.
But don’t take our word for it. Here’s how audience-focused marketing revolutionized one of the biggest brands in the world.
How Old Spice Found Its Target Audience
For years, Old Spice had been the scent for budget-conscious men. But by the mid-00s, their ‘it worked for grandpa’ message had grown stale; competitors like Unilever’s AXE had begun to capitalize on their target demographic (twenty-something males) with sexy TV ads like this one.
Old Spice needed to freshen up.
Enter Craig Allen and Eric Kallman (Wieden + Kennedy), the creative minds behind Skittles’ infamous “Touch” campaign. Rather than write ads for men, they started targeting women – specifically the women who bought men’s groceries.
Their first big hit was the 2009 Super Bowl ad, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like.” Rather than rehash tired cliches like clueless men and bikini-clad women; they flipped the formula on its head and took a more female-friendly approach.
“Hello, ladies,” says a shirtless, Fabio-like Isaiah Mustafa. “Look at your man, now back at me. Does he look like me? No, but he could smell like me if he stopped using lady-scented body wash.”
The message: women deserve better men. And while Old Spice body wash can’t make their men better, it can at least make them smell better.
The ad quickly become one of the top trending videos on YouTube and inspired hundreds of spin-offs and copycats. Demand for more became so intense, Wieden + Kennedy quickly followed with “The Response Campaign,” where a shirtless Mustafa replied to Twitter questions in real time.
But sharp wit and half-naked celebrities aren’t enough to move product. Beneath all that creativity, “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” works because it targets the people who actually buy groceries: women.
As recently as 2015, women have been the primary shoppers in Australian families. 62% of all Australian grocery shoppers are women, and 91% of all household groceries are bought by women (Source). Which means that sexually aggressive, male-centric grocery ads like AXE commercials are not only missing their shoppers; they’re cutting them out.
By re-evaluating and adjusting their target audience, Old Spice was able to dominate the worldwide body wash market. In 2010, sales rose by 11%, with a 55% spike in the second quarter. And Liquid Body Wash sales rose almost 15% over 6 months, from $129.9 million in February to $148.6 million in July (Source).
Keep in mind, the product itself was nothing special. It was just body wash. Old Spice’s success stemmed solely from one commercial with an offbeat approach to audience targeting.
Shoppers Vs. Consumers
Understanding your target audience is key to retail success. And knowing the difference between your ideal shopper and consumer is crucial. So let’s take a moment to visualize your ideal shopper.
On a sheet of paper, answer the following:
- Who are they? (age, gender, occupation, etc.)
- How might they differ from your ideal consumer?
- What is their relationship to your ideal consumer?
Once you get an idea of who your ideal shopper might be, try this:
- Pretend to be your target audience
- Open up an Incognito tab in your browser
- Google your products
Take notes on the top three search results. Pay close attention to buzzwords, phrases, and calls to action. How does their content make you feel?
Using Google Keyword Planner
Still having a hard time visualizing your target shopper? Don’t sweat it. Google’s Keyword Planner is another great way to gauge your audience. If you have access to Google Ads, try plugging some of your products or search terms into the Keyword Planner. The results will give you an idea how often people search for your product, which devices they are most likely to use, and who your target demographic might be.
Remember, fine-tuning your target audience is the first step to creating a successful brand. The more specific your niche, the more likely you are to succeed. eCommerce isn’t about products; it’s about people. It’s about slaying monsters together.
Estlanders Is Your Strategic Digital Partner
Still need help figuring out your niche? Are you having a hard time discerning your ideal shopper and consumer? We can help. Estlanders excels at helping small businesses launch their online stores. Drop us a line, and let us help you navigate your online wilderness.
This Shopify blog series is for sellers like you who want to make the most of their online stores. Join us as we delve into the platform and teach you how to set up and run your shop. We’ll cover everything from target audience research to design, functionality, product descriptions, and marketing strategies. Don’t miss out. Subscribe to our newsletter to have new lessons delivered straight to your inbox.
I’m the creative brain behind Estlanders Marketing, and I turn products and services into digital brands. Whether you’re looking to increase your social following, automate your ad campaigns or increase your online sales, I’m here to help. I’m your strategic digital partner, and I take your success seriously.