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|Who Are Your Visitors , Really? Marketing Articles | October 15, 2002
Marketers and others are fond of categorizing people intosubsets of the general population. If you know the type ofperson your potential customer is, you have a better notion ofhow to make your sales presentation.
In theory, if your target is an engineer type, you provideall possible information about how your gizmo works. He or shewill decide whether or not it will work well. And if yourtarget is the impulsive type , load your copy with words thatgrab emotionally, that trigger the impulse to buy.
People Don't Fit Nicely Into Categories
The difficulty with categorizations is that no matter howcarefully drawn, people don't obligingly fit into a singlecategory without some serious squeezing. The most devotedengineer type may buy after only a glance, thus behavingimpulsively. Yet one who tends to grab the first thing that"looks good," may surprisingly want to study every detail aboutyour gizmo before even considering purchase.
I've studied dozens of categorizations constructed by reallybright people. I've never seen one that worked worth a hoot inpractice. In designing a website I continue to recommendproviding whatever any visitor may need to make the buydecision. That is , ignore types and seek to meet the needsof all.
Having said this, here is ...
A Categorization Scheme That Works
Roy H. Williams in a recent"Monday Morning Memo" (a brief free must-read newsletter)pointed out that potential customers can be divided into twotypes: Transactional and Relational. He quoted Bill Bergh asfollows.
"Shoppers tend to be either transactional or relational.Transactional shoppers are focused only on today's transaction.They're willing to deal with a supplier they don't trust becausethey've spent a lot of time investigating the product andconsider themselves the expert.... Transactional shoppers enjoynegotiating and are looking for the lowest-cost provider.
"Relational shoppers ... consider today's transaction tobe one in a series of many. Relational shoppers don't enjoycomparison shopping or negotiating. They are looking for asupplier who is an expert they can trust.... Consequently,relational shoppers are far more likely to be repeat customers."
A Practical View
This view of web shoppers jolted me. It's so obviouslytrue, I remain surprised I have overlooked it for so long.Further, this categorization does work.
Sure , most people looking for a good mechanic will berelational in their approach. And many looking for an expensivenew television set, take a transactional approach. Gather thefacts, then shop to save a hundred bucks or more. So as in allcategorizations, there is overlap. But these definitions holdbetter than any I have seen.
Who Is Buying On The Web?
There's simply no question; the vast majority of web buyersare transactional. (Or behaving in this way.) The evidence isonly indirect, but inarguable.
Go look for a digicam. You'll find a thumb nail which linksto a larger view which includes the key features of a particularmodel. You'll find absolutely no information that helps youevaluate the benefit of a given feature. Information needed byanyone new to digicams , simply isn't available.
Such sites are only interested in transactional shoppers,people who already know what they want, and are shopping forprice.
Unless you have an extensive marketing and sales background,it is unlikely you can succeed on the Web targetingtransactional shoppers.
Your Best Bet
Apart from the categorizations, the key point to be derivedfrom the above quote is that *only* relational shoppers becomerepeat customers. Exactly what every small business needs.Once a fellow buys the digicam , he won't be back. Thus if youseek repeat business, ignore transactional types and targetrelational shoppers.
This means demonstrating all manner of service and support.Cover the spectrum. And by all means be expert in your narrowniche. You want people to come to trust you, your knowledge,and support.
The Real Challenge
That few online shoppers are relational, goes a long waytoward explaining why small businesses seeking to grow a base ofrepeat customers struggle so. The number of relational shopperswill increase as more of the sorts of businesses and servicesthey need become available online. However this growth won'thappen quickly.
If your web-based business depends upon repeat customers ,and thus relational shoppers, be patient with yourself. Thiswill take time.
Article Tags: Relational Shoppers
Thai Airways -Taking You to Thailand and Beyond. A trip to Thailand can be an once in a lifetime opportunity, and Thai Airways is the most experienced airline to take you there. Regardless whether its a business trip or a vacation, the airline had a solid reputation of treating their passengers as welcome guests and making sure they are comfortable. We’ll look at some of the features of Thai Airways in this article, and explore some of the places it can take you.
Winning awards are nothing new to Thai Airways , and in 2011, the following categories of Best Airline Economy Class Seat and Best Airline Economy Class Onboard Catering were awarded to them by Skytrax World Airline Awards. It is one thing to be interested in your First Class and Business passengers, but winning these two awards shows that Thai Airways is also concerned about their Economy passengers as well. Last year, Thai Airways placed ninth in the World’s Best airlines category, but this year moved up to fifth , which is impressive. Since the competition for the award has many airlines, the airline
must be doing a lot of things right to be recognized a.