Meet the 4 Types of Online Shoppers (and Then Sell to Them)

Before you can best sell to your shoppers, you'll want to get to know them first. Check out this post to meet the four kinds of online shoppers, and how you can most effectively appeal to each one.

Not all online shoppers are created alike. And for each type of visitor to your site, there are different ways you can tailor your content to meet their needs.

To do that, we have to understand who those visitors are and what they hope to find when they come to your store. For this post, I’ve identified four of the most common types of online shoppers, with some tips on making your content work for them.


The seeker

This shopper is on a quest for one specific product. They know exactly what they want, and they’re ready to make a purchase. First, let’s assume you have the product. Your store is stocked with the best possible products for your customers, so that part is already taken care, right?

So how do you give yourself the best chance of getting a purchase from the Seeker?


The researcher

This shopper also has a specific goal in mind, but not a specific product. Maybe they need a winter coat, a new cellphone case or a rug that really ties a room together. This is browsing with a purpose.

Here’s how you can help the Researcher find the right product:


The bargain hunter

Everybody loves a good deal. Watching for sales, browsing the clearance racks and using coupons are all ways we can save money when we shop offline, and they’re all ways you can attract the bargain hunter to your online store.

Here are some ways you can appeal to the Bargain Hunter:


The window shopper

Window shoppers, wanderers and sidewalk traffic make up the majority of customers in most physical stores. On ecommerce sites, these visitors may be searching for entertainment, looking for inspiration or shopping for a gift. Since they don’t have a specific product or even a goal in mind, these visitors can be incredibly hard to convert into buyers.

Draw in the Window Shopper with the following:


From new visitor to loyal customer

If you help these new visitors find the products they need (or didn’t even know they needed), they’ll be much more likely to come back again and again. And that’s when you can start planning for a fifth type of visitor: the Loyal Customer.

Loyal customers are the lifeblood of most successful stores, and business owners spend a lot of time encouraging repeat business. But remember, they can’t be repeat customers if they don't make the first purchase.

Happy selling!
-Clay Delk, Sr. Content Strategist, Volusion


This post is part of our Method & Message series. Check back every other Wednesday for the latest discussions on content, context and commerce on the web.

Clay Delk

Clay Delk writes about the intersection of copywriting, usability and design, and how it can help others create the best content to serve their users.