Your Ideal Customer Profile: Why It’s Important For Your Online Store


Your ideal customer profile is one of the most important foundational elements of your brand & business.

Instead of diving right into the visual identity of your brand. For example, logos, colors, fonts, etc. 

You’ll need to be clear about if what you offer is what your customers want to buy.

I’ll be going over the ideal customer profile and why it’s important for you to have one in your eCommerce business, especially as a luxury brand.

Luxury consumers or those who expect high-end experiences have different expectations and purchasing behaviors. So knowing your ideal customers is something you’ll definitely want to know more about, even if you don’t sell high-end or luxury goods.

Ideal Customer Profile (ICP) Definition

One of the most important elements of your business is defining your ideal customer. Who is it that you ideally want to speak to when marketing or speaking about your products? 

Think about the typical customer who will use and buy your products. A lot of times, this ideal customer is fictitious but if you have real ideal customers that your products serve. Then most definitely add them to your ICP. Because this will help you better communicate with them as you share more about your products.

In the digital marketing space, you’ll find that the ideal customer profile is a hypothesized customer you define who will purchase your products.

With that being said, there are some differences between an ICP and a buyer persona.

The Difference Between An Ideal Customer Profile Vs Buyer Persona

So what is the difference between an ideal customer profile (ICP) vs a buyer persona?

Ideal Customer Profile

With an ICP, you’re taking your solution, in this case your products, and you are aligning your products to the wants, desires and needs of your customers. 

When you’re creating your ICP, you are exploring the following about your customers.

  • Geographic locations
  • Purchasing power
  • Product desires
  • And more

Buyer Persona

A buyer persona is the various representations of your customers. Most businesses have more than one buyer persona.

Essentially, when creating your buyer personas, you are looking for common or specific traits of your shoppers. Then segmenting them into personas.  For example, if you sell luxury paper planners. One of your buyer persona’s could be a female college student named Jane. Who is ready to buy a planner to plan out her semester of courses.

Another persona could be a busy entrepreneur named Michael. Who wants a quality planner to help run his businesses’ day-to-day operations.

As you can see, your buyer personas get into the details of your customers and what motivates them to buy your products. 

Dive deeper into buyer personas and how to create an eCommerce customer journey for your business for additional reading.

The Benefit Of Knowing Your Ideal Customer

When your ideal customer feels like you understand them clearly and that you are speaking directly to them. It will be a game-changer for your eCommerce business! 

It will make your marketing easier because you’ll know how to speak directly to your customers. Which will lead to greater trust and credibility in your business. Raising your chances for more sales and repeat business.

Do you need an Ideal Customer Profile and Buyer Persona?

They both overlap and you’ll find that you’ll be incorporating elements from both into your business. The more you know about your customers, the better you can guide them towards products that align with their needs and desires. 

5 Ideal Customer Profile Questions to Know About Your Brand

When you are defining your ideal customers, you are going to want to ask some important questions. That will help you address pain points, reduce your churn rate, and improve customer retention.

Here are some questions to address.

  1. What type of customer will benefit the most from your products?
  2. What are the common characteristics your customers share?
  3. What do your customers desire currently and in the future?
  4. Why would they do business with you over someone else?
  5. What are some demographics of your ideal customer?

There are plenty more questions that you can use to dive deeper, but these questions will give you a starting point. Fill in any missing elements that will help you build out the ideal picture you have for your business. 

Ideal Customer Profile Example For A Luxury Product

Let’s look at an example of an ideal customer profile for a luxury product. Using the same type of business from the earlier example of a luxury paper planner business. Specifically, one that sells planner inserts and accessories. 

An ideal customer profile for this type of business could be:

  • A female entrepreneur who is between the ages of 35 – 45
  • That lives in the suburbs of NY
  • She earns $300K per year
  • She wants to purchase quality planner inserts because she prefers paper planning first. 
  • The planners on the market in big box retailers don’t support her needs and she’s not impressed with the quality. 
  • Instead, she purchases from your luxury planner business because you offer an executive insert that is printed on high-quality paper. That allows her to still customize them to her needs.

As you can tell from the example, when you are building an ideal customer profile. You’re addressing various questions, such as where is your ideal customer from? What is their annual income? Why do they want your products? And more. 

Creating your ICP is a great way to ensure that your business stays focused on your customers. Your ICP will also act as your guiding light as you plan your products. Don’t worry if you need to make adjustments to your ICP as your business grows. 

Knowing your ideal customer will serve you mainly in helping you with customer acquisition, improving your average order value, and strengthening your customer lifetime value.

As part of the signature service experience, I like to take clients through a brand’s strategy experience. So that they can ensure that the perception of their brand matches up to their ideal customers’ expectations. 

You can use the luxury eCommerce brand clarity guide to help you uncover facts about your brand and the customers you serve. Get your copy of the guide today!

karen-founder-tmc 3

Hi, I'm Karen the founder + strategist/Shopify expert behind The May Creative. I help eCommerce brands who sell luxury goods craft an elevated Shopify experience. So they can take their store to the next level. You can learn more about the signature service, called the Elevated Shop Experience. Or stay for a while and check out the other posts below or listen to the podcast.

Karen

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