12 Buyer Personas for Online Retail Shoppers

Creating buyer personas of your customer base is the very first step in understanding your customers, especially when your business caters to different sets of people in terms of lifestyle, choices, and interests.

Buyer persona is a semi-fictional and generalized profile of your ideal customer based on your market research and existing customer data you have.

Unique buyer personas help you understand your customer better as they provide valuable insights about a specific customer segment like:

  • Demographical information
  • Purchase journey map
  • Decision parameters
  • Psychological triggers
  • Specific attitudes and concerns

With unique and ready to implement buyer personas, you can align your entire marketing and business strategy with the customers' expectations, right from messaging and promotions to adding a new feature in your retail store. You can also find the most effective channel to reach out your customers, once you understand their lifestyle and day to day activities.

In a customer survey done by Artifacia, we found 46% users think personalization can improve their overall shopping experience. In this era of personalization, unique buyer personas can be the game-changers. They can help you provide different experiences to different users.

So, what advice should be considered while creating buyer personas? Well, for simplicity and better targeting, it’s advisable to limit the number of personas and one should be very articulate and comprehensive while creating these buyer personas.

In this blog, we have created 12 general buyer personas for US online retail shopping and the key strategies to consider while catering to each persona specifically. You can directly use them or tweak them according to your needs before using in your marketing and business strategy. Or you can take hints around how you should prepare such personas specific to your business.

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Buyers’ Personas for U.S. Retail:

(You can click the persona images to directly jump to respective sections.)

1. Discount Chaser

(I always look for great discount offers and try to find the best-valued products.)

Name: Jacqueline Bell
Age: 28 years
Gender: Female
Job Profile: Receptionist at a Luxury Hotel
Location: Dallas
Marital Status: Single

Discount Chaser

Behavior:
- Very rarely buy products on full price.
- Has no brand loyalty.
- Mostly searches products based on best price or discounts.

Goals/Needs:
- Great discount offers and coupons.
- Cheap deals.
- Best value products.

Motivations:
- Early access to deals and discounts.
- Timely reminders and alerts for deals and sale season.
- Discounts and deal selling websites.

Frustrations:
- High-priced items not on sale.
- Expired coupons.
- High delivery charges and taxes.

Channels:
Shops both online and in-store where she gets the maximum discount.

What devices I use: Mobile and tablet.

Where I go for advice: Nothing in particular.

Key Strategies:
- Create some loyalty programs for her, so that she sees profit in buying from your store.
- Highlight the discount figures on product pages.
- Use past data to find her general purchase budget and show them the relevant deals first.

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2. Researcher

(I do a solid research about the product before buying.)

Name: Dennis Davis
Age: 30 years
Gender: Male
Job Profile: Engineer at an MNC
Location: Boston
Marital Status: Married (no kid)

Researcher

Behavior:
- He does prior research about product aspects, usage, and reviews.
- Seeks advice from friends and family.
- Performs thorough comparison of in-store and online store offering.

Goals/Needs:
- Full product description and product features mentioned on product page.
- Q&A sections on product pages.
- Verified customer reviews and ratings on the website.
- High-quality product images and videos on the website.

Motivations:
- User-generated content on the website in form of images and videos.
- Descriptive review article or video of the product by a professional blogger.
- Product reviews from influencers.

Frustrations:
- Missing product information in the online store.
- Low quality and less descriptive images on the website.
- Non-availability of the exact product in the physical store, if he wants to try it out himself before buying.

Channels: Both online and in-store where he finds the best and comprehensive product offering.

What devices I use: Mobile and laptop, but mostly laptop.

Who/where I go for advice: Product reviews, social media, question and answers, influencers.

Key Strategy:
- Embed product videos and UGC on your website.
- Encourage such users to write reviews as they have done much research about the product before buying.
- Write high-quality content describing products and their use cases.

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3. Fashionable Diva

(I want to look different and stand out by setting my own fashion statement.)

Name: Angela Cox
Age: 23 years
Gender: Female
Job Profile: Fashion stylist at a fashion store
Location: New York
Marital Status: Single

Fashionable Diva

Behavior:
- Buys fashion and accessories very frequently.
- Reads about new styles and follows latest fashion shows.
- Spends a lot of time in finding new designs for herself.
- Follows fashion influencers on Instagram.
- Uses social media heavily to showcase her own fashion style.

Goals/Needs:
- Latest and trending fashion products.
- Feature to search the products based on color, category, and style.
- Collections of products that go well together for a particular look or style.
- Inspirations from fashion stylists.

Motivations:
- Visual content for latest fashion trends and designs.
- Personalized suggestions according to her preferred styles.
- Curated fashion products for a specific season or occasion.
- A visually rich blog on fashion advice.

Frustrations:
- Not able to find the matching products with the purchased product.
- Low-quality visuals.
- Outdated fashion products.

What devices I use: Mobile and laptop, but mostly mobile.

Where I go for advice:
- Product reviews- very rare
- Social media- heavily
- Question and answers- yes
- Influencers- yes
- Blogs- yes
- UGC- yes

Key Strategy:
- Provide powerful cross product recommendations with a buy all button.
- As she is a heavy social media user, embed social media sharing buttons on your product pages.
- Give her the option to upload her picture wearing the particular product on that product page. It will add authenticity to your product.

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4. Procrastinator

(I keep procrastinating the things, not in shopping but in my general life for no reason.)

Name: Jean Rogers
Age: 34 years
Gender: Male
Job Profile: Researcher at a university
Location: Chicago
Marital Status: Married (one kid)

Procrastinator

Behavior:
- Adds products to the shopping cart and then forgets about it.
- Gets confused with multiple options at once.
- Take much time to take the purchase decision.

Goals/Needs:
- Better navigation and search features, so he can get his desired product faster and close the transaction.
- Reminder about the products added to the cart.
- Sufficient reviews and ratings about the product on the website to validate his decision.

Motivations:
- Curated products specific for his needs.
- Time bound deal on the products added to the cart.
- Some irresistible deal in terms of free shipping or price drops after adding the product to the cart.

Frustrations:
- Too many product options.
- Irrelevant product recommendations which increase complexity in product discovery.

What devices I use: Mobile and laptop, mostly laptop.

Where I go for advice:
- Product reviews- yes
- Social media - no
- Question and answers - yes
- Influencers- no
- UGC - very rare

Key Strategy:
- Send him a reminder about the products added in cart.
- Show him few but the most relevant options first.
- When he adds the products in cart, you can send him some UGC images or reviews via email to validate his purchase.

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5. Inspiration Seekers/Money Spenders

(I have money to spend and I always look for inspirations.)

Name: Theresa Washington
Age: 36 years
Gender: Female
Job Profile: Marketing Manager at an MNC
Location: Houston
Marital Status: Single

Inspiration Seeker

Behavior:
- She has the money to spend.
- She looks for purchase inspiration everywhere.

Goals/Needs:
- Need inspirations for purchase.
- Regular updates about what’s new in the stores.
- Need event/ festival based triggers for new products.

Motivations:
- Different and new products in the store.
- Product images across various fronts like social media, ads, magazines etc.
- Different styles and product collections she can try out.

Frustrations:
- Finds a product to purchase but finds no style guide or suggestions on how to best use them.
- Finds the product on some different channel but the journey till the transaction is very long. For example, she finds the product from brand’s Facebook page but there is no link to buy it.

Channels: Both online and in-store but mostly online.

What devices I use: All three, mobile, laptop, and tablet but mostly mobile.

Where I go for advice:
- Product reviews - no
- Social media - heavily
- Question and answers- very rare
- Influencers - Yes
- UGC - heavily

Key Strategy:
- Work on your brand presence across all social media mainly on Pinterest and Instagram.
- Send some visually rich email newsletter or blog posts featuring the latest products in your store. You can also schedule these communications whenever you add new products or product line in your store.
- Send her event-based triggers in form of mailers.
- Think about the shorter path to transaction from her inspirations moments. Try thinking of Instagram and Facebook buying.

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6. Power Shopper

(I shop very much and very frequently.)

Name: Carolyn Patterson
Age: 32 years
Gender: Female
Job Profile: Housewife
Location: Austin
Marital status: Married (2 young kids)

Power Shopper

Behavior:
- Buys heavily online.
- Expert level shopper.
- Great spending power.
- Buys for her family daily needs as well.
- Frequently buys gifts for friends and family.

Goals/Needs:
- Frequent product inspirations.
- Great recommendations.
- New, popular and trending things.
- Event based reminders about products.

Motivations:
- High personalization.
- Quick shopping features and fast transactions.
- Good gifting product suggestions.
- Great savings on product bundles.

Frustrations:
- No inspirations for buying and trying out new things.
- High delivery charges and taxes.

Channels: Mostly online, in-store purchases are very rare.

What devices I use: Mobile, tablet and laptop but mostly mobile.

Whom/where I look for advice:
- Product reviews- yes
- Social media - very rare
- Question and answers - yes
- Influencers- yes
- UGC - rare

Key Strategy:
- Create a loyalty program for such frequent buyers.
- Analyze her purchase history and other data points to recommend products for her next purchase.
- Encourage her to try out new products showing high value in new products.

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7. Non-Returning High-Value Customer

(I generally buy expensive products but buy them very occasionally.)

Name: Cynthia Hill
Age: 28 years
Gender: Female
Job Profile: Investment Banker
Location: San Francisco
Marital Status: Single

High-Value
Non-Returning Customer

Behavior:
- Brand loyal customer.
- Very valuable customer.

Goals/Needs:
- High quality and branded products.

Motivations:
- Product recommendations from her brand of choice.

Frustrations:
- Not able to get her desired item.

What devices I use: Laptop and mobile, but mostly laptop.

Who/where I go for advice:
- Product reviews- yes
- Social media - very rare
- Question and answers- yes
- Influencers- very rare
- UGC - very rare

Key Strategies:
- Spend time to understand them as it’s important to win them back.
- Create some loyalty program and propose an irresistible offer for their next purchase.
- Send them emails recommending more great products from their favorite brand.

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8. Last Minute Shopper

(I am a deadliner and shop on the go at the last minute.)

Name: Daniel Griffin
Age: 28 years
Gender: Male
Job Profile: Software Engineer
Location: San Jose
Marital Status: Married (no kids)

Last Minute Shopper

Behavior:
- Last minute shopper.
- Mostly shop on the go.

Goals/Needs:
- Best mobile app.
- Faster payment option.
- Fast delivery options available.
- Real time status tracking of the order.

Motivations:
- Reminder of their important dates like birthday and anniversary to help them as they never miss these dates.
- Great recommendations as they can take decisions fast.

Frustrations:
- No speedy delivery options available.
- No relevant products for the search query.
- Out of stock products.
- Deals and coupons expired in the last minute.

What devices I use: Mostly mobile.

Who/where I go for advice:
- Product reviews - yes
- Social media- very rare
- Question and answers - yes
- Influencers- no
- UGC - no

Key Strategies:
- Event-based reminder emails with product suggestions.
- Reminder about last minute or next day delivery options.
- Offers with faster delivery options.

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9. Impulsive Shopper

(I am an impulsive buyer.)

Name: Lisa Allen
Age: 24 years
Gender: Female
Job Profile: Primary school teacher
Location: Philadelphia
Marital Status: Married (no kids)

Impulsive Shopper

Behavior:
- Loves browsing products.
- Buys a lot of small value complementary products just before completing the purchase.

Goals/Needs:
- Great cross product recommendations.
- High perceived value product bundles.
- Inexpensive complementary product recommendations on the cart page.

Motivations:
- Discounts on product bundles.
- Catchy titles and eye-catching product features.
- Buy all button for the cross product recommendations on the cart page.

Frustrations:
- High delivery charges on small items.

Channels: Mostly online.

What devices I use: Laptop and mobile, mostly mobile.

Where I go for advice:
- Product reviews - rare
- Social media - yes
- Question and answers- yes
- Influencers - rare
- UGC - yes

Key Strategies:
- Provide cross product recommendations on the cart page in such a way that they are not very expensive and do not add up much to the cart value.
- Send out these complementary products in the emailers also.
- Show relevant product collections in visual forms both on the website and social media channels.

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10. Browser

(I just keep browsing and very rarely buy.)

Name: Nancy Sanders
Age: 30 years
Gender: Female
Job Profile: Waitress at a restaurant
Location: Minneapolis
Marital Status: Single

Browser

Behavior:
- Heavy browsers of your store.
- Very rarely buy when a compelling offer is there.
- Behaves the same way in physical store also.

Goals/Needs:
- Picks up the best available product meeting their expectations.
- Browses products just for the sake of pleasure.

Motivations:
- A psychological trigger arising the acute need of the purchase.
- A compelling offer like discounts or free shipping.
- A great perceived value product bundle.

Frustrations:
- Not finding the desired product.
- High shipping charges.
- No faster delivery options.

Channels: Both online and in-store.

What devices I use: Mostly mobile.

Who/where I go for advice:
- Product reviews- yes
- Social media - very rare
- Question and answers - very rare
- Influencers - no
- UGC - yes

Key Strategies:
- Try getting feedback from her and understand the cause of not buying products.
- Provide some staff support or chat support (online store), in case she needs some assistance while buying.
- Put some psychological trigger in your messaging and communication compelling her to buy. You can try UGC visuals in your messaging to bring authenticity.

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11. High Returner

(I frequently order products to try on and then return them quite often.)

Name: Jennifer Rivera
Age: 23 years
Gender: Female
Job Profile: Student at community college
Location: Pittsburgh
Marital Status: Single

High Returner

Behavior:
- Frequently buys products online and does a high volume of returns.
- Very rarely keeps the product.

Goals/Needs:
- To try the physical product before buying the product.
- The strong need to validate the product.
- Accurate size charts and product descriptions.
- Ability to ask questions from previous buyers.

Motivations:
- High quality and detailed product images and videos on the website.
- Use of UGC images to bring authenticity to the products and build trust.

Frustrations:
- Products not matching her expectations.
- Huge difference between the actual product and displayed product.

Channels: Mostly online

What devices I use: Mobile and laptop.

Where I go for advice:
- Product reviews - yes
- Social media - yes
- Question and answers - yes
- Influencers - rare
- UGC - rare

Key Strategies:
- Try to understand the reason behind the return.
- Provide staff supports or chat support (online store) in selecting the right products.
- Provide UGC images on product pages so that she can validate the product from real life images rather than buying and then returning it.

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12. Responds Well to Marketing Activities

(I love viewing all sort of advertisements, email campaigns and social media posts from brands.)

Name: Diana Simmons
Age: 27 years
Gender: Female
Job Profile: Business Consultant at a local business
Location: Seattle
Marital Status: Married (no kids)

Marketing Responder

Behavior:
- Opens almost all promotional emails.
- Responds very positively to the marketing campaigns.
- Responds well to product suggestions and offers.

Goals/Needs:
- Targeted and personalized recommendations and offers.
- She loves your brand/store and interested in knowing about new products.

Motivations:
- Personalized emails.
- Latest updates from your store.
- Value adding content in terms of some fashion magazine featuring some new styles and designers.

Frustrations:
- Irrelevant ads and mailers.
- Overdo of email frequency.

Channels: Both online and in-store but mostly online.

What devices I use: Laptop, mobile and tablet. Mostly mobile.

Who/where I go for advice:
- Product reviews - Rare
- Social media - Yes
- Question and answers - Rare
- Influencers - Rare
- UGC - Yes

Key Strategies:
- In the mailers and other marketing communications material, try putting value adding content rather than just selling the products.
- Frequently provide product suggestions.
- Analyse the user behavior to enhance the relevance of the suggested products.

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These are the general 12 buyer personas for U.S. online retail. Let us know how you are planning to create the buyer persona for your business and how your personas compare from these generalized ones. We would love to hear from you in comments below.

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