Marketing & SEO

Types of Online Shoppers You Need to Know and How to Influence Them

Margaret Costantino 4 October, 2019

Let’s suppose you have already followed the eCommerce checklist for newbies and pros and have already launched your online store. Apparently, you know what kind of customers and target audience you’re trying to sell to. Now, it’s important to make sure you understand that there are plenty of different types of online shoppers in this group of people.

types of online shoppers main image

Different people have different goals when shopping online. Some are browsing, whereas some come prepared to buy anything. Understanding the different types of online shoppers means you’re able to customize and, more importantly, optimize your eCommerce store to get the best results.

Today, we’re going to explore all the different types of online shoppers you may come across, helping you to define exactly who’s shopping, and what you need to do within your online store to maximize sales.

Let’s get right into it.

Online Stores – Basic Trends and Statistics

Before we jump into the types of online shoppers available, you’ll make sure you’re clued up on the latest statistics. The data should help you understand what kind of elements affect an online store, and what functionality traits you should be working on.

Responsive E-commerce Stores for Mobile Phone Users

fruit at grocery store

Perhaps the most important statistic to remember is the fact that the vast majority of shoppers will be coming onto your website via their mobile phones. In fact, over $669 billion is going to be made in mobile online sales alone. Thus, having a responsive design of an online store has become a must for successful sales.

This is because by 2020, more than 3.3 billion people are expected to have Internet-enabled devices, and 8 out of 10 Americans already use their phones when doing any kind of online shopping. For instance, people often buy fresh fruit and vegetables in online grocery stores because this is fast and convenient. If you have already got an online shop, make sure you have avoided the top 5 responsive design mistakes.

Engaging Design of Online Stores

candy shop - collections

Web design trends are changing fast. When you are creating an online store, you should remember that it has to be appealing. Surely, it is necessary to know how to choose a photo background for your website to make it attractive. For instance, a mouth-watering image on an online candy shop is a guarantee that people will start browsing through the collections of sweets.

Besides changing background images on your webpages, you can try to create your own landing page that converts. For example, videos on a landing page have been shown to increase the website’s overall conversion rate by as much as 86%. However, be careful, as loading times are a big contributor, too. Even a one-second delay can drop that figure back down by 7%.

Hopefully, this should be painting a picture in your head as to what kind of shoppers are coming to your website. The clearer you can visualize this image, the further you’ll be able to optimize your website to achieve more and make an increased number of sales.

Encouraging Shoppers to Make Purchases

shopping cart of cosmetics store

Another widespread trend is leaving an online store. For instance, users may spend hours looking at collections of a beauty products store and still leave it without any purchase. Over 58.6% of shoppers will abandon their cart because they’re not actually ready to buy. This is a huge percentage of people, which means you need to think about how you counteract this. Perhaps you can offer a discount on the payment page or run a sale to take money off the final price.

Most Common Types of Online Shoppers

Throughout this article, we’ll explore more and more of the latest statistics to give you a clearer picture, but for now, let’s jump into the types of shoppers you need to know about.

New Internet Users as Types of Online Shoppers

As the title suggests, this is someone new to the internet world and will be discovering eCommerce stores for the first time. Maybe they’ve been recommended something online, and they’ve now come across your store and looking at what you have to sell.

If you’re catering for these types of online shoppers, you need to make sure everything is clear and concise, and navigation around your website is effortless. In most cases, new shoppers will be looking for something low-budget, so there’s not too much of a risk with spending a lot.

types of online shoppers by age

However, if you’re able to get the experience right, you can expect these customers to return and spend more once they’re happy everything is running smoothly. You’ll also need to make sure your product descriptions and written correctly and sell the product to have the best reach.

However, while you want to cater to this market, these markets will tend to be for older generations of 75+ (around 5% of all online shoppers). Of course, millennials will come under this category. However, they’ll have grown up with the internet, so they will trust it a lot more. Your only task is to offer a trustworthy website. Make sure you know all the things that build or break your website’s trustworthiness.

Types of Online Shoppers by Gender – Equal Shoppers?

While there are plenty of studies out there that highlight that women are more likely to shop online than men (thus encouraging you to cater your website more towards online shopping women), the truth is that the gender online shoppers demographics for eCommerce stores are relatively equal; at least that’s what the online shopper statistics show.

types of online shoppers by gender

True, women do shop more than men, especially when it comes to ‘heavy shopping.’ Still, the statistics show this is a 56% to 44% divide. Take this into account when creating your content and designing your website. Be sure to look into online shopper statistics that suit you!

However, when it comes to light shoppers, men will outbuy women to a 56% to 44% range. This is the polar opposite of heavy shoppers. With this in mind, if you’re running an eCommerce store with affordable, small items, online shopper statistics show you’re going to want to cater it slightly towards the male demographic.

The Optimal Shopper

stationery shop


Taking these statistics into account, we can look across the board to define the best target shopper. So, ideally, you’ll know who you’re going to be aiming for. While the demographics in both age and gender are so close, the ideal shopper is a 47-year-old female. Such online shopping women with a household income of under 50K will spend 44 hours shopping online per month. Remember this when you are designing a website for female target audience.

This is an accurate representation of online shoppers demographics. Not only will this demographic category shop for themselves but also online shopper women will buy goods for the others in their families. For instance, these are women who browse gift stores to buy presents for children, husband, friends, or neighbors. Also, women are often visitors of online stationery shops to make purchases for the family.

This shows that these ‘super online shopper women’ are a common theme across eCommerce stores in any niche and the online shopper women are a great target audience to aim for because you cover a lot of the bases, industries, and niches.

Targeting Businesses as Online Shoppers businesses as types of online shoppers


Business shoppers represent a whopping 19% out of all types of online shoppers demographics. So, it’s well worth considering how you’re going to target these shoppers. Also, you need to know how to define what they’re looking for from your products. For instance, you may supply goods to a flooring store, so this store will need certain products in big amounts.

As the title suggests, these users only really use the internet for business purposes, but they are among the most technically capable and know what they’re doing and what to look for when using a website.

More often than not, these business owners are not shopping for fun, but will rather be looking for a quick and easy purchase that’s safe and gets the job done without wasting too much time. This means you need to spend time designing your website in a way that isn’t too fluffy but instead gets to the point.

Shoppers Who Want the Best Product

While this will probably relate to a lot of shoppers, there are some people out there who will be looking for the very best version of a product they can find. They want quality and craftsmanship, and a lot of the time, they don’t care how much this is going to cost.

With these shoppers, they’re happy to spend time going around lots of different stores and different websites. They want to see what’s out there before making their mind up and deciding on which one they’re going to go for.

mobile software store


For example, you have photo-editing software, anti-virus software, software for mobile applications, or multiple different products under the same niche. Definitely, customers will want to see which one has the features and functions that best suit them.

To make life easy, and to convince them to become a customer, you’ll want to offer comparison blogs on your website that compares why your product is the best and why they should choose you over a competitor.

Spec blogs, tables, easy to follow feature lists and expert opinions and reviews can all help to make a lead become a profitable customer. You just need the content there to back up what you have to say.

Shoppers Who Want the Best Price

On the other hand, you’re going to have lots of customers who are out in the shop trying to find a product that will do something for the best price. They don’t want to spend a lot of money but would rather just look between prices and choose the most suitable for their budget.

wedding dress store


Surprisingly, these types of online shoppers are becoming less and less frequent because people are looking for quality. However, you may be offering products that are being sold elsewhere, or something very similar, like dresses in an online wedding store. In this case, you’re going to need to be competitive with your prices.

Make Prices Noticeable

If this is the case, you want to make it easy for your shoppers to find the price by making it big and bold, and ideally making it the first thing people see when they click onto a page.

List Product Benefits

healthiest organic cosmetic products in beauty store


Another thing to focus on here is not just showcasing the features of your product, but instead listing the benefits. This is especially important for higher-priced items because you can convince them to buy it.

For example, nobody really cares about how many pixels a television has, but they do care how crisp and clear their television series and movies are going to be. Similarly, you may emphasize that you sell the healthiest products in your organic beauty store. So, sell this benefit to these online shoppers demographics, rather than listing the feature itself.

This way, you can convince and influence the shopper that they’re getting the best deal because they can mentally see how the product is going to bring such-and-such a benefit into their life, all in all making it far more likely they’re going to buy it.

Showcase Sales Events

sales at a toy shop


Of course, for this type of shopper, you can also highlight your sales events, offer discount codes and coupons. This is a great way to showcase that you’re offering a great price and will entice more people within this category to make a quick decision.

When it comes to shopping, or rather selling, on an eCommerce store, the trick is to make people not want to think too much about the purchase they’re making. If people have a look and go away to think about it, the chances are they’re going to forget about you and never come back.

When people come to your website, you want them to make the purchase before they leave. The better you can achieve this, the more successful and profitable your store will be.

Shoppers Who Are Ready to Buy

Perhaps, an eCommerce store’s favorite kind of online shopper is a ready-to-buy shopper. These are the people who go online, and they’re ready to make a purchase there and then. They’ll quickly search something on Google, see what comes up, and then make the sale. For instance, people can quickly choose various goods for their celebration in an event supplies store.

party supplies store


These are the easier shoppers to target, but there’s a problem. If you make your sales and checkout process too complicated, the shopper will simply give up and take their business elsewhere. When I say ready to shop, I mean ready to shop, and anything in their way is going to make them look for a simpler option.

With this in mind, you’re going to need to make sure everything is as simple as possible. During your checkout process, you want to include a few steps as possible so your shoppers can be checked out and paid for in a matter of minutes where possible. As a general rule of thumb, less is more.

To make things really simple, you may even want to offer a Guest Checkout option. This is where your shoppers won’t need to sign up for an account or enter their email address but can simply sign out and go using their card or a platform like PayPal.

Of course, you can incentivize signing up using an email address, but for the people who want to get in and out, allowing people through quickly and easily is always a great way to go!

Understanding Your Types of Online Shoppers

As you can see, there’s plenty to think about when it comes to defining your online shoppers. You have to make sure you’re giving every single shopper coming to your eCommerce store the best experience you possibly can. Remember to optimize your sales and offer a wide variety of goods to satisfy various types of online shoppers. For instance, if you deal with fabric and yarn in your fabric store, it’s advisable to sell accessories for these goods, too.

fabric store assortment


Take all these features and considerations into account, read your analytics and define what kind of shoppers you have coming to your website. Then, make the essential changes needed to maximize your revenue. Build a company that’s built to last.

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Tags: ecommerce marketing check list marketing strategies online marketing online shopping
Author: Margaret Costantino
Margaret Costantino is a marketing specialist and entrepreneur at Lucky Assignments. She enjoys writing on different aspects of digital marketing, as well as helping people to set up their own successful eCommerce stores.