COM0014 – Blog #3 – Targeting the Christmas shopper

In another class, I faced an assignment about using “listening” tools to learn how to target your audience and the challenges we may have encountered. For the longest time (before taking these courses), I always believed that either the products were not good enough and social media for an online shopping platform just couldn’t work. It was not until I was reading about listening and targeting audiences, that I realized I had it wrong the entire time.

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For a few months of the year, I work for an online stocking stuffer store. We begin delving into the job around October, and are primarily busy up until late December. While an extremely short selling time, we must be focused and constantly updating our website. Maybe even send out a tweet or two or even an eBlast. I suggested that we needed to open up some social media accounts to promote the products to a larger audience, however we did no research. We believed that our primary audience was “middle-aged women”. The owner, a middle-aged woman, would promote her business using word-of-mouth to her friends and family. Therefore, she believed that was her audience.  Now that may have been reflected on our existing customer list, however it was not the case on social media.

As we targeted middle-age women, we were coming up short. We weren’t gaining followers, sales, or any interactions. We got desperate and starting using Facebook advertising to promote products, our page, and boosting the odd post. This enabled us to review our primary target, however it took a lot of trial and error. We scoured over twitter looking at trending keywords and invested time on Pinterest, trying to discover the Christmas blogs and best-selling products. We discovered that our main audience is in fact, middle-aged men. Due to that large statistic, we researched and noticed that men shop differently than men. The “growth of e-commerce has stimulated new buying behaviors for men that may eventually transfer to brick-and-mortar shops. According to an iProspect study, 70% of affluent males regularly shop online”(Lewis, et al. 2018).

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Since we target middle-aged men on social media, we primarily promote gifts for women. This tended to be the best form of “clickbait” over gifts for men or even children. This would be on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter. This would also explain why closer to the end of November was when sales would go up for men, because “men tend to purchase when the need is immediate” (Lewis, et al. 2018), whereas women “tend to be more astute consumers than men, simply because they are willing to invest the time and energy necessary” (Lewis, et al. 2018). Therefore, likely to look for a deal and investigate/compare products.

Needless to say, we were able to adjust our “tone” and select products that resonated with our primary audience. This in turn has resulted in a rise in sales and an expansion of our audience.

Sources:

Lewis, Michael, et al. “Men vs. Women: Differences in Shopping Habits & Buying Decisions.” Money Crashers, 31 Aug. 2018, https://www.moneycrashers.com/men-vs-women-shopping-habits-buying-decisions/.

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