8 Types of Online Shoppers And How To Sell To Them

The customer is always right ( well sometimes), BUT not all customers have the same value for your business. It’s important to know which customers are the most valuable for you, and therefore who you should be dedicating the most time and resources into keeping.

It’s also important to know which customers aren’t giving your business much value, and think of creative ways to turn them into repeat future sales. Your marketing strategies should not just focus on getting customers in the door, but building a relationship with them that lasts, so you can grow your business over the long term.

We are going to dive into 8 different personailty that will come through your store.

  • Loyal Lara
  • Discount Dave
  • Negotiating Nelly
  • Rapid Ralph
  • Savvy Sally
  • Clueless Carl
  • Wishful Wanda
  • Impulsive Ian

Loyal Lara

Wallet with loyalty card inside

Loyal Lara is the ideal customer. She’s the end goal that you want all your customers to turn into. Lara is willing to choose you over your competition.

The overall customer experience is extremely important to Lara.

Lara can make or break your business because she’s the most engaged with your brand. Lara is often one of your best advocates and influencers in the commmunity.

Offer her a referral bonus: Lara trusts you and is most likely to recommend you to other people. And remember, word of mouth is the best form of advertising. It’s generally free, and it’s most likely to convert into sales. Consider offering Lara a referral bonus or sending her a small thank you gift when she gets her friends to purchase from your store.

Loyal Lara is your best and most valuable customer. Make sure she feels appreciated as an important part of your business. After all, you really couldn’t do it without her!

Find out what motivates Lara: Lara selected you for a reason, and it’s important to find out what her motivation is. Perhaps she likes what you stand for, maybe she likes your way of communication, or perhaps it’s because she feels valued by your business.

Whatever her reason is, if you find out why Lara prefers you, then you can work on keeping her as your most valuable customer. Lara is the customer you should be putting most of your effort into because she’s the one providing your business with the most revenue. Ask her if she has time to provide you with any feedback about what she likes and doesn’t like about your website, products, and brand.

Build a relationship: Lara doesn’t care so much about the cost. She’s built an emotional relationship with your brand and she trusts you. It’s important not to break Lara’s trust or do anything that she might feel is unfair. If you burn Lara, she’s likely to stick to one of your competitors instead.

Build a relationship with Lara that is based on trust and honesty.

Answer support quickly and honestly: Lara loves it when you answer her support questions quickly and accurately. She appreciates it when you are open and honest about the progress of her support ticket or if you’ve made a mistake.

Be more personal: Lara might not sign up for an advertising newsletter, but she might sign up for a monthly more personal newsletter with links to relevant blog posts detailing your brand’s progress and challenges for the month. You might even consider offering Lara one-off discounts for repeat purchases or subscription renewals.

Keep Lara in mind: Make sure you keep Loyal Lara in the front of your mind when you’re making changes to your website, branding, or products. You risk disappointing her if you take one of her favourite products off the market or increase the price suddenly without notice. Consider asking for her feedback before making brand changes. After all, Lara knows your brand almost as well as you do, and she is the backbone of your success!

Consider a loyalty program: If you’re having trouble giving Lara the time and attention she deserves, consider starting a VIP program that gives extra benefits, free products, or invitations to exclusive webinars or events to your most loyal members.

Example – Flybuys:

Coles uses Flybuys points to reward their loyal customers with points that they can then redeem for money off their shop.

5 Key tips for selling to Loyal Lara:

  • Answer Lara’s support questions quickly and honestly.
  • Consider referral bonuses or thank you gifts.
  • Keep Lara in mind when making updates to your store, products, and pricing.
  • Consider a VIP or loyalty program with exclusive discounts.
  • Ask Lara for feedback and let her know you value whatever information she provides.

Discount Dave

Discount signs in a store

Dave will buy anything at a discount price. He loves the deals. He’s most likely to visit your store around holiday times searching for a good sale. Dave is not loyal. He’s looking to spend the least amount of money for the most value. If he thinks your competitor offers better value, he’ll switch quicker than you can change your shoes.

The challenge with Dave is converting him into Loyal Lara. One off sales are good, but repeat customers are the key to your business.

Dave costs a lot in advertising to get to your store, but he won’t spend very much unless you manage to keep his attention. So how do you keep Discount Dave happy?

Make sure your discounts are real and offer value: Dave has more time on his hands than most other shoppers. He isn’t necessarily looking for the best price, but he wants the best value for his money.

Try to get Dave to focus on the extra value you’re offering that gives you the edge over your competitors. Dave is happy when he feels he’s getting extra benefits for a good price.

Bundle deals: Having good bundle deals is a great way to keep Dave happy. Plus, Dave can be a pretty nice guy, he likes to share awesome deals with friends and family.

Make pricing easy: Another tip is to make it easy for Dave to see his total cost, including shipping and tax. Dave hates adding an item to cart and seeing the total cost jump up when he didn’t expect it. Make sure Dave has an easy checkout process and doesn’t get any nasty surprises when he attempts to check out.

Free shipping: Consider offering free shipping for bulk purchases. Dave is much more likely to buy more if it gets him free shipping. He can see the value in ordering more products to save in shipping costs.

Online clearance rack: What is the one reason Dave would shop in store rather than online? Physical stores sometimes have clearance item deals that you can’t get online. Consider having an online clearance rack with items that are going out of season or out of date. This would get Dave really excited.

Deals newsletter: Dave loves subscribing to newsletters if they have good deals in them. Have a regular discount newsletter that Dave can get right to his inbox. Dave loves a flash sale, and especially if it’s a limited time offer.

Rewards program: Dave is also a lot more likely to purchase from you again if you offer a rewards or loyalty program that gives him further discounts for purchases down the track. Who knows? He might even turn into a Loyal Lara!

Referral bonuses: Finally, try to get Dave working for you without him knowing it! Offer a referral system that gives Dave and his friends discounts, bonuses, or free products for signing up. This will keep Dave motivated to find you more customers.

Example – Belong:

Belong Mobile runs a referral program where existing customers can refer a friend. After the friend signs up, both the customer and their friend receive $20 credit each.

5 Key tips for selling to Discount Dave:

  • Consider an online sales/clearance rack
  • Have some great value bundle deals with related products.
  • Offer free shipping for bulk purchases
  • Banners, coupons, and emails before big sale days
  • Have a loyalty program or referral system.

Negotiating Nelly

Woman with hand full of cash

Negotiating Nelly will always write to you to negotiate on your price before buying. She’s different from Discount Dave in that she wants a private deal. It doesn’t matter what your price is, Nelly wants it to be a little bit cheaper.

Negotiate: Remember, if Nelly is trying to negotiate with you, you can also negotiate back. Buying and selling is an exchange. You have something Nelly wants, and she has the cash you need to keep your business running. If Nelly wants to pay less cash, you could ask her to give you an honest review in exchange for a discount.

Ask for detailed reviews: We all know how valuable reviews are for your business! You could even go as far as to offer Nelly a larger discount if she’s willing to supply you with a video review.

Offer a small discount: The key with Nelly is to give her a little bit. She doesn’t need a lot, but she needs to feel like she’s won something. You have to decide if it’s worth it to give Nelly a small discount of say 5-10% to let her feel like she’s won.

Offer free shipping or a small gift: If you don’t want to offer Nelly a discount, you can offer her a little something extra. For example, you could say that you can’t discount your products because you stand by their value, but you can offer her free shipping. Or, you can offer her a small free sample or trial of another product on the side.

Offering free samples can even bring Nelly back a second time if she loves the sample as well.

Be polite: At the end of the day, remember to be polite to Nelly. You might think it’s unusual or even offensive for someone to ask for a discount for the products you’ve worked so hard to produce. It’s easy to get defensive and dismissive, but just remember how important it is to uphold your reputation in the community. Be polite to Nelly. She’s likely part of a large community of like-minded Nellys, and you don’t want to get on their bad side.

5 Key tips for selling to Negotiating Nelly:

  • Be prepared to negotiate for something you want as well.
  • Offer Nelly a small 5-10% discount.
  • Throw in a free gift or free shipping.
  • Ask for a fair review in exchange for a discount.
  • Be polite.

Rapid Ralph

Man on a motorbike

Ralph comes to your store because he needs something specific. He’s a busy man. Money is not an issue for Ralph, he just wants his problem solved quickly and efficiently.

Ralph tends to be a low fuss, easy to convert customer, as long as you make the process easy and simple for him.

Ralph is not necessarily going to be a repeat customer because he has very specific needs.

Make the process fast and simple: Ralph hates waiting. He isn’t going to spend much time at all browsing your store. If he can’t find what he’s looking for quickly, it’s goodbye Ralph. He’s more likely to come back if you make the process fast and simple. Make sure your website is easy to navigate and products are easy to find.

Search bar: Ralph is the most likely to use a search if you have one on your site. Consider using a search, such as our Availability Search for WooCommerce Bookings to help people like Ralph find what they need quickly.

Don’t be spammy: Ralph is also less interested in advertising. He knows what he wants and he doesn’t have time to be distracted. Ralph also isn’t interested in signing up for a newsletter. In other words, Ralph hates fluff.

Guest checkout: Consider enabling a guest checkout for customers like Ralph who only want to give minimal information. This will save Ralph the time of putting in extra details and setting up an account. Also look for ways you can make your checkout process simpler and more efficient. The less steps, the better.

Multiple payment options: Make sure you have multiple payment options, such as PayPal and Stripe, so Ralph can pay easily with his method of choice.

5 Key tips for selling to Rapid Ralph:

  • Easy to find buy now buttons
  • Fast loading and easy to navigate website – have an internal search
  • Simplify your checkout process
  • Enable guest checkout
  • Multiple payment options in the checkout

Savvy Sally

Woman reading book

Sally is a pro in your area. She knows everything there is to know, and what she doesn’t know, she will find out. Sally wants to know that you can actually help her solve her problem. She wants to be communicated with at her level.

Easily accessible information: Sally is more likely to buy from you if she can find out all the information she wants to know easily. If your store doesn’t display basic information, such as price, photos, and product descriptions, Sally is likely to look elsewhere.

Quality, quality, quality: Unlike Discount Dave, Savvy Sally is not comparing prices, but she is comparing quality. Savvy Sally will judge you based on your store’s design, layout, product features, reviews, and the speed and standard of your support. Sally doesn’t like coming to an outdated website. She can tell if you’ve put in a lot of effort or not. Sally will not buy from a website that looks unprofessional. She wants to know that you are as knowledgeable as she is.

Refund policy: Back yourself with a no questions asked refund guarantee so Sally knows you really believe in your products and services.

Display your reviews: Sally will be reading all your reviews. This is the internet, so you’re bound to get a negative review or so, even if you do everything perfectly. Treat your negative reviews as a way to show how helpful and down to earth your business is by replying respectfully and addressing the customer’s concern. This will help you gain Sally’s respect.

Support: Sally is likely to contact you with questions, feedback, requests, and advice. She’ll expect a quick and honest response. If you can’t answer her properly, Sally will likely move on because she’ll think you don’t know what you’re talking about. Sally doesn’t want to be messed around.

Connect with Sally by making it easy for her to find out everything she wants to know and gaining her trust.

Take in feedback: Sally may come at you with problems that she is trying to solve. Chances are your competitors are experiencing these problems as well. Take note of them and try to solve them. It could be very vaulable and put you ahead of your competition.

Be honest: Sally appreciates honesty. Make sure you’re honest with Sally if you don’t know about something and tell her you’ll gladly look into it for her if it’s something you think might benefit your business.

Be a resource: Putting effort into things like educational blog content, podcasts, video tutorials, and webinars can really help to engage Sally who loves to learn new things. It also shows Sally that you are an expert in your area and helps her to trust that you know what you’re doing and won’t let her down.

Online community: Your online presence will be noticed by Sally. She’s probably in all the relevant forums. The more you comment and offer useful tips and advice across the internet, the more familiar Sally will become with your name and brand.

Sally doesn’t want to make the wrong decision. She’s compared your product to every other similar thing out there. If you treat her right, Savvy Sally can be converted into a Loyal Lara.

5 Key tips for selling to Savvy Sally:

  • Detailed and up to date product features and documentation.
  • Display your reviews on your main and product pages.
  • Provide free trials or refund guarantees that will give Sally an opportunity to experience your product
  • Make it easy for her to contact your support or live chat with questions – be fast on support. Sally like answers quick.
  • Participate in the online community.

Clueless Carl

Man in suit fixing bicycle

The opposite to Savvy Sally is Clueless Carl. Carl isn’t necessarily tech minded. He might find online shopping a bit confusing or he might not be knowledgable about the products and services you sell.

Make yourself available: The best way to put Carl at ease is to make sure you or a team member is available to answer his questions. A live chat is awesome, but if you can’t do that, have a contact/support page where Carl can get in touch with you if he has any questions.

Clear documentation: Carl will need clear instructions on the benefits and use of your product. This is something that’s good to have on any product because the more answers and information you can provide on your store, the less support tickets you will get from future Carls.

Clear documentation becomes particularly important if your products require multiple steps to install or put together. What might seem simple to you could be really confusing to Carl.

Use Carl’s questions to help you develop your FAQs and documentation.

Carl might surprise you with some of his questions because they might seem quite simple to you. But use this as an opportunity to improve your site’s documentation with the answers.

Simplify the checkout process: Carl will also need a clear easy checkout process. Make sure the buy now button is easy to find. The less steps in your checkout process. the better.

Carl might feel uncomfortable giving you information that he feels is unnecessary. The less personal information you ask Carl to give you, the better. If you do ask for personal information, make sure you explain what you need it for.

Remove noise: Random ads, popups and noise confuse and overwhelm Carl. The more simple and easy your site is to use, the more likely Carl is to complete a purchase. Make sure it’s easy for Carl to navigate your site and find what he’s looking for quickly.

5 Key tips for selling to Clueless Carl:

  • Be easy to contact.
  • Have great documentation and FAQs on your site.
  • Have an easy to find buy now button.
  • Keep your site and checkout process simple and easy to navigate.
  • Use Carl’s questions to help improve your site.

Wishful Wanda

Woman looking in shop window

Wishful Wanda is an online window shopper. She loves adding things to her wishlist and forgetting about them. The challenge is to get Wanda to buy something.

Use FOMO: One way to get Wanda to buy is to get her to feel the fear of missing out (FOMO). If she thinks the stock will be there forever, there’s no reason for her to move the items from her wishlist to the cart. Wanda is most likely to buy when she sees limited time offers or limited amount of stock.

Consider offering limited time bonuses with purchases of certain items, such as free samples with a certain purchase.

Be niche and unique: Wanda is more likely to buy from you if you have unique items that she can’t find anywhere else. Wanda wants to know that your products are special. If she can just get them anywhere, then there’s no point taking them off the wishlist and into the cart.

Accounts: Encourage Wanda to make an account with your store by offering her a discount or coupon for doing so. Even better, make the discount or coupon limited time use, so Wanda feels the need to buy sooner. You can use Wanda’s account to notify her about the items in her wishlist next time she logs in.

Newsletters: If you can get Wanda to commit to signing up to a newsletter, a free trial, or a product sample, there’s a chance she will eventually purchase from you. The closer she is to the products and the more real they seem, the more likely Wanda is to commit to buying the product.

Free trial: If you’re selling a service, consider offering Wanda a free trial that she can either end or extend by signing up officially when it’s finished. Once Wanda realizes how good your service is, hopefully she will be willing to pay for it.

Samples: If you’re selling products, consider offering Wanda a free sample. You’ll not only increase your brand familiarity with Wanda, chances are if she likes the sample, she might buy some more products from you.

5 Key tips for selling to Wishful Wally:

  • Use limited time offers, limited stock, and countdown banners.
  • Offer little rewards for adding items to the cart.
  • Offer bonus extras with purchases.
  • Encourage Wally to sign up to an account with your store.
  • Offer free trials or samples.

Impulsive Ian

Man looking at street advertisements

Impulsive Ian comes for one thing and ends up with four. He likes to keep up with the latest trends and is happy to replace a perfectly good item with a newer model.

Cross sell and upsell: Ian is very easy to cross sell and upsell to. He loves to hear about the new and exciting things in store. Consider having links to other similar products or more premium products on your product pages and in the checkout to encourage Ian to keep buying.

Posts and video demonstrations: Another great way to cross sell is to have posts and videos about your products and how they can be used together.

Short video demonstrations are perfect for Ian because they’re digestible and give him ideas on how he can use your products in his daily life.

First purchase discount: Offering a first order discount is one way to get Ian hooked in and interested in browsing your products. Keep Ian interested by sending him small coupons and vouchers that he can use for a limited time.

Bundle deals: Turn Ian into a higher paying customer by offering bundle deals with your other products. Since Ian often buys things he doesn’t need, offering a bundle discount across your products is one way to get him to buy more. This will work best if you combine products that customers tend to buy together.

Newsletter: The best way to sell to Ian is to give him a reason to subscribe to your newsletter that keeps him informed on the latest and greatest products in your store.

Easy checkout: You’re probably seeing a theme here with the checkout, but it’s true in Ian’s case as well. The easier and simpler the checkout process, the more likely Ian is to complete his purchase. If you make people jump through too many hoops, they might decide the purchase isn’t worth the effort, especially if it’s something they didn’t really need to buy anyway.

Clear refund policy: Make Ian’s impulse purchase risk free by offering a 14-day or 30-day money back guarantee. Since Ian doesn’t need your product, he’s a lot more likely to get it when he knows he has the option to return it if he changes his mind. Chances are, by the time he gets the product, he won’t be bothered returning it. After all, posting things back takes time and effort!

Example Ali Express

Ali Express thrives on impulsive shopper activity. They offer new users a discount and regularly send coupons to encourage people to browse their store. It’s hard to look anywhere without seeing a discount or a coupon offer on their site, which is great for Impulsive Ian!

5 Key tips for selling to Impulsive Ian:

  • Cross sell and upsell.
  • First purchase discount.
  • Product demonstration videos.
  • Simple checkout process.
  • Clear refunds policy.


Your strategy will depend on the type of customers you tend to attract. Take a look at what you’re selling and the type of customers you’re getting, and then decide which aspects of your store you should prioritize.

For example, if you sell novelty items, then you’re more likely to get Impulsive Ians browsing your store. Impulsive Ian is much more likely to click cross sell or upsell links. Your focus here would be to develop great cross selling links and videos, as well as making sure your checkout process is simple.

If you’re selling building equipment, you might be more likely to attract Savvy Sally who knows everything about what she wants to do, and Clueless Carl who has a great idea but no idea how to do it. In this case, you would focus on developing good documentation for all levels of expertise as your top priority.

Remember, Loyal Lara is your most valuable customer, but nobody starts off as Lara. Almost all the other types of customers have the potential to be like Lara, you just have to find a way to encourage them to get there!

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Hi, I'm Lari.
I hope what I've written here is easy to understand and you find it useful. Feel free to drop a comment if you've got any questions or topics you want me to look into and write about! Catch you in the next one 😊

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