How to Leverage Psychographic Marketing for Your eCommerce Store

By Nikole Wintermeier on March, 25 2020

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Nikole Wintermeier

Content Copywriter at tech and data company Crobox in Amsterdam. Invests in beer, basketball, and books. Big fan of psychology and alliteration.

As an eCommerce marketer, you’re tracking behavioral and transactional data. 

You’ve done your market research. Checked out what your competitors are doing. Carried out customer research. Analyzed shopping behavior on your webshop. 

Despite this, your ROI is low. Your sales cycle is stunted. 

 

Your customers are bouncing right back. Your campaigns just aren’t resonating with them. 

 

You’re not alone. 

 

According to Acquia, 61% of consumers feel that brands don’t know them. 

 

Yet 87% of marketers are confident that they are delivering a winning customer experience! 

 

Why is there such a mismatch?

 

Just like you, everyone thinks they’re delivering the best.

 

But if your customers don’t feel understood as people - well, I hate to break it to you, but you are failing. 

 

So what’s the key to getting to know your customers on a deeper level? 

 

How do you deliver more relevant and personalized experiences of your webshop and products? 

 

I’ll let you in on a little secret: it’s all about psychographic marketing

 

Leveraging psychographic marketing for your eCommerce store will help you bridge the gap between data and consumer psychology. 

 

It’s a winning marketing strategy that will keep your customers coming back for more, get them talking about your products, and foster authentic relationships with your brand. 

 

So, what’s it all about?

What is Psychographic Marketing?

 

Psychographic marketing is the process of segmenting your customers based on their psychological makeup and then delivering them more relevant campaigns that appeal to their psychographics.

 

What Are Psychographics? 

 

Whereas demographic, transactional, and behavioral data look at the “who, what, where, and how” of your target audience, psychographics look at the why. 

 

Psychographic data is any information about your customers’ psychological drives. 

 

So if my demographic profile says: 

 

  • Female, <30, Eurasian, single

 

My psychographic profile would say: 

 

  • Millennial, likes cats, reads fiction, passion for travel and spicy food 

 

Psychographics vs. Demographic Data

 

So there are differences between psychographics vs. demographics. But by combining the two you’re actually completing your customer data puzzle:

 

Psychographics vs Demographic Data

Source: Crobox

 

Demographics are country, gender, age, income, profession, and marital status. Psychographics, on the other hand, are more nuanced. 

 

Psychological variables, include, but are not limited too:

 

  • Lifestyle
  • Personality
  • Interests
  • Socio-economic class
  • Religion
  • Beliefs
  • Purchasing motives
  • Activities
  • Attitudes
  • Goals
  • Values

 

Understanding these deep-seated drives will enhance your customer profiles and personas. And this is key for smarter eCommerce marketing. 



Why Do You Need Psychographic Data For Ecommerce?

 

Above all, you need psychographic data for eCommerce in order to create more data-driven marketing campaigns.

 

This is done by building personalized profiles of your customers. These profiles then allow for better segmentation which will help you:

 

  1. Understand your customers on a deeper level 
  2. Speak the same language as your audience segments 
  3. Create email, social, and paid campaigns that are more relevant and effective 
  4. Develop closer relationships with your customers 

 

Psychographics will complete your customer data puzzle and make people fall in love with your brand. 

 

But don’t just take it from me. 

 

The best brands are using psychographics for better eCommerce marketing. 

 

Why You Need Psychographic Marketing

 

Take a look at the image above of Adidas’ homepage banner. Adidas’ commercial value relies on selling feelings, personalities, and lifestyles, over product attributes. This is psychographic data in action. We’ll deep-dive some more examples a little later on.


But first - how do you collect this kind of information?

How Do You Collect Psychographic Data For Marketing?

 

There are several ways you can collect psychographic data. Like I mentioned above, you’ll need to understand psychographic variables to create psychographic profiles. 

 

This means that the first thing you need to do is talk to your customers. 

 

1. Use Surveys, Interviews, And Focus Groups


Psychographic marketing is about asking your customers:

 

  • What do you believe in?
  • What is your opinion on this?
  • What values do you hold?
  • How would you describe yourself? 

 

Instead of simply asking them what they like or dislike about your products or brand. 


However, the disadvantage of surveys, interviews, and focus groups is that social proof and other biases may cause your customers to hide their true intentions. 


Webshop surveys like Crayola’s are a good strategy to determine purchase intention on-site in a non-intrusive way, and without the social pressures of focus groups: 

Crayola Survey Psychographic Data


Surveys help eliminate bias because without the social pressures of seeking justification for behavior from others, customers have to rely on their own making their own choices. 


That being said, webshop data is necessary to bridge the gap between what your customers say and what they do online... 

 

2. Track And Optimize Micro-Conversions


People mistakenly think that tracking the bigger picture will, well, give you the “bigger picture”. But this isn’t always the case. 

 

Micro-conversions (smaller, focused measurements) are also important - don’t forget the little guy! 

 

Micro-conversions are things like:

 

  • Clicks 
  • Pageviews 
  • Add-to-cart 
  • Joining an emailing list 
  • Searching & comparing product prices 
  • Subscriptions 
  • Using the search filter

 

These conversions operate on all levels of your funnel and will tell you a lot about who your customers are. 

Tracking Micro Conversions

 

For example, you can use a tool like Hotjar’s Heatmap to track clicks, scroll depth, and time-on-site. Tracking these mico-conversions can help you learn how users interact with elements on your eCommerce site as well as potentially get a better understanding of their needs and interests.

 

Tracking behavioral data also means asking yourself:

 

  • How did your customers get to your webshop (through social media, search engine, referral?)
  • Did your customers look at a review before making a purchase?
  • How many of your customers completed their orders?
  • Are they using an app, mobile phone, tablet, or laptop?
  • Is their shopping behavior different if they come from different countries?
  • What products have they recently viewed?

 

Usually, eCommerce metrics can be tracked using cookies. Google Analytics will then help you visualize behavioral data: 

Google Analytics Visualize Behavioral Data


GA helps you filter by interests, which is where your psychographic profiles will come from: just click on Analytics, Audience, and then Interests, and this is then grouped into categories.

Filter By Interests Google Analytics


Understanding behavioral data is the first step, making assumptions about who your customers are in relation to their behavior is the next. 

 

Turning behavioral data into psychographics is how you leverage psychographic marketing for your eCommerce store in an actionable way. 

 

But, of course, don’t forget the power of social media. 

 

3. Track User-Generated Hype And Stay Active On Social Media


Understanding your customers’ lifestyles means getting “on their level”. And what better way to join the conversation than through social media? 54% of millennials research products on social media before they buy them. And in 2017, the top 500 retailers earned around $6.5 billion from social shopping

 

On Twitter, you can find the psychographics of your followers by going to:

 

Twitter Ads - Analytics - Audience Insights. This will give insight into the demographics but also the interests of your campaign audiences, followers, organic audience, tailored audience, and all Twitter users. 

 

On Facebook, you can also filter by psychographics which will allow you to find out information about your shoppers for better segmentation. Just select:

 

Business manager - menu icon - Audience Insights. From here you can choose to select either “Everyone on Facebook” or “People connected to your page” (for re-engagement). 

 

Social media is important because every platform will reveal the personalities of your target group and the nuances between them. It’s quick data that every retail marketer should be comfortable leveraging for psychographic profiling. 


How To Use Psychographic Data In Ecommerce

Making data actionable across your marketing channels

 

Example 1: J. Crew

JCrew Example Collecting Psychographic Data

One way to leverage psychographic data on your webshop is to use psychological product tags on your PLP. 

 

For example, J. Crew places “New” and “Best Seller” tags on their products. If customers convert based on “New” this means they likely respond to the psychological principle of Novelty. If they convert based on the best seller badge, it could be attributed to their response to Social Proof.

 

Of course, this strategy is all about Inferring meaning from product badges. And for this to work you should have a good understanding of consumer behavior and psychology, as these badges are based on Cialdini’s principles of persuasion.

 

This knowledge can help you segment your audience by their psychological profiles into people who respond to Novelty, Authority, Scarcity, Social Proof, etc., as this says a lot about what motivates them to buy. 

Example of Customer Segmentation

Example of customer segmentation by country (demographics) and principle (psychographics). In this graph, customers from the Netherlands respond best to Social Proof messages.

 

Using psychographic segmentation and your newly optimized customer profiles, you can then tailor your campaigns to those segments by applying more relevant imagery and copy. 

 

So let’s imagine for a second that J. Crew found that their customers’ on-site behavior (coupled with their other data points) could be combined to make the segment: hipster-male-Tumblr-users. 

 

The same segment clicked on product tags with Authority messaging on-site. 

JCrew Example 2

By drawing assumptions from these messages and leveraging segmentation, J. Crew is able to deliver more relevant copy to target that particular segment. 

 

This ad above shows David Karp Tumblr CEO. So here we have J. Crew leveraging an authority figure that the hipster-male-Tumblr-user segment would look up too. 

JCrew Example 3

The same ad changes when a different psychographic segment is targeted. So for this ad above, we can imagine that J. Crew is targeting one of their high-value segments: the modern-day professional, male, who likes quality, and values a contemporary, clean look, but who also converted based on Authority product badges on-site.  

 

So, to recap:

 

The first step is analyzing the behavior of your audience. The second is to infer meaning from this behavior. And the third is to use these insights to optimize your marketing workflow

 

DIY

 

  • Simple on-site optimizations will help you to segment according to psychographics and deliver more personalized campaign copy or product descriptions. 
  • Use eCommerce tools for product badging and behavioral insights experts to make sense of your data.
  • Read Cialdini’s Weapons of Influence to get a better idea of the psychology behind communication and which messages work to drive purchase behavior.
  • It also helps if you have someone in your team who has a background in psychology or behavioral science to infer meaning from these messages. 
  • You can further optimize your marketing copy with insights from psychological badges and segments that converted in response to these (e.g. for your Novelty segment you can push campaigns with fresh starts, recommend new products or optimize your copy/ product descriptions with “Just in”, “Latest”, “Recently arrived”, or “Current crush”). 



Example 2: The Sill

The Sill


The Sill is a plant webshop - very millennial. That being said, they do a good job of personalizing their webshop copy to the millennial target audience. 

 

But more than this, The Sill marketers have done their research into their customers’ lifestyles and the why behind the buy. 

 

The Sill noted that their high-value segment is “gift-givers”, and thus created an email campaign targeting this particular purchase motive: 

The Sill 2 Psychographic Example

 

The email campaign leverages the language of the gift-giving segment, whilst offering a Gift Card option as a call to action that will direct customers back to The Sill webshop. 

 

DIY
Psychographic Example Email Campaign

    • If you have a “gift-wrapping” option on your checkout page, this is both a nudge that streamlines checkout for your shoppers, but one that can also feedback data to you showing which customer segments are primarily gift-givers.
    • The Sill also has a “Gift Happy” section on their webshop. Those who click on the CTA more than other sections on their webshop can once again be segmented into “gift-givers”. 
    • The Sill also leveraged Google Shopping campaigns, and with AdWords, their revenue grew 4.4%. Another good strategy to collect psychographic data. 
    • Track digital “interest tribes (online communities of subcultures) to see the language your target audience is using in order to - 
  • Find your niche and capitalize on it! The Sill does a great job of targeting the young, apartment-dwelling, busy millennial who loves plants, speed, and convenience when shopping, and this goes a long way with their customers. 

The Sill Psychographic Marketing Email Example


Example 3: Everlane 

 

The eco-retailer Everlane leverages user-generated content in order to optimize their psychographic marketing. 

 

In an email campaign they deliver this survey to encourage their customers to rate their products:

Everlane Example

The email is framed in a way in which an expert designer asks customers to complete the survey. Those that do can be segmented into the psychographic category of customers who respond to Authority. 

 

This same segment is then delivered more targeted ads, like this one on Facebook:


Everlane Psychographics Facebook

In the above Facebook ad, Everlane continues to leverage Authority by using a quote from InStyle Magazine (the expert, authority figure represented by the well-known fashion magazine who endorses the boot). 

 

Not only this, but the email survey above asks what customers love about their products. So for customers who said they enjoy the ease of wear in the silk shirt, the “easy-on pull tabs” are highlighted as a product attribute in the rain boot. 

Everlane

 

And this kind of messaging helps inform other omnichannel campaigns, like in the print ad above. 

 

You could use this strategy to ask your customers what they love about your products, and then push these attributes across different campaigns. If a different customer segment likes the “eco-friendly” product attribute of the shirt, then this often reveals more about the persons’ values and beliefs. 

 

This psychographic data can then be used to either market eco-friendly products or optimize your communication with sustainability messaging.

 

It’s a win for your customers because they can find the products they want. And it’s a win for you because you generate both product and customer data that optimizes your communication and merchandising. 

DIY

  • It’s all about understanding what appeals to your customers, as each segment will have a different product attribute that they respond too. Hedonic shopping is (after all) a personal experience unique to the individual. 
  • Surveys are a great way to foster an understanding of these opinions, and will also provide relevant data for your marketing and merchandising teams (if most people respond to the “waterproof” product attribute of the shoe, for example, then merchandising may want to prioritize these on the PLP, whereas marketing may want to create collateral around this as a USP).
  • User-generated data (like reviews) will help you see what different psychographic segments like or dislike about your products so that you can get a better understanding of their personalities and interests. 
  • What’s more, Facebook ads cost $0.27 per click, and IG ads can reach up to $3.00 per click. It’s up to you to assess which social media platforms your users are most active for further targeting.  
  • Everlane has a distinct style that matches the tone of their target audience. Your branding should also be in line with your customers’ personalities and opinions. Effectively, psychographic data can inform your entire branding philosophy and marketing strategy. 



Get Started With Psychographic Marketing 

 

So there you have it. 

 

This article provides reasons why a psychographic marketing strategy is so crucial for your eCommerce store. 

 

We’ve discussed the tools you can use to collect psychographic data and provided examples of psychographic marketing from three very different webshops. 

 

In short, this article can be your psychographic marketing springboard to get you started. 

 

But don’t forget: psychographics are the missing piece of your data puzzle. You can’t leave demographics, transactional, and behavioral data behind. 

 

Good luck!

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