A grandparent looking to gift her grandchild has to be sold differently than a mother looking to buy school supplies for her 9-year old. Likewise, maybe there are higher than usual upselling opportunities to a customer purchasing birthday party supplies.
Being an expert children's goods seller, you adapt your selling style, and pitch, to the sales situation. But an ecommerce website cannot be as personal. As a result, maybe you could have multiple ecommerce websites catering to different audiences.
You could segregate your audiences along the following lines:
- By customer type
- By product type
- By special occasion
- By ticket-size
- By volume
A Specialist Website for Each Type of Customer
If you have an ecommerce business that sells health products targeted to senior citizens, your entire website design, starting from the domain name itself, could be laser targeted to the audience. Without getting trapped into listing stereotypes of this audience type, here are some of the potential features of your website:
- You could use a larger font-size, as statistically this audience would demonstrate a greater likelihood of having poorer eyesight.
- You could stamp symbols of certifications all over the website, to build the credibility necessary for selling health related products.
A Specialist Website for Each Type of Product
A website selling children's apparel needs to have bright colors and some animation. But a website selling vitamins to the same children probably needs a mellow design, along with video testimonials by concerned mothers. A website that targets co-curricular educational products to the same set of customers will probably need an entirely different approach -- one that lists the credentials of the seller.
The case is clear: the same customers prefer a different purchase atmosphere depending upon the product that they are purchasing. This premise supports the need for a specialist website for different categories of products.
A Specialist Website for Each Occasion, Ticket-Size, Purchase Volume
What is the similarity between a large carving knife and cranberry sauce? These seemingly unrelated products become popular at Thanksgiving. So, if you had a specialist Thanksgiving sites: MyThanksgivingSupplies.com, you could potentially sell many more products to the same person. You could also gear up your supply chain for the characteristics of this special occasion, for e.g., gearing up to ship frozen turkey all over the country.
If you are selling high-ticket luxury goods, your entire ecommerce strategy, including the domain name, pricing, visual website design, and all other aspects could reflect the premium quality and price of the goods you sell.
If you are targeting volume buyers, e.g., purchase managers, then the price as well as preferred shipping options could vary. A wholesale, bulk-buying website could offer membership benefits which are geared towards high-volume buyers. For instance if you are selling printer paper, that paper could have the buyer's company logo printed on it.
Why Not Roll Up All These Features Into One Website
One could argue that the nature of customizations indicated above could all be incorporated into the same website. And each section of the website could be given a different feel. That line of reasoning makes sense. In fact large websites such as Amazon.com attempt to do that.
However, you need to think about whether there is room left to realistically create a few more Amazon.coms, or whether one needs to be a specialist player in order to creating a lasting impression on the customer's mind.
Also, it is not just about having a relevant look-and-feel for the website. It is also about the domain name itself -- especially if the domain name includes common words. For example, a domain name such as MommyCaresForYou.com would make a lot of sense to someone for a website that sells health products for children. But it would be irrelevant to a website selling trading cards.
Ultimately, the decision of choosing one online store that sells everything, or multiple specialist online stores, is dependant on the ecommerce business plan that you have developed. Everything else, for e.g., the pay per click strategy, follows from the business plan.
Postscript: Two domain names -- MyThanksgivingSupplies.com and MommyCaresForYou.com -- are mentioned in the article for illustrative purposes only. At the time of writing this article, neither of those were registered. Also read: What Is Ecommerce?