Gone are the days of customers being tied to a geographical area or shop opening times and if you’ve been underestimating or failing to understand the sophistication of your target audience then it’s about time you woke up and smelled the 24hr coffee.

There are innumerate ways to get instant retail therapy online and savvy shoppers are less likely to be brand loyal as much as they’re less likely to pay attention to generic advertising techniques.

You only have to consider what influences your own online buying habits to realise what you’re up against and the sooner you can begin to understand what motivates your company’s potential customers then at least you’ll be giving yourself a fighting chance on a global playing field.

Below are a few of the personalities that you may recognise as your customer base and if you can aim to target their specific needs and habits then you’ll stand a much higher chance of cracking that all-important conversion conker.

The Lounge Lizard

These guys are just as likely to be watching daytime TV as they will be surfing the net for potential purchases and are probably more likely to be living in an urban area as opposed to a more rural retreat. Maternity leave lizardmums, freelancers, stay at home dads and those who are ‘in between jobs’ are all Lounge Lizard types and have lots of time to sit and browse their tablet, PC or lap-top in the comfort of their own home.

Typical traits: more likely to flick between sites and have the time to compare prices and read product reviews so make sure you prepare your promotions with this in mind.

The Loyal Flush

Although this online shopping personality makes up an extremely small portion of the web’s total users, they are the most likely to be staunchly tied to a brand or company and will continue to visit a particular site unless something irrevocably awful happens to their current way of thinking. Probably going to be using a tablet and less likely to be getting involved with shopping on the mobile and if you can reward such loyalty with a regularly updated website or e-newsletter, containing special offers and relevant content, then the chances are that they’ll love you forever.

Typical traits: they know what they like, they know where it is and they’ve got the cash to splash so make sure you treat them with the respect they quite rightly deserve.

The Tease

If you’ve ever seen a discarded shopping basket overflowing with goods but with no owner in sight then this is pretty much the essence of the Tease. These time wasters will take you to the brink of purchasing pleasure and then saleslistfail to convert their shopping basket just at the vital moment leaving you bereft of a sale and desperately analysing yet another shopping basket fail. Probably going to be browsing using Google Chrome and also displaying signs of nocturnal activity – be warned.

Typical traits: a lack of empathy as well as a game playing attitude symbolises the scourge of the online shopping analyst and stats should be treated accordingly if this is typical of your customer base.

The Gamer

Faster than a speeding bullet and displaying all the signs of someone who is in a hurry and really happy to make a purchase on the bus via their mobile. These are definitely the personalities who are extremely comfortable with modern technology and consider themselves to be well-versed in what it means to be an online shopper. These gamers get in, get out and wait for the daily postal service to arrive right on their desk.

Typical traits: not prepared to waste time and will happily leave the souls of others lying trampled in their wake. Best advice is to ensure your site provides an easily accessible and obvious means of making a purchase.

Whichever online shopping personalties best represent your key audience there’s bound to be a touch of all of the above bound up within your main customer base. By identifying different character traits and how an individual will make a purchase you can tailor your online marketing efforts to suit your main demographic and avoid following red herrings which can often prove to be a complete waste of your time and resources.