Every store has an ideal customer. Those are the buyers that keep coming back over and over, have deep pockets, and never demand too much attention. If you plan on running a successful store, you need to have an idea of what your ideal wholesale customer profile looks like.
The concept of a customer “profile” is simple. In practice, most customers always fit into some type of persona. Your ideal customer persona should be the type of client that benefits your store the most and that causes the fewest problems.
In this article, we’ll talk about the concept of customer personas and why you need to figure out yours. Then we’ll discuss the characteristics that make for an ideal wholesale customer profile. Let’s get to it!
What are customer personas or profiles?
Understanding who your customers are is essential if you plan on running effective marketing campaigns. The messages that might resonate with a type of customer might not be as effective with others. If you don’t know who your “best” customers are, you run the risk of alienating them.
Customer profiles are models that you create based on your real customers. If you collect analytics, you’ll have access to a lot of information about customers, such as:
- Where they’re located
- What their age group is
- What their interests are
- How much they’re spending on products
In modern times, collecting all of that data isn’t difficult. Free tools such as Google Analytics will give you access to staggering amounts of information concerning your website’s visitors:
WooCommerce also provides you with plenty of data about customer behavior and orders. When you combine that information with analytics from third-party resources, you get all the pieces that you need to assemble customer profiles:
If you’re using Wholesale Suite, you can also take advantage of the integration with Metorik. The software connects with both WooCommerce and Wholesale Suite to provide you with in-depth analytics about your customers and how they behave within your store.
What Makes For An Ideal Wholesale Customer Profile?
Naturally, you want your business to attract customers that orders frequently, has a high order value and that are easy to deal with. However, that’s not a realistic customer profile. If you want to target the right customers, you need to craft more in-depth personas that you can market to.
Here are some characteristics to keep in mind when creating a wholesale customer persona.
One of the biggest challenges of running a wholesale store is shipping. Since you deal with massive orders on a regular basis, you need to ensure that shipment proceeds without an issue. That means:
- Reducing shipping times and costs as much as possible
- Offering quality packaging
- Using shipping services that customers like
As the distance between you and your customers grows, so do the challenges associated with shipping. Ordering wholesale from halfway around the world can be a headache.
There are plenty of horror stories from stores ordering from wholesale distributors located continents away that end up in disaster. A lot of customers will be wary about ordering from a wholesale store that can’t provide support due to geographic restrictions.
With that in mind, your ideal wholesale customer persona should be relatively local. That means customers that you can ship products to fast and without too many headaches. How big that geographic range is will depend on the types of products that you’re selling and shipping logistics.
When you sell wholesale, it’s important to understand the people who buy from you are usually not the end-users for the products that you sell. Your customers are distributors with their own stores who buy from you to sell retail at a markup.
That distinction is important because you need to know who your customer personas are selling to. One way to do that is to ask the following questions:
- What age are the people that use these products?
- What do customers use my products for and what pain points do they solve?
- Where are most end-users located and what is their gender?
- Is there a time during the year when people use these products more?
The answers to those questions will help you market products more effectively to your own customers. A lot of distributors look for customer information when they buy products wholesale. That means they expect you to provide insight into how they can sell products and even retail pricing recommendations.
A lot of wholesale stores limit themselves to sales only. Providing support and information for your ideal wholesale customers will help differentiate your store and keep users coming back to you.
Not every wholesale customer will resell your products using the same channels. Some customers might sell online only, whereas others will also have physical locations to showcase your products in.
Ideally, you’ll know what store type each of your customers uses. That way, you’ll know what type of stores sell more products and which ones make more orders and buy more products from you.
It can be hard to know what store type your customers run unless you use a custom wholesale user registration form. Wholesale Lead Capture enables you to set up wholesale registration forms that include any fields you might need:
With this plugin, you can ask users what channels they plan on using to sell your products before you approve their registration. Afterward, you can simply keep tabs on which customers are making the biggest orders.
Moving on from logistical considerations, an ideal customer profile needs to contain information about who those users are. You already have some of that information thanks to analytics – some of that data includes:
- Geographic location (we already covered this one)
- Demographics data such as age and gender
- Their position within the business
If store owners are the ones doing the actual purchases, that’ll be part of their customer profile. However, in a lot of cases, stores will have dedicated buyers whose job it is to restock inventory. In that case, your customer profile needs to note their position within the business.
The way that you market products to an employee will be different than if you’re dealing with a store owner. Business owners may be more interested in information about how to market and resell products, as well as price ranges. Employees, on the other hand, will likely focus on quick shipping times and having access to support in case anything goes wrong.
Having an ideal wholesale customer profile provides you with insight into who your best buyers are. That information can help you when creating marketing campaigns, deciding how to promote products within your store, and in choosing what offers or discounts to make.
Narrowing down what your ideal customer profile is can be a challenge. Here are the characteristics that you should consider when building a profile:
- Geographic location
- Demographics served
- Store type
- Buyer profile
Do you have any questions about how to create a wholesale customer profile? Let’s talk about them in the comments section below!