In one of my last blog posts I analyzed the Walmart and Target websites to see which had a better online shopping experience. I used feelings and needs statements as the basis of my analysis, and to no surprise to me, Target won the analysis.
Who is Target’s Primary Customer?
Now I’ve set off to create user profiles, personas, and scenarios to figure out exactly what type of people shop at Target. After doing some research, I’ve found that the Target’s primary customer base is…me. Well, not exactly, but according to Numerator, “Target’s typical shopper is a white suburban mother between 35 and 44 years old. She typically has some college or a 4-year degree education with a household income of $80,000.” While this doesn’t match my persona exactly, it’s pretty darn close!
What is a Persona?
It’s important to first note the difference between a user profile and a user persona. A user profile is a detailed description of a users’ attributes that will help you understand who the product (Target website) is for. User profiles are typically made through collecting data about your users, in order to create a profile. This data can include how long users spend on the website, how many times they access the website, and what actions they perform.
To help build empathy, a semi-fictional persona is created to describe a specific user or customer. Personas are used by user experience researchers to help keep the end users in focus. Personas make it easier to understand the reasons behind a user’s actions, as well as their goals and customer journey. At least one persona per user type should be created, and only create as many personas as needed.
User goals are used to define what the user wants to achieve. For example, I am always looking for a great deal on products. User actions (or journey) are used to see what the user does to solve their problem. So, for my search for great products, Target has a great “deals” tab right on the home page. This is a useful explanation as to why a specific user would go to the deals tab.
Motivation Vs. Ability
Motivation Vs. Ability helps user experience designers figure out what motivates users to purchase or use products vs. what might inhibit them to do so. For example, if a user were motivated to shop online but were inhibited by shipping costs, you could include them in the price of the product, or offer free shipping.
In my own example, my ability to shop online is fairly high because I find it very easy to navigate and use the Target website. But my motivation to actually purchase something is mid-way because I like to try on clothes and feel products before purchasing.
Environment & Influencers
While these aren’t quite user scenarios, these statements briefly describe what environment I might use Target.com. I don’t like using my phone to shop online unless I know exactly what I’m looking for and can checkout quickly. I do have the Target App which is helpful to me. Typically I prefer to use my computer to browse online so I can see the photos larger.
Personas should include primary, secondary, and tertiary users as well. A primary user is someone who uses the Target website regularly (me), a secondary user would be someone who uses the Target website infrequently, and a tertiary user would be someone who has influences or are decision makers.
I listed a few other personas that could be related or could be similar to mine. I was able to create these sample personas based off of my persona and Target’s primary customer base. These personas are around my age range, single or married, make similar incomes, and could be with or without children.
Lastly, I created a Persona Matrix. This helps visualize where these similar or related personas would fit in the context of my persona. I think that I am an outlier in this situation because, unlike many of my peers, I prefer to shop in person. If I must shop online, then I prefer to do my research on products and use my desktop computer. There are a lot of obstacles that my similar personas don’t care about as much as I do.
Along with my own Target Persona, I created an additional fictional persona based off of my own assumption of who else shops at Target. You can see my full Target Persona at the end of this post.