dropshipping target audience

How To Define Your Dropshipping Target Audience (2022 Guide)

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If you’re starting or currently running a dropshipping store, do you already know your ideal target audience? If not, it’s important for the success of your business to figure out how to find the right audience for your dropshipping store and to be as specific as possible when targeting customers in your advertising and marketing efforts.

Dropshipping audience targeting is crucial because it allows you to focus on marketing to people who are actually interested in what you’re selling. When you ignore this essential step, you end up marketing to everyone, which usually results in a low ROI and wasted marketing spend. Instead, you should always speak to a specific audience so that you can effectively capture their interest and connect with them in your marketing.

Not sure how to find an audience for your dropshipping store? This dropshipping targeting guide will teach you how to find and target your dropshipping audience to increase your chances of making sales and growing your business.

Why Is Finding Audience So Important For Dropshipping?

One thing that a lot of new dropshipping entrepreneurs skip over is doing the research involved with finding the right audience for their dropshipping store. This is because the thought is that they will just market to everyone, and the right people will come into their store to buy. This could not be further from the truth.

In order to be successful with dropshipping, you need to do your research so you can find and target a specific audience to sell to. When you know who to market to, your marketing not only becomes easier to come up with but also becomes more effective. This is because you’re no longer wasting time, money, and energy marketing to people who will never buy from you.

Speaking to people in general, rather than to a specific group of people, can be difficult to do in a way that actually connects with potential buyers. However, when speaking to a very specific audience, you know more about them and how to capture their attention and interest. This allows you to form a connection with them. When your target audience feels like you understand them and their needs, they’re more likely to buy from you.

Below we’ll go a little more in-depth about some of the biggest reasons why finding an audience is so vital for your dropshipping store.

Helps with marketing

When you know who your target audience is, it becomes much easier to market to them. This is because you no longer have to guess what they might want or need. You already know because you’ve done the research and know everything about them. Additionally, you’ll be able to tailor your marketing messages better to speak directly to them, making your marketing much stronger.

Influences product development

When you know who your audience is, you can better select or develop products that they are likely to buy. This is why your target audience should also play a role in product development. You’ll want to make sure that the products you’re dropshipping are products that your target audience actually wants and will buy. If you don’t do this, then you run the risk of dropshipping products that no one actually wants, which is a massive waste of time and money.

But how can you use your audience to influence product development? Take the time to research and listen to your audience. Learn all about their lives, what they enjoy, what their needs and struggles are, and more. When you know everything there is to know about your audience’s life, interests, and behaviors, it becomes easier to see which types of products they either need or will be drawn to.

Increases Revenue

As a business, the end goal is always to increase revenue. Finding and marketing to your target audience is one of the most effective ways to do this. When you know who your perfect audience is, it becomes much easier to market to them in a way that actually speaks to them and encourages them to buy your products. These are the segments of people who generate the most revenue for your business, so it only makes sense to push your marketing efforts towards them.

Because you’re marketing to people who are most likely to buy from you, you’ll see an increase in conversions which will lead to a rise in revenue for your dropshipping business.

Types Of Target Audience

Now that we’ve gone over some of the reasons why finding and targeting a specific audience is so important, let’s talk about the different types of target audiences that you can market to. Remember, marketing toward the general public isn’t going to resonate as well as marketing to a specific audience. Understanding the different target audiences you can market to will help you produce the optimal marketing strategies you know have a better chance of appealing to them.

target audience infographic

Demographics

One of the most common ways to target an audience is by their demographics. This includes factors such as age, gender, income, location, occupation, and more. When selling products, it’s important to consider all of these factors when trying to determine who your target audience should be.

Demographics data is pretty easy to get and understand from your analytics software or even the insights in your social media accounts. These platforms will usually provide the demographic groups of people drawn to your brand and your dropshipping store.

For example, you may find that most of the people visiting your website or social media pages are women between the ages of 25 and 40 who are single and have no children. While this is still a relatively broad group of people, it’s a good starting point, and you can narrow it down more as you collect more data.

Location

Location is another critical factor to consider when determining your target audience. If you dropship physical goods, you’ll want to make sure that you’re shipping to locations where there are people interested in buying your products. Additionally, you want to make sure that you’re covering the languages used in those locations.

In addition to the above, you can get more specific and note whether your target audience tends to reside in big cities or more rural areas, cold or hot climates, etc.  All of these factors will play a role in how you market to your target audience.

Interests and hobbies

Another way to target your audience is by their interests and hobbies. People are passionate about the things they enjoy, so if you can tap into that and market to them with their interests in mind, you’re more likely to reach them on an emotional level. Are the people most likely to buy your products book worms or outdoorsy types who love to go on a hike? Again, these types of details can help you come up with more effective marketing because people with different interests, personalities, and opinions will respond to different marketing messages, content, and calls to action. Figuring out exactly what they’ll respond to may take some trial and error, but by understanding what they enjoy you’ll have a pretty good head start.

Purchase Intents

Consider your audience’s purchase intent when coming up with your ideal target audience as well. What mindset is your audience in when they are buying or looking to buy something from your dropshipping store?

Are they looking for a specific item to solve a problem? Are they just browsing and not really sure what they want? Are they buying a gift for someone else and need some guidance?

Your target audience’s purchase intent will play a significant role in how you market to them. You can also divide purchase intent audiences up by things like:

  • Those who use the search box rather than browse your catalog
  • Product or category page session length
  • Shoppers who abandon their carts
  • Those who watch a certain percentage of a video ad

When marketing to your target audience, you want to make sure that you speak their language and reach them where they are. The above are just some of the different ways you can segment and target the right audience, but there are endless possibilities.

So get creative and think outside the box when it comes to marketing to your target audience. While it can take some time to dig up and analyze the data to come up with your ideal audience, it will be worth it in the long run as you’ll be able to better connect with the people who are most likely to buy from you.

Steps To Define Your Audience

Now that we’ve gone over some of the factors to consider when determining your target audience, are you ready to find your perfect audience for your dropshipping store? It does take a little bit of work up front, but we’ve made it much simpler by providing this step-by-step dropshipping targeting guide that will walk you through how to find an audience for dropshipping stores.

Step 1: Define marketing goals

Before you can start targeting anyone, you need to first have a clear understanding of what your dropshipping store’s marketing goals are. Of course, you want more sales, but that’s not the only thing to consider. There are many other goals that your business should focus on that will eventually lead to more sales.

For example, Do you want to increase brand awareness? Focus on driving traffic to your store? Do you want more email subscribers? Once you know what your goals are, you can start to put together a plan on how to achieve them. The goals that you set should direct your marketing efforts so ensuring that you know what to focus on is key.

Research Your Audience

Now that you know what your dropshipping store’s goals are, it’s time to do a little research on your potential audience. The goal here is to create a buyer persona so that you can properly target the right audience. This can be done in a number of ways but we recommend starting with your current customer base.

If you already have customers, take a look at who they are and try to find commonalities between them. Piecing together this information can help you better understand who your target audience is and what they are looking for.

Some other ways to research your audience are:

  • Purchase history
  • Customer interviews
  • Consumer surveys
  • Website analytics
  • Social media insights
  • Industry research

Rather than just using one method or source of information, it’s wise to look at multiple sources to see where there are commonalities and differences. This will help you verify the data and give you a better idea of your target audience.

Identify key information

After you’ve done your research, you can use it to identify key information to build your buyer persona. These personas will be a representation of your target audience and will help you better understand who you’re marketing to. You can use a combination of more generic information such as age, combined with more specific information to build the right persona for your dropshipping business.

Some key information to use to define your buyer personas:

  • Location
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Income
  • Profession
  • Hobbies/interests
  • Values/beliefs
  • Education level
  • Relationship status
  • Buyer motivation
  • Buyer hesitations
  • Commonly used devices
  • Where they spend their time (online and offline)

The above are just some examples, but the more information you can gather, the better. The goal here is to ask questions and collect data that helps you understand your ideal customer. This will help you fine-tune your targeting so that you can better connect with the people who are most likely to buy from your dropshipping store.

Start marketing to your target audience

Now that you have all the information you need and have built a buyer persona that will help you market to your target audience, it’s time to start marketing with the intention to reach that specific group. Coming up with a marketing strategy to put into place should include defining pain points and figuring out which of your products will solve your customer’s problems and/or enhance their lives.

In addition, understanding where your target audience spends their time and what types of devices they’re using can help you decide where to market to your audience. Are they primarily using desktops or mobile devices? Do they spend more time on Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, or Tiktok? These types of questions will help you determine the most important platforms to try and reach your customers.

Analyze performance

As with anything in business, it’s essential to monitor your results and make changes as necessary. This is the only way to know if your marketing efforts are truly effective. Try different approaches, track everything, and take the time to thoroughly analyze how each one performs before making any major changes.

Is the persona you built not engaging in the way you expected? It may be time to try a different platform or marketing method to reach them. Or maybe it’s time to take a closer look at that persona and tweak it to better reflect the people who are most likely to buy from your dropshipping store.

In business, you’re always going to have to look at the data and make changes. But it’s important not to make these decisions or changes without any data to back it up.

Targeting Example For Dropshipping

Even though we’ve walked you through the steps on how to find your audience for a dropshipping store, it might be helpful to see a real life example.

Sugar Cosmetics

Sugar Cosmetics is a beauty brand with a target audience that includes women in the Indian market. These women are generally underserved by current cosmetics brands and Sugar Cosmetics strives to fill that gap.

Because of India’s climate (hot and humid with a monsoon season), women who live there have the challenge of finding makeup that has staying power through those conditions along with finding darker shades that match common skin tones in India.

Luckily, Sugar Cosmetics founder, Vineeta Singh, was ready to solve these problems by making women in India part of her target market and directing their product development and marketing efforts accordingly.

The brand’s target audience fits the following:

  • Indian women between 20-27
  • Resides in metropolitan areas
  • Consumes a lot of digital content
  • Inspired by global trends
  • Wants Indianized trends

All of the factors above help describe Sugar Cosmetics ideal buyer persona, allowing them to market more specifically to their target audience. For example, knowing that their target audience consumes a lot of digital content led the company to focus on reaching customers through social media platforms like Facebook and Instagram where they spend a lot of their time.

This is just one example of a company honing in on their target audience and using it to not only market directly to the right buyer, but also develop and offer products that solve their wants and desires. When you have a dropshipping store, it’s important to remember that you have the same opportunity to focus on a target market and serve them better than anyone else.

Best Ways To Reach Your Target Audience

Now that you know how important it is to target a specific audience for your dropshipping store and you’ve researched and studied your target audience enough to create the ideal buyer persona, let’s look at some of the best ways to reach them.

Facebook Ads

One of the most popular and effective ways to reach your target audience is through Facebook ads. Since you already know the demographics of your target audience, you can use the targeting options on Facebook to narrow down who sees your ad by location, age, gender, interests, and more. This makes for very effective ads and ensures that you’re not wasting ad spend on people who are not likely to visit your website or buy from your dropshipping store.

You can also create lookalike audiences on Facebook, which are people who share similar characteristics with your current customers. In addition, since Facebook owns Instagram, you can also set up ads for Instagram within the same platform.

Influencers

Influencers can be a tremendous asset to businesses, especially when you know your target audience and can find an influencer that attracts that specific type of buyer. This is especially effective if you’re selling products in a niche market where people are passionate about what they buy. For example, dropshippers who sell eco-friendly or sustainable products could partner with an influencer who promotes green living.

When working with influencers, it’s important to do your research and make sure they have an engaged following on a platform that your audience spends time on and that their following fits into your target audience. You should also be clear about what you want them to promote and what type of content you’re looking for.

Budgeting for influencers can be tricky because what they charge can vary greatly. Most influencers will charge you per post, but some companies will also offer an affiliate code or link where the influencer can earn a commission on any sales. Your best bet is to contact influencers that fit your criteria and work out a mutually beneficial deal.

Hashtags

Using hashtags on social media, like Instagram or TikTok, can get your own social media posts in front of the right audience. Researching the types of hashtags that your target audience is searching and using them in your own posts (as long as they’re relevant) can be a great way to expand your reach on social media platforms.

This can be a little tricky if you’re not familiar with social media or using hashtags, but you can develop a hashtag strategy or even use hashtag discovery tools to find the right ones in your dropshipping store’s niche.

Referral or affiliate program

What better way to attract your target audience than to use your current customers as marketing? Because your existing customers are likely within your target audience, there’s a good chance they also know other people who fit in with your buyer persona.

When you create a referral or an affiliate program for your dropshipping store, you offer an incentive to those who bring new customers to your store. This can be a one-time coupon code or a free product when they refer a new customer, or with an affiliate program, they may get a percentage of the sales that are made through their affiliate link.

While this does cut into your profits a bit because you will be either discounting orders or paying the customers who bring you new sales, it can be an effective sales tactic and can be built into your marketing budget.

Conclusion

There are a number of ways to attract your target audience to your dropshipping store. The key is to know who your target audience is and what type of messaging or content will resonate with them. Once you have that figured out, as we outlined here in this dropshipping targeting guide, you can use a variety of marketing tactics to reach your ideal customer so you’re spending your efforts marketing to people who are more likely to convert.

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Cam Morales
Cam Morales

Cam is the Founder & CEO of Brandafy.com, Bix Marketing.com and EcomUpstart - he built two 7 figure businesses since he started his entrepreneurship journey in 2016. He now helps others launch ecommerce stores and other online businesses.

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