Why read this? : We explore how different insight profiles shape your e-Commerce style. Learn the good and bad sides of Sunshine Yellows, Fiery Reds, Cool Blues and Earth Greens in e-Commerce. Read this to learn about different e-Commerce personality types.
A few months ago, we wrote about what we called the Three Monkeys of Marketing.
We shared how it’s common to use personality tests like the Myers Briggs Type Indicator and Lifestyles Inventory (LSI) in businesses. Then, we used the Insight Discovery profiles to identify different marketing styles and ways of working.
We compared yellow, red and blue personality styles to the well-known Three Monkeys which hear no evil (yellow), see no evil (red) and speak no evil (blue).
But these insight colour / monkey types don’t only exist in marketing. You also find them in e-Commerce. This week’s article looks at how different insight personality types affect your e-Commerce style.
Let’s start with the noisiest ones.
Sunshine Yellow Monkey e-Commerce style
Our first e-Commerce style is Sunshine Yellow.
You can’t miss them. They’re loud, sociable and full of energy and enthusiasm.
These extrovert feelers LOVE the idea of e-Commerce. It excites them because it’s so new and dynamic. NEW things motivate these types.
So they’re great to have on your team when you need to inspire others about e-Commerce.
Most people like the idea of e-Commerce when they’re the shopper. But as soon as you start e-Commerce planning, you find barriers in your business that hold you up. There are always issues and challenges.
For example, those more used to traditional retail channels often feel threatened by e-Commerce. They get defensive about it.
Inspire those who feel threatened and defensive
For example, take the National Sales Manager who sees e-Commerce as small in terms of sales. But as online sales grow, they don’t know how to handle the changing needs of the retailer.
Or the Head of Supply Chain who focuses on operational efficiency. Which means maximised warehouse capacity, container loads of products and low numbers of returns.
And then you come along and say you want to sell direct to consumer. Small, irregular batches of sales with much higher return rates.
Then, bring in the finance manager who can’t get over the shipping cost difference of selling online versus selling via traditional channels. (See our online store business models article for more on this).
No, e-Commerce isn’t always an easy sell. But the natural influencing and inspiring energy of Yellow personality types can help others think more positively about it as a channel. There’s a real benefit to your e-Commerce style from all that enthusiasm.
Where Sunshine Yellows struggle
However, there are also lots of detailed jobs to be done in e-Commerce. For example, the order to delivery process requires high attention to detail. Dealing with delivery costs. Managing customer service. You need consistency. And consistency is repetitive.
Yellow personality types HATE this.
It’s like sticking a pin in their excitement. They get bored and struggle to listen to the details. (So, they’re the hear no evil monkey).
So, choose how and where you use Sunshine Yellow types in your e-Commerce approach carefully. Bring them in at the start of projects when you need to generate ideas. They’re great at creative thinking. Use them as sounding boards when sales plateau. When you need to find new ideas to drive growth.
Yellow types are good at keeping an eye on what’s happening in the wider world of e-Commerce. They happily share examples of great advertising campaigns. Or customer service best practices they see other e-Commerce businesses doing.
Fiery Red Monkey e-Commerce style
Sunshine Yellow types love the IDEA of e-Commerce. But for Fiery Red types, it’s all about the ACTION. That’s their preferred e-Commerce style. Particularly when you set up your own store.
The idea of having total control over the channel has great appeal to them. Plus, being able to test and learn and DO e-Commerce taps deeply into the drivers for a Fiery Red e-Commerce style.
When you need stuff done
And let’s face it, there’s no shortage of jobs to be done when managing your own online store. Fiery Red types love to be busy. As per our set up your own online store guide, you’re never short of things to do.
Reds love to get stuck into the set-up, the look and feel, and the operation of the website. They have strong opinions of what it should look like. How it should work. Reds will want to lead the marketing for the online store. And to make sure the order to delivery process works well.
They’ll be keen to track the sales in a dashboard because they want to show their progress. Reds are competitive. They want to control the sales channel so they can show how fast they’re able to grow it.
Where Fiery Reds struggle
While you can rely on Fiery Reds to get stuff done, this isn’t always a good thing. They’re often on such a charge that they end up doing the wrong things.
And if things don’t go their way, or they feel others have let them down, they can become frustrated and volatile.
When a fiery red’s about to blow up, take cover.
Red personality types also love to look forward. They always want to be working on the next thing.
But this means it can be hard to make them stop and reflect. To learn from what’s happened in the past.
Plus, their relentless focus on sales targets can make them challenging project team members. Managing an online store usually isn’t a one-man job. It’s a team effort with support from other functions, like marketing, finance, IT and supply chain. Reds often lack empathy and aren’t great at getting others on board.
They’ve no sensitivity about pointing out when others get things wrong. When activities don’t work. This is challenging as there are always issues in e-Commerce. You have to test, learn and build your online shopper insights. This takes patience and attention to detail which Reds sadly lack. Reds don’t see these as issues. (So, they’re the see no evil monkey).
Red personality types are best used as project leads on new areas of functionality. Use them if you want to extend your portfolio, add new services or change your delivery options, for example. Their drive and determination to get things done move you forward. It’s where the Fiery Red e-Commerce style adds the most value to e-Commerce. They get things done.
Just don’t ask them to organise the team drinks to celebrate. Or to organise your marketing data plan.
Cool Blue Monkey e-Commerce style
Our final personality type is the Cool Blue.
At last, someone who can do detail and do your data analysis. And in e-Commerce, there’s a ton of data analysis to do.
Plus, they’ll happily run all the website tests you need.
When you need attention to detail
These page details include a unique identifier, a strong product description to drive sales and search ranking and the right level of product information. For example, ingredients, sizes, specifications, warnings and warranties. Cool Blue’s love of detail, structure and process thrives on pulling all this together.
Don’t even get us started on completing product details for the likes of Google Merchandise Centre or to list on Amazon.
Cool Blues likes to look at the need for IT systems and marketing technology for your e-Commerce store. They’re good at solving common marketing technology challenges. How do payments connect to your bank account, for example? What about inventory systems, how will that work? What systems do you need to track orders and deliveries? All the sorts of questions the Cool Blue e-Commerce style thrives on.
Where Cool Blues struggle
Cool Blue personality types are on the introverted thinker side of the insight profile. That introversion and focus on the task (and not people) impacts their ability to lead e-Commerce stores.
The success of an e-Commerce store comes from creating desire for the product or service you sell. That means understanding the motivations and behaviours of your target audience. This can be a stretch for the Cool Blue type.
E-Commerce stores need to be well set up with solid processes and consistent experiences. But ultimately, this is a hygiene factor. Other businesses can replicate it.
You need to find that extra creativity, that extra inspiration to make your e-Commerce store stand out. And Blues can spend so long thinking about how to get this right, that they miss opportunities and come late with ideas. (They’re the speak no evil monkey).
So, you can rely on Blues to do your data analysis. But creativity and inspiration aren’t areas where Cool Blues stand out.
And Earth Green e-Commerce styles?
You might think we’ve left the final personality style to the end as they’re the best for e-Commerce. Well, yes, and no.
What Earth Green types are good at is having empathy for other people’s feelings. This earth green behaviour is most valuable when building an e-Commerce team. It’s the e-Commerce style most likely to recognise the value of all the other e-Commerce styles.
Most e-Commerce guides focus on the process of selling. But if you manage an online store, it’s also important to think about the people behind the process.
That’s the different e-Commerce styles you have in the team. And, how to bring them together to get the best out of all of them. Earth Greens are good at that.
Conclusion - Pros and cons in every e-Commerce style
There’s no single personality type and e-Commerce style which works for every situation.
In fact, to succeed, you need to use ALL the different e-Commerce styles.
Combining the strengths of each helps you build a great e-Commerce culture.
Finding the right blend of e-Commerce styles can help you achieve the perfect delivery of your e-Commerce plan, as you use :-
- Sunshine Yellows to create inspiration and excitement. They’re great at coming up with ideas.
- Fiery Reds to help you make progress and get things done. They give you momentum and drive actions.
- Cool Blue to make sure all the detailed stuff is done right. That keeps customers happy in e-Commerce. You want happy customers.
- Earth Greens to help make sure the other e-Commerce styles work well together. You need your e-Commerce team to work in harmony to succeed.