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The Three Monkeys of e-Commerce – What’s your e-Commerce style?

The three monkeys of e-Commerce - Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil to highlight e-Commerce personality types

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Why read this? : We explore how your insight profile shapes 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).

The three monkeys of e-Commerce - Hear no evil, see no evil, speak no evil to highlight e-Commerce personality types

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. 

Young boy in a yellow jersey showing loudly into a microphone

Most people like the idea of e-Commerce when they’re the shopper. But as soon as you start e-Commerce planning, you run into issues and barriers that hold you up.

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, say your Sales Manager sees e-Commerce as small in terms of sales. But as online sales grow, they don’t know how to handle the retailer’s changing needs. 

Or your Supply Chain Manager who focuses on operational efficiency. Which means optimising 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 orders with much higher return rates. 

Close up of a hand with thumb up

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 many detail-led jobs 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 drowns their excitement. They get bored and struggle to listen to all the details. (So, they’re the hear no evil monkey). 

So, choose how and where you use Sunshine Yellow types in e-Commerce carefully. Bring them in at the start of projects when you need to generate ideas. They love 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.  

Just don’t ask them to manage your product information management system. Or analyse your data and set up your dashboard. That’s just not their e-Commerce style at all. 

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 total control over the channel appeals 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.

Man in a red T-shirt looking frustrated and angry

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 don’t have. 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 experiences. 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.

They’ll set up and manage all the details of your order to delivery system. And handle all the details of your product pages. They LOVE detail. 

man in a blue T-shirt looking at the ceiling

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 :-

Hand holding a small wrapper package marked fragile
  • 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.  

Check out our functions of e-Commerce and managing an online store guides for more on this. Or get in touch, if you need help planning for different e-Commerce styles in your team.

Photo Credits

Three Monkeys : Photo by Joao Tzanno on Unsplash

Boy Shouting (adapted) : Photo by Jason Rosewell on Unsplash

Thumbs up (adapted) : Photo by Markus Spiske on Unsplash

Frustrated Man (adapted) : Photo by Usman Yousaf on Unsplash

Man looking at ceiling (adapted) : Photo by Anton Danilov on Unsplash

Small fragile delivery box in hand : Photo by jesse ramirez on Unsplash

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