2 types of online customers and how to approach them

by | Jun 2, 2021 | Articles

Reading Time: 3 min


It is essential to understand who your visitors are and what they expect to find when they come to your website. An emotional buyer expects a dynamic and sensational shopping experience. While a rational buyer will focus his attention on the product and its features.

This is why it is essential to know the psychological type of your online customers and how to approach them effectively.

Why is it important to know your customer?

Whether in-store or online, being able to determine the type of customer and finding the right approach for each one is a necessary sales skill.

Factors such as need, value and motivation have a direct impact on sales. All are associated with the buyer’s personality. The success of the transaction will depend on your understanding of their personality.

Dotaki distinguishes 2 main types of online customer : the emotional and the rational. Discover in this article, who are these different types of profiles and how to approach them.

Looking for an experience: The emotional buyer

The visual aspect and the environment are important for the emotional customer.

This is because emotional visitors make their choices based on their feelings and are easily dominated by their emotions.

Emotional decisions are made either very quickly – on impulse – or slowly, in search of a particular feeling.

What the emotional seeks:

An intense, inspiring experience that makes them want to make a purchase

Our UX recommendations:

Focus on the visual!

According to a study 93% of buyers believe that visual aspects are decisive in their purchase decision, 52% of online visitors will not return to a website if they are not satisfied with the ergonomics and esthetics.

The scientific perspective

According to a scientific article (E. Brangier, et al., 2015), there are several approaches based on various ergonomic criteria to make the user experience pleasant and adapted to the user’s needs. One of the approaches is that of emotionality. This notion of emotionality, invented by Vicente & Pain in 2002, is based on criteria related to the emotions and motivations of the user. One of these criteria is called “fantasy” which calls upon the imagination and projection. Using visuals allows the emotional user to picture themselves more easily with the product and eventually, to incite the purchase.

The power of visuals

According to Dotaki performance reports, emotional visitors are more likely to purchase a product if they can see visual content of the product being worn or in an environment that embellishes the product.

Example :

Emotional customers want to be able to imagine the product worn or at home. In this example, emotional people can find inspiration and already imagine their new sofa in their living room.

Sometimes, images speak louder than long descriptions. That’s the case for the emotional visitors. Visual content make the customer experience more dynamic and stimulate consumers’ purchase intention.

The choice of colors

Colors and their contrasts can have a great impact on the experience of emotional people. In fact, according to our Dotaki performance reports, emotional profiles are more receptive to bright colors. Certain colors can trigger a reaction that pushes emotional people to buy. They can attract users’ attention and direct them to important elements of your interface such as call-to-actions.

The dynamism of the CTAs

Emotional customers’ buying decisions are based on emotion. To encourage them to take action, we need to make their experience as dynamic as possible so that negative emotions do not negate the purchase. 

A dynamic and impactful CTA wording will encourage the emotional consumer to make a decision. This makes the buying process less stressful for them.

In this example, the wording “buy now” will encourage the emotional visitor to take action and buy the sweatshirt.

The need for reassurance

The emotional visitor can be quickly influenced by a sensational experience that will drive him to an impulse purchase. However, he can retract just as quickly! Indeed, the emotional visitor is easily dominated by his emotions. A slight moment of doubt is enough to let in negative emotions such as anxiety or uncertainty.

That’s why it’s essential to display reassurance icons to avoid letting emotional visitors have this feeling of hesitation.

Looking for performance: The rational buyer

These visitors make their choices objectively, based on facts and accurate information. The rational type of customer focuses on the product. They rarely seek inspiration in the process.

Rational buying behavior is when the consumer seeks to :


Fulfill a need

Rationals are more likely to make thoughtful, reasoned purchases. Rational behavior implies that consumers prefer to make decisions that are beneficial and useful to them.


Make good deals

Rational people like to analyze and compare products to make sure they choose the best offer. The purchase decision is made only after taking into account all relevant information.

What the rational seeks:

A simple experience that will focus on the product and its features.

Our UX recommendations:

Focus on the product!

The impact of images  

Contrary to the emotional visitor, the rational visitor converts more when a simple picture of the product is displayed. Indeed, a product is less identifiable when worn, the rational buyer wants to see all aspects of the product. The entire product should be displayed, and little, if any, decoration should disturb their view of the product.

Example of the product page of Zara online fashion store:

Product page adapted to emotional visitors

Product page adapted to rational visitors

The lack of visibility of the product creates frustration for the rational customer who initially wanted to buy the item, but out of caution, will decide not to. On the other hand, emotional customers will appreciate the vintage spirit applied to the photo. An aesthetically pleasing design will evoke positive emotions that will encourage them to buy the vest.

The choice of colors 

It is preferable to use plain colors for the rational visitor. Indeed, you need to avoid distracting this type of customer, who initially comes to satisfy a need for purchase.

A need for information

Rational visitors are more encouraged to make a purchase when they have all the information about the product at their disposal.

To conclude

To encourage purchases, you need to offer the best possible experience for each visitor. Therefore, it’s important to understand the different types of visitors on your website.
Once you understand which shoppers are visiting your website, you can begin to adjust your marketing efforts and personalize the user experience to encourage them not only to buy, but to come back to your website.

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