Snapshot : A follow-up to our Three Monkey’s of Marketing article, read our guide to Our guide to e-Commerce personality types. How do Sunshine Yellows, Fiery Reds and Cool Blues bring their energy advantages to what you do in e-Commerce? And where it can go horribly wrong. And we close with how you can use some Earth Green energy to pull those other energy types into a winning team.
In one of our very early articles on this site, we covered what we called the Three Monkeys of Marketing.
In this article we talked about how personality profiles like Myers Briggs Type Indicator, Lifestyles Inventrory (LSI) or Insight Discovery profiles are used in businesses. And how you could use the Insight Discovery type colours to identify marketing personality types.
These yellow, red and blue types we compared to the well-known Three Monkeys that hear no evil (yellow), see no evil (red) and speak no evil (blue).
But these three insight colour / monkey types don’t only exist in the world of marketing. So we thought it was long overdue to use the same template to talk about e-Commerce personality types.
e-Commerce Sunshine Yellow Monkey
(Hear no evil)
These extrovert feelers LOVE the idea of e-Commerce. These personality types bring a huge amount of energy to everything they do. Anything that is NEW or EXCITING really motivates and inspires them.
So they are great people to have on your team when you need to inspire others about e-Commerce.
And, let’s face it. while most people love the idea of e-Commerce from their own personal shopping point of view.
But, when you throw it in to a business context, it’s not always so easy. Particularly if your business has people and processes to support traditional retail channels, you can find lots of people feeling threatened and defensive about e-Commerce.
Look at the National Sales Manager for the big retailer who sees it as only a few percentage points of their total sales.
What about the Head of Supply Chain who is measured on their ability to drive operation efficiency. Which means maximising warehouse capacity and container loads of products while reducing returns and handling errors? And then you come along and say you want to sell direct to consumer.
Then, bring in the finance team lead who can’t get over the shipping cost difference of selling online to selling via traditional channels. (see our post on online selling costs for more on this.)
No, e-Commerce is not always an easy sell-in to any business, and the natural influencing and inspiring energy that Yellow personality types have in spades can make people think more positively about it as a channel.
But where Sunshine Yellow types struggle …
As we’ll move on to with our other e-Commerce Monkey types, e-Commerce comes with a lot of tasks to do. It comes with long lists of details to look after to make sure the system works. It requires repeated and consistent application of good practice.
Yellow personality types HATE this. It’s like sticking a pin in their excitement. They will struggle to listen to these types of conversations out of sheer boredom. (So, they hear no evil …)
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. Use them as sounding boards when sales plateau and you need to find new ideas to drive growth.
Yellow types will be good at keeping an eye on what’s happening in the wider world of e-Commerce. They’ll happily pass on details of great advertising or improvements to customer service that they see other e-Commerce businesses doing.
Just don’t ask them to complete your product page templates. Or run your data analysis.
e-Commerce Monkey 2 – Fiery Red
(See no evil)
If sunshine yellow types love the IDEA of e-Commerce, then these extrovert thinkers love the ACTION of e-Commerce. Particularly when you set up own your own store.
In that case, the idea of having total control over the channel, and the ability to test and learn and DO e-Commerce really taps into the drivers for a Fiery Red type.
And let’s face it, there’s no shortage of tasks to be done when it comes to running your own online store. And Fiery Red types love to be busy. As we cover in our whole set up your own online store guide, there’s many areas to consider.
Reds will love to get stuck in to the set up, the look and feel and the operation of the website. They’ll have strong opinions of what it should look like and how it should work. Reds will want to lead the marketing for the online store, and make sure that the order to delivery process works well.
They’ll be particularly keen to track and measure the sales because they want to see progress. Reds are competitive and when they feel like they have control over a sales channel and can show how they grow the business, they feel like they are getting ahead.
But where Fiery Red’s struggle …
Well, while you can rely on Fiery Red’s to get stuff done, they can often be on such a charge that some of the stuff they get done, might not actually be what’s needed for your e-Commerce success.
Red personality types 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 look back and reflect on what they’ve learned from what’s happened in the past.
And their relentless focus on hitting sales targets can make them challenging as team members.
And in most businesses, running an online store is not a one-man job. It’s a team effort when you have to pull in support from other parts of the business, like marketing, finance and supply chain. And reds are generally terrible at getting other people on board because they’re too busy with their own agenda.
They have no qualms or sensitivity pointing out when others have got things wrong. Or activities have not delivered what they are supposed to. And this is a big challenge in e-Commerce when actually, there are no guaranteed winners.
You have to test, learn and build your insight and understanding of your shoppers. This takes patience and attention to detail which Reds are sadly lacking in. Reds can often fail to see these as issues. (So, they see no evil).
Red personality types are best put to use as Project leads on new areas of functionality. If you want to extend your portfolio, add new services, change your delivery options, the drive and determination to get things done is where Red personality types can and will add the most value to your e-Commerce operation.
Just don’t ask them to organise the team drinks to celebrate. Or to do your data analysis.
e-Commerce Monkey 3 – Cool Blue
(Speak no evil)
Finally, someone who can do your data analysis. And in e-Commerce, there’s a ton of data analysis that can be done. And systems and processes to set up and manage. There are some areas of e-Commerce that are the dream job for these Cool Blue Introvert Thinker types.
Think of the number of different products in any online store. Each of those products needs it’s own product page and it’s own level of detail.
Whether that’s having a unique identifier, a strong product description that drives sales and search ranking and having the right level of product information – ingredients, sizes, specifications, warnings, warranties – you name it, and e-Commerce product management where Cool Blue’s love of detail, structure and process works really well. Don’t even get us started on completing product details for the likes of Google Merchandise Centre or to list on Amazon.
Cool Blues look at the need for IT system support to set up the back-end systems of your e-Commerce store. How do payments connect to your bank account? What about inventory systems, how will that work? What systems do you need to put in place to track orders and deliveries for the customers? All the sorts of questions that Cool Blue types thrive on.
But where Cool Blue’s really struggle …
Cool Blue personality types lean toward the introverted thinker side of the insight profile. And that introversion and focus on the task and not people can hinder their ability to lead e-Commerce stores.
Because what ultimately drives the success of an e-Commerce store is when you can create desire for the product and service in your online store. And that means understanding motivations and behaviours of your target audience which can be a stretch for the Cool Blue.
E-Commerce stores do need to be well set-up to deliver solid processes and consistent experiences. But ultimately, this is a hygiene factor in the channel, that other businesses can replicate. So, you do need to find that extra creativity, that extra inspiration that will make your e-Commerce store stand out. And Blues can spend so long thinking about these concepts, they miss opportunities and come late with ideas. (They speak no evil …)
So, while you can rely on Blues to do all your data analysis, creativity and inspiration are not areas where Cool Blues stand out.
So Earth Green is the best of the e-Commerce personality types?
Well, yes. And no.
What Earth Green types are good at is being empathetic for the feelings of others. And so, this earth green behaviour can be put to good use when you are building an e-Commerce team. You need to be able to pull on ALL the different energy advantages when it comes to e-Commerce.
Use Yellow personality types to create inspiration and excitement. Red personality types will help drive you forward and get things done. And Blue personality types will make sure everything is done right. Green personality types really help to make sure the other personality types work in harmony.
But, as we said in our Three Monkeys of Marketing example, you rarely find them in e-Commerce either. Because there’s so much task focus in e-Commerce and the transaction part of the process is done online and in most cases automatically, the ‘people’ element of e-Commerce is usually not seen as that important.
It’s unusual for anyone to think about e-Commerce personality types. Well, of course, not so unusual that we didn’t think about it when we put this article together.