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If you had to describe your ideal customer in a sentence, what would you say? Would you know whether they are male or female, how old they are, or where they live?

These characteristics, known as demographics, are the first building blocks in understanding your customer.

Demographics include things such as a person’s:

  • Gender: male, female, other
  • Age: between 18 and 25 years old, 34-45 years old etc.
  • Physical location: where your customers are located - local, interstate or region, overseas etc.
  • Education level: secondary school, tertiary, post graduate etc.
  • Employment status: working part-time, full-time, self-employed etc.
  • Generation: Generation X, Y, Baby Boomers etc.
  • Marital status: single, in a de facto relationship, married or divorced
  • Income: level of income and level of disposable income
  • Cultural background: Caucasian, Asian, African etc.

Demographics are an important foundation of profiling; they help form a clearer understanding of your customer. Demographics have an impact on understanding the type of person(s) you may need to target as a customer of the future.

Age, gender and physical location are the three most likely demographic characteristics you will seek about your customer to start developing a profile. The deeper you delve into each characteristic the more you will find out about your customer and why they buy online.

For example, the age of a customer may influence their willingness to use the internet to purchase their goods or services. Some studies of the online purchasing habits of Generation Y have revealed that convenience and the ability of the internet to improve the shopping task is important to this group; whereas it is not so important to the older Baby Boomer generation.

The customer’s employment arrangements may also be important to you. Are they employed full-time or part-time? This could increase their need to buy online as they may not have time to visit physical stores. Further, do they have access to a laptop or mobile device to buy online? Do they prefer service when they shop, or are they self selectors?


Access the Index Mundi Country Factbook below and take a look at the demographics of your country, or another country that you are interested in.

Do you see anything surprising or unusual?

Post your comments in the Comments section.

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This article is from the free online course:

Online Business: Customer Profiling for Success

RMIT University