I think before we come up with personas, we need to know what our business is first. Not all personas may apply to all business types.
So, my store sells books and stationery to college students:
Fred, the bewildered freshman. He’s not even sure what books he needs. He has a schedule of classes, and knows he needs some books. He’s not sure if financial aid is covering his books or not, or how that even works.
The search functionality should be robust. Search by subject, ISBN, description, title, author should all yield helpful results. If my store targets a particular college or colleges, I could possibly keep a database of what books are used for what classes, so we can search by class name. Make financial aid options are accessible. Test recommendation system for other supplies.
Sandra, the seasoned senior. She knows exactly what books she needs, and additionally a few supplies she may have to get. She can easily search and navigate the website to find what she needs.
Returning user profile and password reset functionality. Performance! Sandra is very busy and does not have time to fool around with the website!
Richard, the returning student. He knows what books he needs, but is not that comfortable using the website.
Search functions. Site accessibility and ease of use.
Note: I actually don’t know how to test all of the above things. I realize “ease of use” is vaguely defined. How do you test that? I really don’t know and could probably do some more research here.