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4 Segments to Kick Start Your Personalization Strategy

Leah Yorston • January 31, 2018

Unique and impactful commerce experiences are personalized, and a personalization strategy starts with segmentation. Customers want to see the content, products and offers that apply to them and their needs.

That said, it is overwhelming trying to get a personalization strategy off the ground. There is so much data out there, and sometimes, no matter how you slice it, it can seem impossible to build smart segments.

If this sounds familiar, don’t worry: you’re not alone. Businesses everywhere struggle with segmentation. What we always advise our clients to do is to take a look in the mirror: What are your goals and KPIs? These should always inform strategic decisions.

More specifically, we’ve found 4 customer segments that are not only easy to identify but are highly likely to drive positive results as cornerstones of your personalization strategy.


1. New Visitors

This is one of the easiest segmentations to make. Tools like Google Analytics make “New vs. Returning” segments easily available for analysis. This allows you to investigate behavioral differences between the two segments, and develop hypotheses on how to improve the shopping experience for each of these customer groups.

New visitors typically convert less often than returning ones, so customizing their landing experience to feature top-rated products or value proposition messaging could help to increase their movement into the shopping funnel.

Another thing to consider is shopper intent. What questions does a new user have when arriving at your site? Do new visitors do research or visit FAQ pages when browsing? Their site behavior should quickly clue you in. Customer testimonials and other confidence-building content will make their experience even more positive.


2. Campaign or Channel

Paid media is a key traffic source for many eCommerce sites, and while you may be A/B testing your ads, you may not have considered testing the landing experience on site.

When advertising a seasonal sale or a specific product, you will likely land customers on the sale category page or the specific product page. What if you’re offering a special discount for Facebook customers? By using UTM parameters to create an audience segment, you could test displaying the promotion in a sitewide banner, versus across PDPs, or even auto-apply the promotion to the customer’s cart.

Customers who come to the site from an email campaign likely won’t need to see an email sign up light-box, but you may want to encourage them to join your Facebook community for exclusive content.


3. Abandoned Cart

A customer who returns to a site with products stored in their cart is significantly more primed to purchase than your average visitor. However, there was something that barred them from purchasing during their last session, so you need to encourage the user to convert.

You can start by testing an abandoned cart message, like a banner or lightbox that lets the customer know that you’ve saved their cart for them. From there, you can test offering purchase promotions like small discounts, free shipping, or a gift.

You can even take this a step further and try to increase the basket size of cart-holding visitors with products related to what they’ve added in their previous session.


4. Recent Purchaser

Depending on your vertical, setting a cookie to identify a customer who has purchased within the last 14-30 days can provide very useful segmentation data.

Some testing tools will allow you to identify which product categories were viewed in a recent session, empowering you to offer related products that are the most relevant to your customer.

For this segment, you can think outside the bounds of traditional eCommerce conversion and encourage customers to complete other goals, such as reviews, ratings, and user-generated content.


These are just a few examples of areas you can hone in on to get your personalization efforts off the ground. If you’d like to hear more, or get some help conducting an analysis of the most opportune segments in your audience, feel free to reach out to us.

Leah Yorston

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Leah Yorston

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