13 customer segments you can identify and tailor your marketing messages for
You hear over and over that you should not be doing one-size-fits-all marketing but segmenting customers and tailoring messages instead.
Because segmenting customers based on their behavior eliminates the guesswork – they literally show you what marketing works with them so you can just replicate it and get results.
By segmenting, you categorize your customers into smaller groups of people that have something in common and that makes thinking of offers and calls to action easier.
Being relevant and responding adequately to their actions is the basis of personalized marketing. It starts with acknowledging the differences in your customer’s’ behavior and working with them, not in spite of them.
Ok, but how do you do that? And what different messages do you use for each group?
Worry not. Here, we outline the basic customer segments online stores often have and suggest how to reach out to each one with relevant offers.
Note: we recommend using an ecommerce CRM for segmentation – one that can filter by actions and events is best.
Every online shop should have some customers that spend a lot more than the average. They can either shop very often or they make large orders. Either way, they’re valuable for you because they make you far better profit than others who cost the same to acquire.
High spenders should be treated probably best of all customers and kept for as long as possible. Your communication and offers for them should show appreciation and make their shopping experience pleasant and convenient.
How to identify them?
Filter your customer base by revenue (sales, CLV, LTV) -the simplest way is to take everybody who has spent more than the average CLV.
To make the list even more exclusive, you can select a revenue number a lot greater than the average – this, of course, will narrow down the selection.
What special things you can do to delight them and keep them around?
The tough bunch. You probably use special tools to fight – send a “Come back” email and that’s it. Well, not quite. While it’s true many carts get abandoned because the shopper got interrupted, other people leave because they decided they didn’t want the product or saw an extra shipping fee.
To recover those orders, it’s a good idea to tailor the message and increase the chances for conversion. How?
Segment cart abandoners by product or category of interest
Of course, you want them to go back and finish the order. But, if they had reasons not to, you need a plan B.
By using the interest they showed in a certain product or category, you can add more related items in the same email and give them more options. After all, your goal is an order, no matter the product, right.
If you use coupons, there are probably customers who only buy with a coupon and never pay full price. While this is kind of annoying, you can turn it into an advantage and stimulate more orders from these people – the coupon lovers.
How to nail who they are?
Here’s the trick: filter your database by the action performed – “used a coupon”. At this point, it doesn’t matter which one. Then, add another filter – the number of orders equals 1.
That’s a workaround if your CRM can show you customers who only buy with a coupon directly (like 2 coupons used, 2 orders), go for it.
The last option is to tag them for each coupon and explore if the number of tags matches the number of orders.
I know it’s a bit far-fetched, but it’ll save you giving away coupons to all customers and will make this group happy without hurting your margins so much.
What to do with coupon lovers?
Keep sending them coupons, but cut it back for people outside that group. The idea is not to devalue your products so much with constant promotions while keeping the sales coming from price-sensitive people.
Shopping habits matter a lot if you want to do effective marketing and not annoy your customers.
Some people like the big spenders buy a lot in one sitting, while others prefer coming often, but buying only as much as they need at the moment – one bag of dog food, just a pair of leggings or a bottle of shampoo.
The good thing is that it’s easier to predict when they’re going to be needing a new item – shampoo lasts for about 2 months, so you know when to send a reminder.
How to define the segment?
Choose a number of orders around or above the average and a low CLV (customer lifetime value, total revenue from a customer). This would give you a list of people who shop regularly enough but don’t spend too much.
Your favorite kind, am I right? Fear not, every customer had only 1 order once. Segmenting by the number of orders=1 is quick and easy.
What to do after that to get repeat sales?
If you invest time and money in content and email marketing, you’d want to know who actually reads it, right? It can help you come up with ideas to include or products to promote.
We suggest tagging all subscribers so it’s simple to monitor their behavior and orders and see if they were influenced to buy by something they read.
How to stimulate purchases from subscribers?
Most stores generate leads with pop-ups, newsletter subscriptions, coupon giveaways and wishlists. If you also have registered users who haven’t made a purchase yet, you’re leaving money on the table.
Who are they?
The simplest segmentation is by the number of sessions (better be significant, more than 5, for example) and the number of orders equal to zero.
The really good thing, in this case, is that browsing shows interest – they didn’t just register to download the pdf and forget about you.
Now, how to make them buy for the first time
On a personal note, I get frustrated when I get a promo email with fashion winter essentials, for example, that include a silk strapless dress and sandals. I live in a 4-season country and it really bugs me that someone thinks I can wear those things in winter here. You bet I don’t buy it.
So, if you sell in multiple countries, it’s a good idea to consider customer location when coming up with promotions. Now, winter is approaching in Australia, but summer is coming in Europe and you’d best be preparing two different campaigns.
What’s more, location is tied to certain cultures and lifestyles and you should show understanding and respect to the different traditions. Just like you can’t serve tea without milk to a British person.
In what promotions location is important
It’s true people are aware of all these differences and might not take it personally if you shower them with spring break sales.
However, if they don’t have such thing, your efforts are kind of pointless and look silly, don’t they? Not to mention that pushing someone outside of their comfort zone (religious holidays, inappropriate clothes) is unnecessary.
I bet you have a few customers who browse your site a lot but buy rarely. They might be chatting with live assistance or abandoning carts all the time. They find it hard to make a decision and you’re losing their orders.
How to find them?
Filter all customers by the number of sessions (choose a good enough number like 7) and then by the number of orders (quite small like 3). Thus, you make sure those people browse twice as often as they buy.
Help them decide faster
We have a whole article on how to convert indecisive buyers.
Need a few hundred in revenue to hit the target this month? Why don’t you make a habit of reconnecting with idle customers and bringing them back to shop?
Who is that?
Those who haven’t been active on your site in the last 2 months, let say. You can choose what period makes sense for your kind of products – devices are shopped for far less often than food.
Apply a filter for last session or last activity and you get a list of potential buyers.
How to re-engage them
One customer segment is the dream of every seller. These people bring you a nice, steady revenue flow. They obviously trust your store and probably even recommend it to others because it’s their go-to place for this type of products.
Also, they know your products, prices, and promotions better than the others because they visit your site often and engage with your brand.
How are they different than the high spenders?
The loyals have many sessions and orders (more than the average) in addition to high revenue, which means they’ve been with you for quite some time, shop often and spend a lot. In comparison, the high spenders can come, get two of your highest priced items and leave forever.
To keep them interested…
This group is a true opportunity. They haven’t’ ordered in quite some time, but have been looking at your site recently. They’re interested and therefore – should be wooed!
What filters to use to find them?
Set the filter for last order to “more than 45 days” (for example, it depends on your product) and the filter for last active session to “less than 7 days”.
This segment is perfect for remarketing on Facebook (you can export a CSV) or an email with a personalized promotion on the products they were browsing. Grab them while they’re hot!
This segment is full of potential because they shop the new collections and convert from new product offers. This opens the door for you – they are interested in pretty much anything new you can offer.
How to segment to find them?
By email campaign, they converted from (least in Metrilo you can choose all people who opened, clicked, converted, unsubscribed, etc. from a campaign) – choose the one that announces your new products.
You can add (or use separately) a category filter to identify the people who browsed the New section on your site. This can be on for an individual product if you only have one.
See, in all examples, we don’t fight people’s habits. We’re not trying to change them – they’re your customers already and our goal is to keep them close without making them feel uncomfortable.
Instead, we’re using what they reveal about themselves and their shopping habits to serve them in the best way possible.
By studying them and adapting to their preferences so your marketing efforts don’t feel intrusive, but welcome and timely.
Metrilo’s mission is to help you build your ecommerce brand and win your place in the customer’s heart. We share what we learn from our daily work with product innovators and founders here. Subscribe to our weekly newsletter to get the freshest lessons and conquer your niche.