Identify and target micro-segments

Contributors

@paul-boag


Business Benefits

Improve the customer experience, boost revenue and conversions on high-traffic sites.


Use data reports to divide site visitors into segments based on how they arrived on your site, how many pages they looked at, and whether they put items in a shopping cart.

To find the groups of users most worth your attention and resources ask questions such as:

  • How did the visitors arrive onsite?
  • How many pages did they look at?
  • Which elements did they interact with?
  • How much time elapsed between initial page view and purchase?
  • Did site visitors place high-ticket items in a shopping cart to determine the total cost, with tax and shipping?

Have a set of rules around the creation of your segments.

For example, as a rule of thumb, each segment you create must have at least a few hundred visitors in it. Set user-oriented criteria, such as users who purchased within the last year or last month. Add additional criteria, such as that they have a history of one or two purchases within a given period.

Consider which of your different segments you should target, based on their value and openness to your offer.

Do not try and target too many segments simultaneously. Think about pain points, such as What causes some visitors to buy over others?, At what point visitors fall out of the funnel? and What common characteristics do they share? to define a limited number of micro-segments to target.

Use a segmentation recipe template that highlights relevant segments applicable to almost any ecommerce site. Probe onto specific groups of users like those who clicked on a product page, added items to carts, but did not make a purchase.

Map the journey of your chosen customer segments, including what channels they interact with at different times in that journey.

For example, if you’re a large US ecommerce brand, your customers’ conversion journey usually begins through engagement on social media or via display ads.

Identify and target your chosen segments when they arrive onsite, using data about their behavior.

You can monitor real-time behavior and onsite interactions to identify the specific segment you wish to target. That can be done by looking at factors such as:

  • What campaign they came from.
  • Whether they are new or returning visitors.
  • Their geographic location.
  • The time of year or even day.
  • What content they have previously interacted with.
  • Their previous buying habits.
  • What people have been searching for.

Customize your homepage with relevant content, imagery, and messaging for different segments, to reduce hard bounces and engage visitors onsite.

For example, personalize the hero banner per each segment according to past user behaviour. Visitors with a demonstrated history of browsing or buying children’s clothing, automatically present a relevant ‘kids clothing’ variation as soon as they land on the homepage.

Measure the impact of your targeting using a single KPI. If your goal is to increase revenue by personalizing the hero banner, then the chosen KPI should be the number of purchases generated as a result. Check back with analytics to see if the targeting is worth it.

Conduct A/B testing for each message against a control group over time to evaluate if you are sending the most effective offering. Ensure that each micro-segment being tested has sufficient visitors.

Push the most relevant products to the top of the page and sort the products according to their relevance for each visitor.

For example, for a segment of top-spending customers, show the highest-yielding products first, including new arrivals, which tend to be more expensive.

Send real-time notifications based on visitor’s activity, including location-based view counters or trend alerts, to validate purchase intent in a user’s mind.

For example, Booking.com is known to message site visitors that, ‘24 people’ have booked a specific hotel, which creates a correlation between urgency and buying in the mind of the customer, and induces a fear of missing out for not making the purchase. This method of using the power of social proof marketing can be adapted to any ecommerce site, and can be extremely effective with browsing and researching users, for example, users who spend a relatively great deal of time on the site or a lot of time exploring a specific product page.

Deliver segmented, time-sensitive coupons to drive more engagement.

Serve targeted coupons with limited time offers tailored to different segments, to catch visitors’ attention and encourage them to take action. Automatically offer coupons to those visitors with a demonstrated history of purchasing.

Use popup or push notifications to drive visitors to purchase forgotten items.

For example, cart abandoners cause companies to lose $18 Billion in sales revenue each year. One way to engage returning visitors that fall into cart abandonment segments, is to present a drop-down notification upon site arrival, encouraging them to purchase the items they left behind.

Another option would be to drive different segments to unique landing pages rather than your generic homepage. This is an easy way to identify each segment and track their behavior. It avoids having to implement expensive and complicated personalization software on your homepage.

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Saving a basket state and sending people a link via email to access that saved basket have also been very effective.

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