The ecommerce apparel landscape is ever more crowded. Companies catering to niche markets may find themselves defining their brand against equally niche competition. To succeed, you need to find a balance between broad appeal and targeting content for your most loyal and highest value customers. Segmenting customers by specific characteristics will allow you to both target your customers broadly and also appeal effectively to your highest value, loyal customers. Segmentation allows you to:
- provide relevant content and build customer relationships
- focus marketing resources for greatest impact
- target customers in specific ways
- offer country-specific content to international customers
Share Relevant Content
People are much more likely to respond to content that is relevant to their interests. By segmenting customers, you can target your email campaigns more discretely, aiming for better match between customers and content and improving click-through rates. A site offering specialty pet products will see better results by identifying and targeting dog owners differently than they would cat owners.
For a specialty outdoor company like Patagonia that has worked hard to distinguish its brand identity, it may be fruitful to segment customers not by their preferred outdoor activity, but also by causes they demonstrated passion for. Patagonia develops content that illustrates their brand interest and which excites customer interest. By segmenting customers, Patagonia can target customers with interest in localism and climbing to promote a video relevant to those interests, better engaging customers and providing greater value to the content they share.
Every ecommerce retailer knows most customers never bother to open email messages – even ones they may have opted into. By tailoring campaigns to specific customer groups, you can get more out of your investment. You can be more specific in your messaging, offer deals that may appeal more effectively, and see greater click-through rates and higher sales.
One way to improve this is to segment by how customers reach your site. By tracking this information, you can develop marketing strategies and promotions aimed at groups based on how they surf the internet – a coupon for Facebook referrals to people active on social media; an exclusive item for people who engage via your blog; segmented sales to people who found you via Bing or Google to better understand customer habits.
You can take advantage of segments to offer exclusive sales opportunities to groups of customers. Target your most loyal customers for exclusive sales or preview events. This has the dual benefit of driving traffic and sales, and also creating excitement through exclusivity. When deployed effectively, exclusive events can encourage customers to deepen their commitment to your brand – opting in for more communication, becoming fans of social media streams, even signing up for premium services (like Amazon Prime during Prime Day).
In thinking about your customers, are there any promotions you can offer to select groups to help them feel recognized, or part of an exclusive event? Upshot client, Tea Collection, offered a targeted Black Friday Preview sale for select customers in advance of the holiday shopping season and saw significantly increased traffic to the site throughout the sale period, kicking off a strong season.
Personalization Drives Results
Geographic segmentation can also be used to offer localized content. By identifying where customers are shopping from, you can automatically offer personalized content based on location or language. Offering native-language personalization in particular can produce tangible results and secure customers in new and emerging markets.
Customer segmentation is an invaluable means for better understanding and appealing to potential customers and more fully engaging existing customers. Targeted content will make your communications more valuable – both for your customer and for return on your investment.