3 Easy Ways to Start Segmenting Your Shoppers by Behavior

3 Easy Ways to Start Segmenting Your Shoppers by Behavior

If you ask eCommerce marketers how they target and segment their shoppers to increase conversion rates, you’re bound to hear the usual, predictable answers…

  • Geography
  • Age
  • Gender
  • Education
  • Income
  • And so on and so forth

But it’s not often you’ll hear a marketer say that they start the marketing process with a shopper’s personality and behavior in mind. And this seems a bit odd, doesn’t it? Because marketers are people too, so you’d think they would understand that not everyone shops in the same way, or for the same reasons.

All females don’t shop similarly, nor do all UCLA alumni shop the same. Lumping people into one category based on how much they earn doesn’t make sense either. People have different needs – just like marketers. Do all marketers buy the same marketing solutions? Of course not!

But surprisingly when targeting their shoppers, marketers seem to lump their shoppers into these broad segments assuming and hoping they’ll behave the same and really hoping they can deduce their shoppers behavior in a predictive fashion by combining all these disparate variables together.

However, it would probably be a lot simpler, more factual and produce better results for marketers to just start with a shopper’s personality and distinct buying behaviors to begin with, and then layer the usual segmentation on top of that. Just think about yourself and how you shop – your own personality and buying behaviors are the true predictors of how you shop, convert, purchase, return and refer friends and family to online retailers.

These are ingrained behaviors and personality traits that define who you are, how you act and why you do the things you do. We learn them from our parents, from our siblings and from our network of friends and family and they become a part of who we are both consciously and unconsciously.

You’ve all see those coupon clipping reality shows on TLC where the kids are helping their parents clip coupons. Chances are, those children are going to grow up and be coupon clippers themselves and it’ll have very little to do with any of the segmentation buckets marketers will try and put them into it – and everything to do with their shopping personality and behavior.

If we agree that shopping personalities and behaviors are fundamental to how shoppers behave, why aren’t more marketers starting with it when they move to segment their shoppers?

The three most common concerns when faced with this question are listed below, along with how to handle the challenges:

1) Where do I start – How about a survey to your customers that you shoot out via Survey Monkey? It’s free, and you can glean some valuable insight into how your shoppers behave. Your shoppers will appreciate that you’re trying to provide a more pertinent, customized experience to them. If you want to step it up a bit, you can enlist one of those paid survey outfits to gain access to an even larger shopping audience to learn more and get more insight into your shoppers. Want to take it to the next level? Reach out to Forrester, IDC or RSR Research to get a study among your shoppers going.

2) It’s too hard – Marketers are so busy – so to solve for this issue, find a full-service marketing provider that can shed light on your shoppers’ behavior and shopping personalities. Find one that you only have to pay based on any incremental new conversions they bring you. That way, you don’t have to worry about pulling yourself or your team off other initiatives and can let someone else do the leg work for you.

3) Getting creative done – Great, now you know your shoppers’ personalities and behaviors – now what?! How do you get the right creative to them in a timely manner so that you can get them to act? The old standby is of course email and if you’re a small business – services like Mail Chimp (which is free at certain levels) can help you easily get a message out to your shoppers using email templates and images. If you want to see better results, find a partner that can base their marketing to your clients based on your shoppers’ behavior. Better still, find someone who can deliver these messages in real-time while your shoppers are still shopping – this is, in my opinion, the best possible solution – real time messages delivered using real time behavior.

by Anthony Ginn, VP

image sources: www.ricksegel.com