eCommerce Segmentation: Send The Right Message To The Right Customer

Let’s say you create a new email to promote the newly launched products on your eCommerce store preview and ensured that everything’s good to go, so do you send that email out to everyone on your list? I’d say it’ll work better if you don’t make that mistake.

Sending your email to fewer people does help you get better results. What’s the rationale behind it? Well, regardless of what you’re selling on your store, you probably have different subsets of your audience that are interested in different things.

So, how do you know how to send the right emails to the right contacts? The answer is simple – you segment your list!

In a nutshell, eCommerce segmentation is all about being relevant to your potential customers.

Want to start experimenting with eCommerce segmentation? We’ve got you covered.

Here are 5 ways in which you can segment your contacts

1. Based on Demographics


It’s important to segment your customers according to their basic demographics so that you don’t send them irrelevant emails. Plenty of eCommerce store owners simply assume that those who buy men’s products are men, and those who buy women’s products are women and they set up “rules” that automatically add their buyers into these segments based on the items they purchase.

But here’s the thing:

Plenty of shoppers purchase items for their friends or partners (as a gift), or their husbands or wives (because they’re in charge of the shopping that week). Say a customer purchased a jumbo-sized pack of tampons two months back, and you’ve been sending them product recommendations for tampons and heating pads ever since. This person (whom you assumed was a woman) might very well turn out to be a man. Not all hope is lost. They might still purchase the feminine-care products you’re recommending for their partner but at the end of the day, you’re definitely selling yourself short by exclusively recommending them items for women.

Alright, so what do you do now?

One method is to add a few fields to your sign-up form, so that you can capture your new contacts to indicate their age, location, gender, etc. But doing this increases the friction of signing up and it will probably result in you getting less new contacts.

So, here’s what we recommend:

In the welcome email that you trigger to your new contacts, direct them to a landing page, and allow them to fill in more information about themselves here.

How To Implement

  1. Edit your welcome image to add a Call To Action for contacts to update their preferences
  2. Create a Subscription Web form which allows contacts to fill in their demographic information 
  3. Create a landing page on your website, and copy and paste the embeddable HTML from your
  4. Webform into your landing page
  5. Link your welcome email to this landing page
  6. Create new campaigns to target your contacts based on their segments

2. Based on Brand Preference

Brand Preference

Anyone can recommend products to their customers, but if you want to do this in a strategic way, you should take your customer’s brand preferences into consideration.

For example, say Customer A has been looking at DSLR cameras on your website, and you want to hit them up with a product recommendation email. Now, you can simply showcase the various DSLRs on your site. But if you want your recommendations to be more targeted and impactful, here’s what you should do

Figure out which brand your customer has a preference for, and serve them product recommendations which are specifically from that brand. It’ll take too much effort to analyze your readers’ brand preferences and segment them manually.

How To Implement

  1. Create a newsletter that highlights product recommendations from different brands
  2. Input links in your newsletter so that your reader can click through to different brands
  3. Tag each link with its brand name, so that you can track what brands your contacts are clicking on. 
  4. Once your contact clicks on a tagged link, the tag will be added to their profile.
  5. Create new campaigns to serve product recommendation emails to your contacts based on their specific tags.
  6. For your contacts tagged with “Nikon”, for example, go ahead and recommend them Nikon products!

3. Based On Average Order Value (AOV)

Average Order Value

Apart from segmenting your contacts according to their brand preferences, you can also go a step further, and segment them according to their Average Order Value (AOV).

For example, say Customer A has an AOV of $50. You’d want to recommend them products within the $50 to $70 price range, so as to maximize the revenue you can potentially earn.

If Customer B has an AOV of $100, on the other hand, it makes sense to recommend the products within the $100 to $120 price range. You wouldn’t promote a $50 product… not when you know your customer has more purchasing power!

You can use Deep Data for Shopify, which is an integration that helps you track your contacts and collect data on the actions they take on your website.

Why use this? Well, if Contact A spends $50 after clicking on a link in an email campaign, sure, you can track that. But if this same person returns to your website and makes another $150 purchase subsequently, this doesn’t get reflected in the data.

Now, because you think Contact A has an AOV of $50, you’ll serve them recommendations that are around that price range when in actual fact, their AOV is ($50+$150) / 2 = $100.

How To Implement

  1. Set up Deep Data for Shopify (here’s a step-by-step guide). 
  2. Navigate to “Lists” under your Sendlane dashboard, and segment your contacts by their AOV.
  3. Create different product recommendation campaigns to target contacts in different segments. You could have a campaign for low spenders (<$50), one for medium spenders (<$150), and one for big spenders (<$150). ‘
  4. Adjust the dollar amounts according to your industry and the products you’re selling

4. Based on Cart Abandonment


Cart abandonment is an eCommerce store owner’s worst nightmare. We all agree on that one, don’t we? On average, a whopping 78% of customers will abandon their carts, and leave an eCommerce store without making a purchase. Thankfully, there are things you can do to reduce your cart abandonment rates.

For instance, you can set up an email campaign targeting the visitors who abandoned their carts, and convince them to return to your site to complete their purchase!

5. Based on Inactivity


Ever heard of a break-up email? Basically, these are emails that you send to your inactive contacts to tell them you’re taking them off your list. If you hear the term “re-engagement email” floating around, that refers to the same thing! Well, it’s actually a best practice to prune your list ever so often. Doing this helps you ensure that your engagement levels are high, and this, in turn, increases your deliverability. Also, it’s much better to remove an inactive contact from your list, rather than risk them flagging you as spam.

Now let’s clear, let’s talk about what counts as “inactivity”. If someone hasn’t opened or engaged with your emails in 3 months, it’s pretty obvious that they’re no longer interested! Alright, so where do break-up emails come into play? Before you remove your inactive contact, you’d send them this email as a last-ditch attempt to re-engage them.

Here’s an example from Crocs:

ecommerce-segmentation-crocs re-engagment email

Here, Croc’s conversational copywriting goes a long way in humanizing the brand, and building rapport with the reader. Check out that line:

If you don’t click on this email, we’ll remove you from our list. Sniff, sniff.

Of course, it doesn’t hurt that they’re throwing in a promo code as well. That’s all the more incentive for their contacts to re-engage!


eCommerce Segmentation – Improve Relevance to Earn More Sales:

Those who aren’t in the industry might think eCommerce is easy, but we know the truth it’s a tough nut to crack. For one thing, you can’t simply set up a store on Shopify, and wait for people to come to you. You’ve got to set aside money to advertise, and regardless of whether you’re on Google AdWords or Facebook ads, those Costs Per Click can get pretty high. Bearing this in mind, it’s important for you to NOT rely solely on acquiring new customers.
Instead, you should engage with your existing customers and contacts, and get them to make a second purchase. Then a third. And a fourth.
How do you market to your contacts effectively? It’s simple – relevance is key. You need to segment your contacts and create email campaigns that are laser-targeted to them. 


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