3 Easy Ways to Segment Your Shoppers by Behavior

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Business as Usual

If you ask most e-Commerce marketers how they create relevant ads to increase conversion rates, you’re bound to hear the usual, predictable answers. “We segment and target our site visitors by…”

  • · Geography
  • · Age
  • · Gender
  • · Education
  • · Income

Those are some pretty broad categories. It would be silly to assume that all females shop for similar items in a similar way, just like it wouldn’t make sense to say that all UCLA alumni shop in the same way for the same things. Lumping people into one category based on how much they earn doesn’t really seem to make sense either.

Relevancy Matters

The best way to create the most engaging, relevant ads is to start the marketing process by trying to understand a shopper’s personality and buying behavior. Sure, gender, income, education, and zip code will all contribute somewhat to creating great ads, but just imagine how much more relevant an ad would be if you took people’s behaviors into account.

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 make up who you are, how you act and why you do the things you do. We learn these behaviors from our parents, 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 behavior when they move to segment their shoppers?

3 challenges to behavioral-targeting and how to overcome them

1) Where do I start: How about a survey for your customers that you send out via Survey Monkey? It’s free, and you can glean valuable insight into how your shoppers behave. Your shoppers will appreciate that you’re trying to provide a more pertinent, customized experience for 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 additional insight from your shoppers. Want to take it to the next level? Reach out to Forrester, IDC or RSR Research to get an in-depth study among your shoppers going.

2) It’s too hard: Marketers are busy – so it might make sense to 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: So you’ve done a survey and now you know your shoppers’ personalities and behaviors. Great. 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 easy to load 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. Then you have real-time messages being delivered using your shoppers’ real time behavior to create the most relevant ads.

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