Magento Segmentation - 5 straightforward uses

This post outlines five suggested use cases for customer segmentation within Magento.

PAUL ROGERSby Paul Rogers NaN undefined, NaN

Segmentation in Magento is a Commerce only tool that is powerful but rarely used by eCommerce managers using the platform.  Whilst segmentation can provide useful functionality to Magento admins, it is also slightly clunky/time-consuming to set up and this puts off a lot of eCommerce managers.  Instead, 3rd party modules are often used with a slicker, easier to use interface.

There are a few simple uses for segmentation that can have a positive effect on website performance but do not take a great deal of time to set up or maintain.  Here are our top 5 to start off with.

Cart Page - Free delivery banner

Many eCommerce retailers will have a free delivery threshold - e.g. spend £x and get free delivery.  Pushing up the average order value can easily be achieved by persuading consumers to add a little extra to their basket in order to qualify for free delivery.  Using segmentation, it is possible to create free delivery content that shows when a user is under the threshold and doesn’t show at all when it is reached.  The benefit of this is that only relevant content is shown and the effects of the banner can be measured to see whether this has helped push the average order value up.

Customer Segment Attribute Required:  Cart

Retargeting users with special offers

Customers who are interested in buying a product will often view it several times before making the decision to purchase or not.  Without any segmentation we would rely on that customer to either bookmark the product URL or return to the website to find the product via search or navigation.  

Let’s say you have a special offer on a particular product but it is not significant enough to utilise valuable content space for all users on the homepage.  Instead, we can use segmentation to create a rule that says if a customer has viewed the product over a period of time, show content to them which informs them of the special offer.  This is an easy way of rekindling interest in products for potential customers, or at the very least, making it much easier to find the product for which they have previously shown intent.

Customer Segment Attribute Required:  Products

Making the most of wishlists

Wishlists are another under-utilised piece of functionality provided by Magento, but many retailers still add these links to category/product pages so users can create a list of desired products.  It is worth looking to see if your customers are using the wishlist functionality - you may be surprised!  If there is a significant number of lists being created by users, these can be targeted through segmentation.  Creating a simple rule that matches products with customers' wishlists enables eCommerce managers to create content on the site to entice those customers to go a step further and make the purchase.

Customer Segment Attribute Required:  Products

Targeting Customer Groups

As a retailer, you might have new products coming out that you only want your top customers to see initially.  This is generally achieved through email marketing bespoke lists and perhaps the use of private sale functionality within Magento, but segmentation can also be used here to enable custom content to be shown to specific groups.  Magento admins can create the content and match it to a segment rule that only shows when a user from a specific group is logged in.  It is worth noting that on a standard Magento website, most users will not bother logging in until they get to the cart/checkout. In this case, it is worth considering adding in the segmentation content to these areas to maximise effectiveness.

Customer Segment Attribute Required:  Customer Information

Products in shopping carts

Many users who are interested in a product but are not yet at the purchase stage will still add the product to their cart to basically get as far down the purchase line without needing to add in any personal information.  eCommerce marketers often try to retarget these types of users through communication mediums such as email, but in this case the potential customer has not provided their email address so cannot be contacted. Segmentation can be used to create a rule that can look for specified products in users' basket and then show curated content to that user when they browse the site, with the goal of eventually turning that user into a customer.

Customer Segment Attribute Required:  Products

These are just five uses of segmentation - there are many more that can be implemented site-wide, with varying degrees of complexity and effort required.  The time required of Magento admins to manage these can add up quickly and there is often front-end development required to ensure the segmentation content shows correctly across the site. However, creating a few straightforward rules and content can give you a good introduction to segmentation functionality and measuring its effectiveness can provide eCommerce managers with a view on whether more effort should be put into segmentation to grow the website.

PAUL ROGERS
Paul Rogers
Paul is an experienced eCommerce Consultant and Founder of Vervaunt. Paul's background is in eCommerce technology and customer acquisition strategy and he now runs the eCommerce services side of Vervaunt.