Website segmentation is a super-effective way to turn holiday window shoppers into holiday buyers. We’ve seen customer segmentation increase conversion rates and sales for the brands we work with every year.

So what’s the best way to build your customer segments this holiday season? Here are five ideas.

1. First-time Tyler

We’re going to illustrate the value of this holiday segmentation tactic with a fictional dialog between mother and child.

Noah: “Hey Mom, can you get me the new Coheed & Cambria vinyl for Christmas? They sell it online.”
Mom: “Vinyl? Are you talking about the medium that encodes music into tiny rivets in a large, black plastic disc? I believe your father has a few hundred boxes of those downstairs!”
Noah: “Right. Whatever. Can you just get it for me? It’s the only thing I want besides a $700 receiver and $1,000 set of speakers and a $500 record player.”
Mom: “You’re just like your sister, Isabella. ‘All I want is 100 things.’ You think a clever framing of the request can mask your insolent selfishness. You can’t get anything by me.”
Noah: “Whatever. So you’ll buy it?”
Mom: “Sure. Just send me the link.”

Now comes the real challenge for the vinyl e-retailer. They need to help Noah’s mom easily locate the Coheed & Cambria album, add it to her cart, and buy some other stuff, too. One way to do that: New visitor segmentation.

Your efforts in this area are all-but-guaranteed to pay off, since there are tons of little Noahs out there with bad taste and a penchant for low-fidelity audio, and moms who have never purchased vinyl online.

Here are some more detailed tips:

  • Welcome them to your site
  • Build specific messaging for new customers, calling out pertinent website functionality
  • Feature tips on how to shop your site
  • Help them find the correct product fast
  • Make it easy to locate accurate answers to the questions they have
  • Highlight service differentiators and trust factors
  • Test acquisition offers to create long-term value with customers
    • e.g. a coupon to save on a future purchase is a great way to promote subsequent sales and engagement with new customers

2. Semi-annual Ava

This segment buys from you as frequently as you go to church: Once or twice a year. Make sure you’re accommodating their needs and preferences.

  • Greet them with a welcome-back message
  • Call out important website features or changes since last season
  • Ensure your site’s navigation is fast and easy to use
  • Highlight the signup form for your email newsletter to help keep them engaged throughout the year

Here’s how you can segment for new and returning visitors with Monetate:


3. High-value Vinnie

This segment needs an extra bit of love, but they’re worth it.

If you can reliably identify them, thank and/or reward your high-value customers. You could also offer them a “gift with purchase” or other small way of saying “thank you.”

As (fellow Philly-based startup) RJ Metrics suggests:

“Reach out to let them know that you value their business and extend an exclusive offer like free-shipping on any purchase, free overnight shipping, or gift wrapping. In addition, if you’re interested in doing a little gift-giving yourself this is the group you want to target.”

4. Last-minute Madison

Although my dad will be finished his holiday shopping by the week before Thanksgiving—at the latest—he’s probably the only one.

So make sure you’re serving those last-minute holiday shoppers as well as you can. One way to do that: Geotargeting. You should always serve your customers with location-aware context, but it’s even more important during the holidays.

Look for ways to leverage your messaging around your fulfillment locations as it relates to where the products are being shipped. For instance, if a last-minute holiday shopper is located near one of your fulfillment locations, display a message to that customer assuring that the shipment will arrive on time.

More ideas:

  • As each of your shipping method cut-off nears, remind shoppers its time to act
  • Integrate the Monetate countdown ticker to create urgency as each ship method nears closure
  • Place cut-off reminders on product pages and checkout
  • Integrate these dates with personalized email blasts targeted to customers who have browsed eligible products but have not yet purchased them

5. Fancy Frank

People using mobiles

Millions of lucky kids and adults will receive a new iPhone, iPad, or Android device this holiday season. And what’s the first thing they’re going to do with their fancy new phone? Download Minecraft.

But after that? They’ll probably try to unload that gift card they also received, using their new mobile device.

So you’ll want to:

  • Minimize distractions and hard-to-navigate menus
  • Maximize button sizes, search fields, and product images
  • Show them the closest nearby store
  • Make it easy to redeem gift cards via mobile devices. (You could even incorporate that neat thing some apps have where you can take a picture of your credit card and it’ll automatically capture the numbers—but for gift cards.)

For more holiday ecommerce tactics…

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