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For every successful online store, there will be thousands, if not millions that are simply sitting on a server, offering the owners very little (if any) return on investment.  Those online stores that are successful, usually have a number of things in common, including obvious characteristics like first or early mover status, niche market players, mature business models with well planned marketing strategy, etc etc.

What many successful online stores do have, which many won’t be aware of, is a well planned and executed market segmentation marketing plan.  Whilst we are huge fans of segmentation in email campaigns and other forms of marketing, in this particular blog, we are not referring to your typical email subscriber segmentation, we are referring to live/dynamic market segmentation of visitors on your website.

Visitors to an online store can now be segmented into groups based on anything from age, gender, geographic location, behaviour, previous browsing history and so on.  It is now possible for marketing strategies to be employed immediately to highly targeted segments of your website visitors, or even individual visitors alone.

Anything from promotional banners, popups, newsletter subscribe requests, discount offers and more, can be offered to a website visitor, based purely on demographics or behavioural traits, including website visit history.  As an example, an online store can show a discount offer to a specific visitor who has viewed a specific product more than once, in order to get that specific visitor across the line for the converted sale.  In essence, it is a way for savvy e-commerce managers to choose exactly which visitor is offered which discount or promotional offer, if any at all.

Another example might be a store with a lower than desirable average total cart quantity per sale.  In order to increase the total quantity per sale, the e-commerce manager might offer a discount for additional items added to the cart.  This alone isn’t anything ground breaking, however the ability to only show this offer to very specific visitors is ground breaking.  Why would a savvy business person offer a discount to a visitor they know, based on shopping history, is likely to buy a large quantity anyway?  The online store manager now has the choice to show the offer only to those who, based on previous shopping history, have a tendency to place orders of a lower quantity.

Traditionally the above mentioned website functionality has been well and truly out of reach of most small to medium sized businesses, purely due to the cost of implementing the technology required.  Thankfully recent advances in online store platforms and associated website extensions has drastically lowered the cost barrier.  Take AheadWorks Market Segmentation Suite for Magento as an example.  Most of what we’ve discussed above is available through this extension and other associated extensions, for well under $500.  Obviously some developers fees need to be added for installation and configuration, as well as some reasonable knowledge of Magento’s native promotional features.  However, it’s obvious that live market segmentation is very much a reality for almost any small to medium business looking to compete online.

If your online store is struggling to convert website visitors into online sales, or you’d like to further optimise a store with stagnant revenue growth,  perhaps market segmentation is a strategy worth considering.  For more info on how to employ a live market segmentation strategy, call us on 0415 22 11 21 or contact us via our contact form.

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