4 Customer Segmentation Examples For Ecommerce


Tom Simpkins

Tom Simpkins

Content Marketing Manager

Reading Time: 9 minutes

Targeting is a key to great ecommerce marketing, and keeping your messages relevant to your customer will mean they’re more effective. However, targeting your messages is impossible without customer segmentation. 

There are four main types of customer segmentation. Each of them with the potential to work in vastly different ways within marketing strategies—each with their pros and cons. These include behavioral, geographic, demographic, and psychographic segmentation. 

Let’s explore each of these different customer segmentation examples. By doing so, a merchant should be able to determine which customer-based segmentation strategy would work best for them.

Behavioral Segmentation

Behavioral segmentation divides customers due to their behavioral patterns whilst on a website. This applies to both existing and potential customers. It can include behavior around what they choose to purchase, or even what they simply browse while window shopping. 

It also examines the journey the customer takes when they’re on the website. This includes whether they respond to pop-ups or explore the site via website banners. 

The main features that behavioral segmentation considers are:

  • Interest: What interests the customer and what brought them to a website in the first place. This can range from the specialty of the website to the specific products it sells. For example, a merchant that offers international wines & spirits might attract a customer based on quality, or range of wines.

  • Benefits: The reasons the customers come to a website and successfully makes a purchase, or continues to make purchases. This can include responding to exit-intent pop-ups with discounts or engaging with sales or product bundles.

  • Usage: How long the customer spends on the website, as well as how often they visit or purchase from it. This ranges wildly, from frequent visitors to identifying those that rarely visit, even if only once.

  • Occasion: What events or reasons have brought a customer to a website, other than their interest. This can include occasions throughout the year, such as a Black Friday sale. 

  • Engagement: How a customer interacts with a website and the journey that they go on. This can include spotting trends where customers will seek out help & advice before making purchases.

  • Loyalty: The special features that results in customers being loyal to a website. This can include those that interact with loyalty programs or VIP tiers. This behavior can signal high value, lifelong customers or even brand advocates.

Behavioral Segmentation Example

Customer Segmentation Examples Behavioral Segmentation

An example of behavioral segmentation is segmenting a customer that has visited a card website. Say they visited at a certain time of year, such as a week before Mother’s Day. 

This website would recognize that a customer who simply orders one card may be worth retargeting again the following year. However, another customer who leaves the website with a card and a Mother’s Day gift still in their cart would merit a cart abandonment email.

Each of the other segmentations would apply to this customer if:

  • Geographic: The customer interacts with the website during another occasion, such as Father’s Day. The customer will be segmented into marketing aimed towards occasions celebrating parents. These dates will adhere to those that the holidays occur within their country. For example, Mother’s Day is early May for the US and early March for the UK.

  • Psychographic: The customer frequently purchases not only cards, but candles or stuffed toys. This indicates that the customer enjoys these particular products. This could segment them into any marketing involving new candles or stuffed toys.

  • Demographic: The customer looks on and buys from the website for cards for a particular religion’s religious holiday. For example, a Christian looking for Easter cards. This segments them into marketing campaigns about the same religion’s other religious holidays, such as Christmas or Lent.

Geographic Segmentation

If you find high customer engagement with a target market based in one region, you can segment the customers in this area. Geographic segmentation can be broken down to include a specific town, city, or region of a country. 

The six main factors for geographic segmentation are:

  • Primary location: The country, state, city, or even ZIP code. This can range from the size of a business, the scope of marketing, and even the resources available to them, such as delivery options.

  • Timezone: Most countries will adhere to roughly the same time zone. However, larger countries like the US will have several different time zones. This can influence who a business markets to, if they have time-sensitive products or services like live shows.

  • Climate and season: Certain customer bases in certain locations may be more susceptible to specific marketing depending on the time of year. For example, if it is ‘tourist season’, some businesses may opt to slow down on marketing to native customers and ramp up marketing to tourists.

  • Cultural preferences: Merchants should always consider any cultural preferences when marketing. Failing to do so could result in either a loss of opportunities, or even backlash. For example, if you’re marketing for salacious, risqué products, consider your timing and discretion.

  • Language: Naturally, a factor with geographic segmentation should include the languages of the location. Any bilingual countries should consider AB testing for different languages. For example, sending email marketing in one language to a country with an even split of speakers will be likely to have a lower engagement rate.

  • Population type: This includes the density of the population, such as whether a business markets to urban, suburban, or rural audiences.

The physical location of a customer base can influence their consumption habits. It can also influence what marketing attempts will be viable for them. Because of this, geographic segmentation can take place even before a customer interacts with a website.

Geographic Segmentation Example

Customer Segmentation Examples Geographic Segmentation

An example of geographic segmentation would include a website that focused on local deals for customers. It would show results, depending on where they were in the country.

This website would specifically ask the customer where they wanted to begin their search. By doing so, it would already be able to cater to the customer’s region and location. Once the location was set, it would offer deals, products and services that are time-sensitive to that customer’s location. It would also be able to pinpoint easier, more seamless delivery processes.

Each of the other segmentations would apply to this customer if:

  • Behavioral: The customer adds several items to their cart from one seller on the website. They then leave the website without finishing their purchase. This would merit behavioral segmentation that provides a discount for the amount of products they’ve added to their carts to incentivize the purchase.

  • Psychographic: The customer interacts with specific types of stores on the front page, such as beauty product sellers. However, they don’t provide their location. This would merit psychographic segmentation that recommends similar stores across the entire website. It would likely send a prompt for the customer to input their location.

  • Demographic: The customer interacts with stores that specialize in the same industry across the country. For example, anti-bacterial safety gear for cleaning jobs.  They make purchases from several of them, suggesting that it’s their occupation that lead to the purchases, rather than their location. Demographic segmentation would then alert this customer of any new stores that appeal to the same occupation.

Psychographic Segmentation

Psychographic segmentation aims to separate a customer base by defining traits. These are the traits that may influence their consumption habits. 

Unlike behavioral segmentation, these habits are personality-based and ingrained to the customer themselves. This is as opposed to more surface behavior, such as how they interact with a website. 

These habits and traits include:

  • Personality: Some brands or products resonant with certain personalities more than others. For example, a ‘bubbly’ and positive personality may respond better to marketing using emojis. Or, they may respond to products that focus on more options for different, bright colors.

  • Lifestyles: Certain brands and products can adjust themselves according to different lifestyles, such as brands perceived as ‘luxury brands’.

  • Interests & hobbies: Entire industries can rise around specific interests or hobbies. Gaps in the market will become more common as these interests diversify. For example, customers who enjoy gaming can enjoy video games or physical, tabletop-based games.

  • Values & attitudes: Morality and social-mindedness can make the world of difference for some audiences. For example, some customers might resonate with cause marketing. Some may resonate with companies that dedicate themselves to specific causes. These include being carbon neutral, recycling as much as possible, or giving proceeds to charity.

Psychographic Segmentation Example

Customer Segmentation Examples Psychographic Segmentation

An example of psychographic segmentation is segmenting a customer due to a sports-focused and active lifestyle. 

The customer visits a clothing website, yet only buys sportswear. They sign up for information about new sportswear products. This allows the website to comfortably segment the customer with psychographic segmentation. It would do so by focusing on the interests of fitness.

Each of the other segmentations would apply to this customer if:

  • Behavioral: The customer interacts solely with a website’s sports-focused products. They click on sales banners for sportswear on this website or browse these products. The customer is segmented in marketing about similar products.

  • Geographic: The current season in the customer’s region is sunny and summery. This would prompt marketing for more summer-based activities, like running. Alternatively, during the winter there would be colder climate-based products, like winter coats and thermal underwear.

  • Demographic: The customer looks at both adult and children’s sizes for sportswear. They frequently buy both, if not solely clothing or equipment for children. The customer is segmented into marketing geared towards families.

Demographic Segmentation

Demographic segmentation groups potential and existing customers via more universal traits. This is unlike geographic, psychographic, or behavioral—these focus on location, customer personalities, and interactions respectively. 

By segmenting customers with these universal traits, merchants risk ‘throwing the net too wide’. However, it can be exceptionally useful for large national or international businesses. After all, they may need retail customer segmentation to handle large territories. By segmenting via universal traits, they can then continue further targeting. 

Demographic’s universal traits include:

  • Age: You can divide customers by age groups, not just specific ages. For example, 18 to 25 will typically look at young adult audiences.

  • Gender: You can divide customers according to whether they identify as male, female, or even gender fluid. Even still, how a customer identifies can help targeted marketing for some merchants. For example, a store that sells both male and female clothing can focus their female-based brands on customers who identify as female.

  • Ethnicity and/or religion:  While it won’t necessarily be a good basis for segmentation for all products, there are certain goods that will better resonate for certain customers. For example, a customer from a religious country might only wish to shop for halal or kosher products.

  • Education: Some industries may rely on their customers having completed or engaged with higher education. Alternatively, there may be products or services that cater to those who have not. For example, customers who have completed a certain level of education might work in a field that offers them a certain amount of expendable income, or require dressier clothing for work..

  • Income: Certain products, services, or brands might only be marketable to those with higher incomes. Likewise, some brands might focus on good value or low-priced products for those with lower incomes.

  • Occupation: Those in different industries may resonate with specific brands or products more so than others. The same is true of those at different levels in their career. This can include the customers’ income, but it mostly considers what the industry the customer is in. For example, a high paying executive might be interested in an expensive watch. Yet the designer working under them might see more value with an interactive tablet.

  • Family: Certain products or services may only be marketed towards customers with families. The amount of family members can influence this too. For example, a vacation provider might offer a young couple a vacation package with a lot of sight-seeing and a busy itinerary, whereas a couple with two or more children might be more interested in more family group outings.  

There’s a lot to consider with demographic segmentation. But generally speaking, the segmentation focuses on one of the traits, such as age or occupation. 

Once segmented, this group of customers is then further targeted for specific products. For example, a group of potential customers registers with a similar occupation for catering in the food industry. This will then lead to targeted marketing for catering equipment.

Demographic Segmentation Example

Customer Segmentation Examples Demographic Segmentation

An example of demographic segmentation is segmenting a customer due to a combination of age and gender, such as a jewelry store that focuses almost exclusively on younger women.The audience for the website will largely be female, ranging from young adults onwards, such as an age range of 18-40. This would be determined by the prices, styles, and range of products available. 

The way that a customer would merit demographic segmentation would be if they deviate from this website’s target audience. For example, a young male customer visits once to look for a gift. This would segment them into marketing for occasions that call for jewelry as gifts, such as Valentine’s Day.

Each of the other segmentations would apply to this customer if:

  • Behavioral: The customer clicks on the products page but only looks at a specific category, such as rings, or only one style, like only rose gold jewelry. This would trigger behavioral segmentation with personalized product recommendations. For example, showcasing only ring products or items that are rose gold.

  • Geographic: The customer only interacts with the website during holidays that typically see a lot of gift giving, such as Christmas. It would be unlikely that this customer would respond to frequent marketing. Due to this, they are only segmented into marketing campaigns that take place around Christmas.

  • Psychographic: The customer only seems interested in products that appear to be handmade. The website may feature a particular jeweler that stresses their homemade aesthetic. The customer may then be segmented into marketing that showcases products with the same rustic, handmade style. That, or items only made by that particular jeweler.

Wrap Up

While any ecommerce merchant can make good use of email segmentation, some may fit certain businesses better than others. 

  • Behavioral is great for real-time segmentation and for adapting to customers’ journeys as they go. 

  • Geographic works wonders for merchants who know exactly where they want to market to, even if they don’t know ‘who’ they want to market to yet. 

  • Psychographic allows merchants to truly cater to their core audiences and helps to reach out to others like them. 

  • Demographic lets you create a solid foundation from which to begin more niche targeting.

Knowing which types of segmentation strategies to use is half of the battle. The best way to truly see them through is to have the right tools for the job—and the right platform to launch your marketing from.

With the right platform, marketing can be made easy. Try Omnisend’s free trial to see how you can give your engagement and conversion rates a massive boost.

Special thanks to our friends at Omnisend for their insights on this topic.
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