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The Importance of Audience Personalisation in Online Retail

There has been a continuous acceleration of modern consumer audiences adapting to the use of e-commerce to meet their retail needs. Expect to see a lot more of this, particularly over the upcoming festive season when high streets will be in their annual state of last minute shopping chaos! The online shopping audience is vaster than ever, not just in scale but in terms of the demographic it spans. Millennials are maturing and the under 25’s are no longer the single most valuable e-commerce segment. In 2014, the 25-34 and 35-44 year old age brackets were closer than ever when it came to the sheer volume of their online purchases and the frequency with which each group shopped online in any given month.

The potential audience for e-commerce spending and marketing is becoming more diverse. Opportunities are around every corner and the more the nation adapts and becomes comfortable with online buying over traditional high street shopping, the more your business will also need to push itself outside of its comfort zone.

So, how well prepared is your business when it comes to catering for this diversity and creating relevant personalised communications to suit all of the different age groups and experience levels of online shoppers?

Do you cater to the seasoned pros who buy online habitually as well as those who are new to adding to a virtual basket?

Where does your business sit on a scale of audience personalisation?

Modern day online retail marketing allows for a real depth of targeting options and criteria when it comes to planning campaigns. Between social media platforms like Facebook and your own CRM database there are hundreds of thousands of ways to slice and dice your customers. Each of these tools can help you to better understand who your business resonates with and who your products appeal to. Despite this, many businesses don’t use segmentation to their advantage. They reach out with generic marketing communications to blanket the entire audience and apply the same approach to new customer acquisition also. Are you guilty of this? If so, rais can help you out of the marketing rut without you needing an advanced degree in audience personalisation!

The life blood of marketing communications is making your message as relevant as possible to your audience. Big brands spend countless hours building the perfect strapline, and every brand needs a base to identify with. But when it comes to regular customer communications, you have the freedom to be much smarter. At this time of year in particular, smarter = more sales so it’s a win, win!

So, how do you get started?

Look at your audience and divide them into segments. Age, gender, geographical location or the number of times they've bought are segmentations, which can be easily applied to create pools of consumers. You can then look at what these different segments are buying from your e-commerce platform and then customise offers, promotions and communications accordingly. For something a little more advanced, try splitting out customers into lifecycle segments; people who haven't bought yet, bought once, bought two or more times or who have gone dormant having bought a long time ago.

Send a customised email to each group. Break each segment into individual social media campaigns with different images or messaging and test what works for each group. The chances are your audience is vast enough to cover many niches, each with different reasons to buy from you. Get to know them, understand them and your marketing intelligence will improve greatly. We recently worked with Leapfrogg on a project that took this one step further by surveying different customer segments to gain qualitative insight from different buyer types. Read more about that here.

Some final words of wisdom; find the USP your business provides for each segment and then find the ideal price point for product advertising and promotions. Use all of this to your advantage and your response rate from marketing efforts will vastly improve. Overall digital ROI will be at its all-time best.

Will you try any of these suggestions? Have you used marketing segmentation already? Let us know in the comments or share your experiences with us on social media.