Our Most Requested Feature Yet: Custom Segmentation

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I remember launching Receiptful V1 in November 2014 as a receipts-only product, which didn’t have a fraction of the features we have today. At the time there were hundreds of features that we still needed to build, yet one of the earliest feature requests has also become the most popular one over time: custom segmentation.

A quick search through all of our historical support conversations, shows this question as the first to ever mention segmentation outright:

I was wondering if there is a way of sending different receipts, depending on if they are first time customers, or big spenders, or other buying patterns?

You may ask why segmentation has been such a popularly requested feature. The simple answer is that segmentation is a worthwhile, profitable investment that generates a higher ROI for your marketing.

With the email marketing realm, MailChimp found that segmented campaigns had 14.45% higher opens than non-segmented campaigns, 63.71% more clicks, and 8.68% fewer unsubscribes. Tl;dr Segmentation works. 🙂

CM Commerce and Segmentation

Up until today, we have offered basic segmentation for all emails that you can send from CM Commerce. These segments have been based on your customers’ purchasing patterns and focused on the goal of getting all customer types to make repeat purchases.

The best part of this was that CM Commerce automatically did everything for you in the background. Bargain: You don’t have to spend the time doing the work, and immediately get a boost in your marketing ROI.

But – as we have heard from many of you – there are other criteria which you would like to use to segment your customers and possibly further boost your marketing ROI. Today we satisfy this very popular request with the release of our Custom Segments. Look at this beauty:

We have built a new interface that enables you to create your customer segments based on any combination of criteria. You just mix and match the criteria, we create the segment for you (and keep it up to date in real-time), and you send more personalised emails.

Right now these are the criteria that you have available to create custom segments:

  • Total Spend
  • Number of orders
  • Time of the order (i.e. placed an order in the last 10 days or last order more than 50 days ago)
  • Purchased a specific product
  • Purchased a product from a specific collection
  • Reviewed a specific product (if using CM Commerce’s Product Reviews)

Ideas and Examples

I bet you’re already thinking about new ways in which you can use this. To help you get started, we have been thinking about this too so that we could have a couple of ideas and examples ready for you to kickstart your (custom) segmentation.

1. VIP customers

Use this criteria: Number of orders exceeds 2, Total spend exceeds $x.

These are your customers that spend the most money with you. You could perhaps send them a specific post-purchase follow-up email campaign to reward or incentivize them. Or maybe you can just send them a newsletter with a once-off offer or promotion.

2. Loyal Customer

Use this criterion: Number of orders exceeds 10

In a similar way as your VIP customers, these customers have made the most individual purchases from you over an extended period. Why not reward their loyalty and continued patronage with an exclusive offer or gift that you send them via a quick email newsletter?

3. Is it time to order this product again?

Use this criterion: Purchased a specific product, Time since last order more than x days.

This works best if you have products that run out and need to be replenished. If you know that the average customer will need to replenish their purchased product every 30 days, then create a segment for that product and include all customers that last purchased that product more than 30 days ago. You can then set up an automated follow-up campaign to remind customers about replenishing their stocks on time.

4. Cross-Sell Offer

Use this criteria: Purchased a product from a specific category/collection, Time since last order more than x days ago.

This segment assumes that someone that purchases a product from a specific collection will also like other products in that collection or products that are in a complementary collection. This is a great segment to whom you can promote and cross-sell those complimentary products that they have not yet discovered.

Other ideas could be to promote the launch of a new product in this category. Send this segment a spiffy email newsletter announcing all the awesomeness of the new product. Or perhaps you’re running a promotion on items in this collection, and you just know that these customers will want to buy similar products.

5. Big spender who hasn’t bought for a while

Use this criterion: Time since last order more than x days ago, Total spend exceeds $x.

Sometimes all your Big Spenders needs from you is a reminder and another reason to make yet another purchase. You can do this with an automated follow-up campaign that will always remind your Big Spenders to keep coming back. Or send them a once-off discount in an email newsletter to make an impulsive purchase today.

6. Highlight a specific product in a category

Use this criterion: Has purchased a product from a specific category, Has not purchased a specific product.

When a customer has purchased a product from a specific collection, they have shown interest in that collection, but they did not necessarily browse the whole collection before that purchase. This means they could’ve missed out on your best seller in that collection. So why not send them a quick follow-up email to tell them about the best seller in this collection; it might just get you another sale.

You could also use this for products that are end-of-line and you are trying to liquidate the last few stock items. To do this, you could send this segment a short email newsletter to tell them about these end-of-line items that are now on sale (and selling out fast).

7. Specific product on sale

Use this criterion: Has not purchased a specific product.

We all know it sucks getting that email that announces “Get 30% off Widget XYZ today” when you purchased Widget XYZ a couple of weeks ago. Now you can avoid that customer resentment by only promoting a specific product on sale to those customers that have not yet purchased it. Problem solved, ROI boosted. 🙂

What’s next? V1.x and beyond…

Custom segmentation is inherently a very flexible feature, and whenever we have released such a flexible tool, we’re always curious to see how CM Commerce stores end up using this, as well as what additional features you will request.

In that sense, we have built custom segmentation to be very extendable, and we will be adding more options for criteria in the weeks to come. We’re also keen to learn about the kinds of segments that you will create and that we can turn into some automated default segments for you. We have already identified a few new default segments that we will be adding:

  • Most Regular Buyers: Top 10% of customers ranked according to their number of orders.
  • Big Spenders: Top 10% of customers ranked according to their total spend.
  • Highly Engaged: Opened up any email from your store in the last 30 days.

The other thing that we are excited to explore is further partner integrations that specifically extends the customer data model. As an example, if you are running a loyalty points scheme (via another software solution outside of CM Commerce), it would be great to have the points balances of your customers available in CM Commerce so that you can create a segment for your most loyal customers (and show their points balance in their email newsletter).

All of this is however for another day… Today is all about starting to build some new custom segments in CM Commerce.
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