Audience Segmentation: evolving your online business to the next level

Thursday, 27th October 2016

Understanding how to segment your audience and serve them tailored content is the future

If you’re running a business that has an online component – whether it’s e-commerce, informational or service-orientated – it’s likely that you’ve got some level of understading of the importance of analytics.

Tracking user behaviour and site performance are absolutely vital in ensuring that your online business is delivering the results you need, by offering your consumers an efficient online experience.

To this end, Google Analytics, and the raft of add-on tools like Google Tag Manager is the starting point for understanding what your users are doing, and how your site is performing.

But as with everything online, the process has evolved to the next level…

Google, and a numer of other companies, have now created tool that allow online business owners to identify and segment online consumers by their behaviour. For example, if you own an online clothing shop, there are now ways of tracking all those people who come into a specific shop section, and browse for the same or similar items.

Analytics tools such Google Cohort Analysis and Oracle Bluekai capture and bundle this user data into meaningful ‘buckets’ so that over time, you as an online business owner are able to identify patterns of specific users and refine your website to suit those user patterns more specifically.

More crucially, because users are identified by their individual IP addresses (their digital ‘signature’), and the user data ‘buckets’ captures this information, there is another set of tools that means your website is able to feed custom information to a specific user set that you know will be of interest to them.

For example, user A comes into your online retail space and searches for, and then browses ladies jeans, then sport watches, and finally running shoes. Their IP address is captured as they come in, and their behaviour is tracked. They haven’t purchased anything or put anything into the retail basket but you now know what their likely interests are.

Two days later, the same user comes back, and because you’re aware of their interests, on the ‘you might also like…’ section on the pages they’re browsing, you’re able to serve them a selection of jeans on sale, a range of sport watches and running shoes, but also other fitness-related items.

Within that messaging, you’ve included a ‘bundle price’ or ‘special offer’ to encourage them to enter the basket process and convert them from browser to paying customer.

This is just a simple example of how understanding audience segmentation, and how to feed tailored content to audience sets is a vital next step in the evolution of your online business.

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Image source: Google