Ecommerce Customer Segmentation And Retention: How Apteo Can Help

James Uzzalino
James Uzzalino
Head of Growth at Apteo

An important lesson in ecommerce is that growth does not only come from purchases from new customers. In fact, retaining customers is a more effective long-term strategy for sustainable growth.

One of Apteo’s main objectives is to help ecommerce clients improve retention so they can see their stores grow sustainably. Apteo thinks of, and calculates, retention as the opposite of churn, where retained customers are those who did not drop off from being active customers.  

Retention is a key stage in the customer journey that determines whether a buyer will become a repeat customer and brand advocate for your store. Communicating effectively at the retention stage by using touchpoints will encourage your audiences to make repeat purchases and remain as valuable loyal customers.

Apteo is designed to encourage repeat purchases by segmenting your audiences and giving you the data you need to make strategic marketing decisions. Read on to find out exactly how Apteo’s Smart Segments can be used in a retention strategy to improve loyalty and growth for your ecommerce store.

Apteo’s Smart Segments

When you link your ecommerce store to Apteo, you’ll be presented with Smart Segments. Apteo generates these segments automatically with data gathered from your ecommerce store. With AI technology, Apteo analyzes the behavioral data and segments your customers into a handful of specific categories to help you understand your customer base.

Four of these are directly related to retention, which is a primary goal for the Apteo platform. Here’s the breakdown of the Smart Segments you should engage that will help your ecommerce business drive customer retention:

Customers Overdue For a Purchase

Customers Overdue for a Purchase have an established purchase history that indicates that they should have made another purchase by now. Apteo determines these customers by analyzing the typical amount of time between purchases. If these customers don’t make a purchase soon, they’ll be moved into the next segment: At-Risk Customers.

At-Risk Customers

At-Risk Customers are at risk of going dormant or churning. At-Risk Customers are nearing the overall average time between purchases and have not engaged with the store in a manner that would let you know they’re considering a purchase. This segment is important to connect with in order to maintain a strong retention rate.

At-Risk High-Value Customers

At-Risk High-Value Customers are a subset of At-Risk Customers that tend to make large purchases on your store and likely drive the bulk of your business’s revenue. For this reason, At-Risk High-Value Customers should be prioritized in efforts to improve retention. This segment’s average time between purchases may differ from that of the At-Risk Customer Segment.

Dormant Customers

Dormant Customers are customers whose last purchase was long enough ago that they probably would not return to make a purchase on their own. This doesn’t mean this segment is gone forever, though—you still have the opportunity to re-engage these customers with the tactics below.

4 Smart Segment Use Cases to Improve Customer Retention

Apteo’s Essential Guide to Ecommerce Customer Journeys laid out touchpoints, or tactics for engaging customers, for each step of the customer journey. The retention stage provides opportunities to keep existing customers engaged and to re-engage customers who are at risk or dormant.

Apteo’s Smart Segments are designed to help you know which customers to target and when. Here are a few use cases that detail how you can use the data from your store’s Smart Segements to bolster your use of retention stage touchpoints:

Email

Email has one of the best ROIs of all marketing tactics, and with good reason: It’s a great medium for personalized communication and customer email addresses are relatively easy to obtain. 

Email is an effective touchpoint to engage and retain customers and Apteo is designed to help generate personalized email campaigns to hone your email marketing strategy. Users can export customer email addresses directly from each Smart Segment. From there, you can import email addresses to your preferred email marketing platform, like Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Omnisend, and more. 

Use a catchy subject line and tailor your messaging to draw in customers and use an attractive design template in whatever email service you use. As for messaging, Really Good Emails has an excellent collection of retention-specific emails for you to emulate.

SMS

SMS is a unique touchpoint that is great for retaining customers. It creates a sense of immediacy since audiences check their phones more often than they check their emails. For this reason, text message marketing should not be used like email marketing is—SMS marketing comes with its own set of best practices that should be followed if your business uses it.

Apteo can help you reach the most receptive SMS audiences in a similar manner to email marketing. Apteo will store any available phone number provided by the customer, which you can import into Klaviyo with direct integration, or you can export the phone numbers and upload into your chosen SMS marketing service.

Facebook Ad Retargeting

Keeping a top-of-mind presence is key to customer retention. Facebook, with its 2.8 billion monthly active users, is an effective site to get your message in front of customers. Chances are you already have an active Facebook business page, and with Apteo, you can leverage this platform to engage and retain customers.

In the Facebook Ads Manager, you can import custom audiences by uploading a .csv or .txt file into a Custom Audience. Apteo’s Smart Segments are exported as a .csv, so you can upload it right into Facebook and have your Apteo segments match your Facebook audiences.

Now that you have your store’s audiences on Facebook, you’ll be able to target ads to those specific, data-backed segments and encourage those segments to make purchases and stay engaged with your brand.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs are a tried-and-true way to encourage repeat purchases among your customers. There are many ways to implement loyalty programs, including:

  • Referral programs: Give existing customers discounts for referring new customers
  • Points-based loyalty programs: Allow customers accumulate points for purchases and use those points to redeem rewards, like free shipping or product samples
  • Tiered loyalty programs: Similar to points-based loyalty programs, but adding exclusive tiers with unique rewards if spending thresholds are reached
  • Gamification: Reward customers with badges and discounts for different actions, ranging from social media interactions to purchases

Ecommerce store audiences vary in their interests and how they like to be rewarded, so structure your store’s loyalty program accordingly. A variety of loyalty program services are available to ecommerce stores, like Smile.io, LoyaltyLion, Marsello, and ReferralCandy.

Launching a loyalty program can be tough, but Apteo’s Smart Segments are a handy tool for getting the program off the ground. It may seem like an odd combination, but inviting both currently engaged segments and the At-Risk or even Dormant segments will benefit your business in two ways: The loyalty program will get a boost from currently engaged customers and the previously engaged customers will have a great reason to make new purchases.

Apteo is Here to Help

If you’re looking for a data-backed solution to help your ecommerce store improve its retention rate, try Apteo for free to learn how Apteo’s Smart Segments can keep your customers engaged and drive repeat purchases.

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Photo by LinkedIn Sales Navigator from Pexels

About the Author

James Uzzalino
James Uzzalino
Head of Growth at Apteo

James Uzzalino is the Head of Growth at Apteo, where he is responsible for engaging with customers and partners to deliver value and grow Apteo's business.

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