7 Essential Segments for eCommerce Holiday Marketing in 2020

23 Oct
7 Essential Segments for eCommerce Holiday Marketing in 2020

For eCommerce businesses, the holidays are the perfect time to ramp up sales and drive more traffic.

A recent Adobe study found that the holiday season can lift sales by up to 200%!

This year, investing in holiday marketing is more important than ever.

It offers a huge opportunity for businesses to make up for any pandemic-related performance issues they might have faced earlier in the year!

In this post, we’ll help you learn how to boost your holiday marketing with email segmentation and personalization.

Let’s get started!

Why segmentation should be a crucial part of your holiday marketing strategy

During the holidays, your business will be approached by several different types of shoppers.

To make sure you’re sending out the right message to the right people, you need to tailor your emails to each customer type.

And segmentation helps you do just that! 

Segmentation is the process of breaking down your audience into smaller groups, or segments, based on characteristics like age, gender, interests, and purchase activity.

It helps you personalize the emails and marketing messages you send to your customers! 

For example, you might come across three types of customers during the holidays:

  • Customers looking to buy gifts for their friends and family
  • Frequent browsers on the hunt for discounts and holiday sales
  • Last-minute shoppers who don’t want to miss out on bargains

By dividing these shoppers into segments, you’ll be able to send timely and relevant emails that will grab their interest and get them to buy from you!

For instance, you can add a countdown timer in emails you send out to last-minute shoppers to create a sense of urgency and push them to make a purchase.

You can personalize pretty much anything for each segment — from email design, content, and tone of voice to send frequency and other aspects!

7 essential segments for your eCommerce holiday marketing strategy

Now that you know what segmentation is and how it can help you send better emails let’s find out the different essential segments for eCommerce that you can use for your business.

1. Gender

The most popular and easiest way to segment your audience is by gender.

Needless to say, most men and women shop differently.

For example, if you own an online luggage store, women might be more interested in smaller bags, while men might lean more towards the larger ones in your collection!

Each gender might even have a particular preference when it comes to email design.

For instance, women might respond more strongly to pink or red color in emails, while men might respond to darker and cooler tones, like blue and black.

You can use this information to tailor your holiday marketing emails to each gender segment, such as the product recommendations inside or the color of the CTAs!

Here’s an example of gender segmentation by Adidas.

For their Originals campaign, they sent two different emails to men and women to stay relevant to each gender.

During the holidays, you can also use gender segmentation to show relevant gift ideas to your customers.

For example, you can send emails about “gift ideas for your wife/girlfriend/lover” to male customers, and vice versa to female customers!

2. Age

Another way to segment your eCommerce audience is by age.

You might notice that different age groups tend to have unique shopping preferences, which is even more prominent during the holidays.

Here are three examples of customer segments you can create based on age:

Baby boomers:

  • Born between 1946 - 1964
  • Tend to stay loyal to a brand
  • Prefer making purchases in a physical store
  • Tend to spend more on products they find online


  • Born between 1980 - 1996
  • Use smartphones to search for products online
  • Not afraid to make purchases online
  • Show signs of impulse buying behavior

Gen Z:

  • Born between 1997 - 2012
  • Spend up to 3x more time shopping on social media than the average consumer
  • Consider shopping as a social activity
  • Prefer authenticity and reviews from product users and influencers

Brands can segment their customers based on their age group and then send them relevant emails that resonate with their specific values.

For example, a recent study showed that Generation Z is willing to pay more for sustainable products than other age groups. A majority of that chunk is even willing to pay a 10% price premium!

Some eCommerce brands, such as Soko Glam, are already making the most of this by sending emails that hit the right chord with their young, environmentally conscious target audience.

3. Number of orders

An effective way to boost your eCommerce holiday marketing strategy is by creating a Number of Orders segment.

This segment allows you to identify your best customers, as well as those who might need an extra nudge to buy from you again!

This helps you maximize your sales by tailoring your message to each type of customer!

For example, since repeat shoppers are already fans of your brand, you can reward their loyalty with special “gifts” or discounts during the holiday season.

Here’s how kikki.K does it.

Your customers will love you for it. They might even be willing to spread the word on social media, which means free publicity and more sales for you!

Let’s say you also have a segment of customers who only bought from you once.

You can send them warm, welcoming emails that help them get to know your brand better, and then encourage them to make a second purchase by showing them products they’re likely to be interested in!

The Number of Orders segmentation can also help you get granular with your customers’ purchase behavior, and you can use this to understand them better.

For example, if you create segments for 1, 2, 3, 4, and 5+ orders, you can determine which segment most of your customers fall under.


4. Average Order Value (AOV)

Another way to use a customer’s previous purchase activity to maximize sales is to segment them based on their Average Order Value, or AOV.

AOV is the average amount of money a customer spends on each order.

Customers with high AOV are more likely to purchase expensive products or bundles during the holiday season. These people might not be as motivated by sales and discounts as others.

On the other hand, customers with low AOV are more likely to purchase from your store if they see something offered at a lower price!

To increase their AOV, you might want to use upselling or cross-selling techniques and get them to buy several low-priced products instead of just one.

GoPro does a great job of increasing their customers’ AOV by selling them attractive bundles. Here’s an example of a holiday email they sent out.

Determining the ranges for your AOV segments can be a bit tricky. We recommend getting started with these three segments first:

  • High AOV
  • Medium AOV
  • Low AOV

Assign the most commonly occurring value to the medium AOV segment, and set upper and lower limits for the other two.

For most eCommerce stores, it’s a great idea to target customers with low AOV during the holiday season.

With all the sales and discounts going on, they’re more likely to pile up their cart with a bunch of low-priced products and increase their AOV during the process!

5. Products purchased

Another way to boost your holiday marketing strategy is by creating segments based on the type of products your customers tend to buy.

This can do wonders for your email engagement and conversion. Why? Because customers will now be receiving emails about products they’re most interested in!

If Billy loves to buy watches from your online store, sending him emails about sunglasses might not get you any engagement. But send him a bunch of emails about the newest watch collection in your store, and you’ll likely have him checking out with one in no time!

During the holidays, you can use this segment to send tailored gift ideas and product recommendations to your customers.

Here’s an example of a holiday email by Away with tailored product recommendations.

6. Device type

In 2019, online shoppers accounted for 59% of the overall sales during the holiday season!

In 2020, this number is likely to increase as more people are shopping from their homes.

For eCommerce brands, this means stepping up their mobile marketing game!

To make this easier, you can segment your customers based on the device type they use, so you know which and how many people shop on:

  • Mobile
  • Tablet
  • Desktop

You can then create a tailored holiday marketing strategy that targets mobile buyers and encourages them to buy from you!

If you use Sendlane to create this segmentation, the entire process can be automated. You can even use cross-channel marketing to boost the power of email with SMS!

For example, you can send targeted SMS discounts to customers who make purchases on their smartphones.

Shoppers are also more likely to display impulse buying behavior during the holiday season. For these customers, you can even run social media ads as part of your mobile retargeting campaigns!


7. Contact engagement

Contact engagement is all about digging deeper into how customers interact with your emails. This often involves the metrics you’re likely already tracking, such as open and click-through rates.

You can segment contacts by their engagement levels to achieve several goals. For example, you might want to convert email subscribers who have not yet purchased into paying customers.

Or, you might want to identify customers who haven’t been engaging with your campaigns lately and get them to interact with your emails again.

During the holidays, this type of segmentation can come in real handy!

For instance, you might notice that some of your buyers are most active when a sale or promotion occurs.

By tracking contact engagement activity over time, you can identify such customers and send them emails about holiday discounts and promotions to capture their interest!

This not only helps you boost your email engagement rates, traffic, and sales but also increases your return-on-investment (ROI.)

Instead of wasting your resources on these buyers throughout the year, you can focus most of your marketing efforts on them during the holidays and seasonal sales.

Use personalization to boost your eCommerce holiday marketing

Creating segments during the holiday season is one of the best things you can do for your eCommerce business!

It helps you identify your shoppers, group them based on common characteristics, and then send them relevant emails that are likely to get them to buy from you!

You can create dozens of segments inside Sendlane and use them in your automations without doing any of the hard work.

Ready to supercharge your holiday marketing? Sign up for a 14-day free trial now and take Sendlane for a test drive!

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