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Customer Paradigm


One of the big themes from the Magento Imagine show was personalization.

(And beyond just mail-merging in your name).

The idea is to personalize a site, based on information you have from a user, so that their user experience is not like everyone else’s.

There are three reasons personalization isn’t widely adopted:

  • Personalization technology can be difficult to implement
  • The "creative" costs of personalization (you have to decide what to do)
  • What happens if you personalize a site, and it annoys end users?

I’ve been passionate about personalization. In 2000, I attended a conference in New York called "The Personalization Summit." Industry guru Seth Godin was a keynote speaker.

Fourteen years later, very few sites are actually doing much in the way of personalization. I do see this changing, but slowwwly….

Magento Enterprise – Customer Segmentation.

Built into the Magento Enterprise code base is a Customer Segmentation system, that allows you to personalize a site experience based on customer attributes.

It’s a powerful system, but one that few Magento Enterprise merchants are using. (There are also other third party systems for personalization, but this isn’t built into the free Community version of Magento.)

Before you can personalize the experience, you must first identify the customer segments:

Magento Customer Segmentation Home Screen

In this case, you could create customer segments based on segments like:

  • Customer with $100 in the cart
  • Customer has placed more than two orders in the past
  • Customer is in Colorado (or Florida, California, or another state)
  • Customer is in a specific city (like Boulder)
  • Customer’s address is in a specific zip code range
  • + more

Let’s say you want to personalize the visitor’s site experience, based on a zip code range in their billing or shipping address.

You would start by naming the segment, and making it active:

Matched Customers by Zip Code

Next, you’d add conditions (in this case zip codes) to the segment:

Zip Code Personalization

In this case, you can set up these conditions, and then offer free courier shipping (for example) via bicycle messenger for anyone that matches.

Magento Enterprise allows you to see how many customer match this segment:

Matched Segments

In this test case, there are two customers (both me) that match.

You can also export these into a spreadsheet, perhaps to do an outbound email campaign:

Excel Spreadsheet Export


Building Segments:

To build a customer segment in Magento Enterprise, you can choose from many different options, including:

  • Customer Address
    • Customer creation date
    • Date of birth
    • Billing address
    • Shipping Address
    • Email address
    • Name
    • Gender
    • Customer Group (i.e. wholesale)
    • Newsletter Subscription status
    • If the customer has a store credit
  • Shopping Cart information:
    • Cart total (total $$)
    • Number of
    • Quantity of products in cart
  • Product information:
    • Product List
    • Product Sales history
  • Sales information:
    • Order address
    • Sales amount
    • Number of past orders
    • Quantity of products ordered in past

Building Customer Segments

Here’s an example of a segment where the customer has placed more than two orders in the past:

Customer Segment with More Than Two Orders

(A customer that has purchased more than two orders in the past might be an easier prospect for a repeat order.)

Here’s an example of a customer where their state is in Colorado:

Customer in Colorado

(You might want to run a promotion for your store targeted to people just in the state of Colorado, for ski season, for example.)

Or, personalize the site if someone has more than $100 in the cart:

Customer with More than $100 in cart

(You might want to entice them with free shipping, for example.)

Or, you could create a more complex rule that states if:

  • If a customer has a grand total of more than $500 in their cart.
  • And they’ve placed more than five orders in the past

Customer with Multiple Options

… then perhaps you want to give the customer a special thank you. Or give them expedited shipping for free. Or throw in a special gift.

Next week, I’ll talk about how to actually use these customer segments with the Magento Enterprise system to actually personalize the site.

Let me know if you’d like help personalizing your site…


Jeff FinkelsteinFounder, Customer Paradigm
Jeff Finkelstein
Founder, Customer Paradigm



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