Customer Segmentation is a common jargon in marketing. It is said that every company should first segment its customers, choose the target segment and then should aim to satisfy their needs.
In this web 2.0 era when businesses are going online and the e-commerce is increasing its share in the whole trade dramatically, the question arises:
Do the companies know how to segment the customers on the basis of their internet usage pattern?
Do they assume that “All visitors are created equally” ?
Has there been any research done to understand internet consumers based on their usage pattern?
If companies don’t have this primary information, how are they expected to do business?
How are they supposed to leverage the benefits of the internet?
The answer is being provided by a study conducted by Mckinsey and Media Metrix which identifies internet consumer segmentation for the first time on their usage patterns.
According to the study, the different categories along with their short descriptions are:
1) Simplifiers : “End-to-End” Convenience seeking people. They spend on an average 7 hours per month but have the longest tenure online. Therefore if an internet marketer wants to have sustained sales from this segment, they must provide end-to-end convenience such as ease of access, availability of information etc.
2) Surfers : Logs in with a specific purpose in mind- buying gifts for example. According to the study, they constitute 8% of the active user population but account for 32% of the online time.To attract and keep Surfers, a site needs cutting-edge design and features, constant updates, a strong online brand, and an assortment of products and services.
3) Connectors : As the name implies,they use the internet to connect with people through different means. Although Connectors account for 36% of the active user population, 40% of them have been online less than two years, and just 42% have made purchases online (versus an average of 61%).
4) Bargainers : These people are driven by quest for deals. 52% of eBay visitors is constituted by this category. To extract sales from this segment, the site must not only appeal to them on rational level but also on emotional level, satisfying their need for competitive pricing, the excitement of the “search,” and the desire for community.
5) Routiners : They primarily go to internet for information. As the name implies these folks are routine visitors who are suckers for news. These people visit fewer domains but spend almost twice the time per page than others do. Routiners want superior content and the sense they are getting “something special.”
6) Sportsters : Uses internet mainly for sports and entertainment related information. They spend on an average of 7.1 hours( versus 9.8 average). The challenge for companies is to turn this use into revenue, usually by moving visitors from “free” content to a paid subscription.
As it is clear from the study that each has different needs and usage pattern thereby giving a glimpse into their behavior. And therefore the knowledge of these behaviors provide an advantage to online marketers to target their customers in a much better optimized manner.