What is Customer Targeting and How to Use It

Marketing is an unpredictable industry. One day you think you have things sorted out; the next day, it looks like nothing works. It can be extremely tough to keep up with the ever-changing marketing landscape, but it’s essential to try.

Customer targeting is a marketing strategy that has proven to work great in many cases, but sometimes, it fails without you knowing why.

In this article, we will go over what customer targeting is, how it works, why it is crucial, and provide some customer targeting strategies to kick-start your ecommerce business.


What is Customer Targeting?

Customer targeting is the process of dividing users into groups to make the most of each marketing campaign.

By targeting customers based on their individual preferences, interests, demographics, and lifestyle attributes, businesses can adjust the content that users are actually interested in.

Back in time, it was nearly impossible to predict customer behavior. It used to be a wild guess and a shot in the dark. Nowadays, with the emergence of new technologies, it’s easier than ever.


How Does It Work?

Customer targeting allows technology to take a crucial part of the whole process. Technology can be a powerful tool for targeting customers and streamlining the process. By using customer data, businesses can more easily identify potential customers and craft targeted messages more likely to resonate. Additionally, technology can automate repetitive tasks involved in customer targeting, making the process more efficient.

The three stages of customer targeting are the following:

  • Client identification – the first part of the customer targeting process is to find the ideal customer. This can be done by identifying who your target audience is and what needs and wants they have. Once you know this, you can tailor a marketing strategy that will reach and engage them.

  • Customer segmentation – there are many possible market segmentation methods, so you aren’t limited to demographics, psychographics, geographics, or behavioral characteristics. You can also consider combining these factors to create more targeted market segments.

  • Customer positioning – positioning is about more than just distinguishing the brand from the competition. It is about communicating with consumers in a unique and meaningful way.


Why is It Important?

Customer targeting is a valuable strategy that helps ecommerce businesses target their online ads and promotions to specific groups of customers. Tailoring the experiences allows brands to customize their approach to every potential customer, making your brand more appealing, effective, and successful across any industry or category.

Without proper strategic planning, you may end up with mixed results. Customer targeting helps you reach customers that are more involved in your products or services by filtering out customers who aren’t that interested.

Last but not least, advertising can be expensive, but by targeting your customers, you can save a lot of money. By knowing who your target customer is and what they want, you can create ads that are more likely to reach them and persuade them to buy your product or use your service.


The 9 Best Customer Targeting Strategies for Ecommerce

No one can survive without a proper customer targeting plan. Let’s see some strategies that can help you reach your goals.


1. Plan everything from A-Z

The more you plan your customer targeting, the better your outcome will be. If you take the time to understand who your target customers are and what they want, you’ll be able to create a much more effective marketing campaign that will ultimately lead to more sales.

Of course, not everything will go as planned, but it’s better than having no plan at all. Targeting customers and planning go hand in hand.


2. Get someone else to have a look at your strategy

As a business owner, you might think you have found the key to success with your customer base. One area small businesses and large enterprises alike are failing together is accepting feedback from 3rd parties.

Having another perspective on your customer targeting strategy might help you. It’s always a smart thought (or an idea) to have someone else take a look, and having another pair of eyes can help you see your strategy in a new light and find areas that could be improved.


3. Have a long-term goal and place realistic milestones

Nothing happens overnight, especially making lots of money. The single best way to thrive is to be patient and not look too far ahead.

If you’re looking to drive sales and improve your customer targeting efforts, it’s important to set milestones. It will help you stay on target and make progress over time. Keep your goals realistic, and celebrate your successes along the way!


4. Upsell and cross-sell

Upselling and cross-selling are the bread and butter of ecommerce, and you should get the most value out of them.

To truly succeed in customer targeting, you must upsell and cross-sell. Make the most out of your customers by offering them something exclusive. They’ll be more likely to continue doing business with you if they feel like they’re getting a good deal.


5. Promote your new products

There are many benefits to promoting your new products to your existing customers. It shows them that you’re always looking to improve and grow your business and gives them a chance to be the first to try out your latest offerings.

Be bold, and don’t hide your new goodies from your customers! They might feel special if you show them that they are among the first ones to try your latest products.


6. Bond with your customers

To boost sales, you must build a strong rapport with your customers. Get to know them and what they want. Do surveys and use that feedback to improve your product or service. Keep them updated on new developments and show them that you’re always working to make things better.


7. Conduct A/B tests

A/B testing is important for two main reasons: gaining customer insights and driving more iterations. You need to understand your customer base and what they want to create the best possible outcome.

When conducting A/B tests, it is vital to allow them to run for a sufficient amount of time to draw accurate conclusions. Make sure to take into account all relevant factors, such as the product or service that you offer, your target audience, and your desired outcome, when determining how long your test should run.


8. Analyze your results

Analyzing your results carefully is key to successful customer targeting. Make sure you invest enough time in inspecting your data and understand what it is telling you. This will allow you to you make more educated decisions about your target market and how to reach them.

An excellent way to analyze your results is to start using dedicated software. There are plenty of apps out there that allow you to track your progress and make your direct mail campaigns.


9. Add a loyalty program

Loyalty programs are an excellent way to target customers and provide them with more value as they shop. By offering loyalty programs, businesses can encourage customers to keep coming back, ultimately leading to increased sales and profits.

But a loyalty program could also mean that you’ll be able to engage with the customers on a deeper level and show how much you value them, which is always a positive sign that can make a difference.


5 Mistakes to Avoid in Your Strategy

There are some mistakes that you should keep a distance from. Otherwise, you risk losing out on business.


1. Making assumptions

Who is your ideal customer? Customer targeting is about finding out who your perfect client is. And don’t make assumptions, or you’ll get into trouble. Do your in-depth research and find out who your ideal customer is. Once you know who they are, you can start targeting them with your marketing campaigns.

Trying to guess who your ideal customer might decrease your sales volume and create a negative experience for your customers, so if you are wild guessing, I advise you to stop doing that now.


2. Changing your strategies frequently

It’s okay to change your customer targeting strategies now and then, and in fact, it’s a good idea to analyze the results and see what works before making any changes. That way, you can be sure that you’re making the best choices for your ecommerce business.

Amending your customer segments often will not let you gather customer insights and build a sustainable growth strategy.


3. Your target audience is too broad

It may look great on paper to have a too broad target audience. More customers, more money. However, it may fail to accommodate the needs of customers. You risk losing out on potential business by not having a specific focus.

You need to go more niche to have an engaged customer base. Instead of looking at the big picture, try to make a list of customer profiles that suit perfectly your products.


4. You are going for the wallets

A business that is only interested in making money is very off-putting. Customers don’t want to be “hunted down.” They can sense if you are looking for a way to take their money.

Try to focus on delivering good experiences to your clients first. This will make them much more likely to return or recommend your business to others.


5. You ignore psychographics

Don’t make the mistake of avoiding psychographics when you operate an ecommerce store. It’s essential to look into your customers’ hobbies and interests.

Understanding your customers’ lifestyles and interests will give you a better insight into what they might want to buy from you.



Customer targeting strategies are pivotal for your ecommerce business. They let you identify your target market and focus your marketing efforts on providing a better user experience for a particular group of people who will enjoy your products and services much more than the general audience.


A great example of customer targeting is the way Starbucks approaches young adults with a dynamic lifestyle and office jobs to buy flavored coffee while going to the office or heading to the park for a short walk.

Starbucks knows its target market well and uses various marketing strategies to appeal to such paying customers.

A target audience consists of individuals that are more likely to purchase your product or service. Hence, they are the customers that you need to focus on.

You can select your best customers by applying different criteria, such as gender, age, income, education level, etc.

Market segmentation divides a broad consumer or business market into sub-groups of consumers with similar needs and behavior.

It allows businesses to target their marketing activities more precisely and efficiently to reach those customers who could eventually buy more from them.

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