Three cool examples of dynamic segment rules in WebSphere Commerce

smartercommerceI have blogged about dynamic segments in WebSphere Commerce a few times because I think they are extremely powerful and allow marketing to do all kinds of very cool things to make their site more interesting to a buyer. The InfoCenter has a really good page with three great examples for how the rules for dynamic segments can be constructed. Remember, this is in the Management Center and these flows are constructed with basic drag and drop gestures.

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Dynamic Customer Segments by Example

A few months back I initially wrote about dynamic customer segments. I explained the basic concepts and even showed the possible targets you can use with the out of the box functionality in WebSphere Commerce. The next few posts are going to focus on a similar topic of pointing promotions, advertisements, and products to customers based on data points or events.

In WebSphere Commerce, the primary area I am focusing on in this post is the Dialog Activity function under the Marketing tab. This is where you can do all kinds of interaction with the customer based on events. Let’s look at some examples of dialog activities. You can learn more about this in the Precision Marketing in WebSphere Commerce IBM Redbook.

The first one is the abandoned shopping cart segment. Here we set up a rule when an abandoned shopping cart is there for n days add the customer to the dynamic segment “Abandoned Cart Customers“. This segment can then be used to send coupons or specials in another rule (or the same rule).

The next one is used on many sites today, I know this because I get offers around my birthday from about a dozen sites I have registered on with my birthday information. In this segment I set it up so any customer with a birthday in the next week add them to the “Next Week Birthdays” segment. We can then send out emails to that segment with a coupon or promotion code!

This next example is a popular concept these days with the whole “social” buzz. In this example I show how you can target different social activity by a customer on the site and put them in a segment for a reward. Here I have a rule that segments customers who review products five times on the site and places them in the “Site Reviewer Segment“.  Some other social participation you can target from are comment posted, review created, photo uploaded, blog entry created, blog or photo recommended, Facebook Product or Page liked, and even inappropriate activity recorded.

In this next example I show how mobile could come into play. Here I key off a mall in Jacksonville, Florida and place the customer in the “Jacksonville Customer” segment. This is a great way to create location based segmentation when the customer doesn’t fill out their home town in their profile. We can then use this segment later to promote local specials in the area or at the specific store for these customers.

In this last sample, and yes there could be plenty more, I show where we can target customers who have used a specific promotion. You can define how many times they use the promotion and it could in the end be a negative segment or a positive one. I like to think of the positives so I would use the “Promotion Use Customers” later on to figure out what customers are more susceptible to actually redeem a coupon. If there is a pattern of customer redemption and the delivery was email then we know even more about the customers redemption methods.

In the end, dynamic customer segments are a powerful tool you should seriously consider for getting to know your customers. While these were only some of the examples supported out of the box in WebSphere Commerce there are even more possibilities in WebSphere Commerce and the other Smarter Commerce solutions in the IBM portfolio. You can learn more about interactive marketingsocial media marketing, and campaign management at the links provided.

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Dynamic Customer Segments and WebSphere Commerce

One very powerful feature of WebSphere Commerce(WC) is Dynamic Customer Segments. These are customer segments that can have customers dynamically added or removed with a business rule. This means any of the targets you have in your WC tooling can be used to put customers in or out of the segment. Then, other rules can use that segment to show promotions, content, change search behavior, or change the look and feel of the site.

Here is a sample segment, let’s walk through it:

First thing you need to do is create a new customer segment in Management Center and select the “Use marketing activities to add or remove customers”. This allows business rules to add or remove customers to the segment.

Next, we want this to be valid for customers who have made a purchase in the past 30 days and have spent over $100. So the first option we need to select is on the “Purchase Details” tab:

Next, we will create a Customer Dialog Rule that will place customers who submit orders with over $100 of total value.

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Let’s walk through what this rule does:

The trigger, this makes the entire rule execute when the customer places an order

 

The condition, if the first target of a condition path is met the rule will continue. If not, the next branch is evaluated and executed. In this case, if the condition is not met, the  customer is removed from the segment.

 

The target, this will only continue with the rule if the order is at least $100.

 

The action, this will dynamically add the customer to the “High Roller” customer segment.

 

Now, we can create other web activities and dialog that can key off of that customer segment. Let’s create a few and walk through them.

The web activity below will put an advertisement on the Home page in Row 2 for all “High Roller” customers. The advertisement shows they receive 10 percent off all purchases.

This next customer dialog activity checks the High Roller customer segment every seven days and sends out an email to each customer in that segment with a 10% off promotion for being a High Roller:

This next when the customer searches for anything we have this search rule that re-arranges the default order in which products are presented by having the products in a “High Roller Sales Category” listed first if the customer is in the High Roller customer segment:

Conclusion:

The precision marketing engine in WebSphere Commerce is extremely powerful and flexible. The various options (triggers, targets, actions) allow for some pretty complex rules to be created to give each of your shoppers a unique experience. The goal of WebSphere Commerce is to provide a “live” site for each customer based on things like who they are (profile data), their purchasing behavior, external site referrals (where they came from), and their search behaviors. The contents of a WebSphere Commerce site is only limited by your imagination.