1. Pre-defined Lifecycle Segments

How they work: Pre-defined lifecycle segments are created automatically, covering key stages of the customer lifecycle. Visitors and Prospects are shoppers who don't have previous shopping history, but the first purchase on the site is attributed to these segments.

As a top-level guideline, first purchases are attributed to visitors and prospects segments, whereas subsequent purchases are attributed to customers segments. First time customer's data consists therefore visits after the first purchase, while order data is based on second orders.

The progression from a lifecycle segment to another is linear, and begins with First Time Visitors, and ends with Loyal Customers. Note that First-Time Visitors can also skip the Returning Visitors and Prospects stages and convert directly to First-Time Customers or even to Returning Customers or even Loyal customers. The latter two are possible if a shopper immediately buys again twice or three times without session expiry.

Pre-defined Lifecycle Segments Overview:

First-Time Visitors

Shoppers who visit the site the very first time.

Shopper is added to the segment on their first page load.

Returning Visitors

Shoppers who have visited the site at least once.

Shopper is added to the segment on their first page load of the new visit.

Prospects

Intelligent segment created by Nosto's commerce experience platform, consisting of shoppers who are very close or likely to buy. Prospects are essentially the best group to re-target offsite or offer an incentive to purchase on-site or nudge to make a purchase.

Segment is created based on cart abandonment, visit recency, frequency, traffic sources and similar behavioural signals. As the browsing and shopping patterns differ from site to site, exact parameters are unique to each site.

Shopper is added to the segment when the parameters are met.

First-Time Customers

Shoppers who have bought once.

Shopper is added to the segment after the first purchase and when the browsing session expires.

Repeat Customers

Shoppers who have bought more than once, looking also at average repeated purchase rate as this varies between sites.

Shopper is added to the segment after the second purchase and when the browsing session expires.

Loyal Customers

Loyal customers consist of all customers who ordered at least 3 times. As sense of loyalty differs from one store to another, custom targeting options such as Lifetime Spent or Avg. Order Value are available as custom segmentation capabilities.

Shopper is added to the segment after the third purchase and when the browsing session expires.

2. Pre-defined Default Segments

How they work: Pre-defined default segments are created automatically covering some of the most common segmentation opportunities: Mobile and desktop traffic and traffic from Google and Facebook.

Mobile traffic

Mobile traffic based on user agent.

Shopper is added to the segment is satisfied, in practice on their first page load.

Desktop traffic

Desktop traffic based on user agent.

Shopper is added to the segment is satisfied, in practice on their first page load.

Google traffic

Traffic from Google based on known and default referrers. google in utm_source or utm_medium, or utm_source equals adwords, or has query parameter gclid.

Custom parameters are supported, but require creating a custom segment based on url parameter.

Shopper is added to the segment is satisfied, in practice on their first page load.

Facebook traffic

Traffic from Facebook based on known and default referrers: facebook in utm_source or utm_medium, or utm_source equals fb, or has query parameter adset_id or campaign_id or ad_id

Custom parameters are supported, but require creating a custom segment based on url parameter.

Shopper is added to the segment is satisfied, in practice on their first page load.

3. Creating a Custom Segment

How they work: Each store is unarguably different from another. Targeting Options for Custom Segments are a set of rules to create segments in order to cover different use cases, scenarios and business needs for each individual store. A custom segment can be based on multiple inclusions and exclusions.

For example, you could create a highly complex and targeted segment out of: 

  • Mobile shoppers (Contextual, location)

  • From California (Contextual, location)

  • Customer lifetime value over $1.000 (Lifecycle, lifetime spend)

  • Buying intent for Nike (Behavioral affinities, brand affinity)

  • Who have not yet bought from the brand (Purchase History, Purchased brand exclusion)

Note that using multiple inclusion and exclusion rules can narrow down the segment to a very small subset of customers. Thus, it is likely best to start with a broader segment and narrow down as you go.

4. Single session and multi-session

Single and multi-session effectively affect when a user is expired from a given segment. Single-session segments exist only for the duration of the session, whereas multi-session segments are as the title suggests, persistent between the sessions.

Single-session is useful and designed for use cases when the personalisation experience is defined by the current context of the visit such as geo-location, weather or referring utm parameter.

Multi-session is useful and designed for use cases when the personalisation experience should "stick" across the sessions, such as custom purchase history: A shopper has bought brand Nike at some point in past 6 months .

5. Customer Lifecycle

How they work: Lifecycle segment rules support creating segments based on lifecycle data that is focused on customer purchase history.

Custom Customer Lifecycle Segments Overview:

Abandoned Cart

Rule to target shoppers who have abandoned their cart with options to limit the group based on product attributes: Categories, Brands, ProductIDs, Custom Product Attributes (tags and custom fields) and Cart Value Range.

Shopper is added to the segment when the session expires. That is, when the cart abandonment has occurred.

Added to Cart

Rule to target shoppers who have added something specific to their cart.

Options include creating segments based on product attributes: Categories, Brands, ProductIDs, Custom product attributes (tags) and cart value range.

'Added to Cart' is designed to trigger an experience or a campaign when something is added to the shopping cart. In order to remove shoppers from the segment, consider excluding users based on their purchase behaviour (number of purchases) or using the 'Abandoned Cart' segment.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice when the defined product or product from given range is added to the shopping cart.

Average Order Value

Rule to target shoppers based on an average order value based on all orders by the same user, thus can be average of AOV for returning customers.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

Identified by Email

Rule to target shoppers based on customers that Nosto can identify by email and the opposite as true & false rule. Emails are processed from check-outs, log-ins, pop-ups and optionally through custom implementations leveraging for example Nosto JS API

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met. In practice when Nosto has processed shopper's email address.

Items Per Order

Rule to target shoppers based on items per order based on all orders by the same user, thus can be an average of items ordered by a returning customer.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

Lifetime Spend

Rule to target shoppers based on their overall lifetime spend. Note that the data processing and calculation starts from the time Nosto was implemented. For a holistic approach or when you've just got started, we recommend importing customer data and creating segments based on those imported lists.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

Marketing Permission

Rule to target shoppers based on email marketing consent, which can be true, false or unknown. Unknown refers to customer not clearly consenting for marketing. Unknown is typically due to the detail missing from the implementation.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met. In practice when Nosto has processed shopper's marketing permission.

Number of Purchases

Rule to target shoppers based on how many times a customer has bought from the site. Note that the calculation starts from the time Nosto was implemented. For a holistic approach or when you've just got started, we recommend importing customer data and creating segments based on those imported lists.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

Payment Provider

'Payment Provider' supports creating segments based on the payment provider or method used, with option to limit the time to previous purchase or given time period. For example, payment provider targeting option enables possibility to create segment out of shoppers who used Applepay or Klarna presuming these would be available payment options.

The payment provider-based targeting option is, by default, enabled only on Nosto extension based platforms such as Magento, Shopify, Shopware, Prestashop and BigCommerce. to add this detail on other platforms, please refer to our tagging guidelines.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

Products Viewed

Rule to target shoppers who have viewed something specific. This technically refers to loading a product detail page or a similar product view such as an overlay.

Options include limiting the group based on product attributes: Categories, Brands, ProductIDs, Custom product attributes (tags & custom fields) and product value range. Supports single and multi-session configuration.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice when the defined product or product from given range has been viewed.

Registered Customers

Rule to target shoppers based on whether the customer has logged in on the website and thus registered. Value can be either true or false. Once a customer has logged in once, they permanently belong to the segment.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met. In practice when a shopper has logged in / registered, which triggers Nosto to process shopper's log-in status

Visit History

Rule to target shoppers based on their number of visits. New would only include first-time landing shoppers and Returning would only include all customers who already visited the site once. Additionally, you can adjust the number of visits to only include shoppers who visit the store for the 3rd time, 4th time & so forth.

Shopper is added to the segment is satisfied, in practice on their first page load.

Visit URLs

Rule to target shoppers based on custom pages that are not product or category pages the shoppers either have or have not visited. Used typically to target shoppers who have visited a specific campaign or content page or area on the website, such as blog or a specific blog post.

Shopper is added to the segment is satisfied, in practice on their first page load.

6. Behavioral Affinities

How they work: Behavioral affinities are essentially composed of buying intent and interest segments which analyze every signal triggered by a visitor or customer during their visit. This means that they are broader and more flexible than segments based on solely transactional purchase data, capturing shoppers who have shown higher buying intent towards a range of products.

The key benefit of behavioral affinities is that they support changes in the shopping experience during the current visit and even first visit to the store, whereas purchase history-based segments only track order data. For example, a shopper who has bought pants in the past, but as a returning shopper is actively browsing jackets, will be added to "jackets" segment, very likely during their current visit and not only after the session has expired.

Foremost, users can enter affinity segments during their session, which allows Nosto to segment users when their behaviour change. As the key difference to other segment types, the exact rule when a user falls into a specific affinity segment is dependent on the sensitivity setting and shop's browsing & shopping patterns.

Behavioral Affinity Overview:

Brand Affinity

Rule to create a segment based on brand affinity

Category Affinity

Rule to create a segment based on category affinity.

Custom Affinity - Tags

Tag-rules support creating affinity segments based on product context mapped into the field.

Discount Affinity

Rule to create a segment based on discount affinity, splitting customers into groups of users who are more likely to buy regardless if discounts are offered and those who are especially likely to shop discounted products.

Sensitivity options

  • Top: Include only shoppers with their highest preference on the given range. Highest quality, lowest reach

  • High: Include shoppers with high preference on the given range, but don't limit to only one range. Good quality, good reach.

  • Low: Include shoppers relatively swiftly when they indicate preference on the given range. Lowest quality, highest reach.

7. Contextual Segments

How they work: Contextual segments supports segmenting based on context of the visitor or a customer.

Contextual Segment Overview:

Geo-location

Location rule based on the user's IP-address. Depending on the country and available IP database of the selected area, follows hierarchy: Country / state or province / city.

Shopper is added to the segment is satisfied, in practice on their first page load.

Device

The audience can be either desktop or mobile. Following Google's definition, tablet traffic is desktop e.g. mobile is smartphone screen-size traffic.

Shopper is added to the segment is satisfied, in practice on their first page load.

Weather

Weather or forecast in shopper's current location supporting conditions, temperature and UV index.

Data based in IP resolution similarly to geo-location and nearest weather station and data in the approximate location, typically within 30 mile / 50 kilometre radius in populated areas.

Visit Custom Event

Custom event based on javascript event creating a segment. For example, if a visitor opens a certain page or category, you can trigger a custom javascript which will add a user to the custom event segment.

Supports selecting single- and multi session option. Single session (default) keeps the shopper in the segment only during the visit (session) when they trigger the event. Multi-session option keeps the shopper persistently in the segment.

Shopper is added to the segment is satisfied, in practice on their first page load.

8. Segments and Exclusions

How they work: Rule to support inclusions and exclusions based on an existing segment to support targeting specific sub-segments. This includes customers who bought certain brand within certain category affinity segment.

To create an exclusion, start by creating a segment which includes a group of customers and then narrow it down by excluding the unwanted group of customers.

For example, include First Time Customers as the Pre-defined Segment and exclude Behavioral Affinity Brand: Nike from that segment.

9. Purchase History

How it works: 'Purchase History' options look solely at historical transactional data and focus on products - which means they are different to behavioral affinities and, therefore, current buying intent.

'Purchase History' options have a time parameter which supports narrowing down the time when a purchase was made. This enables the possibility to create "lapsed customer" types of segments based on product purchase dimension.

Purchase History Overview:

Purchased Brands

Rule to create a segment based on brand or brands purchased in the past.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

Purchased Categories

Rule to create a segment based on product category or categories. purchased in the past.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

Purchased Tag(s)

Tag fields are custom fields where any custom product parameter or property can be stored (which varies depending on the store). Typically, property like color, size or style is stored in tag-fields.

Tag-rules support creating segments based on product context mapped into the field.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

Purchased ProductIDs

Rule to create a segment based on an individual product that was bought previously.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

Purchased Custom Field(s)

Custom fields are similar to tag(s), but typically nest more details about the products, SKUs and consequently purchased products, such as bought size, color, campaign and similar attributes.

Custom fields support creating segments based on more granular detail than what's commonly mapped to tags.

Shopper is added to the segment when the condition is met, in practice after the purchase event has taken place and when the session has expired.

10. External Signals

How they work: 'External Signals' consist of data points and signals which are not processed from the site traffic or purchases in general.

External Signals Overview:

Customer Attribute

Rule to create a segment based on customer attributes, received and processed through imported customer list.

Imported List

Rule to create a segment based on imported customer data.

Referring Domain

Rule to create a segment based on the referring domain.

Shopify Flow

Rule to create a segment based on Shopify Flow workflows.

URL parameters

Rule to create a segment based on standard URL parameter(s), for example for traffic landing on the site from emails, paid ads like social or search.

Supports selecting single- and multi session option. Single session (default) keeps the shopper in the segment only when the parameter is present on the page for example when a shopper lands from an email campaign or paid ad campaign. Multi session keeps the shopper in the segment.

URL parameters - custom

Rule to create a segment based on custom URL parameter(s), for example for traffic from a service, which does not make use of utm-tags.


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