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A Beginner’s Guide to Advanced Segmentation

Lindsay Duggan Martinez

Principal Partner Marketing Manager @ AdRoll

Let’s play a game of how well you know your audience. First, some easy questions: Where are they located? How old are they? What are their interests and hobbies? Now for the stumpers: What makes them tick? What do they value? What affects their purchasing decisions? 

Whether or not the answers rolled right off your tongue or made you pause and scratch your head, knowing your target audience well can have a tremendous impact on the efficacy of your marketing efforts. It’s also the starting point of today’s topic: advanced segmentation. 

What Is Advanced Segmentation?

Advanced segmentation is a marketing tool that involves splitting your audience into groups based on shared characteristics. Examples include: 

  • Where they are in the customer journey

  • The products or product categories that interest them 

  • Their age, location, gender 

  • What needs or problems they’re hoping to find a solution to 

Advanced segmentation has become a critical component of digital marketing. Even if you offer a niche product line, not all of your shoppers will be the same. That’s why blasting the same generic message to every shopper is never a good idea — why should someone pay attention if the content isn’t relevant or engaging to them?

Customers expect a personalized purchasing experience, and advanced segmentation allows brands to deliver unique marketing content in a way that guarantees relevancy. Plus, considering most advertising, email, and SMS solutions offer advanced segmentation capabilities, there’s no excuse for sending mass messages. 

Pro tip: For more customer segmentation tactics, check out this guide

What Are the Different Types of Advanced Segmentation?

Though every ecommerce and marketing platform offers different advanced segmentation capabilities, here are four general categories you’ll likely see:

Demographic segmentation

Demographic segmentation is straightforward — it answers the “who” question based on traits such as age, gender, ethnicity, income, education level, profession, and religion, among other characteristics.  


  • If you’re selling an upscale product, only targeting shoppers who meet a certain income threshold

  • Promoting trendy outfits to shoppers between the ages of 18 and 25 

Psychographic segmentation

Psychographic segmentation focuses on shoppers’ interests and personalities, including their hobbies, values, goals, and lifestyles. If these traits seem challenging to identify, you’re right — psychographic segmentation requires strong data and research collected through surveys, customer interviews, and quizzes. 

A quick snapshot of what falls under the psychographic segmentation umbrella. Source


  • Promoting a sale to discount-seeking shoppers 

  • Encouraging eco-conscious shoppers to learn more about your environment-related brand values 

  • Marketing your outdoor equipment brand to those interested in activities such as camping, rock climbing, and mountain biking 

Geographic segmentation

Geographic segmentation is what it sounds like: identifying audience groups based on their location, including country, region, and city. 


  • If you’re selling cold-weather apparel, targeting U.S. shoppers from December through February and Australian shoppers from June to August

  • Promoting a pop-up booth to shoppers located within 20 miles of the venue 

  • Informing shoppers about local curbside pickup options near them 

Behavioral segmentation

Finally, there’s behavioral segmentation, where you determine groups based on particular actions a shopper takes: their spending habits, number of pages viewed, URLs visited, buttons clicked, interactions with your brand, shopping cart value, referral source, and browsing habits. Your ecommerce and analytics platforms will collect this data automatically, making shopper behavior one of the easier segmentation categories to implement. 


  • Sending different “sign up for our loyalty program” messages to first-time versus return customers

  • Offering free shipping to shoppers who’ve abandoned carts worth <$20 

  • Giving a 20% off coupon to shoppers who’ve clicked on five or more pages 

Pro tip: Check out the different ways AdRoll can segment your audiences based on how they interact with your site here.

Segmenting With AdRoll 

If you’re ready to unlock better return on investment (ROI), stronger customer retention, and an improved shopping experience, advanced segmentation puts you on the right track. 

Look at all these custom audiences you can create with AdRoll.

There’s more good news: AdRoll is the solution you need to level up your segmentation — from custom to composite audiences, we’ve got you covered. Plus, we even offer a Predictive Smart Audiences tool for Shopify brands, where we use our proprietary AI to help you build audience segments, including shoppers who are ready to buy, at risk, and have high future value. It’s one of the best ways to determine who to reward, retain, and delight (without wasting any budget!).

Get started with the AdRoll app for Shopify merchants now. 

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