MARKET SEGMENTATION PRACTICES IN THE INTERNET

By M. Suyanto

Based on its characteristics, the market segmentation on the Web can be grouped as follows: comfort creatures, connected suites, country clubbers, credit checkers, detail divers, electrons, explorers, gear heads, geeks, gift boxers, knowledge workers, novices, surgical shoppers and look-loos.

Comfort creatures constitute a group of feeling-oriented customers; for example, they want to know if certain colors, or the designs of ergonomic chairs with particular skin types are offered. Connected suites are very much found in the Net environment; for example, the customers who belong to this group look for a lot of data in a short time or several times a day, always use sophisticated search features, and tend to be good customers. Country clubbers are status-oriented buyers; for example, he or she drives a BMW and carries a very expensive bag, and looks for discount for a very expensive item. Credit checkers are young buyers whose credit balance is more or less adequate, and they tend to derive from the sites of youths and are inclined to shop with their credit cards. Details divers are the visitors who want to know how something works. They are like look-loos but they can also recommend a purchase even if they do not give a final decision. They tend to come during working hours and are inclined to derive from technically oriented search engines. Electrons constitute a group of the visitors who tend to move rapidly to all parts of certain sites without clear paths. Such visitors have great interests but their minds are not focused, and they buy different products. Explorers constitute a group of the visitors who do not leave certain sites before visiting all parts of the sites, and such visitors love merchandise, promotions, product reviews, and recommendations. Most of the visitors are pensioners, children, or employees who have too much time to do so. Gear heads are the visitors who tend to be not very interested in the technology of products but rather in gizmo (a new, trendy device), or in rare products. The customers who belong to this type are prospective customers when the offers given to them are appropriate. Geeks are those who frequently use the Web more than others. They should be given a special offer, or they will turn to a direct source offline. Gift Boxers are those who shop online for others; for gifts, for example. Their shopping characteristics are not consistent with their shopping histories. Knowledge workers are the visitors that collect user information for use in their work. Novices are those who are less knowledgeable but very enthusiastical. These users are often the very good customers. They will love a certain site because they can ask stupid questions without any fear of embarrassment. Surgical shoppers are those who know exactly what they want, and they want the buying process be done quickly. When they are given what they want, they will come back again. Looks-loos constitute those who are only interested in the attractive banner and clicking, but they do not do so for a long time. They are happy hunting customers on the Internet.