Beyond The Cookie: Harnessing Your First-Party Data To Identify Your Best Customers (With Quickstart Guide)

Kyle Wilson
Kyle Wilson

The 80/20 Rule and Your Customers

The “80/20” rule, formally known as the Pareto Principle, states that for most outcomes, roughly 80% of consequences come from 20% of causes. 

In terms of ecommerce, this rule means it’s crucial to know our “best customers.” It’s been well documented that this principle extends to consumer spending: 80% of a company’s revenue is from its top 20% customers (others contend it’s closer to 60/20). A few other powerful facts about the “best” customers:

Your Best Customers:

Yet, what’s at times bewildering to see is that many retailers don’t have a documented strategy to activate against these customers who their business essentially relies upon (which means they’re not really doing anything). 

The truth is, using your zero- and first-party data to identify, segment, and activate against your best customers is an immensely potent weapon for any enterprise company in ecommerce.

Understanding your best customers, and how they shop, such as:

  • When they tend to browse versus buy
  • What they tend to view versus what they tend to buy
  • What roles different devices play in their site behavior 
  • What content they tend to read or engage

Can unlock significant increases in: 

  • Growing existing best customers, both by intelligently cross-selling (AOV, basket size) and customer lifetime value 
  • Finding more customers just like them, leading to higher revenue per visit (RPV)


How To Segment Your Best Customers With Bloomreach Engagement

With Bloomreach Engagement, you can easiy segment your customers and start activating those that drive the most revenue for your business. Simply follow these steps within the product: 

1. Navigate over to “Data and Assets” in the left sidebar, then click on “Customers.”

2. Create a customer filter that utilizes customer properties, specifically lifetime value:

3. You’ll begin to notice (like in the example above from our Academy Sandbox project) a live number of matches from your customer base. You can ease or back into your top 20% customers this way quite easily.

4. Save the filter as a template, calling it something like “Top 20% CLV” — congrats, you’ve already done half of the work for this exercise.

5. Head over to “Campaigns” in the left sidebar, and get ready, because you’re about to change the game.

Quick-Start Guide: Using Campaigns To Activate Your Best Customers

There are a variety of tools at your disposal here, and ultimately, how exactly you and your team configure these is dependent on your business, your customers, and your goals. Nevertheless, here is a table of strategic thought starters for activating your best customers:

Tool and What It Does Best Customer Strategy Using Bloomreach Engagement: Activation Thought Starter
Create customized scenarios using a drag-and-drop approach.
Let them know you recognize and appreciate them Create trigger: Upon site visit if last visit hasn’t occurred in 2-3 weeks
Create event: Browser notification that welcomes them as a highly valued guest, offering multiple ways to receive assistance.
  Show them what’s new that they may like Create trigger: Upon site visit
Create event: Browser notification that directs them to new arrivals, fueled by AI-driven product recommendations based on attributes they’ve previously shopped or purchased.
  Give them special access to a sale Create trigger: Upon site visit
Create event: Browser notification that provides a unique promo code allowing access to a private sale landing page you’ve created just for VIPs, with dynamic recommendations served up to each shopper.
Email Campaigns
Create and send personalized emails in a visual editor or with traditional HTML.
Invite them to get a sneak peek of a sale Create email: Use the visual editor to drag and drop elements of your upcoming sales event, ideally with a CTA that drives to a presales landing page. Take it further by paying the email off with manually merchandised pathways of the sales event’s most prized products. This is a great candidate for peak season activations.
  Encourage word-of-mouth referrals Create trigger: Post-checkout
Create email: Use the visual editor to create persuasive referral incentives, with a give-and-get double-dip bonus for your best customers. If they refer a friend, their friend gets a discount, and if they use it, your best customer could get a surprise and delight.
  Cross-sell related products Create trigger: Post-checkout (+ 1 week) 
Create email: Deliver highly targeted accessories (cases, cleaners, etc.) and peripheral products that go hand in hand with their original purchase. Provide a discount or loyalty reward that you do not normally offer general purchasers. Treat these discounts as a thank-you to your best customers.  
Create forms with custom questions and answer options.
Get assortment ideas Ask your best customers what kinds of product(s) they’d love to see from you. 
  Assess site experience These customers, who probably use your website successfully (given they’re in your top 20% of all customers), could reveal golden insights via verbatims like “I just wish it was easier to…” 
Create and send personalized emails in a visual editor or with traditional HTML.
[You can literally test anything on this list with experiments] Validate your decision-making with data. Iterate into your best, winning strategy for maximizing your best customers.


Building your plan out from the table above is easy.  As French Writer Antoine de Saint-Exupéry once famously said, “A goal without a plan is just a wish.” The same goes for activating your best customers.

In short, all you need to activate your best customers is:

  • Create a segment of your best customers
  • Activate against them with campaigns
  • Feed the list of your best customers to your marketing partners, who can:
    • Utilize Bloomreach Engagement directly to build out communication and nurture campaigns
    • Utilize anonymizer tools to upload directly into digital ad platforms across social media and programmatic channels to create prospect (lookalike) audiences and start driving more people that look like your best customers to your store

Identifying, segmenting, and then activating your best customers will prove to be one of the most fruitful efforts your organization can likely make in 2023 and beyond. 

Are you ready to activate your data and reach new heights with your best customers? We’re ready to make it happen. Schedule a personalized demo today and let’s get started.


Kyle Wilson

Lead Experience Strategist

Book a Meeting With Our Team

As Bloomreach’s Lead Experience Strategist, Kyle’s role is to consult select enterprise eCommerce retailers and D2C manufacturers across durable goods, grocery, fashion, beauty, and travel as an eCommerce thought leader and Bloomreach platform expert.

Kyle will act as an experiential advisor as you seek to maximize eCommerce, Merchandising, Segmentation, and Content performance across your commerce ecosystem with Bloomreach.

Over the last 14 years, he has previously lead in-house and agency-side GTM strategies across numerous verticals and is a lead contributor to the Experience Strategy Group’s thought leadership content.

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