Creating a customer segment that is populated by an external process

In certain circumstances, you might want to create a customer segment that does not have any customer attributes defined and therefore does not include any customers initially. For example, your site might populate customer segments by batch processing production data from an external customer database. If so, you can create a customer segment in the Marketing tool to use as a container for the external customer data.

About this task

The steps to create this type of customer segment are different depending on the fix pack level that is applied to WebSphere Commerce. Before you begin this procedure, check with a site administrator to understand the fix pack level. Then, complete the steps in the following procedure that apply to your fix pack level.

Feature Pack 8You can also request that an administrator use the Data Load utility to create a customer segment. For more information, see Loading customer segment members by email address with the Data Load utility.


  1. Open the Marketing tool.
  2. From the toolbar, click the arrow on the right side of Create New Create New; then select Customer Segment.
    The customer segment properties view displays.
  3. On the General Properties tab, enter the properties for the customer segment in the following fields:
    Name Enter a meaningful name for the customer segment. This name displays in the Customer Segments - List page and identifies the customer segment. When you target a customer segment in a marketing activity or a promotion, you must use this name to identify the customer segment.

    You cannot change the customer segment name after you save the customer segment for the first time.

    Description Enter a meaningful description for the customer segment. This description displays in the Customer Segments - List page.
  4. To create a customer segment that does not contain any customers initially:
    • WebSphere Commerce Version Commerce Version Commerce Version these steps:
      1. Create a test customer, if you do not already have one. For example, you can create a test customer by registering with your store as an imaginary customer named John Smith.
      2. In the customer segment properties view, click the Customer or Segment tab.
      3. In the Included customers table, add your test customer. By adding this test customer, you prevent the customer segment from automatically including all customers.
    • WebSphere Commerce Version not select any attributes. Continue to the next step.
  5. Click Save Save to save the customer segment, or click Close to close the editor and return to the previous page.


A customer segment is persisted as a Member Group (MBRGRP) with Member Group Type (MBRGRPTYPE). An external process can update the Member Group Member table (MBRGRPMBR) to modify the users that belong to a customer segment. The following tables in the data model are updated by this task:

What to do next

You can now create marketing activities and promotions that target this customer segment. To test the marketing activities and promotions on the storefront as though you are a customer in this segment, follow the instructions in Previewing a store as a customer in a customer segment.

When this customer segment is propagated to your production site, the segment is initially empty until the external process populates the segment with customers.