1. How can customer groups be used in assigning discounts?
When creating a new Catalog or Shopping Cart Price Rule, there is an option to select which customer groups the rule applies to. The groups need to be explicitly selected in order for the promotion to be available to their group.
2. What are the differences between customer segments and customer groups?
Customer segments can be defined as the customer is using the site – for example a customer segment could be based on the current amount in cart, how many previous orders the customer has made, their age, and so on. These segments are useful for marketing and either offering a promotion or other notification to this group.
Customer groups are defined explicitly. These are more often used to break customers out into different tax groups – wholesale buyers vs retail for example.
3. Using Magento Enterprise Edition native functionality, how could you display a personalized banner targeted to customers who match specific conditions?
First we want to create a Customer Segment that defines the customers that match our conditions. To do this, go to Customers -> Customer Segments and then Add Segment. After filling out the general properties, Save and Continue so the Conditions tab becomes available.
Under CMS -> Banners and add a new Banner. Fill out the required Banner information, and change the Customer Segments dropdown to specified and then we can select the segment we created above.
Now that we have the segments and banners setup, they can be displayed using the CMS -> Widgets section and creating a Banner Rotator widget.