How eCommerce Brands Can Make the Most of Zero & First-Party Data

From data collection to analysis, we're covering the highlights from Justuno's eBook on making the most of zero and first-party data for your eCommerce brand.

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    Accessing and utilizing relevant, high-quality data can be a game-changer in the digital landscape — but only if you use it strategically. eCommerce brands have been stepping up both their data collection and analysis, making revenue-driving decisions informed by both zero and first-party data. In Justuno’s recently-released eBook (which, PS, is worth a read), the team dives into the best ways to leverage zero and first-party data to level up your eCommerce marketing strategy. From collection tactics to data-driven subscription solutions, we’re covering all the highlights from Justuno’s eBook to help scale your Shopify brand — but be sure to give the eBook a read for a deeper dive into how you can make the most of your data. Trust us; it’s valuable stuff.

    What’s the Difference Between Zero and First-Party Data? 

    Let’s start with zero-party data. This is considered to be information that a user intentionally and voluntarily shares with you. Polls, surveys, quizzes, product preference indicators, and Email/SMS sign-ups would all be forms of zero-party data. 

    First-party data, on the other hand, is information that you gather passively based on your users’ interactions and behaviors. Think of this as watching someone instead of speaking with them. Purchase history, browsing data, and off-site channels like email clicks would all fall under first-party data. 

    Why Are Zero and First-Party Data Important? 

    These two forms of data collection can be incredibly helpful for a multitude of reasons. For one, the information you collect, if utilized properly, will be highly useful for your brand and can be used to optimize other aspects of your business. Though some eCommerce brands might be wary of collecting zero-party data in fear of lowering their conversion rates, research shows that 83% of consumers are willing to share their information in order to get a more personalized experience. And the benefits you unlock by getting this information are seriously invaluable.  

    Collecting and leveraging your data in general will help increase both personalization and relevance, both of which can boost the overall customer experience. Proper data collection can improve your ROAS, increase your revenue, reduce your resource waste, and help you stay a step ahead of privacy compliance. Think of this as a way of cultivating a better relationship with your consumers. Just like any other relationship, if you establish a strong foundation of trust with your data collection, you can better listen to and understand what your audience is really looking for. Ultimately, it’s all about picking the form of data collection that makes the most sense for you and your brand — whether that be monitoring customer reviews or analyzing a heatmap of your website.  

    Zero In On Your Data Strategy

    Now you have your data. The next question is what to do with it. The key factor in your consumers’ willingness to share their personal information is the expectation that you’ll use it to make their experience better, so it’s crucial to do just that. The secret is making sure you’re asking the right questions to get the information you need and, subsequently, constantly assessing what changes you can make to best improve your brand’s overall strategy. 

    Analyze Your Data

    Let’s face it: just as quality ingredients won’t matter if you’re a terrible cook, collecting data won't matter if you can’t properly analyze it. For one, it’s important to combat analysis paralysis by setting specific intentions with your data. Establish clear goals. Have an idea of exactly what you’re looking for and follow that thread to determine your actionable item instead of getting lost in the overwhelming amount of information. Don’t be afraid to try a test that may not work, and remember that it’s okay to still take some creative license with your decisions. Use your data as a starting point instead of a be-all and end-all. 

    Segment Your Data

    The best way to organize and optimize the data you collect is through segmentation. Audience segmentation can help you divide out your zero and first-party data in ways that are aligned with your predetermined objectives. This can help you tailor your email/SMS campaigns to specific audience members. Keep an eye on the segments you’ve created; they’ll almost certainly grow and adapt as your brand does, so you should be regularly checking in to ensure you’re making necessary adjustments. And definitely be sure that your segmentation is accurate. If your data organization is inaccurate or out-of-date, all of your efforts will be wasted. 

    Personalize Your Email Marketing

    Personalized emails can be powerful marketing tools, and the best part is that your brand can start making the most of these customized emails right from the get-go. Sending out a personalized welcome series based on data you gathered at the initial opt-in is a great way to put your data to work right away, and it also signals to your consumers that your brand is already making the most of their personal information.  

    Set Up Behavioral Triggers/Insights

    Behavioral triggers are automated emails/SMS that are prompted by certain actions. For instance, if one of your users left items in their cart but didn’t check out, you could send them a note to remind them to finish checking out — and maybe recommend additional products to add to their cart based on your collected data. 

    Never Stop Collecting Data

    Collecting data shouldn’t be a one-and-done situation upon acquiring a new customer. A key part of your data collection strategy should be to ensure that it’s ongoing. There are different ways of doing this, whether it’s through opt-in forms and surveys, the implementation of a loyalty program, or making sure you have a proper tagging strategy on your website/app to continue collecting behavioral data. The more ongoing information you have, the more you can make intentional and strategic decisions that are specifically tailored to the needs of your consumers. 

    Leveling Up Your Subscription Offerings With Data Collection 

    When it comes to a successful subscription offering, making the most of your collected data is absolutely essential. In general, returning customers are more likely to spend more money, refer friends, and try new products, making them 22 times more valuable than non-loyal customers. Since loyal subscribers are so valuable, many of the decisions you make for your DTC brand should be fueled by your subscriber data to be sure you’re getting the most out of your consumers. 

    zero and first-party data ecommece

    One key way to do this is to use your first-party data to alter the frequency of your product. If you notice most people are opting to get your product once a month instead of twice, change your default setting. You can also monitor your subscriber churn to offer strategic discounts whenever you’re noticing a drop-off. If a good number of your subscribers seem to be canceling after three months, offer a 15% discount on month three. You want to be careful to offer a big enough discount to entice your consumers but not so big that they stick around just for the discount and then cancel immediately after. First-party data is also useful for catching which items typically get bought together so you can give consumers the opportunity to bundle them together

    As for zero-party data, utilizing a quick survey to ask subscribers why they’re canceling or pausing is an excellent way to both understand the reasons behind the disinterest as well as offer specific perks tailored to the reason the consumer wants to leave. If they note the product is too expensive, offer them a discount. If they say they have more than enough of your product, offer to have them reduce the frequency. Every cancellation option should be paired with a retention action to encourage them to stay.   

    When it comes to giving your consumers the best experience possible, it’s imperative to know how to collect, analyze, and make decisions based on quality data. For a closer look into all things zero and first-party data — as well as tips and tricks for the most effective data collection — be sure to give Justuno’s new eBook a read. We promise it’s worth it.