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How retailers can capture more — and better! — consumer data

Author: Lindy Porter


Retailers know consumer data unlocks the door to smarter business decisions. In fact, data-driven marketing is an essential strategy for brands looking to make the most of their marketing efforts. The right data leads to improved products and services, increased sales, and higher levels of customer satisfaction.

But guess what: Your data-driven marketing strategy is only as good as the data you capture.

Signs you're missing data

If you’re questioning any parts of your data strategy, chances are good you’re missing something. From skewed metrics to gaps in a consumer’s journey, not having all the data makes it impossible for retailers to get the most from their marketing efforts.

Signs you’re missing data include:

You’re still relying on third-party technology. Dead giveaway: Your consumer data leaves your four walls. If it does, you’re working with a third-party system. Additional signs include missing data, duplicate profiles, and lags in analytics reporting.

If a consumer isn’t logged in, you’re clueless about their identity. Dead giveaway: Analytics are skewed, and you only see half of a consumer’s journey. Following anonymous visitors’ journeys is impossible, and hyper-personalization for unknown visitors sounds like science fiction.

Tagging takes up real estate on your task list. Dead giveaway: You’re manually choosing what to tag for and someone’s always saying, “We didn’t tag for that!” Your campaign and segmentation ideas are great, but you’re only able to execute after the opportunity has passed because data tagging and capturing takes eons.

You take everything with a grain of salt. Dead giveaway: Marketing attribution (first touch, last touch, and multi-touch) is a nightmare, and you simply don’t (can’t!) trust your data.

How retailers can get more (and better!) consumer data 

Getting more — and better — consumer data to fuel your data-driven marketing strategies is simple. Here’s what retailers can do right away to get more insight.

Make it first-party data

Third-party data is in trouble for three reasons:

  1. Google’s third-party cookie deprecation is finally underway. After a four-year delay, Chrome (the last holdout) is phasing out support for third-party cookies in 2024.
  2. Regulators and government agencies are after third-party technologies. Consumers are worried about data privacy and collection, and lawmakers are listening. The Federal Trade Commission recently issued penalty warnings to companies for misusing consumers' confidential data without obtaining express consent. The agency’s also after third-party trackers citing the technologies lack security measures and controls needed to keep consumer data safe.
  3. Finally, third-party technology isn’t reliable. Whenever data is forced to be funneled, sliced, and diced on the front end, it leads to errors, inconsistencies, and substantial delays on the back end. Just like the telephone game, more steps and roadblocks lead to more opportunities for data to get lost in translation.

The trick to capturing better consumer data is to make sure it’s first-party data. A true first-party data capture platform gives retailers complete ownership and control over all consumer data. And, because the data’s captured, stored, and maintained entirely within the organization’s environment, it’s:

  • Never sent to an external location or third-party system
  • Fully compliant with all privacy regulations
  • Error-free, reliable, and instant

In addition to solving third-party data problems in one fell swoop, a first-party platform provides retailers with live-time data capture to enhance campaigns and deliver in-the-moment experiences. This also means instant and accurate metrics, analytics, and reporting for better decision making.

Solve for anonymous website visitors 

The next step to getting more consumer data is to solve for anonymous website visitors.

How many times has an online consumer dropped off mid-journey with you? One moment they’re filling out a quiz or survey, and the next minute they’ve abandoned the task and disappeared. When retailers only see part of the consumer journey, they can only deliver half of the ultimate experience.

Anonymous website visitors pose challenges for retailers. When a consumer doesn’t log in, drops off mid-journey, or doesn’t share their name, email address, and other personal details, it’s hard to identify them. And, to make matters worse, most data platforms don’t start capturing consumer data until after the visitor’s logged in. Without insight on who a consumer is and how they interact prior to login, retailers are forced to make assumptions and let best guesses drive their marketing strategies.

Advanced first-party data platforms track anonymous visitor journeys the same way as known visitors, then stitch the insight together to create a holistic view of the consumer. Known as anonymous identity resolution, in simple terms it:

  • Captures anonymous visitor interactions (clicks, preferences, interests, behavioral data) across channels, devices, sessions, and over time.
  • Persists identity across domains by leveraging unique identifiers (cross-domain continuance — most data solutions CAN’T do this).
  • Stitches all data together to build unique individual profiles and persist from anonymous to known.           
  • Analyzes and feeds all data to decisioning systems instantly (milliseconds) so retailers can adapt their marketing strategies in-the-moment to deliver tailored experiences wherever the visitor is in their journey.

Resolving anonymous visitor identity and capturing all interactions, especially prior to login, is the key to getting better data and creating better experiences.

Turn to tagging-free

Manual tagging isn’t just a chore — it’s a recipe for data disaster. Aside from being time-intensive, manual tagging is prone to error and requires retailers to know in advance exactly what they’re looking for. Tag-based data systems are also responsible for creating data gaps and silos when a tag is missing, broken, or when a page is changed.

To capture more consumer data, retailers must leverage a tagging-free data capture platform. Tagging-free technology solves for inaccurate and missing data by automatically capturing all consumer interactions across all sites. No extra data layers, no tag management required.

With a tagging-free data platform, retailers:

  • Capture more accurate and complete data
  • Gain more trustworthy metrics and analytics
  • Solve for data gaps and silos
  • Save time and eliminate the phrase, “We forgot to tag for it!”

The golden ticket to better marketing 

A retailer's data-driven marketing strategy is only as good as the consumer data it captures. With first-party data, anonymous identity resolution, and a tagging-free approach, you’ll have all the missing data pieces needed to revolutionize your business.


Tag management is dead

Manual tagging is a common practice to support digital marketing, but it's time-consuming and prone to error. Say goodbye to tag management and hello to a tagging-free data capture solution.

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