Capturing Anonymous Visitors to Enhance Customer Data

Hi friends! We just published a case study with an awesome apparel brand called UpWest. In the case study, UpWest demonstrates how capturing anonymous visitor data helped them improve campaign performance and reduce customer acquisition costs. You can read all about it here.

So let’s talk about anonymous visitor data and why it’s important.

In this golden age of e-commerce and digital buyer journeys, we keep getting into conversations with people about customer data that excludes anonymous visitors. It’s not universal, but it happens often enough. A customer who is in a buying journey but has not yet made a purchase is also a customer. This is true in both physical and e-commerce stores.

Anonymous Visitors are Customers

If you walk into a physical brick-and-mortar store, do the staff there ignore you and wait until after you make a purchase to consider you a customer? Hopefully not. If it’s a clothing store, you’ll come in contact with an associate to try on an item. They might also help you find clothes in your size or suggest specific products. They do this without knowing your name and mailing address because this browsing and trying process is part of the customer journey. Plus, interactions with browsing customers are a form of feedback store associates can use to improve the store experience.

In the digital world, the browsing process is also a natural part of the customer journey. But it is harder to capture because anonymous browsers are virtually invisible blips. It’s easier to focus on those customers you can identify. There are tactics to get customers to identify themselves early on such as offering discounts in return for emails and phone numbers. But in many cases, you don’t get an ID until the checkout process.

Once you have some form of customer identification, you begin to build customer profiles and develop a customer intelligence system based on their continued engagement with you until the end of time. But no matter how sophisticated your known customer data is, it’s still missing crucial information from the pre-purchase phase.

Use First-party Cookies to capture Anonymous Visitors

So how do we capture the pre-purchase phase? First-party cookies make it possible to capture anonymous visitors by identifying unique visitors, assigning them a random anonymous ID, and keeping track of their browsing behavior until they convert. When they convert and you start building a CRM profile, the anonymous ID can be matched with the new one so the customer’s pre-purchase behavior is included in your customer profile.

What’s more, the anonymous first-party ID continues to recognize users after they convert. So their interactions are captured even if one of your other cookies expires and customers don’t get automatically logged back in when they visit.

Having a more complete view of your customer journey has significant benefits to your customer intelligence and segmentation strategies. Your RFM modeling and attribution will be more accurate. You’ll have insights into the mid-funnel that you didn’t before. You’ll have a higher volume of signals to work with when building target profiles and strategies to attract new customers.

But capturing and using the data also must be easy enough to not be disruptive.

For UpWest, one of the most critical aspects of Velocidi’s solution was the ability to insert new audiences seamlessly into Upwest’s existing campaign strategy. Velocidi’s solution automatically captures your first-party anonymous visitor data, integrates with your known customer profiles, and automatically creates usable segments for campaigns.

Here’s the moral of the story: don’t resign yourself to not seeing your pre-purchase customers. Be like UpWest and use your anonymous visitor data to enhance customer intelligence. Then reap the benefits to the tune of better customer experiences and better campaign performance.

Read UpWest's Story

UpWest and their agency teams used anonymous visitor data to enhance their customer intelligence and improve performance throughout the customer journey.

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