In today’s hyper-competitive ecommerce landscape, data isn’t just a buzzword. It’s the most important weapon for success in your arsenal. However, as stringent consumer privacy laws like GDPR and CCPA make collecting customer data more difficult, brands are having to adapt their data collection strategies to adhere to new standards.
The advent of these constraints has propelled the value of zero-party data (ZPD) to new heights. When customers willingly and explicitly share their preferences, desires and intentions, it grants businesses a treasure trove of insights without compromising privacy. This data then empowers brands to create personalized experiences that stand out from competitors, enhance customer engagement and drive more relevant marketing campaigns.
As brands look to scale their use of ZPD, there’s perhaps no better time to elevate their collection strategies than during Black Friday and Cyber Monday. These high-traffic shopping events don’t just present retailers with a chance to catapult profits. During this critical sales period, brands can leverage the increase in customer engagement to collect the data that’s needed to forge deeper, more meaningful customer relationships today.
Indeed, there’s a golden opportunity ahead for ecommerce brands to gather a wealth of insights directly from their shoppers. With the holiday shopping frenzy fast approaching, here are three ways for online retailers to maximize their collection of zero-party data during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday rush.
1. Craft tailored quizzes for meaningful insights.
In an era when consumers are seeking more interactive online experiences, quizzes offer a refreshing and engaging way for brands to grab the attention of their shoppers. This is especially true during Black Friday and Cyber Monday, when more personalized and entertaining experiences are needed to capture attention amidst the noise. Interactive product recommendation quizzes not only engage customers but also create a sense of participation and entertainment, making customers more willing to provide valuable zero-party data in exchange for a tailored shopping journey.
For instance, a fashion retailer could create a quiz titled “Discover Your Ultimate Black Friday Style,” asking customers about their preferred clothing choices for holiday parties or winter getaways. In the process, the retailer can gather information about color preferences, style inclinations and even travel plans. This data can then inform personalized marketing campaigns, showcasing tailored product recommendations that align with each customer’s unique style.
The key to success here lies in making the quizzes not only entertaining but also relevant to the shopping context. Customers are more likely to engage and willingly share data when they perceive value in the exchange — be it in the form of personalized shopping suggestions, exclusive discounts or insightful holiday tips. By leveraging the quiz format creatively, brands can transform casual browsers into engaged participants, resulting in a win-win situation where customers feel heard and understood, and brands gain actionable insights for targeted marketing endeavors.
2. Amplify insights through targeted surveys.
Surveys aren’t just about post-purchase feedback; they’re your direct line to understanding your audience’s preferences. Strategically designed surveys allow you to gather specific insights about your customers — insights which then allow you to segment your audience, which is a goldmine for tailoring Black Friday and Cyber Monday offers to individual tastes.
Of course, post-purchase feedback is critical too. Customer engagement is typically highest right after a customer makes a purchase, making the post-purchase stage of the buyer’s journey a golden time for brands to maximize insight collection.
In particular, post-purchase micro-surveys are a highly effective way to collect insightful and actionable customer feedback. This is because they’re short and snappy, meeting consumers’ demands for convenience and speed. Surveys that consist of just a few questions can generate highly valuable insights that can help refine future marketing strategies and enhance customer loyalty.
For example, by simply asking “How Did You Hear About Us?” (HDYHAU), you can accurately pinpoint where the majority of your customers are coming from, meaning you can allocate your budget accordingly and maximize the effectiveness of your marketing initiatives. To maximize participation in your surveys, consider using contextual targeting, which allows you to precisely target specific audiences based on online behaviors and profile data. You should also leverage shareable links, so you can easily distribute your survey across email, SMS and social media.
It’s important to note, though, that Black Friday and Cyber Monday isn’t just about getting the right offer in front of the right person – they’re about being dynamic with your marketing campaigns. This means being prepared to utilize real-time feedback from HDYHAU surveys to fine-tune and adjust your marketing spend. During the holiday rush, it’s likely that new trends will emerge and preferences will shift, meaning you’ll need to switch to the right marketing channels where your customers are shopping. This ensures that you’re staying on top of where your customers are and not wasting money on acquisition efforts.
3. Harness the power of customer reviews for post-holiday benefits.
Gone are the days of blind purchases. Customer reviews have become the backbone of informed shopping, offering unparalleled insights into consumer preferences and behaviors. In fact, according to recent Okendo research on loyalty and retention, consumers rate customer reviews as the number-one source of information that makes them more confident in making a purchase.
In an era when trust and credibility are paramount, the emphasis that consumers are placing on reviews isn’t a surprise. Skepticism toward traditional marketing tactics is growing, meaning authentic feedback from shoppers holds unparalleled weight.
With this in mind, Black Friday and Cyber Monday hold the perfect opportunity for online retailers to maximize the value of their holiday shoppers to collect more reviews. By strategically encouraging customers to share their experiences with the products they’ve purchased, brands can create a snowball effect of trust-building, which can extend the impact of Black Friday and Cyber Monday well into the future.
Indeed, reviews give brands a valuable asset for their marketing arsenal beyond the holiday season. These reviews can be prominently displayed on product pages, utilized in social media campaigns and even repurposed in future marketing efforts. Moreover, ecommerce brands can use customer reviews as a rich source of data to collect valuable customer attributes, like shopper preferences, demographics or behaviors. By analyzing and categorizing these attributes, brands can refine their targeting strategies, personalizing offerings that precisely align with their customers’ diverse requirements.
To maximize review generation this holiday season, consider offering incentives, such as exclusive discounts on future purchases, for customers who leave reviews. This not only incentivizes participation but also establishes a virtuous cycle of informed shopping. Moreover, it helps establish an ongoing dialogue between brands and customers, which can foster a sense of partnership and reinforce loyalty and long-term engagement.
Harnessing the Power of Black Friday and Cyber Monday
There’s no denying Black Friday and Cyber Monday can be a whirlwind for ecommerce brands. Not only are they focused on driving sales, but they must capitalize on the opportunity to gather a wealth of insights that can transform future customer experiences.
Thankfully, the emergence of zero-party data as a key brand asset has inspired more engaging – and effective – ways of interacting with customers. By harnessing the power of interactive quizzes, targeted surveys and customer reviews, brands can unlock insights that go beyond transactional data, enabling them to create highly personalized shopping experiences.
Beyond the immediate impact these strategies have on sales, the data they generate serve as a foundation for long-term customer relationships, refined marketing efforts and improved product offerings. These are benefits that not only enable retailers to reap short-term rewards during the holiday rush but also establish themselves as leaders in the age of customer-centricity and personalization.
Lindsay Kolinsky is the Director of Marketing at Okendo. She has five years of ecommerce experience and has worked across various go-to-market functions, including sales, customer success, partnerships and marketing. Kolinsky is passionate about relationship building, storytelling and turning complex ideas into relatable concepts that everyone can understand.