How to Provide Personalization In A World Without Cookies

Jan 25, 2023 11:00:00 AM
5 min read
Cartoon man using crystal ball

The finale of third-party cookies is coming, and by the end of 2024, how e-commerce businesses collect data will be forever changed. If you find yourself unprepared and wondering how to collect valuable consumer insights, you’re not alone. In a study by Iterable, almost half of CMOs don’t consider themselves ready for the end of third-party cookies.

If you’re an online retailer, you’ve probably depended on these small text files to deliver personalized shopping experiences to your customers. So what can you do to prepare for a cookieless world? In this article, we’ll reveal ways you can optimize your personalization without the need for third-party cookies. So grab a glass of milk for your remaining cookies, and let’s dunk…dive in! 

First-Party Data

Two people 'high fiving'Unlike third-party data, first-party data is gathered and measured by each e-commerce business. Every interaction a shopper has with your online store—opening emails, browsing your site, clicking on the product links in social posts—is sent directly to you, enabling you to see exactly what products they’re most interested in. This information will allow you to craft specific personalized messages, provide tailored product recommendations, and create an individualized shopper journey to keep your customers engaged.

And the best part? You’re protecting your customers’ data, while still providing the personalization they want.

Third-Party Cookies Vs. First-Party Data

  Third-Party First-Party
Where It Comes From Gathered by data sets and user browsing history through several sources and sites Provided directly by your customers or through your e-commerce website
Who Owns It Data aggregators, who then sell the information to other businesses Your business only
Its Primary Purpose To help brands identify potential customers and build hyper-personalized campaigns To discover what your shoppers like, in turn improving customer experiences
  • User behavior on social platforms
  • User demographics
  • Household income
  • Behaviors taken from your website or app
  • Social media conversations
  • Purchase history

Benefits of First-Party Data:

It’s exclusively yours.

Cartoon woman with arms crossed and satisfied expressionYou control first-party data, which allows you to ensure all information is correct and collected with user consent. Fortunately, 83% of consumers are willing to share their data in order to receive personalized experiences. (Accenture)

You get to know your customers better.

First-party data allows you to develop a deeper understanding of your customers. This information can then be used to offer seamless personalized experiences throughout your shopping channels.

It’s more accurate.

Since the data is coming directly from your customers, you’re guaranteed to receive a higher level of data accuracy, which allows you to deliver the shopping experiences they want.

It boosts conversions.

A 2022 study found that the usage of first-party data resulted in an 18% increase in consumer conversions.

It works seamlessly with machine learning (ML) and artificial intelligence (AI) technology 

When used with the right tools (ahem, Granify), you’ll be able to scale your customer interactions and campaigns, while still ensuring you’re providing relevant content and messages to your users.

Additional Strategies to Navigate Personalization Without Third-Party Cookies

Trust Through Transparency

 Fact: 60 percent of online consumers said trustworthiness and transparency were the most important traits of a brand.

First-party data is a no-brainer for creating personalized experiences, but it still requires collecting your customers’ data. In order to do that, you’ll need to earn their trust first. How can you achieve this?

Two hands shakingBe transparent. Let your customers know when you gather their data—and why. If they’re aware of these actions, they’re more likely to share it. For example, during checkout, if you offer an opportunity to sign up for notifications on sales or special promotions, they may be enticed to share their email address.

Ultimately, it’s about value. You offer your shoppers something they find valuable—a discount code, for instance—and in return, they provide their information. It’s a win-win that doesn’t require any sneaky actions that could repel shoppers from returning to your store, and could actually increase their loyalty to your brand.

Intent-Driven Customer Experiences

Cartoon woman giving thumbs up to computer, computer is giving a thumbs up backAs customers browse through your e-commerce site, social pages, and mobile app, they leave a trail of clues that can provide valuable insights into what they like. Tools like Granify gather and analyze billions of consumer clicks to identify patterns of behavior, which then informs personalized messaging that targets each shopper’s specific needs and interests.

By forecasting shopper intent, you’ll be able to identify what your customers are most interested in. As a result, they’re more likely to buy and more likely to return again.

Related: 5 Fundamentals of E-Commerce Customer Experience

Customer Data Platforms (CDPs)

CDPs can enhance your first-party data by creating a comprehensive, 360 view of your customers. They’re also responsive, which means they continuously update your customers’ profiles based on their behaviors and how they engage with your brand. This enables you to personalize your messaging better, so it’s always relevant to their latest interactions.

Zero-Party Data

When you use zero-party data, you are receiving information directly (and willingly) from your customers. Here, it’s all about asking, not gathering, such as through a customer survey. The great thing about these tactics is that you’re more likely to get honest insights about their preferences, which leads to more accuracte personalization.

It also eliminates concerns about data privacy, because all information was provided voluntarily. In the end, you get the information you want, and your shoppers receive the sense of trust they’re looking for.

Cookie-Free Conclusions

Two cookies (one with a bite taken out of it), and a glass of milkA world without cookies will be here soon, and the time to start adapting is now. Take this year to get ahead of the curve by integrating some (or all) of the recommendations into your e-commerce personalization strategy. By preparing now, you’ll not only set yourself up for success early but establish new ways to connect with your customers that are built on mutual trust. This way, when the cookies finally crumble, you’ll be able to have your cake and eat it, too. 

Ready to leverage your first-party data?

Rocketship going around SaturnGranify can help you take control of the upcoming changes by helping you utilize your first-party data to deliver better-personalized experiences for your customers. Talk to us today and start planning for your cookieless future.

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