Unlocking the power of first-party purchase data: A shopper’s perspective

By Andrea Parisi, Product Manager

I’ll be the first one to admit that shopping is one of my favorite pastimes. As a resident of the Big Apple, I strive to support my local NYC shops as much as I can. However, with the convenience and ease of online shopping, I find myself making most of my purchases from the comfort of my own home. I also try to avoid paper receipts whenever possible since #everydayisearthday, and opting for digital receipts helps me keep my purchases organized and easily accessible.

But it’s not just about convenience. I enjoy a curated and personalized shopping experience with recommendations tailored to my interests and style. I am here to be #influenced, so I’m all for algorithm-based suggestions that help me uncover fun new products. What’s more, I appreciate the brands and retailers that go the extra mile to understand my needs and provide me with a unique shopping journey.

As shoppers like me continue to shift online, the brands and ecosystem that support them need better, more reliable access to first-party purchase data.

Historically, brands have obtained this information via a variety of different methods: retail feeds, cookies, third-party shopper panels, market research, and more. But as a shopper and a Product Manager here at Microblink, I wonder if the reliance on third-party feeds is a sustainable long-term investment. What happens when the third-party cookie crumbles and some industries or countries opt to go fully digital?

Let’s dive into the possible gaps with existing approaches to obtaining first-party purchase data:

  • While retailer feeds can bridge the gap between online and in-store data, there are some cons, including substantial financial and technical investment with data ingestion, standardization and integration required across various sources and platforms. In addition, retailer feeds provide limited ownership and control over the data. Third-party data feeds may be tailored to a specific program and brand and not capture comprehensive historical information, leading to an incomplete picture.
  • Cookies! We all know third-party cookies are going away due to privacy concerns, with Google phasing them out in Chrome by 2024. Not surprisingly, or hopefully not, my frequent browsing and online behavior is being tracked by vendors and third-parties I’ve never engaged with, which can result in a suboptimal user experience.

Now imagine having access to my entire Amazon and Target shopping history and any subsequent purchases, all in real-time. With our Account Linking solution, brands can essentially spin up a shopper panel instantly by empowering users to link their retailer or email accounts in exchange for savings, points and more.
There’s no limit to how far back you can grab order/purchase history, and it’s fully-permissioned, with users authorizing access to their history. If that enables brands and those that work with them to develop and innovate products, services, and programs that anticipate my needs (and delight my shopping sense), that’s a win-win.

As a shopper, I know that the closer a brand gets to me, the easier it is for them to gain valuable insights and create more effective and personalized experiences. I especially appreciate when I can voluntarily opt into a specific service, know what information I’m sharing, and take ownership over my data and how it’s used – like to get rewarded or receive exclusive perks. (This is part of what we’re helping innovative customers like Attain do, which you can learn about here.)

At the same time, the less work I have to do to facilitate that data capture and exchange, the better. Microblink’s technology easily integrates into an existing mobile application or on the web via browser extension and is designed for a “set it and forget it” user approach so nothing is required of me after I connect my email inbox or favorite online shopping accounts (Sephora) .

User-permissioned, first party purchase data

As both a shopper (as we’ve sufficiently established) and product person, I know the value of AI-first approaches to solving problems and engaging users, as well as the treasure trove of first-party data that brands and their partners are sitting on without even knowing it. This is user-permissioned, first-party data you can automatically capture and enrich using Microblink’s technology to help unlock information like:

  • Share of basket – all the brands I’m shopping for, not just yours!
  • Average basket size – how much I’m spending per trip
  • Geographical data – where I’m shopping and how often
  • Category analysis – where I’m spending the most

It’s time to unlock first-party purchase information at scale – connect with me or get in touch with our team if you want to learn more!

June 30, 2023

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