Blog October 11, 2023 |

Cracking the Code: Turning Unknown Shoppers into Recognizable Customers

In the rapidly evolving world of retail, the ability to convert unknown audiences into known ones is a game-changer. Unknown audiences are individuals who have interacted with a brand but have not provided any identifiable information. These audiences might have browsed the retailer’s website, engaged with their social media posts, or walked into their physical stores without revealing their identity, making it difficult to nurture a relationship with them in the future. 

First-party data is the information collected about unknown visitors across various touchpoints and can include website user behavior, indications of preferences through anonymous surveys, intent based on specific actions such as adding items to cart, and more. To convert unknown audiences into known (identifiable) ones, retailers need to collect visitor behavior and leverage it in a privacy-first manner to encourage visitors to further share identifying information. BlueConic customers successfully drive conversion of unknown audiences to known audiences by following a few key steps.

Always Employ a Privacy-First Approach

Respecting data privacy regulations is of utmost importance. BlueConic provides a highly flexible platform to ensure consumer data privacy and compliance with regulations is enabled across geographies and is based on individual customer preferences. Further, by clearly communicating data privacy policies, retailers can reassure customers that their information is secure, which allows retailers to build trust with their audiences on how their data will be used. 

Gather Data at Every Touchpoint

Implement data gathering mechanisms at any customer touchpoint. Retailers can consider using sign-up forms, pop-ups, or incentives like discounts in exchange for email subscriptions on their websites or even through location-focused direct mail that can lead customers to convert onsite. In physical stores, they can encourage customers to join loyalty programs. The key is to make data gathering seamless and to offer a value exchange in return.

Progressive Profiling

As retailers gather more data from customers, they can gradually build detailed profiles. Progressively enriching customer profiles by engaging them over time to learn elements such as customer preferences, location, or interests enables a deeper and clearer understanding of each individual. This can be done in a variety of ways, such as providing a short survey, capturing which product pages users visit and how long they are active on those pages, or whether they add items to their cart or share them using the embedded links on the page. 

Nurture with Value

Retailers should consider engaging with unknown audiences in a nurturing manner by providing value rather than overwhelming them with sales pitches. Sharing informative content, industry insights, and exclusive offers can gradually build trust and encourage them to share more data. Though this can seem like a longer path to conversion, BlueConic customers have found this to be the more effective path to driving loyalty and higher customer lifetime value.

Personalized Content and Recommendations

A recent McKinsey report found that 71% of consumers expect companies to deliver personalized interactions, and 76% actually get frustrated when this does not happen. So once retailers have gathered first-party data, using it to tailor personalized experiences to unknown audiences is often what consumers expect. This can be done by providing content and product recommendations based on the visitor’s previous interactions, signals that indicate where they are located to provide geography or weather related messaging, and even recommendations based on the activity of other users displaying similar behavior. These tactics not only increase the chances of converting unknown audiences to known audiences, but also enhance the overall customer experience.  

Analyze and Optimize

BlueConic customers regularly analyze the data being gathered and the tactics being employed to convert unknown audiences to known audiences. This allows a clear and evolving grasp of which strategies are working and where improvements are necessary. Implementing A/B testing as often and as broadly as possible further enables retailers to continually enhance their conversion tactics based on testing outcomes.

Converting unknown audiences into known ones is a process that requires patience, strategy, and the savvy use of first-party data. By gathering data at every touchpoint, personalizing content, and nurturing prospects with value, retailers can gradually convert unknown individuals into known, loyal customers. By prioritizing data privacy and continuing to analyze and optimize efforts, retailers can ensure long-term success in building a dedicated customer base. 

BlueConic customers often consider converting unknown audiences to known, loyal audiences as a high priority use case. Do you feel the same? If you have already started utilizing first-party data in this regard, I'd love to hear about your experiences and successes. Please feel free to reach out for a more involved discussion!

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