How Product Recommendation Quizzes Will Save You: The Death of 3rd Party Cookies and the Rebirth of Zero-Party/First-Party Data

You’re going to forgive me for that click-bait-y headline when you finish this blog, I promise.

A hardened American bard once sang, “the times, they are a-changin’.” Well, folks, we in e-commerce feel that change deep in our bones. Now that data privacy changes are beginning to roll out, we’re watching the digital marketing landscape be reshaped. IT IS THE AD-POCALYPSE, AND WE WARNED YOU

But fear not, captains of e-commerce! All is not lost. Mostly because we here at surefoot have been hypothesizing and testing the hell out of things in anticipation of these changes. That way you don’t have to rely so heavily on that grim overlord, Facebook, and their shady-analytics. You can easily start compiling your own data, in-house, through product recommendation quizzes.

If you don’t believe zero- and first-party data can be as effective as 3rd party cookies, go ahead and bounce, buttercup, because we’ve got the data to back our claims.

Here’s what you need to know.

First-/Zero-Party Data

E-commerce will no longer rely on tracking users in a way that gives off stalker vibes. Instead, proactive, innovative, and adaptive folks are turning to zero- and first-party data.

Zero-party data—information a user consensually and willingly provides a company—is the most important data you can start collecting (think email address and phone number). First-party data—anything you collect from someone who visits your properties—is also invaluable. Collecting this data on your own means you’re not relying on a third-party’s data that may include lots of false-positives.

And while there’s plenty out there on how to optimize first-party data (Lotame has a helpful overview here), we have been honing our zero- and first-party data skillset. We’re so proud of what we’re doing that we couldn’t keep it to ourselves. So we’re sharing what we’re doing to help our clients navigate data privacy changes and flourish.

Collecting Zero- and First-Party Data

Remember the days of mom-and-pop shops, when customer loyalty was built on trust, community knowledge, and personalized sales? We believe changes in data privacy will reward companies who can capture the best of the mom-and-pop experience while translating it to an e-commerce customer experience. If we can provide our clients with the tools that lead to consensual zero- and first-party data sharing, we feel we’ve got a leg up on the competition…but not in the dog-taking-a-piss sort of way.

It’s fair to say the industry shift away from third party cookies is bringing about a return of some of the things we loved most about brick-and-mortar stores in town. Most of us returned to certain stores because we were loyal to their brand, their style, their customer service. With the imperial rise of third party cookies, we embraced an invasive model that personalized ads to each user. But the peasants have revolted, and merchants are moving away from this granular approach and developing brand-centric messaging instead. 

To develop brand loyalty around zero- and first-party data, companies will need to rethink how they advertise, market, design, and test products in this brave new world, focusing on creating their own robust customer profiles. Like returning to the mom-and-pop shop and chatting with the manager who knows your likes/dislikes, your sizes, your preferences, the user should be greeted, welcomed, and heard. UX research is a great place to start this process. In fact, we’ve got you covered on how to optimize your UX research processes

Product Recommendation Quizzes and Data Collection

One useful way to build robust customer profiles is through onsite quizzes. These quizzes have the added bonus of building brand loyalty and customer satisfaction. No more torqued off customers unsubscribing from an email campaign because they’ve been spammed with ads for a Hello Kitty backpack and lunchbox set after submitting their email address at that bespoke, online haberdashery.

a screenshot of a product recommendation quiz showing two rows of four clickable rectangles, each containing image and text
Peak Design Product Recommendation Quiz

Product recommendation quizzes work exceptionally well for collecting zero-party data. Sometimes called customer-first data, zero-party data collected through product quizzes creates a personalized shopping experience, putting the customer’s unique preferences first.

We are pretty damn proud of our product recommendation quizzes. Our clients have been quite pleased as well. Sure, you can find any number of third-party quizzes through Shopify add-ons, but we particularly excel at meeting the precise needs of our clients. That’s because we’re really good at collaboration. We’re proud of our ability to provide personalized, customized, a/b tested, UX researched quizzes to our clients and their customers. 

a screenshot of a product recommendation quiz with one row of four clickable squares, each describing a different bedding category
Brooklinen Product Recommendation Quiz

If you’re from the Show Me state like our founders, you’ll want to know that the quizzes we’ve developed for 4 of our clients have seen 60-90% completion rates. 60-90%. Completion. Rates. That’s pretty dang unreal.

a screenshot of a product recommendation quiz with one row of four clickable squares, each describing a different material like copper or non-stick
Made In Cookware Product Recommendation Quiz

Because we’re a small company, we’re able to assure our clients don’t get lost in the queue. As we work closely with them to create custom quiz experiences, we listen to what they want and need. One essential thing we’ve learned is that our clients need to be agile, responsive, and adaptive. To accommodate those needs, we make our quiz architecture available via Google spreadsheets so clients can edit and adjust as needed.

Because our product recommendation quizzes are custom designed and developed, we’re able to help our clients build brand loyalty. And as they build brand loyalty through conversion and retention, they increase their customer base by collecting more zero- and first-party data. As they collect more non-stalkerish data, they increase their remarketing opportunities and grow their email and SMS databases.

TL;DR? 

Gone are the days of data collection without consent. Those who adapt and innovate will survive. 

We’ve been living in the era of oversharing our private information, often unknowingly so. We’re now entering the era of consent-based, privacy first data collection. We here at surefoot think that’s a good, even if challenging, change.

We also have the experience and proven success to lead our clients through the labyrinth of data privacy changes. So if you’re interested in increasing your conversion and retention rates and learning more about how we’re kicking ass and taking names with our product recommendation quizzes, shoot us an email.

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