The COVID-19 pandemic not only turned all of our lives upside-down, it brought to the surface many issues that had previously been bubbling below. For instance, we learned the extent to which consumers would no longer tolerate having their data scraped by big tech companies with nothing in return.
For the vast majority of us, every move we make – every click, every purchase (or abandoned cart), every page viewed, every hovering cursor – is tracked. This data (our data) is collected, collated, integrated into marketing and advertising machines with increasingly less benefit to the users themselves. I mean, personalized ads are nice and all but is that really a fair trade? This one-sided deal got more attention as the pandemic forced us online like never before – essential and non-essential shopping, working, entertainment…. It all moved online. As a result, consumers started demanding greater control over their privacy and how their data is put to use.
Governments and regulators had already started to act in the interest of consumers and users, enacting privacy regulation. The GDPR in Europe, the California Consumer Privacy Act and similar legislation around the US, along with Apple and Google prioritizing user privacy controls, have started shifting the balance of power in favor of the consumer.
While this is ultimately a good sign for users, there are major consequences for ecommerce businesses—especially small businesses struggling to establish themselves and keep up with an ever-changing sales and marketing landscape.
The challenge of greater consumer control
Putting more control in the hands of the consumer is a good thing. However, with users being able to decide to whom and for what purpose their data is being used and collected, user tracking for small businesses has become much more complicated—and, in certain cases, impossible.
As a result, the cost of new customer acquisition has spiked dramatically. Nowadays, both brick-and-mortar and ecommerce businesses must maintain a digital presence – an online store, social media profiles, and other digital marketing channels. Due to these changes in data privacy practices, however, acquiring customers via online marketing is now much harder.
Providing a fair value exchange for data
Consumers aren’t willing to give away their data for free—but if exchanged for something deemed valuable, businesses can attain data on their target audiences and build positive relationships with loyal customers.
Personalized recommendations, offers, and experiences tailored to consumers’ needs can be just the value offer that creates customer loyalty and a fair exchange for personal information. The challenge for an ecommerce business, however, is providing these products and services to the right people at the right time.
Using Granular Data for Your Ecommerce Marketing Strategy
Access to specific, granular consumer data allows merchants and ecommerce sites to build stronger, deeper, and more valuable relationships with their customers, resulting in greater customer lifetime value (LTV). Attaining this data while respecting consumer privacy is a complex task.
Striking a balance between data privacy and establishing meaningful relationships is the challenge that keeps many small business owners awake at night. Especially when it comes to brick-and-mortar stores, the challenge is significant—how does one understand their customer’s behavior once they’ve left the store? How does one stay connected with the consumer post-purchase?
Introducing e.pop: a tool to enhance customer-brand interactions
e.pop is a New York City-based startup developing ecommerce tools for brick-and-mortar and online small, sustainable retail businesses to reach and retain more customers and boost sales.
e.pop’s shopper behavior analytics and smart receipt solutions bridge the gap between consumer privacy and small businesses’ need for customer data. Using the e.pop app, consumers receive and manage their receipts digitally, ensuring convenience while allowing the merchant to maintain a connection with them and incentivize post-purchase engagement all via the e.pop app.
Consumers engage and interact with known and new brands without disclosing their personal contact information. In other words, there’s no need for email or SMS marketing, spam, un-requested newsletters or other unwanted communication that irritates consumers and erodes trust.
For shoppers, e.pop provides hyper-targeted promotions tailored precisely to their wants and needs, rather than based on guesses and approximations.
Thanks to SKU-level purchase insights that follow the entire shopper journey (not just what happens in your store or website), e.pop’s data is based on actual spending habits rather than best guesses. As a result, customers are more likely to engage with the products and brands the merchant recommends.
Get started with e.pop today.
e.pop empowers merchants to leverage customer data responsibly and enhance their overall LTV. Get started with the e.pop app and begin fostering meaningful relationships with your customers.