We talk about data a lot here at REVIEWS.io, and for good reason - it’s the backbone of every successful eCommerce business. It helps you make informed decisions about how to engage with your customers, how to improve products and services, and how to create effective marketing campaigns.
But the data landscape is shifting to give consumers more control and promote greater transparency. That means you need to shift your marketing strategy too, and roll out new tools and techniques to future-proof your business.
The use of third-party data - i.e. data that isn’t collected or owned by you - has become controversial, and Google’s long promised phase out of the third-party cookie is now scheduled for 2024. As a result, brands and merchants are looking to the alternatives of first-party and zero-party data.
These two terms are often used interchangeably, but they’re actually quite different:
First-party data - this is data collected directly from a customer’s interaction with your store, like browsing and purchase history or information given as part of the checkout process.
Zero-party data - this is data a customer willingly and proactively shares with you, like their preferences and interests.
Both offer a viable solution to the data dilemma. In fact in our opinion they’re a better asset than third-party data, because there’s so much more you can do with the insights you gain. First and zero-party data is also more accurate, more relevant, and collected in a way that fosters trust.
We already have some powerful solutions for collecting zero-party data - namely our Review Attributes feature and our new Advanced Surveys tool.
With Session Replay and Analytics, we’re focusing on first-party data, and giving you the insight you need to answer one of the most valuable questions there is - what influences a purchase decision?
The Session Replay and Analytics feature does exactly what is says on the tin. It enables you to record and replay sessions of page visits and gain valuable insights into how customers interact with your store.
More specifically, it allows you to track key events leading up to and influencing a purchase (or purchase abandonment as the case may be). It also helps you measure the ROI of reviews and UGC, and offers recommendations for product page optimization.
Here’s a closer look at the two component parts of the feature.
In your REVIEWS.io dashboard you’ll now find a ‘Watch Replays’ button. This allows you to scroll and filter all your recorded sessions and watch them back - essentially viewing the on-site experience through the eyes of the customer.
This is first-party data at its finest. You can observe how customers navigate your site, the specific actions they take on a product page, and what those actions lead to in terms of items added to cart. You can also identify points of friction, and pinpoint issues that contribute to cart abandonment.
All of this means you can optimize your store in direct response to customer behavior.
And that’s not all. If you’re watching a session replay from a returning customer, you’ll see their purchase history, any review requests sent and their status, and responses from any surveys the customer has taken part in. This is information you can use for more detailed customer profiles and better personalization.
The homepage of your dashboard now has a section showing key statistics from the past week’s worth of sessions - including the number of sessions recorded, conversion rates and average order value over time.
Conversion rates and AOV are separated according to whether a customer interacted with REVIEWS.io widgets or not, so you can gauge the impact of review content and UGC on sales.
You’ll also find a list of your worst performing pages with individual stats for each one. You’re wondering what actionable insight you can take from this first-party data right? Our system takes care of that for you, offering recommendations on better use of REVIEWS.io widgets and other strategies likely to improve page performance, like publishing Review Nuggets, or displaying Review Attributes.
Making better use of review content is one of the best ways to maximize product page conversion, so you should find these recommendations contribute to more sales and higher revenue.
To start generating this valuable first-party data, you’ll need to install an ‘invisible’ widget and configure which pages you want to record user sessions from. You’ll then need to collect seven days worth of data before stats appear in your dashboard.
Once you’re up and running, it’s all just a matter of turning first-party data into sales.
Worried about data protection? Don’t be. We’ve made sure our system is unable to record any sensitive information, like email addresses and phone numbers, unless explicitly given.
You can find the Session Replay and Analytics widget in our widget library and any support you need through our live chat function.