September 23, 2022
Ad Tech

How First-Party Data is Driving Retail Tech Innovation

Henry Kim

New privacy regulation laws are taking hold across the globe, and companies are slowly but surely phasing out third-party data to keep user information safe. While this is a step in the right direction, retailers and brands still require customer data to personalize individual shopping experiences.

By leveraging first-party data—the next frontier of retail tech innovation—retailers and brands build a valuable, personalized customer experience that respects privacy.

Changes in Privacy Law Become Too Big for Retailers to Ignore

Though a positive shift for the general public, compliance with the General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA), and a growing number of state regulations pose a challenge to companies wanting to do right by their loyal customers. It’s imperative that retailers gain consent and build relationships with their customers focused on what’s most valuable for them. To an extent, retailers will need to re-evaluate what customer information they truly need to collect in order to deliver a personalized experience to their shoppers—and they’ll need overarching data governance policies to protect the data they do collect. Beyond privacy concerns, retailers’ ability to collect any data at all is shrinking along with Safari, Firefox, Apple, and Google’s depreciation of third-party tracking cookies.

How Retailers Can Turn Third-Party Cookie Loss Into an Opportunity

For decades, the ability to follow someone around the web, personalize content based on behavior, and re-advertise to that same user, has been lucrative for retailers—both on and offline. Of course, the problem with these “third-party” tracking cookies is that they infringe on consumer privacy.

Once web browser tracking pixels are switched off for good—likely by the second half of 2024—brands and retailers who’ve been relying on third-party data will become more dependent on Google, Amazon and Meta for valuable audience analytics.

While marketers will inevitably lose visibility into how audiences engage with various marketing campaigns across channels along the path to purchase, they can shift their focus to in-house solutions to fill the gaps. As most customers shop with multiple channels—it makes sense for retailers to invest in solutions that help them maintain visibility into the buying experience.

Leverage First-Party Data with Retail Media Technology

Fortunately, brick-and-mortar retailers have a treasure trove of first-party data at their disposal. They can see what a website visitor clicks, lingers on, or purchases. They can see what’s on a retail mobile application shopping list and what digital coupons are redeemed in-store. Retailers also know how their customers engage with partner brands—online and in store.

With the loss of third-party data, brands are shifting more of their marketing budgets toward strategic alliances with retail partners who have invested in cross-channel marketing solutions.

With Swiftly-powered retail media technology, retailers can connect first-party data from their website, retail mobile application, and in-store registers to form a more cohesive picture of their customers. By seizing this opportunity to collect, organize, and leverage their first-party data, retailers set themselves up to:

  • Personalize the customer experience. 69% of brands say gaining greater insights into customer behaviors and preferences is the main driver of advertising partnerships with retailers.
  • Boost profit margins. Though retail profit margins fall below 4%, one quarter of retailers generate revenues of $100 million+ through their retail media networks.
  • Drive growth. By learning more about their customers through first-party data, retailers personalize the purchasing experience—breeding long-term loyalty for 60% of shoppers.

In the cookie-free future, first-party data is the new currency. Propel relationships with brand partners by offering them information, ad space, and a targeted way to reach customers across channels, particularly in-aisle. Contact Swiftly to get started with retail media technology.