How first-party data can revolutionise consumers' commerce experience

Changing commerce practices are inevitable for brands in this current climate. With the increasing number of brands turning to digital platforms to reach out to consumers, consumers are now presented with a plethora of options which they can pick and choose from for their commerce needs. Therefore, for brands to remain on top of mind of consumers now, they have to one-up competitors by ensuring that their consumers' demands are catered to. Speaking to Marketing, Stuart Jarvis, insights and personalisation director of digital agency AKQA, reveals what experiences consumers are looking for now, how first-party data is important to target and retain consumers, and how traditional businesses can approach personalisation in their offerings.

Jarvis (pictured) currently leads the insights and personalisation offer within AKQA's Sydney office. Having worked with marketing technology agencies for over 15 years, Jarvis has spearheaded the marketing automation practice for AKQA's clients such as Tourism Australia, Officeworks, Fairfax NZ and Bupa, delivering new capabilities for cross-channel personalised marketing. Responsible for data insights and marketing automation, he is focused on transforming and delivering customer experiences. 

Watch Jarvis's in-depth presentation on-demand at our "Modern Commerce in Asia Pacific" virtual summit archive. Available now until 25 August, this online resource for commerce, marketing and IT professionals features top-notch commerce experts from across the region, who discussed commerce and marketing success strategies for 2020 and beyond. Click here to check it out now. Sitecore's virtual summit is done in partnership with Marketing.

Marketing: What exactly is modern commerce in your view?   

Jarvis: Modern commerce is simply all about making the customer shopping experience as easy as possible to allow them to get what they want. These solutions need to remove as many challenges in the process as possible, they need to work across all the devices a customer chooses to interact with a brand, and they need to respect a customer’s choice around privacy. Customers should be able to transact in a secure manner; they should be able to easily find the products or services they need and all within an easy to navigate intuitive experience that assists new and returning customers.     

Marketing: One common thought is that while first-party data is great at retargeting your current prospects with ads, it is limited in providing insight into new audiences. How can brands tackle this?   

Jarvis: As the most valuable type of data, first-party data is the holy grail in terms of information about customers and prospects for a brand, and can power numerous campaign activities including retargeting. For new visitors for a brand, first-party data is also the fuel for lookalike modelling where data management platforms and others can use the behaviour of known customers to match against behaviours of prospects to look for target audiences. Once identified, these lookalike audiences can be served relevant messaging to anticipate their needs based on those similarities to behaviours of customers. In addition, first-party data can span devices, making it deterministic in manner where a customer has identified themselves on each platform. This deterministic nature of some first-party data increases the range of lookalike modelling activities that can be undertaken to tackle the challenge of insights into the new audiences.    

Marketing: For brick and mortar stores that must now consider to take up eCommerce given the current climate, how important is it for them to personalise their offering and what are some of the ways they can go about doing so?   

Jarvis: The current climate is certainly supercharging the online commerce activity around the world as businesses adapt fast. To prepare for the future, brands should be thinking about the data they collect through this commerce activity and what it can enable, as first-party data becomes ever more important in a privacy first world. Personalisation is certainly a key area to look into, but rather than reaching for perfection, traditional stores who are now launching into commerce online should adopt a crawl, walk and run approach to strategically approach personalisation in bite-size pieces to show return on investment and grow the adoption of people and processes internally to support it.

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