White Paper: Turning Anonymous Shoppers into Known Customers
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INTO KNOWN CUSTOMERS
THE DEFINITIVE GUIDE TO INCREASING SHOPPING CART
CONVERSIONS THROUGH CUSTOMER KNOWLEDGE
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The Evolution of the
Twenty-five years ago, consumers made purchase decisions by flipping through
catalogues and placing orders via “house phone,” or visiting physical store locations to
compare products and write personal checks.
The concept of “digital commerce” was hardly a
glint in consumers’ eyes.
Fast-forward to an age of social networks, portable
devices and big data, and even ecommerce as
we’ve come to know it over the past several years
continues to transform on a near daily basis.
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Repaving the Path to Purchase
When was the last time you made a large purchase without researching multiple options online?
How about using your smartphone to compare prices of other retailers nearby? Or reading
customer reviews and asking the opinion of your social network?
As consumer options, touchpoints and expectations grow, retail brands must start adopting the
strategies, tools and technologies that support the new customer journey.
We’re discussing 5 key areas of opportunity to help ecommerce brands optimize the shopping
experience to drive customer acquisition, conversion and retention in the modern consumer era:
1. Capturing Consumer Identity
2. Personalizing the Shopping Experience
3. Bridging Channels & Devices
4. Leveraging User-generated Content
5. Fostering Loyalty & Retention
Point of Entry vs. Transaction
The rise of ecommerce led to the widespread use of third-party, browser-based cookies. These cookies
are placed on a consumer’s device when she visits a site, and track her search history and behavior
across the web in hopes of gleaning insights to improve targeting and conversion.
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It’s not until the point of transaction that these sites capture any consumer information
directly, and since the large majority of consumers leave without purchasing, marketers are
usually left with only the hopes of leveraging cookie data to convert unknown
shoppers the next time they visit.
3 WAYS THE COOKIE CRUMBLES
1) 3 in 10 consumers delete their cookies each month (Comscore)
2) 39% of consumers change their browser settings to block cookies (MediaPost)
3) Over 20% of consumers ages 18-49 visit websites from 4 different devices each
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From Unknown Shoppers...
Think about it: if someone were to describe you based purely on your web browsing behavior,
what would you look like?
In between haphazardly clicking on banner ads of adorable kittens, searching for designer trends
to inform your savvy bargain hunting, and letting your father borrow your tablet, you could appear
to be a young animal lover, a wealthy fashionista or a seasoned businessman - none of which may
fit your actual consumer profile.
While 3rd party cookies may give your brand some high-level
insight into arbitrary event and page-level data, these insights are
useless without understanding who these consumers are and the
interests, relationships and experiences driving these behaviors.
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...To Known Customers
Making the transition from
3rd party to 1st party data,
or data shared directly with
your business by your
customers, gives your
brand the depth and
accuracy of information
needed to truly understand
Smart brands are beginning
to capture consumer identity
at site entry via user
registration and login versus
relying on cookies or waiting
until the point of transaction. 1st party login data enables
businesses to fuel more personal customer relationships by
creating highly relevant and timely messages across
touchpoints, resulting in increased conversion rates
and lifetime customer value.
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Reducing Barrier to
Entry & Checkout
According to a recent Gigya privacy survey, nearly
85% of consumers have abandoned a registration
process because they were uncomfortable with the
amount or type of information the site requested.
Social login is a great solution for authenticating
consumer identity at the point of site entry while still
providing users with a seamless user experience,
particularly across smaller mobile screens. Social
login gives consumers the option to register for and
login to your site or app with just two clicks by using
an existing social media account.
In addition to increasing registration conversion rates by as much as 90%, social login also grants brands
permission-based access to the rich insights housed within users’ social profiles, including location,
relationships, interests, favorite sports, top brands and so much more.
Gartner predicts that by 2016, 50% of retail consumer identities will be social, up from
just 5% in 2013.
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Social Login Best Practices:
Developing an effective social login strategy requires a lot more than placing a few social network buttons
on your homepage. Here are some best practices ecom brands can take into consideration when
implementing a social login strategy:
Prominently display social login across
site pages, and provide 3-5 network
options for consumers to choose from.
Ask for basic, necessary information at
registration, and request additional data
points as consumers engage with your
brand over time.
Offer login options from payment
providers like Google, Amazon and
PayPal to pre-populate checkout fields
and streamline the purchase process.
Evaluate and optimize these login options based on
factors like conversion rate and ATV on a regular basis.
Choose networks that collect and provide the specific
data points you want to collect. For example, LinkedIn
probably wouldn’t be a good option for most retail
brands, since consumers don’t share purchases on
this professional network.
Give users a reason to register for your site by
explaining the benefits of logging in up-front and how
their data will be used to give them a more
personalized user experience.
The Anatomy of a Successful Registration Experience
WHY YOUR BUSINESS NEEDS A SOCIAL LOGIN STRATEGY
33% of consumers in Gigya’s 2014 Privacy vs. Personalization survey say they always use
social login when given the option - that’s triple the number of respondents who chose this
option in our 2012 survey!
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Clearly displayed login options
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From Persona to Personal
An identity-based view of consumers enables your brand to break demographic stereotypes and
hypothetical personas to personalize user experiences based on consumers’ individual interests, actions
and behaviors. Consider the following statistics:
79% of consumers agree that their
relationships with brands are more personal
than ever before (MediaPost)
73% of consumers prefer to do business
with brands that use personal information to
make their shopping experiences more
relevant (Digital Trends)
45% of consumers are more likely to shop
on a site that offers personalized
recommendations (Get Elastic)
In-house marketers who personalize their
web experiences and are able to quantify the
improvement see an average 19% uplift in
Personalized emails improve CTR by 14%
and conversion rates by 10% (HubSpot)
Let’s take a look at how some of today’s leading ecommerce brands are applying consumer data to
create highly relevant and timely customer experiences.
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Amazon is a master at driving checkouts and basket size by providing customers with relevant
recommendations for new and additional items based on their purchase histories, viewed items, shopping
carts, wish lists and Facebook data.
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One strategy to drive customer retention and loyalty is to tailor discounts and special offers to consumer
preferences and behaviors. While some retailers show customers they care by sending surprise coupons
for recently viewed or favorited items, Birchbox helps combat shopping cart abandon by sending
discounts to customers who didn’t quite make it through checkout.
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When users login using their Facebook accounts, brands can request the ability to view their friend lists.
When a user logs in to Netflix using his Facebook account, Netflix shows him a list of his Facebook
connections’ favorite shows and movies, as well gives him the option to view individual friends’ recently
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Trunk Club makes style accessible and convenient by
offering personalized clothing showcases and delivery
to men. Customers are served a style questionnaire,
paired with a personal stylist and mailed a monthly
shipment of custom-selected clothing that fits their
unique preferences and body measurements.
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Consumers often share life events like
engagements, marriages and new
babies with their social networks. These
are great triggers for celebratory
messages and offers, like the “happy
birthday” email and discount Total Wine
& More sends its customers below.
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88% of US consumers claim
that they have been inundated
with “online ad spam,” and
9/10 say this has led them to
take actions ranging from
leaving a website to boycotting
a brand (Marketing Charts). This
means that harnessing
information around consumer
profiles and activities to inform
media buys and serve relevant
ads is becoming increasingly
important to maintaining
By prompting fans to login socially to its website, a major
sports and athletics organization was able to collect rich,
permission-based data around these users’ interests and
on-site behaviors. It soon discovered a correlation
between its most engaged customers and those within a
particular demographic profile who shared interest in a
certain TV show, sports team and mobile app.
The brand then used this information to build a look-alike
target segment and reach users with similar profiles via
Facebook promotions. This look-alike strategy resulted in
twice the conversion rate at half the price!
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Segmenting Your Audience
With personalization now at the forefront of
the user experience, audience segmentation
is ranked as the #3 most effective method for
improving conversion rates (Monetate).
The ability to tie consumer identity and social
profile data directly to purchase behaviors
and KPIs enables your business to segment
users in more meaningful and strategic ways
by asking questions like:
What are the unifying demographics of
your most loyal customers?
Are there any common interests between
visitors that continuously abandon cart?
Which devices are consumers using to
interact with your brand? To checkout?
Do consumers that share particular
content spend more time on site?
Segmentation allows you to automate marketing
campaigns while reaching consumers with
personalized messages at scale. Here are just a few
examples of consumer segments your business
should identify and serve tailored user experiences:
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The Current State of Cross-
Today’s customer journey is a winding
pathway of websites, social networks,
mailboxes (snail and electronic),
mobile apps and brick-and-mortar
According to Experian, 36% of US
organizations interact with
consumers in five or more
channels – and if they’re smart,
they’re connecting the
dots between these
interactions in strategic,
51% of shoppers research online
and visit store to purchase
44% research online and
purchase online, too.
17% visit store first, then
32% research online, visit store to
try, then purchase online.
Source: Ipsos Mediact
From Ecommerce to Mcommerce
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Modern consumers are going beyond
browsing sites or checking email via mobile -
a growing number of consumers are actually
completing the checkout process on
smartphones and tablets. In fact, 32% of all
online purchases are currently made over
mobile devices (BusinessInsider).
But despite this growth in mobile
commerce, retailers are still lagging behind.
The average mobile checkout process
requires over 24 steps, leaving mobile
conversion rates at a dismal 3% (Google).
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We’ve already mentioned that social login makes it easy for
consumers to verify their identities via smaller mobile
screens. Allowing consumers to login socially with payment
providers like Google Wallet and Amazon creates a
complete mobile experience by prepopulating payment
fields or reducing the checkout process to a simple tap.
Rue La La gives mobile shoppers the option to sign-in to its mobile app using their Google+
account. These users are then given the option to quickly and securely buy with Google Wallet,
which allows them to use funds from credit, debit and gift cards to make mobile purchases in
just 2 taps.
By giving mobile shoppers the option to login and pay with Google, Rue La La saw a mobile
traffic spike of nearly 50%, and a more than 50% increase in repeat purchases in the weeks
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Socializing the Shopping
Social networks have officially changed the way consumers interact with brands and other
consumers, making them an increasingly important forum for product discovery and decision
Need proof? 74% of consumers say that they
rely on their social networks to make
purchase decisions (Go-On), and there was
an astounding 357% increase in sales from
social traffic just from 2012-2013
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Creating Social Experiences
The reality is that brand visibility on social networks is shrinking, with brands’ updates being pushed
increasingly faster and further down followers’ social feeds. Case in point: recent changes by
Facebook to make room for paid placements have stunted organic brand page reach from 16% of
fans to about 3% (Ignite Social Media).
Marketers must start taking ownership of their customer data and relationships by facilitating social,
engaging user experiences on their own properties, where they can more effectively collect consumer
insights and drive desired behaviors via solutions like social login, share and comments.
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Bridging Digital & In-store
While retailers the world over are shifting increased budgets
and attention to responsive design and mobile commerce,
many are overlooking the evolution of one traditional yet highly
critical piece of the multi-channel puzzle: in-store.
With modern consumers connecting with friends, family and
brands via social networks, their real identities have become
seamlessly intertwined with their “virtual lives,” requiring
retailers to more effectively bridge the gap between
consumers’ digital and in-store user experiences.
67% of online shoppers admit to having recently made a purchase that involved multiple
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Urban Hilton Weiner is one example of a retailer that
successfully connected the dots between shoppers’
virtual and real-world experiences with its “Pay with a
The rules were simple: follow @UrbanSelfie on
Twitter, take a “selfie” with your desired item in store,
and tweet the photo to @UrbanSelfie using the
Participants could then show their selfies at the
register to receive $10 toward their purchase – and
the shopper with the most retweeted selfie received
an Urban Degree wardrobe worth $100!
Many Channels, One Experience
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Capturing consumer identity is only the first
step to creating cross-channel relevance and
unity. With consumers creating so much
data across such a wide variety of channels
and devices, building cohesive customer
journeys is impossible without a single view
of consumer identity.
4% of marketers cite not having a single
view of customers across channels as the
biggest roadblock in creating a successful
cross-channel experience (Atelier).
Ecommerce brands must develop a consumer
identity management strategy to help them manage
this cross-channel identity data in a meaningful and
real-time way. Selecting a single, master database
that can bidirectionally consolidate information
across data silos is the key to creating cohesive
customer journeys where each channel and
touchpoint informs the next.
A Single View of
Consider the following poor and unfortunately common user experiences, and how a single view of
consumer identity may improve these use cases:
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Experience A Experience B
A consumer browses her favorite shoe store on
her smartphone for upwards of 30 minutes until
she finally finds the perfect pair of shoes. She
returns to make a purchase via tablet, yet her
shoes are nowhere to be found, and she must
dig through pages of footwear to rediscover her
Sarah’s husband, Steve, borrows her work laptop
without asking to buy tickets to a local sporting
event. Sarah is followed across the web by ads for
sporting equipment and nearby games from various
retailers and vendors for weeks.
A consumer signs in to and browses her favorite
shoe store on her smartphone for upwards of 30
minutes until she finally finds the perfect pair of
shoes. She returns to make a purchase via tablet,
and her favorite shoes are waiting for her in her
“recently viewed” items when she logs in.
Sarah’s husband, Steve, borrows her work laptop
without asking to buy tickets to a local sporting
event. Sarah never finds out, but the next time Steve
logs into Facebook on his tablet, he sees sponsored
posts for other events in his area from the vendor.
The ability to tie user activity to a single social identity enables DSG to create a consistent and personalized
cross-channel customer experience that drove holiday referral traffic and shopping cart conversions.
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DICK’S Sporting Goods Drives Sales
with Cross-Channel Commerce
Using Social Login, DICK’S Sporting Goods created a highly relevant shopping experience by letting
consumers log into and manage their own personal “Gift Lockers” from any device.
Consumers can add their favorite items to their lockers by browsing online, taking mobile photos of items
in store, or scanning catalogue QR codes, as well as share these lockers directly with their social networks.
“Dick’s Sporting Goods saw an increase in online
sales during the holiday season by incorporating
Gigya’s Social Login and Share software into our
Gift Locker experience. Allowing users to sign-in
and share socially across devices has been
instrumental in driving customer acquisition and
- Jay Basnight, Director of Digital at Dick’s Sporting
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The Power of Word-of-Mouth
Social networks have given consumers proverbial
megaphones to broadcast their experiences in real-time,
and brand image and perception is increasingly shaped by
social opinion. In fact, 70% of Millennials consider it their
responsibility to share feedback with companies after both
positive and negative experiences (AdAge).
When consumers have the power to tweet about the nasty
cashier while she’s ringing them up, or that fantastic filet
mignon directly from the table, letting disgruntled customers
or brand advocates slip through the cracks can be the
difference between widespread success and fast failure.
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Let Your Customers Sell for You
Smart brands are learning how to leverage user-generated content (UGC) to build brand awareness,
influence brand perception, and foster authentic relationships with both potential and existing customers.
Giving consumers an open forum to post reviews and leave comments essentially enables your customers
to sell for you.
90% of consumers admit that their
purchase decisions are influenced
by consumer ratings and reviews
(Marketing Land), and customer
reviews are trusted 12x more than
descriptions that come from
manufacturers (Brick Marketing).
BONUS POINTS: Make ratings,
reviews and comments sharable to
social networks to maximize brand
exposure and awareness. Better yet,
prompt users to share at opportune,
influential moments, like when a
purchase is made.
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UGC for SEO
Let’s face it - SEO in today’s overcrowded, highly competitive landscape is hard. As enterprise giants land
grab as many keywords as possible, most brands wind up floating in the search abyss: page 2 of Google
Relevant, quality content has become a necessity for brands looking to improve their search ranking, and
UGC in the form of comments and reviews improves long-tail SEO by putting your product or service in
terms consumers are actually using. In fact, websites that feature ratings and reviews typically experience a
10-20% increase in CTR on search engine results pages (Inchoo).
Long-tail search phrases perform
better, with an overall organic CTR of
56% for phrases of four words,
compared to a 30% CTR for single-word
queries (The Next Web).
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Generating authentic customer feedback isn’t
just great for SEO. The ability to closely monitor
comments and reviews gives you insight into
consumer needs and opinions to help nurture
individual relationships and improve product
Letting consumers interact directly across web
properties also creates a tight-knit, transparent
community of new and loyal customers.
Millennials consider UGC 35% more
memorable, 50% more trustworthy and
20% more influential than any other
media type (Social Times).
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Nurturing Brand VIPs
In an industry driven by customer acquisition, brand advocacy tends to fall through the cracks.
However, a recent Adobe report revealed that while repeat shoppers in the United States represent
just 8% of all site visitors, they account for over 40% of total online sales (PracticalEcommerce).
Nurturing loyalty takes a lot more effort than hooking
new customers with promises of free shipping and first-time
discounts, but as consumers are confronted with
an onslaught of choices each day, brand-loyal, VIP
customers are like gold.
Not only do these consumers lead to increased revenue
and extended opportunities, but they are also
instrumental in creating highly valuable UGC that drives
product discovery and acquisition.
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Thinking Outside the
Statistics show that companies that offer rewards card programs see 46% higher customer spending
(LoyaltyLeaders). In addition to making consumers feel valued, these types of offers also stimulate feelings
of exclusivity and membership, which result in repeat purchases over time.
However, 25% of consumers say they have received rewards for products and services they would never
buy (ACI) - which can do more harm than good when it comes to establishing personal customer
relationships and brand advocacy.
Ultimately, brands looking to retain customers should think outside the coupon box. Constructing
customized loyalty programs that incorporate multi-step processes and stretch across various channels
creates an immersive customer experience that builds lifetime value and long-term relationships.
4 Hour Fitness Drives Over $600K
in LTV Revenue in One Month
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Using Gigya’s social sharing software, 24 Hour Fitness was
able to optimized its member referral process by allowing
existing customers to share unique guest passes with their
friends via email or a variety of social networks.
As customers refer their friends, 24 Hour Fitness uses
Gigya’s influencer reporting to rank its top advocates. The
fitness club then rewards these influencers with
customized rewards packages, promoting brand loyalty and
Thanks to its new online social sharing referral program, 24
Hour Fitness was able to foster member loyalty while
increasing new club sign-ups, resulting in over 8,400 new
direct referrals and lifetime value revenue of more than
$600,000 in just one month.
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Winning Loyalty with
Gamification, or the process of applying game elements to non-game applications, helps grow a loyal
customer base by rewarding consumers for taking valuable, desired actions.
However, while gamification continues to grow in popularity, with game mechanics expected to generate
$1.6 billion in revenues by 2015 (Fast Company), Gartner predicted that 80% of gamified applications would
fail to meet business objectives due to poor design.
That’s because there’s a lot more to gamification than badges and leaderboards - it requires a detailed
analysis of the behaviors driving KPIs for your business, as well as offering real, valuable incentives for
taking these actions.
For example, if a brand were to discover that social
shares were integral to generating referral traffic and
new customers, it could reward top sharers with points
redeemable toward real in-store merchandise.
New Belgium Grows Repeat Logins
by 5X with Gamification
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With the release of its seasonal Accumulation
White IPA beer, New Belgium teamed up with
Gigya to launch a gamified user experience that
rewards participants for taking desired actions
Gamified actions include viewing new beer pages
on Newbelgium.com and participating in posted
challenges. Gigya’s Social Login enables participants to take additional game actions like sharing their
favorite beers and New Belgium blog content to their social networks, as well as using the Beer mode
This immersive, cross-channel, gamified experience helped drive repeat engagement and customer
retention by increasing average daily logins by 5x!
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Automated Follow-up Emails
Fostering brand loyalty lies not just in rewarding consumers for desired behaviors, but in remembering
them when you haven’t seen them in a while. Consumer relationships are two-sided, and sometimes you
have to give a little more than you take to show your customers you care.
The ability to tie consumer identities and
activities directly to purchase behaviors
enables you to automatically schedule
and trigger emails after a certain period
of inactivity has passed. With insight into
consumers’ interests and preferences,
you can personalize these emails to let
your customers know just how much you
value their business and loyalty.
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Ready, Set, Sell
We’ve covered how your brand can
better manage customer
relationships from first touch through
We don’t doubt that ecommerce will
continue to evolve on a near daily
basis. But a clear view of consumer
identity, interests and actions across
channels will make your business
prepared to drive acquisition,
conversion and retention no matter
what the future brings