What Is Zero-Party Data?

Collecting customer insights and powering up your marketing with trust, transparency and autonomy.

Mark Baek avatar
Written by Mark Baek
Updated over a week ago

As digital privacy grows more important, so does the need for businesses to collect data and marketing consent in ways that customers trust.

The answer to this problem lies in tools like Conversational Pop-ups and product recommendation quizzes that let you collect zero-party data, information that customers share intentionally and proactively with your brand, bringing personalization and privacy to your customers' experience in equal parts.

Defining customer data

When it comes to ecommerce, customer data is information you collect from people who interact with your business, such as by visiting your website or clicking on your advertisements. This can include, but is not limited to data like:

  • Emails

  • Phone numbers

  • First & last names

  • Product preferences

  • Behavior on your website

  • ...and much more

Just like there are many different types of customer data, there are many different ways of capturing that data as well. This is where classifications like zero-party data come in.

What is zero-party data?

Zero-party data is data that customers share intentionally and knowingly with your brand. This is different from first-party data which is data you collect based on customer behavior on your website through tools like cookies and Google Analytics, and third-party data which is data gathered through third parties that don't have a direct relationship with the customer that data was collected from, commonly used in online advertising.

The Facebook Pixel can be an example of both first-party and third-party data.

As consumer privacy becomes a bigger and more important topic, so do the tools that people have to protect themselves against having their data collected without their consent.

While this means first-party and third-party data become less potent, zero-party data grows in importance because it's data you collect from customers with full transparency and consent.

When someone takes a product recommendation quiz and gives you their email for example, this is information you have full control over:

Not only does zero-party data lack much of the negative connotations around first-party and third-party data, you're often able to collect unique kinds of data like what which of your products someone is interested in to personalize with.

Collecting zero-party data

When collecting zero-party data, we recommend making sure these details are clear:

  • Data collection is consent-based.

  • What the data is going to be used for.

If you have a product recommendation quiz for example, you can make it clear that the quiz is going to make recommendations based on data on preferences that the customer submits. If you collect an email address or phone number, it should be clear that you're doing so with the intent to send promotional material later.

Content you create in Octane AI gives you full control over how you present your zero-party data collection and make sure your messaging is on-brand. Here are some ways you can quickly get started with collecting zero-party data:

Conversational Pop-ups

Conversational Pop-ups are great ways to collect email, SMS or Facebook Messenger opt-ins while learning more about a customer's preferences and boosting revenue with recommendations - right in the pop-up itself.

You can create a great looking, on-brand Conversational Pop-up in less than an hour which makes it a great first step towards implementing zero-party data collection in Octane AI.

Product Recommendation Quiz

An online store isn't able to have the same in-person experience as a retail store, where you could walk up to a customer and have a conversation about what they're looking for and their preferences before making a recommendation personally tailored to that customer's needs.

A product recommendation quiz is the answer to this problem, offering a similar experience on your website by automatically asking questions and recommending products based on a customer's answers.

Creating the perfect quiz might take some time, so making a Conversational Pop-up first can be a great way to familiarize yourself with Octane AI's code-free Shop Quiz editor.

We've also created a step-by-step guide to creating a basic product recommendation quiz in just a 6 minute video:

Collecting zero-party data is only one step of the equation. Once you have the data, Octane AI also provides the tools and integrations to use that data across your platforms and apps.

The content in this guide is intended to be educational and should not be construed as legal advice. We encourage all of our users & merchants to seek legal advice in order to verify that their data collection is legally compliant.

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