Unlocking e-commerce opportunities: Leveraging consumer data to improve personalized shopping

Let’s get personal for a moment—for personalized shopping, we mean. Consumer-permissioned data (CPD) is the tool that gives consumers control over how and when they share their personal information with businesses.  Already making significant headway in the lending, banking, background screening, insurance industries, and beyond—CPD now holds immense potential to enhance the way the e-commerce industry can connect and sell to their customers for personalized shopping experiences.

With the ever-growing popularity of online shopping, the e-commerce industry has witnessed exponential growth in recent years. Consumers have embraced the convenience and accessibility offered by online retailers, leading to a competitive landscape where businesses strive to stand out and meet the unique needs and preferences of their customers. Personalization has emerged as a key driver for success in e-commerce, as it allows companies to forge deeper connections with their target audience and deliver tailored experiences—monitoring what’s in their shopping cart, wish lists, or even past purchases to better customize recommendations, get the right ads in front of the right buyers, and more. 

Whether tracking consumers by using cookies, e-commerce tracking platforms, or other means, technology has allowed the e-commerce industry (and the online world as a whole) to continue to market to the right customers at the right times, make more informed business decisions, and drive sales.  And consumer-permissioned data is the right next step to take personalization to the next level. 

Consumer-permissioned data puts individuals in control of their data, ensuring they have the control over who their data is shared with and when. With CPD, users provide secure access to existing data stored in online databases or grant consent to provide direct access to their online accounts through platforms like MeasureOne.  These platforms make it easy to start using this permissioned data: 

  1. A business requests consumer data: The business asks the consumer to share specific personal data (any data found on the consumer’s online account or portal)
  2. The consumer gives permission and access to their data: The consumer securely shares their login credentials for their online account with the CPD platform.
  3. The CPD platform accesses the data: Once connected to the consumer account, the CPD platform uses specifically created APIs to pull the permissioned data.
  4. The CPD platform provides the consented data to the requesting business: Only the necessary information is extracted and shared.

With identity, employment history, income, insurance, and any type of consumer data found in an online account, the possibilities of consumer-permissioned data are as powerful as they are limitless—including for e-commerce.


Using CPD in the context of e-commerce

When consumers willingly provide data, such as their preferences, browsing behavior, or purchase history, businesses can leverage this information to create highly personalized shopping experiences. Shopify’s speedy checkout service Shop Pay and “buy-now-pay-later” company Klarna have already begun using consumer-permissioned data to connect with consumer’s online shopping accounts to track shipments, provide product recommendations, share coupons, and create a personalized shopping experience through their own platforms.   

And it can reach even farther. Connecting to consumers’ permissioned shopping accounts, visual search engines, social media, or even digital wallet accounts allows businesses to holistically understand the consumer and their interests, their shopping habits, and financial history—where, how much, and how often they spend in the e-commerce space.

By understanding consumer behavior at this level of detail, e-commerce businesses can tailor product recommendations, pricing, and marketing strategies accordingly, enhancing customer satisfaction, driving repeat purchases, and fostering brand loyalty. Consumer-permissioned data enables e-commerce platforms to optimize various aspects of the shopping journey. From personalized product suggestions to targeted promotions, seamless checkout experiences, and loyal customer or student rewards programs, the possibilities are endless. By harnessing this data, businesses can create a shopping environment that feels tailored specifically to each customer, enhancing engagement and overall satisfaction.


Connecting shopping history for personalized deals

In the quest to provide highly personalized experiences, analyzing shopping history plays a crucial role. Understanding a customer's past purchases, preferences, and browsing behavior allows businesses to tailor their offerings and provide customized deals to align with individual interests. Consumer-permissioned data plays a vital role in enabling the connection of shopping history, unlocking a world of benefits for both consumers and retailers.


Benefits for consumers: customized discounts and offers based on past purchases

For consumers, the ability to receive customized discounts and offers based on their past purchases is a game-changer. By analyzing shopping history, businesses can identify patterns and preferences, allowing them to present tailored promotions that are relevant and appealing. Imagine receiving exclusive discounts on your favorite products or receiving personalized recommendations for complementary items based on your previous purchases. These personalized deals not only make the shopping experience more enjoyable but also provide added value to customers, making them feel recognized and appreciated by the retailer.

Using CPD ensures that consumers have control over what information is used to personalize their experience. By explicitly granting consent, individuals can share specific data, such as their purchase history, with businesses they trust. This transparent and consent-driven approach ensures that customers feel empowered and confident that their data is being utilized in a responsible and beneficial manner.


Benefits for retailers: increased customer loyalty and engagement

From a retailer's perspective, leveraging shopping history through consumer-permissioned data offers a host of advantages. By analyzing past purchases, businesses gain valuable insights into customer preferences, allowing them to create targeted marketing campaigns and tailor their offerings accordingly. This level of personalization enhances customer engagement and increases the likelihood of repeat purchases, ultimately fostering customer loyalty.

When retailers provide customized deals based on shopping history, they demonstrate their commitment to understanding their customers' needs and desires. This personalized approach creates a stronger emotional connection with customers, leading to higher levels of satisfaction and brand loyalty. Customers are more likely to choose a retailer that recognizes their individual preferences and rewards their loyalty with personalized offers, reinforcing the retailer's position as their preferred choice.

The power of consumer-permissioned data in driving personalized deals is evident, revolutionizing the way businesses interact with their customers in the e-commerce landscape.


How retailers can enhance personalized recommendations using CPD

By leveraging consumer-permissioned data (CPD), companies can take personalization to new heights, delivering accurate and relevant recommendations that resonate with individual customers. And they should lean on the vastness of online consumer accounts to their advantage including:

  • Digital wallets & payment accounts: 49% of Americans use a digital wallet or payment account to pay for online and in-person purchases. By connecting with these accounts, e-commerce businesses can gather information on consumers’ past purchases and use that data to understand what products are most popular, customer behavior, and times when sales fluctuate to build personalized marketing campaigns and drive more sales.
  • Shopping accounts: Most online retailers allow for consumers to create a user profile to keep track of purchases, favorite items, tracking, and more. For companies with sister brands or who want to open up their retail partner network, connecting to consumers’ shopping accounts allows those businesses to access consumer purchase history in order to build rewards programs or provide early access to sales for loyal customers (like The Key from Williams Sonoma and its seven brands), which encourages brand loyalty and customer retention. Marketing these programs in return for customers connecting their online accounts is an easy win. 
  • Visual discovery engines: Style and inspiration sites like Pinterest or We Heart It enable consumers to save and organize their wants, needs, and wishlists from different sites or content platforms and even make direct purchases. E-commerce businesses can use saved images to market their own similar products to their customers, allowing for an extremely personalized shopping experience. Companies can also track their own products and pages on Pinterest and similar sites to provide personal coupons for products the consumer may have saved on their profile.  By granting permission to access their Pinterest accounts, customers will be able to make their wish lists a reality. 
  • Student online accounts: This year alone, Gen Z college students spent over $300 billion online shopping. While marketing toward college students isn’t anything new, being able to offer special student discounts at peak times during the year (think #backtoschool #homecoming and #more) is more important than ever to take advantage of this audience’s buying power. E-commerce businesses can do this by offering to connect quickly and easily to a student’s online school portal to get those exclusive discounts. Not only can businesses increase sales using this discount lure, but they can also use student data (school name, graduation date, and more) to market specific products or provide other deals to personalize a student’s shopping journey.
  • Social media accounts: Consumers use social media to follow brands and celebrities, post their own content, and save and organize posts from accounts that they may or may not follow. Like for virtual search engine platforms, e-commerce companies can use social media accounts to tailor their marketing campaigns to show consumers versions of clothing, home goods, or whatever products they see on their social media feeds. 

The research shows consumers are willing to connect to these types of accounts for personalized service. The ability to access and leverage consumer data  plays a crucial role in the success of e-commerce platforms. Once consumers have connected their accounts in one place, they benefit from personalized product discovery, product recommendations, and a highly tailored shopping experiences that keep them loyal. Enhanced personalization can significantly impact a consumer’s satisfaction, engagement, retention, and overall shopping journey for the better. 


Lean on the industry-leading consumer-permissioned data platform: MeasureOne

Our consumers are savvier than ever before—and, while they understand the value of their personal data, they’re more than ready to personalize their shopping experiences by sharing that data in the right way.  A consumer-permissioned data platform presents a compelling alternative to traditional cookie usage for tracking, as it inherently prioritizes data privacy and control. By leveraging a CPD platform like MeasureOne, companies can enhance recommendations, products, and services for their customers. 

Interested in learning more about the potential of CPD for e-commerce? MeasureOne is already the leading platform to connect businesses to student education data and is ready to take on more. We’d love to work with you.