How to Harness Zero-Party Data with KnoCommerce’s Jeremiah Prummer
Whether or not you’re deeply invested in the intricacies of data collection, understanding consumer habits, behavior, and data are crucial to growing a DTC brand.
Used by Olipop, Aura Bora, and Vita Coco, the platform itself includes embeddable surveys, integrations, and response-driven actions, so merchants can address customer attribution challenges and understand the customer journey.
In recent news, WeCommerce acquired KnoCommerce, further propelling the ecommerce insights and survey platform’s mission. To learn more about how brands aggregate data, we spoke with Jeremiah, cofounder and CEO at KnoCommerce.
In our conversation, we cover:
- How to connect with your end customers
- Best practices for data collection
- How to make data actionable
Planting the Seed: Customer Discovery
Jeremiah’s work has almost always been rooted in ecommerce.
In 2012, he started building WooCommerce extensions, an open-source commerce plugin for WordPress, that allows businesses to tailor their platform to customers. When Jeremiah sold his share of the company to his business partner, 200,000 merchants were using his technology.
Afterward, he went on to start a DTC sunglasses brand. It was only once he started his own brand that he noticed a barrier many merchants face in the DTC space: How do brands find their true customers? How do brands understand where their customers are coming from?
Jeremiah was inspired to build technology to answer those two questions, and that’s when, in 2020, he cofounded KnoCommerce.
“Asking where your customers find you is an important question. It’s become more and more important over the last few years, especially with iOS 14.5 and all the changes around tracking.”
The State of Data Tracking and Ad Targeting
In April 2021, Apple released iOS 14.5, and everything changed for DTC brands.
Previously, any website with an installed Facebook script could track ad conversions, meaning brands could create target audiences to continue engagement and send targeted messaging.
Now, users can opt out of tracking for ad targeting.
With the new updates, brands know whether or not a consumer views a Facebook ad, but they don’t know if a purchase has been made based on that exact ad.
The ad tracking landscape and the intricacies associated with it are constantly shifting, presenting new obstacles for brands. It’s not easy to build a strong customer base while staying up to date with new data regulations and parameters.
Overall, ecommerce brands are increasingly struggling to capture user data.
There’s no such thing as a perfect solution. For now, Jeremiah says the most accurate insights come from a blend of quantitative data and qualitative, contextual feedback.
“There’s a huge gap between the moment a consumer leaves a marketing channel and when they head to the merchant’s site.”
How to Design Simple, Sophisticated Surveys
KnoCommerce’s platform specializes in sophisticated, tactical surveys and powerful reporting, giving brands unprecedented insight into customer engagement and attribution.
When brands run surveys with KnoCommerce, they’re typically gathering two types of data:
- Attribution data: a survey to capture where a consumer initially heard about a brand.
- Insights and action: a survey that asks for a rating to capture the customer’s experience.
With KnoCommerce, brands can leverage data to drive additional, tailored questions and turn insights into action.
For example, if a customer indicates that they had a poor customer experience, the brand could ask, “What could’ve we done better?” Then, that data can be pushed from KnoCommerce to Klaviyo for a triggered, automated email flow.
Once brands ask the initial and more straightforward questions, Jeremiah recommends diving into additional questions that speak to the multi-faceted layers of the customer journey—helping provide more context around customer discovery and the motivation behind a customer purchase.
Unlike some tools, surveys offer the unique opportunity to dive into personalization.
For instance, following checkout, a pet brand might ask a customer for the name of their pet and his or her birthday. Then, that data can be pushed straight to Klaviyo for an email flow built around personalized pet birthday messages (and possibly discounts).
That’s one example of how a survey can make the customer experience feel a little more personal and elegant—at least on the user experience side.
“The problem with surveys on a confirmation screen is that you’re looking at one, singular data point. That’s not the full customer journey.”
Reducing Friction and Boosting Trust
Even for the brands that create world-class surveys, it’s difficult to encourage participation from customers. On an order confirmation screen (aka a high-intent point in the customer journey), the average response rate is about 50%.
While that’s a high percentage, that’s only 50% of the customer story.
To help brands capture as many data points as possible, Jeremiah shared three tips for optimizing customer engagement and attribution:
- Use a conversational and friendly tone.
- Don’t lead with personal questions, instead focus on warming people up.
- Make surveys optional and as seamless as possible by making responses optional.
“Don't force a customer to complete a survey, especially on an order confirmation screen. Make the survey feel native and organic to the customer experience, almost as if it’s part of the purchase journey.”
Placing a Bet on New Channels
As the consumer engagement landscape constantly changes so are the platforms that brands use to capture that data. KnoCommerce’s data collection approach includes new, emerging channels, such as TikTok and audio advertising.
Breaking into these platforms may feel like a gamble at first—at least for some brands. There’s often the internal debate about whether or not it’s worth the financial and time investment, especially as it relates to the reporting capabilities.
Plus, TikTok’s ad platform is not as robust as that of Facebook. There’s no reliable attribution reporting in place. Brands are mostly relying on post-purchase surveys to understand the effectiveness of their efforts.
KnoCommerce finds that survey attribution is likely four to eight times higher than what’s shown on TikTok’s platform. For this reason, surveys are extremely valuable, as it helps brands understand what’s going on underneath the hood.
To create the most comprehensive customer analysis possible, in addition to survey data, KnoCommerce reviews revenue over a particular time frame.
Then, they review historical responses to that survey question. Instead of pulling responses from a timeframe, they pull responses at the customer level. By doing so, they can model out data for the customers who didn’t respond to the survey.
That’s been helpful for brands trying to scale TikTok, especially because most of them are working with smaller numbers.
“I have not heard a single person say that TikTok is over-reporting on attribution. As brands scale TikTok, data analysis and understanding where customers are coming from are even more critical.”
Peering into the Future of Actionable Data
There’s immense value to data collection, but it means little if the data isn’t actionable.
For this reason, Jeremiah hopes to provide specific recommendations and insights to brands down the line. It’s on KnoCommerce’s roadmap. He adds, “Down the line, if a brand has a considerable amount of traction from word of mouth marketing, KnoCommerce could provide a recommendation around packaging. A better unboxing experience means customers can have access to materials to share on social.”
Ultimately, Kno hopes to help brands find new opportunities to expand their reach and connect with new audiences.
“We’re building a future where data seamlessly fits into the bigger picture. Although survey data is only one piece of the funnel, it impacts every aspect of the business.”
- What to pledge
- How to improve
- Which tools will set you up for success
I think the most important thing brands can do in 2023 is to better manage their customer data—both ethically and effectively. There’s an opportunity for brands to know their customers better than ever before—a clear benefit for both the customer and the brand. When you manage your data correctly, you’ll create stronger and more personalized ads, creative, site experiences, and so much more.
This is a classic: Let the data guide you. Go where the buyers for your products are and communicate with them on a personal level (i.e. by persona and funnel position) and nurture those relationships (past, present, and future customers). It’s possible—all through data.
We recommend that Shopify brands analyze and update their websites using data-driven decisions. Using analytics tools such as heatmaps and scrollmaps can help brands better understand how customers are interacting with their store.
Store owners tend to make assumptions about the way customers interact with their website. Most never go back and analyze their design choices to find pain points or areas of opportunity. By using heatmaps and scrollmaps, they can see where real customers are clicking and concentrating their attention. Leveraging this data, brands can start to iterate on design and make their online store experience streamlined and intuitive.
Hotjar provides a simple way to implement heatmaps, scrollmaps, and recorded user sessions on your site, helping you acquire incredibly informative user data. Additionally, it gives you the ability to create on-site surveys, which allows you to obtain direct and often critical feedback from users about their experience.
Test various attribution models and analyze the impact on your business. At Fifty Six, we are always here to help our clients identify and optimize their approach—a critical step in any successful marketing strategy.
If I’ve said it once, I’ve said it a million times–Customer Lifetime Value. And even more importantly, Future Lifetime Value (FLTV). With the ever-growing importance of first-party data, it is crucial that brands take a good look at their CRM and FLTV metrics.
Stop allocating budgets to low-hanging fruit that doesn’t move the needle on conversion. Think about what’s really going to improve your CX and the return of undertaking different initiatives—not just on what’s top on your list of bugbears on the site!
One of the best ways to understand your customer behavior is by using HotJar. Their heat-mapping and screen recording tools shine a light on where customers are navigating to and from on your site, where they're rage clicking and experiencing frustration, and where conversion is dropping off within real life customer journeys and flows!
Understanding your customers’ pain points via data and analytics , will allow you to work with your CRO/CX Agency to solve customer frustrations and improve conversion.
Rewind backs up all product, customer, and order data for Shopify sites—essential since Shopify itself doesn’t provide this solution. It's saved so many of our clients time and money from administrative accidents.
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33% of customer service inquiries are pre-sale questions. What does this mean? If you’re not investing in customer service, you’re missing out on revenue-generating opportunities.
The benefits of elevating your customer experience:
- 10% to 25% increase in AOV for customers who engage with live chat pre-purchase
- 21x higher conversion rate for customers who reach out via Live Chat or SMS compared to other site visitors
- 87% of customers who have a great customer experience will make another purchase
- 72% of customers share positive experiences with 6 or more individuals
Gorgias is our favorite Helpdesk platform. They can reduce costs by 35%, primarily by decreasing the average ticket handle time. Their machine learning algorithms are trained on millions of ecommerce-related interactions across Gorgias’ customer base and provide accurate, automated replies for the most common ecommerce inquiries. This helps our agents resolve tickets faster, which provides the customer a seamless experience.
Trust your agency! Agencies do the same things across multiple brands and niches, so we see the trends and have the practice and experience!
Don't be afraid of data and insights. If customers aren't clicking on your emails, try a new CTA. If your ads are driving good metrics at a small spend, start scaling. If your customers are complaining about a product, look into QA! If the data tells you something isn't working, let it go and try something else!
I'm supposed to say Tydo, right? 😉
Double down on differentiation. There will be a lot of headwinds this year and standing out from the crowd will set you apart.
A picture is worth 1,000 words. A video? Probably millions. In ecommerce that value translates into engagement, acquisition, and retention—everything you need to impact your bottom line.
At soona, we've seen the we've seen the impact of creative and the continuous split testing of it yield results. Our resolution is to challenge ourselves and double down on innovation and creative optionality so that each brand we work with can distinguish themselves in a crowded sea of D2C ecomm. We'd love to see our brands share this resolution and keep pushing the creative limits.
Klaviyo. We're using it to power our email and newsletter at soona too!
Optimize your returns strategy! This can lead to valuable customer insights, enhanced user experiences, and increased revenue and customer loyalty.
Brands need to dive deeper into understanding their customers to set themselves up for success. Conduct research to gain insights into customer needs, preferences, and behaviors. By doing so, you can develop targeted strategies that will enhance customer experience and boost overall retention.
Right now I would say Gorgias. Having a good customer service tool is crucial to building strong customer relationships.
Start paying heavy attention to data, specifically around retention. We see a lot of effort put towards acquisition with the assumption that once someone buys, they are your customer forever. Instead, get to know your customer, understand their needs, and analyze their behaviors once they are on-site and judge their sentiment after they have visited. Work with a retention focused and data-driven agency to implement tools that contribute to repeat business and customer delight. It will pay dividends.
When surveyed, about 80% of ecommerce merchants think that they are delivering a great experience to their customers. However, when the same customers are surveyed, only 8% of those customers think that they are getting a great experience from the merchant. Now, more than ever, retaining loyal customers is an essential part of any online business and you should spend time with your customers to judge their experience with your website and products and offer improvements based on that feedback.
Tydo's report cards are an essential tool, along with Klaviyo for email and SMS, Recharge for subscriptions and memberships, Okendo for reviews and surveys, Rebuy for AI driven collections and upsells, Loop for self service returns... each tool is great on their own, but their strength as the ultimate tool comes from when they are used together!
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