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.”
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