Dimensionless Data Versus The Multi-Dimensional Shopper: How To Move From Cookies To Connecting

It’s a well-known complaint. A friend who buys a gift for a shower ends up receiving ad after ad for baby stuff. A Google search for installing a hook results in a flood of ads for home renovation.  A guy who gets yoga pants for his girlfriend starts seeing lots of online ads for yoga pants.

It’s become a fact of online life that you’re going to be served ads that have very little—and often nothing—to do with what you actually want and need.

And yet, retailers are doing the best they can with the limited tools that they have at their disposal. Tools that, despite the exponential growth in online shopping over the past 10 years, haven’t changed much, if at all.

Consider cookies, the internet’s main source of consumer data. “Every click that someone makes, the cookies are tracking the attributes to a product,” notes Katy Aucoin, our founder and CEO, “not the actual person buying them and what’s driving them to click.” That’s how someone with no plans to have kids ends up being the target of ads for baby monitors.

And, with the news in January 2020 that Google will phase out third-party cookies—pieces of code, according to Modern Retail, “commonly used for ad retargeting and behavioral advertising” by 2022—even the flawed tool currently in use will no longer be an option. The move away from third-party cookies comes as a result of growing privacy concerns, as users can be tracked and data collected across various web addresses.

Aucoin calls the product-driven data collected from cookies “dimensionless data.” It transmits extremely limited information that doesn’t begin to cover touchpoints that are relevant to the customer. But real-life people live in the present and purchase for what’s happening in their future. 

Our mission at Dearduck is to solve this problem. “Cookies are 1-dimensional—the way Dearduck interacts with users is multi-dimensional. We look at a person and the drivers behind that click to actually understand them,” Aucoin says. Then, Dearduck gives retailers the tools to move beyond clicks from the past and deliver the experiences that their customers want in the present.

The first-party data (akin to birthday info that a retailer might collect) that we transparently gather has long been considered a key advantage in connecting with customers. And with 3rd-party cookies on their way out, it will become more essential than ever before. As a MarTech Today story notes, there’s a “growing importance of first-party, opted-in relationships between customers and brands.”

But the first-party data that consumers provide to Dearduck goes far beyond the typical birthday date and age to form a full 360-degree view of shoppers. From preferences to events to relationships to holidays,  we re-orient digital discovery around each individual customer and their many dimensions, all while ensuring their privacy. The result is that we can detect future purchasing events that are highly unique to each customer. Then, we curate collections and conversations around each of those purchasing events. So instead of a single gal getting baby ads, she receives curated outfits for her upcoming girl’s trip, leading to higher conversion rates and happy, loyal customers who make more purchases throughout the year.

Want to learn more? We’d love to chat!