Solving eCommerce’s Fifth Funnel Friction: Identifying Unknown Shoppers – Part 3
Written by
Rajesh Jain
Rajesh Jain

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Solving eCommerce’s Fifth Funnel Friction: Identifying Unknown Shoppers – Part 3

Published : November 9, 2023

In the second part of this series, I talked about the Identity Gap and how it hampers a brand’s marketing efficiency and impacts profitability. In this part, I will discuss possible solutions to the Identity Gap frictions for each Ecommerce shoppers type, and a challenge for Ecommerce mastery.

Solutions to the Identity Gap frictions

I asked ChatGPT for possible solutions to the Identity Gap frictions for each shopper type. Here are its recommendations.


Identifying anonymous online shoppers

  • Incentivized registration: Encourage visitors to register by offering incentives such as discounts, special offers, and access to exclusive content.
  • Progressive profiling: Don’t ask for all of the information at once. Instead, gather visitor data over multiple browsing sessions, making data sharing more acceptable for visitors.
  • Behavioral tracking and analytics: Cookies, machine learning, and AI can analyze browsing behavior, click patterns, and other non-PII data. This would help build visitor profiles over time.

Identifying anonymous in-store shoppers

  • Loyalty programs: A loyalty program could encourage shoppers to sign up to earn points, discounts, and other rewards, helping identify the customer.
  • In-store Wi-Fi: Offer customers free, in-store Wi-Fi that requires a quick registration process. This enables the collection of some customer data while providing a value-added service.
  • Digital receipts: Offer email receipts to customers instead of giving them paper receipts. This allows you to collect email addresses and connect in-store purchases with online profiles.

Identifying shoppers on marketplaces

  • Branded packaging and inserts: Include promotional material such as discount codes or an invitation to join a loyalty program when packaging products. This could incentivize marketplace shoppers to shop directly from your website.
  • Product registration: Encourage customers to register the product on your website for warranty purposes and to receive product updates. Once they register, you can identify them.
  • Post-purchase follow-up: Detailed customer data may not be available from marketplaces. However, basic information such as name and address is. You can use this information for personalized direct mail marketing, inviting customers to shop directly.

Identifying shoppers that use apps

  • In-app incentives: You can encourage app users to register by providing in-app incentives such as unlocked features, premium content, and in-app currency.
  • Push notifications: Push notifications can invite users to sign in or register when they engage with specific features.
  • Social media integration: You can enable registration through social media accounts. Not only is this convenient for users, but it also allows you access to some of their information.

Identifying shoppers on social media platforms

  • Click-through landing pages: When promoting products or services on social media, use landing pages that require some form of registration (email). This allows you to access more information.
  • Social logins: Social logins allow users to sign up or log in using their social media credentials. This gives you access to their social media data while making the shopping experience easy for users.
  • Interactive content: Quizzes, polls, and contests require user identification to participate. Not only does this increase engagement, it also allows you to collect user data.

Additional Inputs

Here are some additional inputs from ChatGPT, which I did not cover in the section above.

  • Guest checkout conversion: While guest checkout options are essential to ensure a smooth shopping experience, you can use post-purchase prompts to encourage guest shoppers to create an account. These prompts include an offer to track their order, save their details for faster checkout, or special offers.
  • Data enrichment: Brands can partner with third-party data providers and enrich their customer profiles to understand them better. While this doesn’t directly identify anonymous shoppers, it significantly improves targeted marketing efforts, increasing the likelihood of customers identifying themselves.
  • Cooperative databases: Some businesses share anonymized customer data with other non-competitive businesses through cooperative databases. These databases provide valuable insights and identify customers who shop across different platforms.
  • Cookie tracking and analytics: Cookies and other analytic tools can help track user activity on your website. While this doesn’t directly identify individuals, it provides valuable information about user behavior and preferences. These can then be used to infer identities.
  • Contests and giveaways: You can run contests and giveaways on your website, which require users to register or provide their contact information to participate.

(In case you have not read the previous parts of this series, you can start from Part 1)

Continued in Part 4

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