Knocking on Digital Neighborhood Doors for the HolidaysNovember 30, 2011 By Rob Friedman
While the holiday shopping season has officially begun, it’s not too late to make some cost-effective, easy-to-deploy adjustments to your e-commerce site. All you have to do is target consumers where it often matters most — closer to home in their own digital neighborhoods.
Online marketing is dominated by cookie-based tracking. Cookies identify interests based on a consumer's prior site visits or from an inferred visit based on a similar product site. The biggest issue for retailers is that cookie-based tracking only provides an estimated 35 percent user coverage nationwide. With more than half the available online users eliminated, there's a significant likelihood that content will be overserved to the same cookied users. This means response rates will be lower than they would be if the entire qualified online audience was available.
No Cookies for Santa This Year
This year, however, retailers can access new privacy-sensitive online marketing tools to target consumers within their digital neighborhoods. For example, there are cost-effective solutions that combine IP-to-ZIP code geo-location technology with demographic data that respect users’ privacy and don't rely on cookie-based targeting. In many instances, these technologies can be deployed in days, giving retailers ample time to add another tool to enhance the online shopping experience this holiday season.
Ask yourself the following questions when evaluating an IP address zone solution:
- Does it incorporate the use of reliable and accurate IP-to-ZIP code geo-location technology?
- Does it automatically score and categorize online traffic into user types and demographic segments?
- Does it secure full qualified audience coverage beyond the estimated 35 percent targeted by cookies?
- Does it use extensive data? Some solutions can tap upward of 400,000 unique home audience zones with more than 50 million demographic combinations.
- Does it maintain the highest standards of online privacy — i.e., is there application or usage of cookies or pixel tracking?
- Does it prohibit the communication of or access to personally identifiable information?
- Is the demographic data supplied through publicly available information from directories, voter rolls, home ownership, modeled retail transactions and government reporting?
With Wider Reach, Retailers Go From Naughty to Nice
With the ability to classify anonymous web visitors in real time, retailers can automatically provide personalized content and targeted promotions specific to digital neighborhoods nationwide based on user type and demographic profiles.