3 Best Practices for Accessing Customer Identity

Want to know a surefire way to deplete your business’s resources and time? Invest in poor data. It doesn’t take a data expert to recognize that inaccurate user information only damages your business’s effectiveness and revenue streams. According to IBM, poor data can cost businesses 20-30% of their operating revenue. We’ve written in the past about how third-party data strategies are crumbling in the face of more informative, accurate first-party data insights, but learning how to actually capture, manage, and leverage this “good data” is another story in and of itself. This blog post goes over three best practices for gaining access to permission-based consumer data, with real world use cases to demonstrate each point.

Best Practice #1: Give them a reason to register and sign-in

When it comes to first-party data collection, you want to be crystal clear with your customers about why they should grant you permission to access their social profile information in the first place. After all, why would anybody share their personal data with a corporation unless there was some inherent benefit involved? Kate Spade Saturday does an exemplary job of communicating the benefits of registering for an account on saturday.com. In the above example, Kate Spade Saturday tells customers that they can receive early access to new products and free gifts just for registering for a site account. That’s not a bad incentive to register, if you ask us. By providing context around why a customer should share his or her identity with your business, you can convert more users while fostering satisfaction and trust.

Best Practice #2: Offer login choices

When it comes to site registration and login, choice is king. The reason for this is simple: no single business can expect all their consumers to be on the same social network. To drill this point home, we pulled data from thousands of our clients’ social login implementations to determine which social providers were most popular among users: Despite Facebook’s dominance as a social provider, the data shows a significant distribution of logins with other social network providers like Google+, Yahoo!, Twitter, and LinkedIn. By offering multiple social login choices, businesses can increase their registration conversions as consumers authenticate their social identities. In the example below, American Idol offers four social registration choices that they found most relevant to their user base — Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Foursquare. As a rule of thumb, we’ve generally found that social login dialogs featuring at least three different providers perform the best. American Idol features four login options here, increasing the likelihood that their customers will authenticate their social identities on-site.

Best Practice #3: Request data at the appropriate moments

As we’ve already discussed earlier, relevance and context are crucial elements of unlocking customer identities. In the same vein, finding the right time to ask customers to provide more information for an improved user experience is both important and necessary for understanding your users in deeper, more meaningful ways. In the example below, The Independent improves the reader experience by allowing readers to see what content their friends are engaging with. In the lower righthand corner, which we’ve outlined in yellow here, the publisher lets readers connect their Facebook accounts to initiate a social reading experience. When users choose to turn this option on, The Independent displays a dialog to call the Facebook permissions needed to provide this experience.

Why Relevance Leads to Relevance

As businesses refine their customer engagement strategies, they should focus their efforts on offering relevance and context by offering the right social provider options at the right moments and communicating the value of social login clearly. Providing relevance results in more social login conversions, which in turn allows you to more easily create relevant, customized experiences that will engage more users.

By Emma Tzeng