Holiday Season First-Party Data: Why You Should Start Collecting Customer Data Now

Holiday sales in November and December typically represent around 19% of total annual retail sales in the US. And this year, ecommerce sales are expected to rise by 15.5%, to $235.86 billion. With the boost in sales comes an increase in online traffic––and holiday season first-party data. 

When collected and used effectively, holiday season first-party data can bring fresh consumer insights, sharpen future marketing campaigns, and bring back holiday shoppers later in the year.

If you’re not already leaning into the potential of customer first-party data, the upcoming holiday season is the perfect time to start. 

What is first-party data?

First-party data is information a business collects directly from its audience. A business’s audience may include: 

  • Customers
  • Newsletter subscribers
  • Site visitors
  • Social media followers

Since first-party data is collected directly from a brand’s audience, it’s considered more reliable for gaining a deeper understanding of customers’ likely purchasing habits and behavior. 

Businesses may collect first-party data from: 

  • Product recommendation quizzes
  • Email lists
  • SMS marketing campaigns 
  • Loyalty programs
  • Website analytics tools
  • Social media analytics
  • Post-purchase surveys 
  • Customer feedback 

Second- and third-party data is information that a business didn’t collect itself. While second-party data often relies on an established brand partnership, third-party data is usually collected by an external provider that’s not directly connected to your audience. 

Through third-party data providers, it’s usually easy to purchase large quantities of demographic data on your audience. But it’s debatable how reliable or relevant the data is. 

Plus, as global privacy restrictions increase and consumers become aware of how their personal data is used, it’s more challenging for brands to rely on second- and third-party data. 

The benefit of using first-party data is that businesses can relax that customers know exactly who is using their data and how. 

David Wagoner, the co-founder of digital marketing agency P3 Media, agrees that first-party data is becoming an increasingly important source of information for brands. 

“You’ve got to be collecting as much first-party data as you possibly can to run effective marketing campaigns,” he says. “This is just incredibly critical these days, as cookie-based tracking is going away.” 

Why is it important to collect first-party data during the holiday season?

The holiday season usually represents a retailer’s busiest time of the year for sales. Between Black Friday, Cyber Monday, Christmas, and Hanukkah, consumers are hunting for gifts and bargains. 

Shoppers are usually high-intent and on a mission to purchase. Combined with an increase in online traffic, retailers have the perfect cocktail for collecting high-quality valuable first-party customer data

Here’s why brands should collect first-party data during the holiday season: 

Reduction of ROAS 

With a cookieless future on the horizon, it’s becoming harder to encourage customers to opt into data tracking or third-party cookies. The implementation of iOS 14.5 and increasing numbers of internet browsers turning away from third-party cookies both have had an impact on internet user acquisition. 

For instance, in mobile advertising, users who still share IDFA have become more valuable, so competition for them has increased and CAC has increased correspondingly. 

As a result, most advertisers are seeing a reduction in their return on ad spend throughout the year. To combat this lower return on ad spend, it’s important to tap into the holiday traffic surge. Doing so will allow your brand to reduce its spend on ads as well as collect more valuable customer data to use in future campaigns––a win-win situation. 

Increase in traffic

The holidays represent a surge in online traffic for retail businesses. People are hunting for the perfect gift and are willing to spend time looking for it. In 2021, Adobe predicted that people would spend about 12 hours shopping online during the holiday season. 

Consumers aren’t just spending time on retailers’ online stores either. Nearly $1 of every $4 spent on retail purchases during the 2021 holidays came from online orders. 

Jason Zigelbaum, the founder of Zigpoll, a customer survey app, explains that the holiday season is an ideal moment to collect larger volumes of valuable customer data. 

“The holidays typically mean a surge in traffic for direct-to-consumer businesses,” he says. Since zero-party data by definition comes directly from your consumers, it’s critical to have the infrastructure in place to capture as much data as possible during these high-volume periods so you can use the insights to optimize your business throughout the rest of the year. Since volume is greater during the fourth quarter, it is easier to collect enough data to identify trends and patterns.” 

Different purchasing behavior

Holiday shoppers are usually gift-buying. These customers can provide your business with different data from your regular customers purchasing for themselves throughout the year. 

Jason explains that customer data collected during these months can provide fresh insights into purchasing habits. 

“First-party data collected during the holiday season gives you unique insight into your customer,” he says. “The holidays are also generally a time of giving, so it’s interesting to collect data about your customers’ gifting behavior and how they shop for others versus themselves.” 

Peter Messana, CEO of Searchspring, an ecommerce search and merchandising platform, explains that brands must implement solid data collection strategies to make the most of first-time visits. 

“Holiday shoppers tend to be gift buying, which means that they might not know your brand yet,” he says. “These first-time visitors tend to bounce frequently while they’re searching for different gifts. So if you don’t effectively capture first-party data on the first visit, you may never see them again.” 

Peter adds that as browsers eliminate cookies, it’s even more important to get some form of customer data from visitors.

“In the cookieless world, it is that much more important to get them to provide you with something, whether it’s filling in a pop-up form, clicking a suggested social follow, or completing a simple survey. Anything you can do to get them to self-identify is super important,” he says.

How to collect first-party data during the holiday season

Brands should aim to gather first-party data using a variety of collection methods. Doing so will give you a more complete picture of customer behavior and preferences. 

Consider how you can encourage and incentivize customers to share their data with your brand. Since it’s the holiday season, think about how your brand can lean into the festive spirit and make it fun or rewarding for customers to share their data with you.

Here are eight ways to collect first-party data this holiday season: 

Post-purchase survey

The key to successfully gathering relevant customer data is to strike while the iron is hot. Instead of waiting a week to ask customers for feedback, consider asking them while your brand is still on their mind––right after purchase. 

Jason Zigelbaum explains how retailers can tap into customer engagement right after purchase to receive higher survey completion rates. 

“The most effective way to start collecting first-party data is through a post-purchase survey embedded directly on the Thank You page of your Shopify Store,” he says. 

“This is always our first recommendation, because customers are highly engaged with your brand after purchase and are therefore much more likely to provide honest and insightful feedback about their experience with your business.”

Clothing brand Everlane sends out a simple post-purchase survey to customers to get a star rating and written review of purchased products:

During the holiday season, brands can focus on asking customers about the reason for their purchase. For example, post-purchase surveys could ask shoppers whether the item is a gift and who it’s for. If it’s a first-time shopper, the survey could question them on how they found the store––was it through their own online research or a personal recommendation? 

Responses to questions like these can help brands build a more complete picture of who is shopping with them and why. This data can then inform future holiday season marketing campaigns to attract ideal customers. 

Regular customer questionnaires

Regular questionnaires can help highlight what your brand is doing well and where there’s room for improvement. Asking customers for feedback is a win-win for your brand––you get valuable first-party data and show consumers you care about their opinions. 

To increase the chance of a high completion rate, reward your customers for the time taken to share their thoughts with your brand. 

Jason explains how brands can provide some value in exchange for customer time spent answering questions. 

“Email your customers a survey regularly as part of your email strategy,” he says. “This helps your community feel like their voice is heard and considered. To encourage interaction, you can offer a discount code or a lottery for a free product in exchange for filling out a questionnaire.”

Clothing brand Anthropologie sends customers a 20%-off voucher as a thank you for sharing their opinions. 

Other than email surveys, brands should also consider other ways customers interact with brands to share information. 

Jason highlights how Nike is an example of a brand that frequently asks customers for feedback throughout the different stages of their journey, while making it fun and interactive. 

“Nike does a great job of asking their customers what they think about their products all along the journey. They also include fun in-app surveys that show results instantly which makes data collection engaging for the customer and insightful for the brand,” he says.

“Smaller brands like Rose & Rex do a great job of running attribution surveys—”‘How did you hear about us?’—to new customers and then post-purchase surveys for existing customers. They follow up via Klaviyo, based on the post-purchase response as well which makes for a high volume customer feedback loop that doesn’t feel intrusive.”

Loyalty programs

People who choose to join loyalty programs are some of your most engaged customers––83% of loyalty program subscribers say that belonging to a loyalty program influences their decision to buy again from a brand. 

In exchange for access to your loyalty program and associated perks, you can ask customers for some of their personal data––that way you can tailor your offering and make it relevant to each individual. 

For example, Rose & Rex offers 200 Play Points when customers sign up for its loyalty program. Customers can also receive points for following the brand on social media.

Peter Messana of Searchspring explains how brands can effectively use loyalty program customer data to better target return shoppers in the future.

“If you have a loyalty program, you can capture every transaction, both online and offline, and can do much more effective repeat purchase retargeting. The key is to know which exact data you are collecting as well as have a plan for how you are going to use it. Then you can effectively decide which promotions can use what you collected,” he says. 

Loyalty programs are an effective year-round strategy for gathering customer data. But additional seasonal rewards and exclusive perks can help boost datasets. 

For example, brands can also offer loyal customers extra incentives to purchase and share their data during the holiday season. Exclusive discounts, promotions, and early access are all perks that could be offered in exchange for filling out full customer profiles. 

Peter explains how a DTC wine brand can use its first-party data to personalize its communications beyond just retargeting campaigns. 

“An effective recent example I have is Total Wine & More. Because of their loyalty program, they’re able to track all my purchases, so they have a lot of first-party data on me,” he says. 

“The best use of this data was an email from a specific winery thanking me personally for buying their wine from Total Wine. This is an amazing use of first-party data to extend to more than just retargeting or repeat purchase. It was subtle and great.”

Product recommendation quizzes

Quizzes can help retailers get hold of uniquely personal customer data like their hair care routine or exercise habits––something that third-party cookies can’t identify. 

Daniel Romano, CEO of performance marketing agency Good Moose, explains that quizzes are helpful for both parties.

“When done correctly brands can use quizzes to customize their offering while better understanding their prospects,” he says. 

Product recommendation quizzes are a great way of providing your customers with value in exchange for their data. For example, men’s hair loss treatment brand Keeps asks site visitors specific questions about where they’re losing hair, and the unique problems they want to solve. 

Based on the answers to a series of several questions, Keeps recommends a unique custom subscription plan. As a bonus, the brand offers a free month to new customers. 

Not only has the brand saved the customer time spent browsing the site trying to identify the right product collection for them but it also incentivizes a product subscription with a free month. 

Similarly DTC cosmetics brand Il Makiage has a three-step quiz to help customers identify their ideal foundation shade. The brand asks for an email address in exchange for the customer’s quiz results. It then rewards customers with a free foundation they only need to pay shipping and handling to receive. 

During the holiday season, product recommendation quizzes can be especially helpful for consumers struggling to purchase gifts. Instead of spending hours browsing different online stores, shoppers could take a simple quiz to help them identify the right gift for the receiver. 

As Mitch Turck, the head of communications at market research company Fairing, says, “On-site quizzes can hand-hold your shoppers through tough buying decisions or first-time purchases.”

Alex from RevenueHunt recommends prioritizing quizzes over other pop-up forms. 

“By replacing your regular subscription pop-up with a product recommendation quiz, not only do you collect information like their name and email, but also zero-party data about the customer interests and product preferences. All are given often without a second thought because, in the end, the customers get something in return: a personalized product recommendation which ticks all of their boxes, often with a small discount,” he says.

“This strategy works well if you’re looking for something for yourself, as well as shopping for your family and friends.”

Tiered discounts

Brands can experiment with running discounts to incentivize customers to share their data as well as purchase from them for the first time. 

During the holiday season, tiered discounts can be particularly effective for encouraging first-time customers unfamiliar with your brand to make a purchase. Instead of a first-time purchase feeling like a risky decision, customers can instead feel like they’re part of an exclusive offer that won’t run forever. 

As Daniel Romano says, “Brands could offer a limited amount of discounts on a first-come-first-served basis. They could increase the incentive by, say, 15% to 20% for dual submission of email addresses and phone numbers. This is also a great tactic to improve the quality and usability of data collected.” 

DTC home furnishing brand Hem’s tiered discount approach and designer-exclusive discounts have been a great segway to introduce the brand to customers who at first glance may prefer to ship brands at a lower price point. Using a newsletter subscription pop-up it offers customers an initial 10% off their first order. 

Wish lists 

Wish lists are anchored in value for the customer while also offering value to merchants. When set up correctly, they benefit both the in-store and online customer experience. 

Online, customers create a profile that’s usually linked to their email address and can then add items from the online shop to their own personally curated wishlist. They can then share it with friends and family or use it as a curated reminder of the products they’re interested in purchasing at a later date. 

For the customer, wish lists carry the benefit of being a super convenient way to shop both for themselves and others. For the merchant, wishlists are excellent for remarketing––they know what the customer has the intent to buy but hasn’t yet purchased. 

Right now, customers can use the Shop app to build wish lists from Shopify stores. Shopify Partner apps like Wishlist Plus also let merchants add wish list features to Shopify stores. 

When paired with appointment shopping, wish lists can fuel store visits. For example, brands like SSENSE let shoppers book a store appointment to try on the clothes on their wish list without committing to making a purchase. It makes for a curated store experience and as a plus, in-store staff know exactly what the shopper is interested in buying beforehand.

Early access

Hotly anticipated product launches and back-in-stock bestsellers are a great way to build excitement among your audience and gather customer data. In exchange for early access to products, ask customers to leave their email address. 

Daniel Romano of Good Moose explains, “By using this approach, we generate a waiting list of interested people and manage scarcity to incentivize people to share first-party data with the brand.”

He adds that other kinds of limited-time perks can help incentivize customers to share their data with brands before certain dates.

“Brands can experiment with creating pre-launch or promotional offer momentum by announcing a compelling product or offer that will have limited quantities at launch, or guaranteed delivery before a certain date, for example, gift-wrapped presents delivered before Christmas Eve” he says.

Shopify partner app lets merchants set up waiting lists on their stores.

Stock replenishment notifications

Holiday season shopping is synonymous with frustrating stockouts. In 2021, 75% of consumers said they felt concerned about stockouts during the holiday season. 

Frequent stockouts can represent money left on the table by retailers. But with the right approach, they’re also an opportunity to capture personal data from your most engaged shoppers.

Daniel suggests offering customers stock replenishment notifications in exchange for customer data like email addresses. Instead of losing out on sales, retailers can use out-of-stock notices as a chance to take site visitors’ email addresses and send them a stock replenishment notification when the product becomes available. 

“During the holiday season, it is very likely that bestselling products will run out of stock, so offering notifications that collect email addresses or phone numbers to notify when a discount, offer, or product gets back in stock is a great way to grow the CRM list while getting strong signals of interest and potential demand of products that have run out,” he says. 

Brands can use the collected email addresses and mobile phone numbers to grow their CRM list. Plus, they’ll get strong signals of interest and potential demand for products. 

Bedding brand Italic sends out a simple note to let shoppers know a previously out-of-stock weighted blanket is available again. 

How to comply with data regulations

Before you start collecting customer data, it’s crucial to fully understand global privacy laws. Depending on where your brand and customers are located, there will be certain regulations your ecommerce brand will need to follow. 

Gathering first-party data is also about building customer trust. Fostering a sense of trust among your customer base will encourage them to share personal data. To do so, brands will need to respect customer preferences and build a solid data management policy. 

Browsers go cookieless 

Worldwide, data regulations around how businesses collect, use, and store customer data are tightening. Consumers are also increasingly aware of how brands use their data. 

In the near cookieless future, it’s more important than ever to comply with data regulations and customer preferences. 

Opt-in rates vary worldwide, but currently, only 32% of internet users in the US say they always accept cookies when they open a website. Plus, 40% of consumers have refused to buy from a brand because of concerns about how they use personal information.

Apple, Brave, and Firefox browsers already automatically block third-party cookies. Google Chrome, which represents over 60% of search engine market share, recently announced it would postpone the phase-out of third-party cookies until the second half of 2024, instead of 2023. 

While that buys retailers some time to realign their customer-data-collection strategy, it doesn’t mean they should solely rely on cookies. Brands need to prepare for a near cookieless future and reduce their dependence on third-party data providers.

Brands that depend on mobile apps for data tracking are also facing similar restrictions. For the past decade, mobile apps have relied on Apple’s Identifier for Advertiser (IDFA) to track users across other companies’ apps and websites for targeting and advertising purposes. 

But with Apple’s release of iOS 14.5 in April 2022, iOS app developers now need to ask for users’ permission to track them beyond the app they’re using. As opt-in rates are expected to be low, this change is set to shift the entire mobile advertising landscape. 

Plus, in June 2022, Mozilla launched Firefox 102 with support for the new query parameter stripping functionality to increase user privacy. With this announcement, there are no guarantees that businesses can rely on UTM codes to track the performance of campaigns and content. Other brands may follow suit too.

Regional data regulations

Depending on where your business and customers are located, there are also regional data regulations to comply with. Breaching these regulations can have severe financial and reputational issues for businesses of all sizes. 

Currently, here’s how data regulations look worldwide in different regions:


Since 2018, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has cost some businesses dearly in fines since its establishment in 2018. The highest fines are up to 20 million euros or, in the case of an undertaking, up to 4% of total worldwide turnover of the previous year––whichever is higher. 

In 2021, ecommerce giant Amazon was hit with the biggest GDPR fine to date––$823.9 million for tracking user data without getting the right consent from users or letting them opt out. In 2020, clothing retailer H&M was fined $39 million for collecting and storing data about employees’ families, religions, and medical histories for unlawful reasons

In the UK, the Data Protection Act 2018 already implemented the January 2021 requirements of the EU’s GDPR into UK law. The UK-specific data protection laws are known as the UK GDPR.

North America

In the US, the California Consumer Privacy Act put data transparency into state law before the pandemic. The law lets residents of the state establish exactly how their data is being collected and what it’s being used for. 

In recent years, Colorado, Connecticut, Virginia, and Utah have all implemented similar consumer privacy and data protection acts. Other states, like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, are catching up with active bills too.

Canada’s Personal Information Protection and Electronic Documents Act (PIPEDA) aligns with the EU data protection law. 


In November 2021, China’s Personal Information Protection Law came into effect. India has also implemented the Personal Data Protection bill, which includes many of the components of GDPR within the country’s unique context. 

Back in 2012, the Philippines implemented the Data Privacy Act which includes most of the components of the EU Data Protection Directive. 


South Africa has enacted the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA), which has just as meticulous privacy laws and protections as those in the GDPR. 

Middle East 

In Bahrain, the Data Protection Law was the first of its kind to be created in the Middle East. It provides individuals with rights concerning how their data is collected, stored, and used at a later date. 

Latin America

In 2021, Brazil began issuing penalties to violators of the country’s General Data Protection Law. Mexico’s Federal Law on the Protection of Personal Data held by Private Parties came into force back in 2010. 

What can you do with holiday season customer data?

Holiday season customer data offers some of the most valuable first-party data your brand will collect year-round. Site visitors are often high-intent shoppers who are close to making a purchase the moment they land on your page. Data from these customers can help you better understand purchasing habits and why certain marketing campaigns are effective. 

Currently, only 47% of companies offer personalized experiences based on live consumer data––that’s to say over half are missing out on a significant aspect of personalization.

Plus, the increase in traffic means brands have plenty of datasets to compare. 

When harnessed correctly, holiday season first-party data isn’t just about predicting next year’s holiday season purchasing habits––it can also highlight how to convert one-time shoppers into regular customers throughout the rest of the year too.

Create personalized campaigns

Customers want personalization––but not at the expense of their privacy. First-party data that consumers willingly provide before, during, or after shopping with your brand represents the ideal way to curate personalized experiences that don’t infringe on their desire for privacy. 

Despite increased awareness surrounding data privacy, 49% of consumers said they would likely become repeat buyers if offered a personalized experience by a retail brand. 

Plus, another 62% said they not only want but expect personalization, and that a brand that doesn’t offer a personal experience could lose its business. That’s up from 45% in 2021, showing personalization is becoming a key competitive advantage for brands.

“Consumers don’t consider the challenges to well-executed personalization; they simply expect relevant content delivered at the right time and place,” says principal eMarketer analyst Dave Frankland. 

While personalizing customer interactions and marketing campaigns can seem like an additional effort and cost to brands, most businesses find that it’s a worthy investment. In fact, 80% of business leaders say customers spend 34% more (on average) when offered personalized shopping experiences.

Peter Messana of Searchspring suggests that using customer data to personalize customer interactions and campaigns needn’t be complex to start with. 

“If you have their name, use it to welcome them back to the website when they return. Later, build out a drip campaign that’s based on a very granular segment. The more you know directly about someone the more you can directly target them,” he says. 

Show customers appreciation

When customers feel appreciated and valued by your brand, they’ll be more likely to feel positive post-purchase and return. 

One small way of showing appreciation is by saying a simple thank you. Whether it’s following a purchase, loyalty program subscription, or even a return, taking the time to say thank you is key to building a positive relationship. Tap into your customer data to send out thank you notes at the right time. 

Jason Zigelbaum of Zigpoll explains how brands can easily make customers feel valued and encourage them to shop again post-holiday season.

“Customers love to be heard! Once you read their feedback, send them back a note,” he says. “You will be surprised at how far small acts like this will go. If you’re operating at a scale where this isn’t possible, try connecting your responses to an email provider like Klaviyo and sending back an automated message. Zigpoll has an API to make this easy, but there are lots of ways one could build it out.”

Build segmented email and SMS funnels

Customer data can help you build out ultra-segmented email and SMS marketing campaigns that better target your audience. 

Mitch Turck of Fairing explains how brands can use customer survey responses to create more targeted audience segments. 

“First-party data enables hyper-targeted segmentation, which is crucial to nailing the holiday content that wins in the inbox,” he says. 

“For brands with a fairly short purchase cycle, there’s still time to have customers self-segmenting through survey questions like, “How will this product impact your lifestyle?”; “What makes our product better than the last brand you tried?”; “Would you rather be the first to find new products, or discover a great deal?” All of these responses create personalization opportunities, and even a simple question like “Who is this purchase for?” immediately splits your customers into two groups: buyers, and users. How you market to those groups alone is a lesson in Black Friday Cyber Monday (BFCM) best practices.”

Jason of Zigpoll adds that the customer feedback you collect during the season can help you shape both current and future ad campaigns to match consumer expectations. 

“In the short term, you can use the data you collect to influence your marketing strategy as the season progresses. For example, if you notice that your customers are commenting on the price of a specific product, you can offer an enticing BFCM deal to move more units,” he says. 

“In the long term, you can use the data you collect to optimize your site in advance of next year’s season. For example, if you are running an attribution survey, check the AOV for each marketing channel and use that data to inform your future marketing budget. If you’re running a user-experience survey, use that data to improve your website’s overall design or improve your customer service pain points.”

Develop and stock in-demand products

Customer data on purchasing habits and preferences can help you make relevant data-driven decisions around product development and stocking. For example, if last year’s customers frequently requested gift sets, during this year’s holiday campaigns you may decide to stock and promote curated gift bundles. 

Product development teams can analyze customer purchase history to identify popular items. Then using customer questionnaire responses, figure out why customers bought those products. Was it an annual skin care subscription purchased as part of a personal New Year’s resolution? Or was the skin care bundle purchased as a gift for their college-aged daughter? 

Knowing which products were most popular and why will help development teams identify which products are most likely to be successful this season. Knowing why shoppers are turning to your brand for certain products can help your teams develop similar or related ranges as well as improve the current line. 

Analyzing customer purchasing habits over previous holiday seasons can help you predict future patterns. For instance, if you find that your “stocking filler” line of products under $50 sells out every year over Thanksgiving weekend, you can better stock up for next year’s holiday season to avoid losing revenue during stockouts. 

How can Shopify help brands gather valuable first-party data? 

Although it’s clear how valuable first-party data is for crafting relevant sales and marketing strategies, it’s not always easy for ecommerce stores to get started with a first-party data strategy. 

The good news is that there are tools out there to help your marketing team get a head start on collecting first-party data.

Shopify Audiences can help you identify high-intent buyers, optimize your paid ads, and lower your spend––all from within your dashboard. It’s simple to create audiences by choosing the product you want to sell. You can then track audience performance in the same place from where you manage the rest of your business. 

Chase Waters, director of digital marketing for Trove Brands’ BlenderBottle, explains how this new Shopify feature has helped boost the brand’s advertising strategy. 

“We have loved creating high-intent audiences and have really seen our targeting and performance improve, with return on ad spend as high as six times,” he says. Shopify Audiences is now a key part of our advertising strategy.”

5 Shopify partner apps to help collect customer data

Shopify partners with a wide range of marketing and ecommerce apps to help you interact with and better get to know your customers. 

To save you time, we’ve vetted all our partner apps so you can more easily choose the ones right for enhancing your campaigns. 


Yotpo helps online stores collect customer data and incentivize shoppers to share their information with them. Using the platform, merchants can create tiered loyalty programs that include discounts, access to exclusive products, special members’ gifts, and early access to sales. 

The app also collects data surrounding customer loyalty preferences and habits––do they prefer to use smaller quantities of points for more frequent rewards or do they prefer to save up larger amounts of points for bigger higher value rewards? 

Within Yotpo, merchants can also build thoughtful and personalized SMS campaigns. Using already collected customer data, address messages to customers by name, offer relevant discounts, and solve problems. 

Key features: 

  • SMS automation
  • Abandoned cart messages
  • Loyalty programs
  • Referral marketing program
  • Product, photo, and site review collection


Searchspring lets merchants target shoppers with hyper-relevant product offerings while providing deep insight into customer behavioral data. The app also automatically creates product recommendations based on shopper history, real-time behavior, and preferences. 

There is also powerful reporting and analytics to help merchants identify search trends, top-performing search terms, and high-converting products. All of these features help brands turn visitors into long-term customers. 

Key features: 

  • Use enhanced site search to deliver relevant results
  • Target shoppers with products and offers
  • Control how products are arranged on-site
  • Analytics for insights into customer behavior and habits


Zigpoll lets merchants automatically trigger post-purchase survey campaigns via web or email to gather accurate customer feedback. Using 12 different question types, Zigpoll lets merchants build on-brand customer surveys to generate a steady flow of unique customer insights. 

A central dashboard lets merchants get a bird’s eye view of customer data at a glance. In-depth insights let merchants learn from customers at different moments of the survey. 

Key features:

  • Post-purchase email or web surveys
  • Feed customer data into Mailchimp, Klaviyo, or other integrations
  • Choose from 12 question types like multiple choice or blank answer forms
  • Review customer data on a granular level or from a high-level perspective
  • Incentivize customer participation with discounts or giveaways

Product Recommendation Quiz by RevenueHunt

RevenueHunt’s Product Recommendation Quiz lets merchants build shoppable quizzes that guide customers through purchasing decisions. Create targeted questions that let you segment and target shoppers based on their responses. 

Help shoppers make confident purchasing decisions before sending leads to your email list or CRM. Later, use this customer data to build more personalized marketing campaigns. 

Key features: 

  • Define targeted questions that follow conditional logic
  • Personalize product recommendations
  • Collect customer contact details
  • Integrate with email software and CRMs


Fairing lets merchants set up post-purchase surveys to gain unique insights from customers. Use Fairing’s surveys to identify how customers found your brand, why they bought your product, and what they’d like to see your brand create next. 

Key features: 

  • Segment customers according to their answers and customize marketing automation
  • Improve attribution modeling 
  • Perform customer research 
  • Ask open-ended, multiple choice, and follow-up questions  
  • Get API access to export data to a data warehouse or third-party partner 

Discover your next best customer with Shopify Audiences

The holiday season represents a key moment in any marketer’s calendar for collecting valuable first-party data. A combination of high-intent shoppers and surges in online traffic create the ideal environment for a better understanding of consumer behaviors, habits, and preferences. This customer data can then form the basis of your future marketing and sales strategies. 

As third-party cookies gradually phase out, brands who know how to collect and use first-party data will be the ones who lead the pack.

To help you identify high-intent buyers, improve paid ad performance, and lower conversion costs, try using Shopify Audiences. The shared audience network can help you generate potential customers in just a few clicks. 

Written by Shopify (Author: Holly Stanley)

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