Traditionally, the notion of online identity is that it must be protected and safeguarded by the individual it belongs to. As users’ Internet habits evolve, however, we’re seeing a greater shift in online sharing: consumers are posting personal photographs, life event updates, and more across their social channels.
This shift towards a more connected, open social web reflects how consumers and businesses should interact in a landscape that encourages and facilities the sharing of users’ information in a safe, valuable way. While the Internet of the past preaches complete anonymity as the Holy Grail of online etiquette, modern businesses and consumers understand the importance of authentic online relationships and how user data facilitates these interactions.
Anonymity Results in Lost Opportunities
With so many people sharing their personal information on social networks, businesses need to capitalize on these opportunities by leveraging their users’ data points in ways that add value to both parties. For example, an e-commerce business looking to reduce shopping cart abandonment rates can send tailored reminders to customers who didn’t complete the path to purchase prompting them to finalize their purchase.
By failing to capture valuable, actionable user data, businesses forgo opportunities to connect with and engage customers at an individual level. In other words, these anonymous visitors continue to stay anonymous and businesses are left in the dark trying to market to an unknown audience.
Luxury retailer Kate Spade, for instance, nudges users to complete the path to purchase by sending a personalized email containing a discount code to customers who’ve abandoned their shopping carts. Because this customer is signed in to the site, Kate Spade is able to connect her shopping cart to her email address, facilitating a personal, effective communication channel that encourages purchases and nurtures customer loyalty.
How Businesses Should Respond
Businesses should consider implementing a seamless, easy way to collect and manage their users’ information in a permission-based manner. Social Login technology enables this process by allowing users to register and sign in to your website through their existing social profiles.
By eliminating the pain points of site registration such as having to fill out tedious forms and remember new login credentials, social login aids in demand generation efforts as it breaks down the roadblocks to consumer data, allowing businesses to start building authentic relationships with their consumers quickly and easily.
Online Anonymity Hurts Both Parties
Businesses that fail to collect user identity data ultimately forgo valuable opportunities to understand and connect closer to customers; and customers who remain anonymous to businesses miss out on receiving relevant communications, user experiences, and tailored rewards.
For a deeper look at user identity’s impact on ROI, download the free white paper, 3 Ways Online Anonymity Hurts Businesses and Users.
Originally published on May 19, 2012 4:58 PM