First-Party Vs Zero-Party Data: What You Should Know

March 16, 2023

Your data matters. As a growing brand, a lot of decisions can feel like flipping a coin, but it doesn’t have to be that way, in fact, it shouldn’t. You have data at your fingertips that can give you a real analytic, logical snapshot of your brand today and can predict which direction will be the most lucrative. There are several types of data and the truth is that a lot of it can be tricky to get ahold of, we’ve outlined the basics, pros, and cons of First-Party and Zero-Party data so you don’t have to.  

First-Party Data 101

This is YOUR data. It’s data collected and owned by your company. You can collect it from your website, mobile site, mobile apps, POS and CRM, Email and SMS, Beacons, Call Centers, etc… But the most important thing to note is that this is data no one can take from you (unless there is some wild server crash) you don’t have to rely on anyone else’s company or apps changing their policies. This type of data helps you as a founder and company in general, improve targeting precision, advance your omnichannel presence, have a better understanding of the customer journey and map it, close the attribution loop, increase your brand awareness and relevancy and create a better view of who your customer is and how you can support them and nurture the relationship.

The Downsides of First-Party Data

But like anything, it’s not always the best of the best. There are some challenges that come with first-party data too, even if it’s one of our most valuable tools. The first is a  lack of a data strategy, it’s one thing to have the data but knowing what to do with it is a whole different ball game. Another is that data can be complex and since you are a human and not a computer, resolving identity issues and building profiles can be challenging sometimes, integrating your data across platforms and of course, the real reason we track this date: the ability to take action in real-time. There also never seems to be enough first-party data to go around. You will always be hunting for more and ways to collect it that you hadn’t considered. It can take a lot of time and effort to collect this info and you need an ample amount of it for it to be valuable to you.

Zero-Party Data 101

This data, like the first party, it is yours-you own it. But the way you collect it is different. Instead of collecting it through analytics, zero-party elicits a response from the customers so they are willingly giving you information about themselves that you can collect, analyze and use. For example, if you are looking to learn more about your current or prospective customers, looking to gather zero-party data is a great way to carefully target your audience with those questions that you have.

The Downsides of Zero-Party Data

With most other forms of customer data, the user (in this case your potential or existing shopper) doesn’t really have to do any additional work. They just browse and shop and you get to pull data from that, with zero-party data, you ask and you receive (hopefully) this means items like surveys, email opt-ins etc… With zero-party users are willingly handing over information (data) to you. With that comes challenges. Not everyone is going to want to give you their information so getting the quantity of zero-party you need may be a challenge. That’s why zero-party is a great data type to use to supplement the other data you are collecting.

Yes, you can pay a lot of money for fancy software or agencies or you can use what’s available (and free) to you and spend a little bit of money per month to get access to more through WeStock. Ready to expand your data collection? Let’s set up your WeStock account so you have all the data you need to prove your worth, make big decisions, and show your stuff.


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