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Thought Leadership & Enablement
October 20, 2023

What Marketers Need to Know About Zero-Party Data

Zero-party data helps to build more trust with your customers while providing you with more helpful information. Learn how to collect this data.

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

The concept of zero party data has been around for some time now, but its implications are just beginning to be explored. In short, zero-party data refers to data that is collected directly from consumers, rather than inferred through other sources.

The concept of zero-party data isn't just a trend — it's a revolution. By allowing companies to directly collect data from consumers in order to better understand their needs and preferences, this type of data collection can drastically improve customer experience and provide more personalized experiences.

Let’s dive further into the meaning of zero-party data, its benefits, how to collect it, and the differences between zero-party data, first-party data, and third-party data. 

What Is Zero-Party Data?

Zero party data: entrepreneurs discussing graphs

Zero-party data is information customers intentionally and voluntarily share. For example, if you ask a customer about themselves or what they’re interested in, the information you collect from the responses is zero-party data. Gathering this data is the most effective way to know and understand your target audience.

Why Is It Called Zero-Party Data?

Zero-party data is termed as such because it doesn't rely on third-party tracking or inference. Instead, it's the purest form of data, as it's willingly and directly provided by consumers without intermediaries.

What Is an Example of Zero-Party Data?

An example of zero-party data is when a customer proactively provides information about their preferences, interests, or needs without any direct prompting from a company or website. 

For instance, when a customer fills out a survey or quiz voluntarily, sharing details about their favorite products, reasons for their choices, or personal preferences, the data collected through these interactions qualifies as zero-party data. This information is willingly and intentionally shared by the customer, making it highly valuable for businesses looking to understand and engage with their audience on a deeper level.

What Are the Benefits of Zero-Party Data?

At its core, zero-party data is all about putting the customer first. By collecting this type of data directly from the consumer, companies are able to understand their customers on a deeper level, creating more tailored experiences and products that better meet their needs. This can lead to not only an improved customer experience but also increased sales, loyalty, lead capture, conversion rates, etc. The list goes on. 

Zero-party data is also a game changer for digital privacy and security. Seventy-nine percent of consumers are willing to share their data if there's a clear benefit for them. If you're transparent about why you're collecting the data, your audience will likely feel comfortable providing it.

When consumers have the power to decide what personal data they want to share with companies, it reduces the risk of their information being misused or sold without their consent.

Instead of simply giving companies access to this data through opt-in forms or other passive methods, zero-party data requires customers to actively provide consent — often in exchange for something they value, like discounts, loyalty points, or product recommendations. 

So, collecting this type of data leads to the ultimate value exchange between the consumer and the brand. You’ll gain high-quality data and trusting customer relationships that lead to strong customer loyalty while you offer a better customer experience. As you know more about what the customer is looking for and why, you can adjust your experience accordingly.

Zero-party data collection also helps companies comply with data privacy laws and regulations, such as the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) and the California Consumer Privacy Act (CCPA). When customers give consent for how their personal information is used, organizations can prove they have opt-in permission.

What Is Zero- vs. First- vs. Third-Party Data?

There are three different types of data:

  • Zero-party data: This is data that consumers willingly provide directly to companies. It's the most transparent and valuable form of data as it is willingly shared, and it enables companies to understand customer preferences on a deeper level.
  • First-party data: First-party data is collected by a company through customers or users behaviors. It includes data generated from interactions with a brand's website, app, or other owned platforms. It's highly reliable and valuable for personalization and customer engagement.
  • Third-party data: Third-party data is collected and aggregated by external sources, such as data brokers or other companies. It is often used for targeting and audience segmentation but can be less reliable, potentially outdated, and may raise privacy concerns.

First-party data and zero-party data are the most valuable types of information a marketer can get their hands on, as they don’t involve third-party tracking. Third-party data by itself doesn't have much value. It's like a puzzle piece without the puzzle — you don't know what it's for or how it fits in. While third-party data can provide valuable insights when used correctly, it is not reliable and may be outdated or contain errors.

Zero-party data also gives companies a better quality of information instead of using third-party data to gather potentially inaccurate or outdated details. And let’s be honest — relying on third-party cookies has never felt right. When customers have control over their personal data, everyone wins. 

With first-party and zero-party data, companies are seeing major increases in customer engagement, conversion rate, qualified leads, and long-lasting relationships with their customers without the use of any third-party tracking. 

However, when you capture zero-party data, you’re directly asking your target audience for their information, leaving no room for assumptions or inferences.

While similar, the difference between first-party data and zero-party data is the difference between someone telling you they’re shopping for a waterproof jacket and seeing someone add a jacket to their cart. While you know the consumer is in the market for a jacket, a zero-party data strategy allows you to know more details about why they want it and what they’re looking for so you can best help them.

How to Collect Zero-Party Data

Entrepreneur using a laptop

Collecting this type of data requires a thoughtful and strategic approach. Companies should strive to create a personalized experience that’s easy, transparent, and valuable for customers. Make sure they understand how their data will be used and how sharing it benefits them. 

Organizations can use quizzes, surveys, contests, offers, loyalty programs, and other methods to collect data that customers are comfortable sharing. At Jebbit, we create interactive experiences that make sense for your brand and your customers.

Harnessed with this information, you’ll have the ultimate value exchange between the consumer and the brand. You get to know more about your users, your users save time by not having to scroll through a website with thousands of products, and they even receive a product recommendation, discount, or other exclusive offer specifically for their wants, needs, and interests.

By creating a personalized and on-brand experience for your customers, you’ll gain high-quality data and trusting customer relationships that lead to strong customer loyalty.

What Sort of Quizzes and Experiences Should You Use? 

The type of quiz or experience you’ll use will depend on your business and how your customers engage with your brand. Here are our top interactive experiences and how they work: 

  • Product Match Quizzes: The most popular option, Product Match Quizzes offer a personalized recommendation, saving consumers the research or option-weighing. This way, you become the buyer’s personal shopper and unearth the “why” behind the buy for your brand.
  • Personality Quiz: Personality Quizzes are a fun, playful way for consumers to learn about themselves. Capture consumer preferences on topics that are both core to your brand and helpful in painting a full picture of who they truly are as a person so you can build strong, one-on-one relationships. DraftKings leveraged Jebbit’s platform to create an awesome personality quiz for their customers. All they have to do is answer a couple of fun, simple questions to see what type of fan they are.
  • Interactive Lookbook: Interactive Lookbooks turn traditional product catalogs into beautiful digital displays that showcase your collections, gift ideas, and more. They can then drive customers to specific pages on your site based on their preferences.
  • Live Poll: Live Polls gather opinions and insights, empowering customers to share their ideas.
  • Trivia Quiz: Use Trivia Quizzes to tap into people’s competitive instincts, exchange contact info for results, or build brand awareness as results are shared across social media.
  • Landing Page: While this is a trusted marketing workhorse, sorting out minute technical requirements often slows you down on your path to marketing excellence. However, with Jebbit, you can create simple, beautiful landing pages in a matter of minutes (that's not an exaggeration). And just like every other Jebbit Experience Type, you won't need to touch a line of code and can go-live without needing to rely on other internal teams/departments.
  • Branded Survey: Create surveys like never before with features like dynamic questioning and a fully branded look that matches your brand ethos. Said another way, use Jebbit to create surveys that don’t suck so that you can gather 8-10 times more insights about your audience (compared to traditional surveys … the ones that do suck).

What Questions Lead to Useful Data

Entrepreneur using a tablet

There are several ways global leading brands are gathering the most effective and useful data from their audiences, a huge part of it is asking your audience the right questions to gain valuable insights to customer behavior. 

Jebbit allows you to lead consumers down unique paths based on how they answer initial questions. Asking straightforward questions will identify the basic information needed and allow for a more specific outcome as users are guided through the rest of their engagement with your brand. 

For example, if you are a sports brand, you would want to ask questions such as: 

  • What other sports are you interested in?
  • How do you get to the game?
  • How do you prefer to watch the game?
  • How did you get your tickets to the game?
  • How often do you go to games?

How Do You Use Zero-Party Data to Build Customer Profiles?

Digital interactions like the above experiences leave behind a wealth of information you can collect and use to build consumer profiles. This data can be used to segment consumers, understand consumer behavior, and create targeted marketing campaigns.

Customer profiles are essentially a digital record of customer data, such as their contact information, interests, purchase history, preferences, and more. Zero-party data is often used to build these profiles — allowing companies to get an accurate snapshot of each customer and understand how they engage with a brand.

Some examples of customer profiles include:

  • Demographic information: Age, gender, location
  • Purchase history: Items bought and purchase dates
  • Preferences: Size and color choice for clothing, preferred payment method
  • Interests: Hobbies and activities
  • Contact information: Email address, phone number, and mailing address

Zero-party data also gives brands the opportunity to collect “soft” attributes: your customers' passions, motivations, interests, and preferences. Turning to a third-party source for all of these answers leaves you with an educated guess, or even assumptions. So asking your audience instead of inferring is always the most accurate way to know your customers. 

Let’s look at a hypothetical customer profile showing “soft attributes”: 

By taking a Jebbit quiz, we found out that someone enjoys spending time at the beach, prefers to read a book on the beach rather than engage in a beach sport, and is interested in knowing more about wildlife at the beach. That information helps us understand their purchase intentions and suggest products to them that they may actually enjoy.

Use Jebbit to Collect Data That Boosts Your Business

By combining zero-party data with other customer information, companies can build comprehensive and accurate customer profiles that help them better understand their customers and provide tailored services. 

With our tool, you can choose between several experience types and amazing features to fully optimize your Jebbit experience without ever touching a line of code. When a company can efficiently collect and use the information they gather about their audience, they can deliver next-level customer experiences that leave customers satisfied. Knowing and understanding what zero-party data is, the benefits it can have on your company and how to collect it will put you ahead of the competition. 

In the e-commerce world, everyone's competing for valuable data. At Jebbit, we believe that brands who collect and build their own sets of data at scale will see the most success in this new privacy-first world. Having a tried and true zero-party data strategy helps understand your customers and build stronger relationships with them. The more you use zero-party data to your advantage, the more you’ll uncover, and the more success you’ll see.

Get started on your zero-party data journey TODAY by talking with a Jebbit expert.

Jenna Galletti
Content Marketing Specialist

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Jebbit Grid Decorative
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