How to Enhance DTC Brand Loyalty With Strategic Data Insights

March 7, 2024

How to Enhance DTC Brand Loyalty

As we step into 2024, the strategic use of data insights is transforming the way brands build loyalty among their customer base. Ecommerce brands aiming to personalize their marketing efforts, elevate customer experiences, and, ultimately, secure a loyal following need to understand how powerful their data is and how to leverage it to increase brand loyalty. 

But what is brand loyalty?

Brand loyalty refers to the likelihood of consumers choosing your brand again out of all your competitors, often regardless of price changes or marketing efforts. It grows from consistent positive experiences with your brand, leading to repeat purchases and, ideally, customers becoming advocates for your brand. 

But in today’s highly competitive digital marketplace, brands need to use all the tools at their disposal, especially their own data, to understand their customer’s preferences, meet their needs, exceed their expectations, and build brand loyalty. 

The Role Of Zero- and First-Party Data In Building Brand Loyalty

Zero-party and first-party data are a cornerstone for ecommerce brands looking to connect with their audience on a personal level, solidifying brand loyalty and driving revenue growth.

Zero-Party Data

Zero-party data is the information that customers intentionally and proactively share with a brand. It’s uniquely accurate because it comes directly from the customer, eliminating any doubts about its authenticity.

Relying on third-party data can give you skewed results. For example, using third-party data, you may notice that a customer is browsing hair accessories, assume that they are interested in more hair products, and attempt to retarget them with additional ads about hair products.

However, that customer could be shopping for a gift, someone else could have been using their device, or they may have gotten all the hair accessories they’ll need for some time. Zero-party data erases this uncertainty, enabling brands to tailor their offerings and communications based on indisputable customer interests.

The explicit nature of zero-party data fosters a transparent relationship between brands and customers regarding data usage. This clarity allows brands to create customized marketing strategies based on more accurate information. This personalization encourages customers to see your brand as a perfect fit for their needs, fostering long-term engagement and brand loyalty.

Zero-Party Data Collection Strategies

  • Surveys and Quizzes: Embedding surveys and quizzes on your website or in your marketing emails encourages customers to share their preferences and interests. Make these tools engaging and relevant to increase participation.
  • Forms: Use forms at various customer touchpoints, such as account sign-up or checkout, to make it more likely that they’ll fill one out.
  • Interactive Tools and Funnels: Informative tools, for instance, skin type assessments on beauty websites, provide valuable insights into customer needs, enabling personalized product recommendations.
  • Social Media Engagement: Customers are often eager to share their opinions and preferences on platforms like TikTok and Instagram. Conducting polls, Q&A sessions, or live interactions on these informal platforms can yield rich zero-party data.
  • Post-Purchase Surveys: Crucial for understanding customer satisfaction and gathering feedback on products or services, post-purchase surveys directly contribute to improving the customer experience and boosting brand loyalty.

First-Party Data

First-party data is collected from a company’s own sources, which may or may not include direct customer input. While first-party data shares similarities with zero-party data in terms of accuracy and reliability, it does not necessarily come directly from customer-provided information, so it comes with the risk of misinterpretation, similar to third-party data.

First-Party Data Collection Strategies

  • Google Analytics: Use this tool to track website visitor behavior, including page views, time spent on the site, and conversion paths. This data helps in understanding what content or products are engaging your audience.
  • Data Management Platforms (DMPs): DMPs like Adobe Audience Manager collect, organize, and analyze your first-party data across multiple sources, providing a unified view of your customer. This insight is invaluable for segmenting your audience and personalizing marketing efforts.

Both zero-party and first-party data are crucial for creating a more meaningful relationship with customers. By leveraging these insights to cater to individual preferences and behaviors, brands can create personalized experiences that resonate with each customer and enhance brand loyalty.

How To Build Brand Loyalty Through Personalization and Engagement

Leveraging zero-party and first-party data to offer personalized experiences has become more crucial than ever for brands aiming to achieve their revenue goals and foster deep connections with their customers. 

Studies have shown that 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase from brands that provide tailored experiences. Brands that recognize and act on this imperative set themselves apart in a crowded market, building loyalty beyond a single transaction.

By harnessing zero-party and first-party data, companies can segment their audience into specific groups, ensuring that each customer receives targeted, relevant messages and offers.

Sephora has a great model for leveraging this data. As part of their loyalty program, when customers have their makeup done in-store, the makeup artist records each product in the customer’s digital profile. 

When customers get home, they can easily purchase the exact products used during their session, creating a highly personalized shopping experience that feels unique.

Chewy asks customers to share photos of their pets, incorporates pet names into communications, and even sends personalized gifts when their pet passes away. This not only demonstrates genuine care and understanding but also solidifies customer loyalty.

This type of individualized and personalized engagement used to be above and beyond, but it is coming to be expected. Brands that fail to provide personalized experiences risk being seen as indifferent. Without personalization, customers feel like just another transaction and don’t build any real attachment to the brand.

On the other hand, tailored interactions foster a sense of belonging and appreciation, making customers more likely to remain loyal and advocate for the brand. 

Creating Seamless Experiences

An omnichannel strategy integrates multiple channels of customer engagement—online and offline—to provide a unified, seamless experience. 

Modern consumers interact with brands through multiple platforms and expect a consistent level of service and personalization at every turn.

Moreover, an omnichannel approach allows brands to leverage customer data to create a personalized, interconnected journey that enhances brand loyalty.

For example, YouTube has a reputation for being more suited to awareness than direct conversion. But, through post-purchase surveys, you may discover that a significant portion of your sales were driven by customers who remembered your brand from YouTube, revealing its value in the broader marketing mix.

In addition, analyzing website visitation patterns enables brands to pinpoint users who are already aware of your brand. This insight allows for tailored ads based on the specific pages visited on the site, engaging potential customers with relevant messages that resonate with their past interactions with the brand across the platforms where they spend their time

Pre-Purchase and Post-Purchase Experiences

The value of the strategic use of zero-party and first-party data in improving both pre-purchase and post-purchase experiences is increasingly obvious. This section explores how DTC brands can utilize this data to not only meet but exceed customer expectations at every stage of their journey.


Before a purchase is made, the customer’s journey is all about discovery, consideration, and decision-making. At this stage, personalizing the experience becomes crucial. Brands can leverage customer data to customize the omnichannel experience, ensuring that it aligns with where the customer is in the purchase funnel and what they have shown interest in.

For instance, if a customer has spent time exploring a specific category or product on your website, this information can be used to tailor communications and recommendations across other channels like email marketing, social media, and online ads. This targeted approach not only enhances the customer’s shopping experience by making it more relevant and engaging but also increases the likelihood of conversion by presenting them with options that align with their interests and needs.


The relationship between a brand and its customer doesn’t end at the point of sale; in many ways, it’s just beginning. Post-purchase, customer data becomes invaluable in continuing to build that relationship. 

One effective strategy is to use data on past purchases to upsell related products. By analyzing purchase patterns, brands can identify which products are frequently bought together and use this insight to make targeted recommendations.

For example, if data shows that customers who purchase a particular type of running shoe often buy specific running accessories within a short timeframe, the brand can immediately follow up shoe purchases with personalized recommendations for those accessories. This not only provides customers with a cohesive shopping experience but also demonstrates the brand’s attentiveness to their needs and preferences, enhancing their perception of the brand’s customer service while increasing their spend with your brand

By understanding and anticipating customer needs, brands can deliver personalized experiences that resonate on a deeper level, fostering a sense of value and appreciation among customers that, ultimately, build brand loyalty.

Incorporating Loyalty Programs and User Content To Drive Brand Loyalty

The integration of loyalty programs and the encouragement of user-generated content is proving to be a significant lever for enhancing brand loyalty.

Loyalty Programs

Loyalty programs offer a dual advantage: they are a source of customer data, and they provide a platform for personalized customer engagement. 

A well-designed loyalty program not only incentivizes repeat purchases but also deepens the customer’s connection with the brand. Brands can do this by offering rewards aligned with the customer’s preferences and purchase history.

Customers who are part of a loyalty program tend to have a stronger relationship with your brand, leading to more frequent and more expensive purchases. While loyalty programs are mostly geared toward retaining existing customers, they can re-engage past customers too. 

By analyzing the data collected through these programs—such as preferred communication channels and past purchasing behavior—brands can craft highly personalized outreach efforts. This targeted communication can effectively entice past customers to re-visit and engage with the brand.

User-Generated Content

Studies indicate that a staggering 90% of consumers are more likely to trust a brand that someone recommends to them. Therefore, user-generated content (UGC) stands out as a powerful tool to build your brand’s authenticity.

Encouraging your customers to share their experiences with your brand not only amplifies your brand’s visibility but also attracts new customers. This organic form of promoting authentic narratives creates a rich content ecosystem around your brand. As these narratives spread on social media, they attract a broader top-of-funnel audience, creating new opportunities for you to engage and convert these prospects through their marketing funnel.

Together, loyalty programs and UGC strategies strengthen the connection between your brand and your customers, driving brand loyalty and success in a competitive ecommerce landscape.

Feedback and Continuous Improvement

Customer feedback is crucial for effective brand development. It’s a direct line of communication between the consumer and the brand, offering insights for refining products, services, and customer experiences.

The process of collecting feedback demonstrates to customers that their opinions are valued and that the brand is committed to listening and evolving based on their needs. This sense of being heard and appreciated is fundamental in fostering a sense of loyalty and connection between customers and the brand.

But gathering customer feedback is only the first step. Acting on that feedback is the crucial part.

This means not only acknowledging customer input but also implementing changes that address their concerns. By doing so, a brand sends a powerful message that it views its customers as stakeholders whose opinions are integral to the brand’s evolution and success.

Continuous improvement, driven by customer feedback, ensures that a brand’s offerings remain aligned with customer expectations and market trends. Brands that consistently innovate and improve based on customer feedback are more likely to retain their customer base and attract new customers through positive word-of-mouth and reputation.

Data’s Role In Building Brand Loyalty

In 2024, the necessity for brands to strategically utilize zero-party and first-party data is growing more and more important. Through direct engagement and insightful analysis of data, brands have the opportunity to tailor their interactions, ensuring their content is relevant and resonates with each customer’s individual preferences and needs, building a strong foundation for long-term brand loyalty.

About the Author: Pamela Covert is a Senior Client Partner at adQuadrant with 5+ years of digital marketing and technology experience. She graduated from Louisiana State University in 2018 with a BS in Marketing and a concentration in Professional Sales. From there, she’s partnered with industry leaders like Ford Automotive, Camp Bow Wow, FastSigns, and TELETIES to build and grow their paid advertising strategies. She currently resides in Texas and, outside of work, enjoys trying new restaurants, college football (Geaux Tigers!) and her blue heeler, Levi.

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