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In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, the strategic utilisation of data has become a linchpin for success. Among the myriad types of data at a marketer’s disposal, first-party data emerges as a particularly potent asset. Its direct collection from audience interactions offers an unparalleled depth of insights, making it a cornerstone for businesses seeking to thrive in today’s competitive environment. This becomes even more important in today’s context, where the phasing out of third-party cookies will leave marketers temporarily “blind” in search to connect the dots on consumer’s behaviour.

Closer to where we operate, the realms of live and video commerce, where real-time engagement and digital interactivity open new avenues for data acquisition and customer understanding.

In this article, we delve into the art and science of leveraging first-party data in live and video commerce. From understanding its fundamental value to exploring practical strategies for its application, we aim to provide a comprehensive guide on how businesses can harness this data to fuel growth, enhance customer experience, and pave the way for long-term success in the digital marketplace.

The Value of First-Party Data in Live and Video Commerce

In the digital world, data is often referred to as the new oil, a valuable resource to be tapped and refined for business growth and innovation. At the forefront of this data revolution is first-party data, a critical asset that is changing the way businesses interact with their customers, particularly in live and video commerce.

What is First-Party Data?

First-party data is information collected directly from your customers or audience. This includes data from interactions on your website, transactions, social media engagements, surveys, and customer feedback. It’s the digital footprint left by users when they visit your site, use your app, or interact with your brand online. First-party data is unique to your business; it’s collected by you and owned by you. This direct relationship with the data source not only ensures its relevance but also its high level of accuracy and trustworthiness.

BeLive’s AI-Driven Data Analytics for Live and Video Commerce

In contrast, second-party data is essentially someone else’s first-party data that you acquire from a partnership, while third-party data is aggregated from various sources by data collection companies and sold to businesses. While second and third-party data can provide broader market insights, they lack the specificity and direct connection that first-party data offers.

First-Party Data in Live and Video Commerce

Live and video commerce represent the cutting edge of customer engagement in the digital age. These platforms blend entertainment with instant purchasing opportunities, creating a rich environment for collecting first-party data. During live commerce events, businesses can gather real-time data such as viewer numbers, engagement rates (likes, comments, shares), and direct feedback through polls or Q&A sessions. This immediate interaction provides a wealth of information about customer preferences, behaviors, and purchasing patterns.

For instance, a fashion brand hosting a live stream to showcase their latest collection can analyze viewer reactions to different styles, note the most asked questions about specific products, and track the conversion rate of viewers to purchasers. This data is invaluable for understanding what resonates with their audience and can directly influence future product lines and marketing strategies.

BeLive’s Live & Video Commerce Data Analytics

Similarly, video commerce, which utilizes pre-recorded or on-demand video content, offers detailed insights through metrics like view duration, replay rates, and click-through rates on product links. These indicators help businesses understand which content keeps viewers engaged and drives them towards making a purchase.

Case studies from successful brands in live and video commerce underline the power of first-party data. For example, a beauty brand might use data from their live makeup tutorials to tailor their product offerings, focusing more on products that garnered the most interest during these sessions. Another case could be an electronics company using video analytics to understand which product demonstrations lead to the highest engagement and conversion rates, thus optimizing their content strategy accordingly.

Impact on Brand Success

The advent of digital commerce has heralded a new era where personalised customer experiences are not just appreciated but expected. This is where first-party data becomes a game-changer, acting as a key driver in enhancing personalisation and reshaping marketing and sales strategies.

Enhancing Personalisation

First-party data is akin to a treasure trove for brands, offering deep and actionable insights into customer behaviors and preferences. This data, collected directly from customer interactions, enables brands to craft personalised experiences that resonate on a deeper level with their audience.

Imagine an online retailer who uses first-party data to track a customer’s browsing habits, purchase history, and product preferences. Armed with this knowledge, they can curate personalised product recommendations, tailor email marketing campaigns to individual interests, and even customize the website experience for repeat visitors. This level of personalisation not only enhances the customer experience but also fosters a sense of connection between the customer and the brand.

Effective personalisation strategies involve segmenting audiences based on their behavior and preferences, and then targeting these segments with customised messages and offers. For instance, a customer who frequently purchases eco-friendly products might receive recommendations for similar items, while another who often buys gifts might see options for gift wrapping and special occasion products.

Improving Marketing and Sales

The prowess of first-party data extends beyond personalisation to the realms of targeted marketing and sales, where it plays a pivotal role in optimising strategies for better reach and conversion.

Targeted marketing, powered by first-party data, allows brands to create more relevant and effective marketing campaigns. By understanding the demographics, interests, and behaviors of their audience, companies can design ads and promotions that speak directly to the needs and desires of their customers. This not only improves engagement rates but also increases the likelihood of conversion.

For example, a fitness apparel brand could use data from their online store to identify customers interested in running gear. They could then target these customers with specific marketing campaigns for running shoes and accessories, significantly increasing the chances of conversion.

Conversion rate optimisation (CRO) is another critical area where first-party data proves invaluable. By analyzing data such as website traffic, click-through rates, and purchase patterns, brands can identify bottlenecks in the customer journey and areas for improvement. This might involve redesigning a landing page, streamlining the checkout process, or tweaking product descriptions for clarity and appeal.

Moreover, A/B testing, fueled by first-party data, enables brands to experiment with different elements of their marketing and sales strategies to determine what works best. For example, testing two different email subject lines to see which yields a higher open rate, or comparing the performance of two landing pages to optimize for conversions.

Business Outcomes of Leveraging First-Party Data

When competition is fierce and customer attention is fleeting, leveraging first-party data can lead to significant business outcomes. Two of the most impactful areas are customer retention and loyalty, and brand differentiation. These elements are crucial in not only attracting but also maintaining a loyal customer base and standing out in a crowded market.

Customer Retention and Loyalty

Customer retention and loyalty are the lifeblood of any successful business. Here, first-party data plays a crucial role in understanding and anticipating customer needs, leading to more effective engagement strategies. When a business uses first-party data to personalise experiences, customers feel understood and valued, which fosters loyalty and encourages repeat business.

For example, consider a subscription-based service that uses customer usage patterns to offer personalised recommendations. By leveraging data on what a customer watches or purchases, the service can not only recommend more of what the customer might like but also anticipate their needs, perhaps by offering a curated package or a special discount on their next renewal. Such strategies go beyond transactional relationships, creating a sense of belonging and loyalty among customers.

Moreover, personalised customer service interactions based on first-party data further enhance this relationship. Knowing a customer’s history, preferences, and previous issues allows customer service representatives to provide more effective, tailored assistance, thereby strengthening the customer’s trust and loyalty to the brand.

Brand Differentiation

In today’s competitive market, standing out is as important as providing quality products or services. First-party data offers a unique opportunity for brand differentiation by enabling businesses to tailor their offerings and communications in a way that resonates uniquely with their audience.

A brand that understands its customers’ specific needs and preferences can develop unique products, services, or content that speaks directly to its audience. This could be as straightforward as customizing product features based on customer feedback or as complex as developing entirely new product lines that address unmet needs identified through data analysis.

Moreover, first-party data allows for more targeted and unique marketing campaigns. Instead of generic messages that might apply to a broad audience, companies can use the insights gained from their data to craft campaigns that feel personal and relevant to their customers. This not only increases engagement but also helps the brand to carve out a unique identity in the minds of consumers.

For instance, a cosmetic brand can use data from customer interactions and purchases to identify emerging trends in beauty preferences among its customer base. By quickly adapting its product line and marketing strategy to these trends, the brand not only meets customer demands but also positions itself as a trendsetter in the industry.

SWOT Analysis of Third-Party Platforms

In the quest to understand and leverage customer data for business success, many companies turn to third-party platforms. While these platforms offer various benefits, they also come with limitations. A SWOT analysis – examining the Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats – provides a comprehensive view of relying on third-party data.

Strengths: Third-party platforms are often praised for their broad reach and diversity of data. They can provide insights into a wide range of consumer behaviors and trends that are not directly observable through first-party data. This broad perspective is invaluable for businesses looking to understand general market dynamics or expand into new customer segments. Additionally, these platforms usually have sophisticated data collection and processing capabilities, offering businesses access to large datasets without the need for significant investments in data infrastructure.

Weaknesses: However, weaknesses of third-party data are particularly evident when it comes to relevance and specificity. This data is often more generic and less tailored to individual business needs. Moreover, businesses have limited control over the data collection process, which can lead to concerns about the accuracy and reliability of the data. Also, the increasing focus on user privacy and data protection regulations, like GDPR, makes relying solely on third-party data a risky proposition.

Opportunities: The use of third-party data presents several opportunities, especially in terms of market expansion and trend analysis. It allows businesses to gain insights into broader market trends and customer behaviors that are not immediately apparent from their internal data. This can inform strategic decisions about product development, marketing, and customer acquisition strategies.

Threats: On the flip side, the threats associated with third-party platforms cannot be overlooked. The biggest threat is the increasing regulatory scrutiny around data privacy, which could limit access to or the use of third-party data. Additionally, reliance on third-party platforms can lead to a dependency that might hinder the development of a company’s own data capabilities, which are crucial for long-term success.

Long-term Implications for Businesses: In the long term, over-reliance on third-party platforms can put businesses at a disadvantage. It can stifle the development of internal data expertise and create a dependency on external sources, which may not always align with the specific needs or goals of the business. In contrast, building a strong first-party data strategy ensures that businesses have direct, relevant, and compliant data, which is a significant asset in today’s data-driven world.

Embracing First-Party Data for Scalable Success

While third-party data can complement a business’s understanding of the market, first-party data is the cornerstone of a sustainable and scalable data strategy. The richness, relevance, and compliance of first-party data make it a powerful tool for businesses looking to deepen customer relationships, enhance personalization, and maintain a competitive edge. As the digital landscape continues to evolve, the importance of building and utilizing a robust first-party data strategy cannot be overstated. Businesses that recognize and act on this will be well-positioned for success in an increasingly data-driven world.

Reviewed by:

Latif Sim

Chief Strategy Officer

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