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One of the biggest challenges of any eCommerce company is turning anonymous visitors into customers. Most eCommerce companies are leaving a lot of money on the table by not investing in understanding who their website visitors are.

You will get a lot of traffic to your site, but very few visitors will fill out forms, leave their email and become a conversion. In addition, your anonymous prospects are being bombarded with an unbelievable amount of marketing messages each day.

You can cut through the noise by delivering personalized marketing messages which will resonate with your potential customers. Only messages that can speak to each individual consumer, have a chance to be listened to.

The Value of Anonymous User Tracking

Your conversion rate can make or break your store… and most first time visitors rarely make a purchase. Ninety-five percent of your website visitors are anonymous. With that said, the bulk of your visitors probably won’t convert. Simply building repertoire with your visitors can increase conversions and spike growth.

Marketers tend to focus on the 5% of users that opt-in or sign up for an account on their website, trying to improve their conversion rate through better experiences. Merchants are neglecting a huge segment of people by focusing on optimizing conversions for the five percent when the focus should be on the other 95% of visitors.

By utilizing services that unlock data around anonymous visitors, like Oracle BlueKai, that do not require them to identify themselves, marketers can better tailor experiences for these users.

There is no need to know every precise detail about your visitors, you just need to know enough specific data to provide a personalized experience on your website. When you understand what your visitors’ interests are, you can provide pertinent, appropriate content to help move them along in the buying process.

Analyze User Site Behavior

There are many methods to track, gather details, and understand the anonymous visitors on your website. Here are a few techniques to turn your anonymous visitors into known customers.

Reverse IP

One way of tracking and identifying anonymous visitors is with reverse IP lookup. By tracing the visitor’s IP address, you are able to know who is visiting your site (name and address), where the user is coming from, identify all the content each visitor is viewing, and ultimately identify where they are in the buying process.

As a matter of fact, Reverse IP lookup tracks visitors and can create reports with significant behavioral data about your visitors, such as: keyword search information, time spent on a page or form pages visited, percent of new sessions, and bounce rate.

Even though you can’t identify the visitors, you do know what the visitors are interested in and can cater to their search activity.

Implement Google Analytics

Google Analytics has many features which can help you better understand information like most viewed pages, highest converting pages, potential drop off points, as well as conversion attribution data so you can get a more accurate picture of where your most valuable users are coming from.

If users like a particular item, you can offer other products, services, or even content that could complement that item. If people tend to frequently exit from a certain page, you can consider modifying it. For example, if you notice a major drop off in the visitors’ behavior from page to page, you can hypothesize, analyze, and test which elements may be contributing to them going astray. It can be due to poor load time, irrelevant messaging, improper layout optimization, or a weak call to action.

You can optimize your user’s experience on your website with A/B testing (sometimes called split testing). A/B testing is essentially an experiment comparing two random versions of a web page to determine which one performs better. You can compare two variants of a webpage, and experiment with color, typeface, font size, position, and text to find one that resonates with your visitors the most. Employ statistical analysis to determine which variation performs better for your given conversion goal.


Google analytics uses the IP address, or Wi-Fi / GPS data to track your visitors’ geolocation. Geo-tracking allows you to know where in the world your users are coming from. There is tremendous value in knowing where your clicks are coming from.

For one, it shows where you should spend your money. If a lot of your highest converting traffic is coming from a certain country, you can target your ads there. Conversely, if there is a lot of traffic from a certain country that is not converting, you don’t need to display your ads there.

Knowing your visitor’s location can allow you to test out ideas and personalize your website to the segmented location. If you get a lot of traffic from Argentina, wouldn’t you want to enable a language choice of Spanish or English? Or even adding multiple currency options on your website?

Cookie Matching

“Cookies” are a small piece of code that is put on a user’s computer when a website is visited that allows the website to remember him. After multiple website visits, the computer gathers a lot of “cookies” or data. Ad Exchanges can construct the user’s profile and match various “cookies” that have been placed on the computer. This process is called cookie matching.

Cookies are used by eCommerce stores to recall customer login information, as well as see which products users viewed, added to the shopping cart, and bought. With the help of cookies, eCommerce stores are able to discern new website visitors from returning website visitors.

It is part of an eCommerce stores’ strategy to use all of this data to provide it’s visitors with a customized shopping experience. Advertisers are able to target users with enticing advertisements.

Mapping Customer Personas

Defining where your visitors come from and their behavioral activity is fundamental to increasing conversions. By tracking user data, you can group similar behavioral visitors into segmented personas and deliver relevant content to move them further along in the buying process.

For instance, Original Grain, a unique watch company crafting stainless steel and wooden watches, would map out their customers in this way:

Customer 1: Male, Age 18-28, young professional, stylish, active, outdoorsy, social media user, interacts with influencers, keeps up with current events, middle income.

Customer 2: Female, age 40-60, mother, has younger sons, outdoorsy, environmental, activist, middle income.

Based off of these two customer personas, Original Grain knows they will have two unique sets of visitors coming to their eCommerce store. The first category of customers is probably buying the product for themselves. In the second category, the customer is most likely buying for a family member.

With this information, Original Grain can present relevant content and products to each persona.

Some examples of targeted ads:

  •   Offering free suggestion sheets on how to “Pick Out the Perfect Watch For Your Loved Ones”
  •   Displaying testimonials from young influencers on the website
  •   Sorting the products displayed to users’ interest

At Sourcify, we map out customer personas to personalize the experience on our website based on what products visitors are trying to manufacture. Creating these customer personas allows us to tailor our visitor’s experience in ways that encourage conversions. By creating a personalized experience, companies can increase the likelihood that an anonymous website visitor will make a purchase.

Create Engagement Points

Once you understand your potential customer personas, it’s time to create engagement points to boost conversions. Engagement points are areas on your website where you are responding, answering questions and providing support. Engagement points can be broken down into two main categories: onsite and offsite (display, SMS, email, etc.).

Onsite engagement revolves around messaging, recommendations, or personalized pop up experiences. All of these touch points will build a potential customer’s confidence in your company. Each interaction leaves a lasting impression on your potential customer. If they message you on your chatbox, are you there to respond? If they enter in their email in your popup, what email are they sent?

Off-site engagement includes all engagement of your brand off your website, like social media.

An overwhelming majority of global consumers place more trust in word-of-mouth recommendations from friends and family than all other forms of advertising. Companies should create touch points outside of their website by responding to questions, running contests and creating feedback loops for potential customers.

Though these engagement points may not seem important on the surface, they are vital to identifying anonymous website visitors so you can turn them into known customers.

Optimize Funnel Flow

The customer journey or funnel starts at the initial touch point a visitor makes with your brand and extends all the way to the actions they take after you’ve turned them into a customer. In order to optimize your funnel, use the information you’ve discovered about your visitors from the section above to personalize their experiences from conversion and beyond.

In case a user leaves your site without converting, figure out what you’re going to do to get them back into your funnel. Often, this may involve retargeting via display ads and emailing a nurture drip campaign.  There are many ways to avoid site abandonment of unknown users if you have their email.

Make Magic Happen

Turning anonymous visitors into known customers is an ongoing process and is one part of your business that you can continue to improve over time. The key to increased conversions revolves around your ability to deliver the personalized experience necessary to turn cold visitors into warmer leads.

To make this happen, map your customer personas, create strategic engagement points across your channels, implement Google Analytics, determine a process for eliciting customer information (such as an email address), analyze site behavior, and optimize your funnel flow.

If you’re able to understand which customer is on your site, you can utilize Dynamic Yield’s website visitor identification software and then utilize personalized messaging to increase conversions.

Before you know it, those unknown visitors will soon become repeat customers of your modern eCommerce store.

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