The one thing your Klaviyo marketing might be missing

More than a hundred thousand e-commerce brands use Klaviyo because of the powerful automation it brings to their marketing tech stack. Its email flow capabilities offer powerful personalization and potential revenue. But many users don’t know the hidden problem that reduces their revenue potential by 30% to 40%: disappearing user data. Understanding where this data is going—and why it vanishes—is key to finding a solution. This article will break down the problem surrounding this data loss, why it matters, and how to fix it. Ultimately, you’ll come away with the knowledge required to maximize the value of Klaviyo’s killer automation.

How Safari is sabotaging your marketing efforts

Apple’s Safari accounts for more than half of the mobile device browser market, and just over a third of the overall browser market. In an attempt to deliver increased consumer privacy, Apple has released a series of updates that shortened the duration of Safari browser cookies to just seven days for direct or organic traffic.

While reducing the lifespan of cookies might not seem like a big deal, seven days is actually incredibly short when it comes to many purchasing decisions. If you think back to the last few larger purchases you made, you probably spent more than a week mulling over the decision. This means that, even if a prospective customer voluntarily offers an email address or phone number early in the buying process, the cookie that connects with that data doesn’t last until the actual purchase. In other words, you’re unable to use the data that your customers have voluntarily provided you with.

How expiring cookies sabotage Klaviyo’s automation

The effectiveness of Klaviyo’s email automation can be distilled down into a simple equation:

User info + qualifying action = triggered flow

The formula seems simple enough, but there’s one major obstacle complicating the equation: commonly, a user provides their info during a different visit than the one when they complete a qualifying action. These two events often occur not just on different days, but more than a week apart. And since Safari’s cookies only last seven days, that means that the two pieces required within the Klaviyo equation above never actually register.

How missing user data impacts the customer journey 

To better illustrate this problem, let’s follow along as Muhammad shops online for a new chair to go in his living room. He’s looking for the perfect spot to read by the window, and has wanted to splurge on a really nice chair to fit the bill.

Day 1

Muhammad’s friend recommends a furniture brand, so he pulls up the website on his phone. Upon arriving on the homepage, a pop-up offers a 10% coupon code in exchange for Muhammad submitting his email. He enters his email, receives the coupon, and browses around a bit to compare different models and colors. He likes what he sees, but never takes any action like adding something to his cart.

Day 10

Muhammed has been thinking a lot about one of the chairs he saw previously. He returns to site, but because it’s been more than seven days, Klaviyo is unable to recognize him. The same 10% discount offer pops up, but Muhammed taps out of it because he still has his coupon from before. He adds the chair he’s been thinking about to his cart to check the price after tax and shipping, then gets distracted by something else for the rest of the night. Klaviyo is unable to trigger the abandoned cart flow because Muhammed didn’t input an email or phone number.

Day 14

Muhammed is finally ready to purchase the chair he’s been dreaming about. He returns to the site, adds the chair to his cart, adds the coupon he received during his first visit, and completes the purchase.

Disappearing user data = disappearing customers

All's well that ends well, right? Not exactly. If Klaviyo had access to the necessary data, it could have successfully retargeted Muhammed after his second visit, potentially moving his purchase up by several days. And for every Muhammed that does eventually make a purchase, there are thousands of others who don’t because Klaviyo wasn’t provided with the user data required to trigger a remarketing flow. 

While Muhammed’s experience reflects one specific automation flow, there are many other flows that are also impacted because user data is disappearing after seven days. Without these flows, Klaviyo’s primary value proposition—a personalized customer journey that can be easily resumed over time—comes up short. 

Server side tracking to the rescue

All of the issues discussed so far in this article have been from the perspective of client side user tracking. This technology is extremely simple to configure, since the process usually only requires adding a small snippet of code into your website or downloading an affiliated app. Because of this plug-and-play setup, it has become the default for many growing e-commerce companies. 

Unfortunately, there are some tradeoffs to the ease of use offered by client side user tracking. The first is that client side tracking makes use of third party cookies supplied by advertisers like Facebook or Google. This means that any resulting data is relayed to those third parties, which leads to obvious privacy concerns. The second trade-off is connected to the first. Because client side tracking relies upon third party cookies, it’s subject to Safari’s seven day expiration and the resulting retargeting issues.

The good news, however, is that client side isn’t the only game in town. Server side user tracking is an future-proof alternative because it keeps brands in control of consumer data rather than third parties. That means increased privacy, more control, and no risk of losing the data after seven days.

Up until recently, however, server side tracking was only practical for large organizations. The complexity of server side tracking, both in terms of configuration and maintenance, has required dedicated teams in order to keep it running. This put smaller e-commerce brands at a disadvantage, since they were stuck with outdated, inflexible client side tracking. Luckily, that trade-off is no longer necessary. Solutions like Black Crow shoulder the weight of server side data tracking, so e-commerce brands of all sizes can enjoy the benefits.

How server side tracking restores the power of Klaviyo remarketing

Server side user tracking restores the power to the consumers and brands. If a consumer provides their email or phone number, server side tracking assures that the data is properly connected to the customer the next time they visit the site—even if it’s been more than seven days.

No matter how long the buying cycle, server side tracking makes sure that each and every action is added to the overall profile of each prospective customer. The result is a customized, privacy-forward experience for the consumer, and increased conversion rates for e-commerce companies.

Remember this equation we discussed above?

User info + qualifying action = triggered flow

Server side user tracking resolves this equation, because it connects the dots between the user info and qualifying actions, even if they occur on different visits and several weeks apart.

How server side tracking improves the customer journey

Let’s return to Muhammed’s quest to buy a new reading chair. Only this time, the furniture company that he is interested in employs server side user tracking to assist with their Klaviyo automation.

Day 1

Muhammed visits the furniture website, and submits his email in exchange for a 10% off coupon. He browses around, but leaves without completing a qualifying action.

Day 10

Muhammed returns to the site. The 10% discount offer doesn’t pop-up, because server side tracking connects the dots with his previous visit. He adds the chair to his cart, then leaves. Klaviyo, assisted by server side tracking, triggers an abandoned cart flow based on the email Muhammed submitted on day one. Muhammed receives an email with an additional incentive to complete the purchase, and he does so.

Day 14

Because server side tracking streamlined Klaviyo’s retargeting automation, Muhammed’s purchase was moved up by several days. He has since received the chair, found the perfect spot for it, and is already a couple hundred pages in a new novel. And because the experience was so good, he also forwarded a promo code he received from the furniture company on to an interested friend.

Ready to learn more about server side user tracking?

We hope this article helped you understand why your Klaviyo automation efforts might not be delivering the results you expect. At Black Crow AI, it’s our goal to help e-commerce brands of all shapes and sizes tap into their first-party data to recognize users across multiple sessions, and optimize every part of the digital experience. Once installed, we handle all the configuration and maintenance to activate your data across channels, and you reap the rewards. This includes upping the effectiveness of your Klaviyo-driven marketing efforts, your paid advertising, and more.

We’d love to offer you a personalized 30 minute chat with one of our product experts to continue the conversation about server side user tracking and answer any questions you might have. Schedule your conversation now.

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