Before you deliver personalization, you have to have customer data. Makes sense, right? But how are today’s most tech-savvy brands capturing data about their customers? Most important: How do they make it actionable?

The recently released L2 Personalization Report took a deep dive into this topic. It looks into some interesting ways brands are capturing customer preferences—from signup forms to mobile apps.

Among those highlighted is global beauty brand L’Oréal Paris; they offer five beauty diagnostic tools (skin care, face makeup, eye makeup, hair care, and hair color) in an effort to help customers find the ideal product while contributing to L’Oréal’s data-capture strategy, too.

Capturing Implicit Customer Data

Through the mobile apps, L’Oréal Paris is able to derive incredibly powerful data about their customers. They’re then able to utilize that data to improve customer experience through improved segmentation and personalization.  

From the report:

“Through its five unique consultative tools, the brand can extract over 148 unique data points per consumer, ranging from hair thickness and eye color to favorite lash looks and preferred foundation texture. In theory, the brand can segment consumers into more than 2.1 octillion highly granular personas, based on their diagnostic quiz results.”

The type of data the L’Oréal Paris app collects is implicit. The customer is handing over the information willingly, but they’re getting something real, tangible, and valuable out of it, too.

What is Implicit Data?

Let’s break it down this way: 

  • Implicit data = purchases, runs tracked using the Nike running app, etc.
  • Explicit data = surveys, questionnaires, account profiles.

To give more context, here’s how L2 defines implicit data:

“The consumer recognizes that the brand is collecting this data, and provides it without necessarily demonstrating its authenticity through behavior. It is valuable in the sense that it allows consumers to self-segment, even prior to making a purchase with a brand, but arguably not as valuable as implicit data—the data captured when a consumer buys specific products, and thereby ‘votes with her pocketbook.’”

To learn more about the types of customer data capture and how cutting-edge brands are doing it, download this comprehensive report on the current state of retail personalization and get inspired: