What is the difference between zero party data and first-party data?

In the realm of digital marketing, data is often considered the lifeblood that fuels personalized customer experiences, targeted campaigns, and strategic decision-making. Among the various types of data that ecommerce businesses collect, zero party data and first-party data are two terms that often come up. While they may seem similar, there are crucial differences that set them apart. In this blog post, we'll explore these differences to help you better understand how each can be used in your marketing strategies.

What is First-Party Data?

First-party data is information that is collected directly from your customers during their interactions with your brand. This can include behavioral data, such as the pages they visit on your website, the products they look at, or the time they spend on your app. It can also include transactional data like purchase history. First-party data is generally collected through cookies, analytics tools, CRM systems, and other data collection mechanisms that track customer interactions.

What is Zero Party Data?

Zero party data, on the other hand, is information that customers willingly share with your brand. Unlike first-party data, which is collected passively, zero party data is actively provided by the customer. This can include survey responses, feedback, preferences, or even future intentions. Zero party data is often collected through interactive experiences like quizzes, preference centers, or direct customer feedback.

Key Differences

1. Source of Data

The most fundamental difference lies in how the data is collected. First-party data is collected passively through customer interactions, while zero party data is actively provided by the customer.

2. Type of Information

First-party data often includes behavioral and transactional information, which can be used to infer customer preferences or intentions. Zero party data, however, is explicit and provides direct insights into what the customer likes, wants, or intends to do.

3. Consent and Transparency

Zero party data inherently involves a higher level of consent and transparency, as it is information that customers choose to share. This makes it particularly valuable in an era where data privacy regulations are becoming increasingly stringent.

4. Accuracy and Relevance

Because zero party data is actively provided by the customer, it is generally more accurate and relevant for personalization. First-party data can offer valuable insights but may require more analysis and interpretation to be used effectively.

5. Use Cases

First-party data is often used for retargeting, segmentation, and analytics. Zero party data is particularly useful for personalization, building customer profiles, and enhancing customer experiences.


Both zero party data and first-party data offer unique advantages and can be powerful tools in your marketing arsenal. First-party data provides a broad view of customer behavior and interactions, while zero party data offers deeper, more explicit insights into customer preferences and intentions. Understanding the key differences between these two types of data can help you leverage them more effectively in your marketing strategies. In a world where personalization and customer experience are king, integrating both zero party and first-party data can give you the edge you need to succeed.