Segment's cross-domain analytics bypasses third-party data aggregators

The customer data platform's new feature is an "industry first," Segment says, in its ability to offer personalization without sacrificing consumer privacy.
Written by Stephanie Condon, Senior Writer

Segment, the platform that serves as a hub for customer data, is rolling out a new feature to let businesses analyze data from multiple domains without handing over their customers' information to third parties.

Typically, businesses have relied on third-party cookies and data aggregators to assess the behavior of their users across multiple domains, sacrificing some level of customer privacy. Segment's Cross-Domain Analytics feature is an "industry first," Segment CEO Peter Reinhardt told ZDNet, in that it's focused on helping individual companies with multiple domains.

"While ad networks are using third party cookies to understand behavior across their whole ecosystem," he explained, "we're interested in helping a single company."

Once a business has its data on the Segment platform, it plug it into hundreds of tools for analytics, marketing or warehousing.

Most of Segment's customers that have more than 100 employees have multiple domains and products to keep track of, Reinhardt said. Meanwhile, consumers are increasingly aware of the level of data brokerage across the internet.

"People are turning on ad blockers more and more, and I think probably most people should," he said. "The important line to draw," he argued, "is whether data is being shared between companies, or whether a company is keeping it within their own walls."

The feature should be useful for Segment customers who have multiple media properties, different product lines, or a combination of products and media properties.

For instance, the ecommerce brand Glossier has been using Segment's cross-domain analytics on its two domains -- their ecommerce site glossier.com and their blog and community site intothegloss.com. It used the feature to learn that people who browse both sites are 40 percent more likely to make a purchase. It's also been able to build new campaigns targeting users who read Into The Gloss but don't visit glossier.com.

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