How to Use Klaviyo's Anonymous Visitor Activity Backfill for Effective Web Tracking

How to Use Klaviyo's Anonymous Visitor Activity Backfill for Effective Web Tracking

In today's digital landscape, comprehensive web tracking is essential for understanding customer behaviour and crafting effective marketing strategies. Klaviyo's newly rolled out Anonymous Visitor Activity Backfill, enables stores to gain a deeper insight into their website visitors and capture on-site activity before they are identified as a user or contact.

Klaviyo's Web Tracking Capabilities

Before delving into Anonymous Visitor Activity Backfill, it's essential to understand Klaviyo's web tracking capabilities. By default, Klaviyo's web tracking offers two key metrics:

  1. Active on Site Tracking: This metric monitors identifiable browsers visiting your website, enabling you to segment contacts based on engagement levels.

  2. Viewed Product Tracking: This tracks identifiable browsers viewing product pages. It allows you to send reminders to customers in a browse abandonment flow.


Identifying Visitors Using Cookies

Klaviyo's web tracking relies on the identification of website visitors. This identification is achieved through Klaviyo's JavaScript, which sets a cookie. The cookie, in turn, allows for tracking and identifying site visitors, generating a unique ID. Visitors are identified in two ways:

  1. Filling Out a Klaviyo Signup Form: When visitors fill out a Klaviyo signup form on your website, they are identified.

  2. Clicking a Link from a Klaviyo Email: Clicking on a link in an email sent via Klaviyo also identifies the visitor.

These cookies can temporarily store personally identifiable information and remain valid for up to two years. Importantly, this cookie is only used for web tracking after a visitor has been identified and does not store data for anonymous visitors.

Anonymous Activity Backfill

Klaviyo's Anonymous Visitor Activity Backfill offers a solution to capture on-site activity for visitors before they are identified. This means that historical on-site events are recorded, allowing you to gain a more comprehensive understanding of your customers' journeys, regardless of when they are identified through Klaviyo's web tracking.

How Klaviyo Collects Onsite Data for Anonymous Visitors

To collect on-site data for anonymous visitors, Klaviyo records their actions as they occur and stores this data locally in the visitor's browser. When the visitor is identified in the future, this data is sent to Klaviyo and cleared from the browser. Any future on-site activity is tracked as usual through the Klaviyo cookie once identification is complete.

To store data in the browser, the visitor's browser must support setting items in local storage or indexedDB.

Enabling Anonymous Visitor Activity Backfill

To enable Anonymous Visitor Activity Backfill, you must have Klaviyo.js installed on your store. Klaviyo.js can be automatically installed with certain integrations, or you have the option to add it manually to your website.

How to enable Klaviyo's Anonymous Visitor Activity Backfill:

  1. Navigate to Account > Settings in the bottom left corner of Klaviyo.
  2. On the Data tab in your account settings, check the "Enable anonymous visitor tracking" box.

Data Storage - Cookies vs Local Storage

  • Storage Capacity: Cookies have a limited storage of 4KB, whereas Local Storage can store significantly more, typically up to 5MB, allowing up to 10,000 events to be stored. However, this can depend on the user's browser.

  • Expiration: Cookies have an expiration date, which can be set when created. They can be either session cookies (deleted when the browser is closed) or persistent cookies (which can be set to expire at a specific time). Local storage data doesn't have an expiration date. It remains on the user's device until it is explicitly removed or cleared by the user.

  • Privacy and Security: Cookies are more vulnerable to security threats, such as cross-site scripting (XSS) attacks, as they are sent with every request and can be manipulated by malicious scripts.  Local storage is less susceptible to XSS attacks because it is not automatically transmitted to the server. However, it's not completely immune to client-side security vulnerabilities.

Wrap Up

We think that the addition of Anonymous Visitor Activity Backfill to Klaviyo is an excellent addition to their web tracking software. It means it is now possible to deliver a personalised experience to your customers, as soon as they are identified. 

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