Understanding identity resolution in Sitecore CDP

Abstract

Provides an overview to identity resolution (Sitecore CDP).

This topic introduces identity resolution. Identity resolution is the process of identifying anonymous guests in Sitecore CDP.

Sitecore CDP uses identity rules to identify guests who interact with your brand over different channels and devices, online and offline.

Identity rules are specific for each tenant and are applicable for online (Stream API) and offline (Batch API) identity resolution. Identity rules are based on your organization's requirements. We recommend you consult with your data privacy team and other stakeholders to determine your organization's identity rules before you start configuring them.

Your organization can configure identity rules to check for a matching unique identifier that is internal to your organization, for example, a loyalty number or unique ID from a Customer Relationship Manager (CRM) system. This configuration can be used by organizations that use either the Sitecore CDP 2.1 data model or Sitecore CDP 2.0 data model.

Note

Organizations send data to Sitecore CDP using either the 2.0 data model or 2.1 data model. All new tenants use the 2.1 data model.

Some organizations that use the 2.0 data model can use Personally Identifiable Information (PII) to identify guests.

Sitecore CDP Stream API can perform real-time identity resolution for each guest that interacts with your organization's web-based applications.

The following steps explain the process Sitecore CDP uses for real-time identity resolution using the Sitecore CDP Stream API:

  1. When a guest visits your organization's web-based application and interacts with a tagged webpage, it can trigger the sending of an IDENTITY event to Sitecore CDP. Most organizations tag their website to send IDENTITY events from webpages that capture guest data such as the sign-in page, subscription popup window, and checkout page. The IDENTITY event contains data that enables Sitecore CDP to perform identity resolution. When Sitecore CDP receives the IDENTITY event, it runs a linking algorithm in an attempt to match guest data from separate guest profiles, based on your organization's identity rules. The following can occur after the linking algorithm runs:

    • If a matching guest profile is found, behavioral and transactional data for the guest's current session is saved in the existing guest profile. Because the guest is identified, the guest profile has a guest type of customer.

    • If no matching guest profiles are found or if a guest is browsing incognito, Sitecore CDP automatically creates a new guest profile with a guest type of visitor.

  2. If the guest continues to interact with tagged webpages during the web session, Sitecore CDP can receive several more IDENTITY events. Each time Sitecore CDP receives an IDENTITY event, it runs the linking algorithm that can result in the following options:

    • If no matching guest profiles are found, but the unidentified guest provides enough identifying information to meet your organization's identity rules, Sitecore CDP updates the guest type from visitor to customer, signifying the guest is identified. This can happen when an unidentified guest visits your website for the first time and makes a purchase, triggering an IDENTITY event from the checkout page that meets the criteria of your organization's identity rules.

    • If no matching guest profiles are found and the visitor does not provide enough identifying information to meet your organization's identity rules, Sitecore CDP retains the guest profile with the guest type of visitor.

    • If a matching guest profile is found, Sitecore CDP migrates current session data to the guest profile with a customer guest type. Sitecore CDP then retires the guest profile with the visitor guest type.

Sitecore CDP Batch API performs offline identity resolution. This can be when your organization first starts using Sitecore CDP and wants to import existing customer records, or it can happen on a nightly basis to import offline orders.

The following steps explain the process Sitecore CDP uses for offline identity resolution using the Sitecore CDP Batch API:

  1. An Integration specialist, or someone with a similar role, uploads a batch file of guest records to Sitecore CDP.

  2. Sitecore CDP runs a linking algorithm for each guest in the batch file in an attempt to match guest data to existing guest profiles, based on your organization's identity rules. The following can occur after the linking algorithm runs:

    • If a matching guest profile is found, Sitecore CDP migrates guest data to the guest profile with a customer guest type.

    • If no matching guest profiles are found, Sitecore CDP creates a new guest profile with the customer guest type.

    • If the identifier is incorrect or missing, the batch upload fails.