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Visitor Identification

In order to connect events with visitors, the visitors must first be identified by eSales. By default, the script identifies visitors using a random number generated by the JavaScript which is stored in a so called local storage to be reused when a visitor returns. This allows for a basic level of personalisation, but it is limited to a device rather than to the actual visitor.

To enable cross device personalisation and personalised recommendations off-site, such as with Email Recommendations, an identifier tied to the visitor is needed.

Selecting identifiers

The identifier must uniquely identify the visitor, but must not be an externally known customer property such as a user name, email address, or social security number as that is a personal data breach liability and against the EU General Data Protection Regulation.

The identifier must however be possible to obtain given a visitor, regardless of device and site, where personalisation is to have any effect. For example, to enable personalised email recommendations, it must be possible to access the identifier within the email service provider.

A retailer will typically have their own internal identifier systems for visitors, such as using identification tables or secret hashing of visitor data, to enable personalisation. This type of internal identification will likely only be able to provide personalisation for members or signed in visitors to a retailer's site.

Site integration

  1. When a visitor signs in, set the selected retailer visitor identifier as the customerKey on the eSales session object:

    esales.session.customerKey = 'secret-retailer-visitor-identifier';

  2. When a visitor signs out, call the reset method on the eSales session object:


Identical customer keys

For any external use, such as Email recommendations, the exact same identifier must be used. This means that the customerKey argument provided to Email recommendations must match the customerKey that is set when a visitor signs in to a retailer's site.

Last update: February 3, 2020