Once you understand the benefits of using a customer data platform dedicated to eCommerce companies, there’s no turning back. You have access to tons of information about your customers. Wouldn’t it be great if you could finally achieve your retention and growth goals by leveraging a resource that is already 100% in your control?
That’s the power of a customer data platform. We want to help you understand why a customer data platform is different from a CRM and a DMP, the benefits of adopting a CDP, and how to choose the best CDP for your business.
What is a Customer Data Platform?
A Customer Data Platform (CDP) is a software that helps your business track and collect customer data from multiple sources and channels, and build unified and accurate customer profiles accessible to all team members and other tools in your ecosystem.
A CDP has all the capabilities your company needs to transform customer data into optimized customer experiences.
Customer Data Platforms complement the features you can find in a Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and a Data Management Platform (DMP).
While a CRM helps you collect data from customer interaction, and a DMP helps you organize second and third-party data, a CDP unifies customer data and allows you to act on it for customer experience optimization.
Do you really need a CDP?
Considering that successful eCommerce companies are the ones that nail customer experience, the CDP became a must-have solution for any online store that wants to thrive. Here are the top three reasons why a CDP is vital:
- Customers’ expectations are higher than ever. They look for more than a quality product or service, expecting a personalized experience.
- Their online shopping session and post-purchase interaction with your brand have to come closer to the in-store experience, which means that you need a real-time response.
- The customer data privacy regulations are becoming more strict, and third-party data is less and less reliable as pixels and cookies are slowly dying. Companies are shifting towards better use of first and zero-party data to optimize CX.
As the entire company will use the CDP, choosing the right alternative should be a team effort. Let’s see what benefits you should be looking for and what criteria you could include making the decision process more manageable.
Benefits of a customer data platform (CDP)
Managing various types of customer data can quickly become overwhelming as the customer base expands. You can no longer analyze customer data manually because it would be too tiring and complicated. You would rather use your resources for strategies and improvements, right?
Customer data management should be easy, allowing you to understand customer behavior, segment customers, use your knowledge to test and validate old and new tactics, improving customer loyalty and more.
The benefits that you access by using a CDP significantly change how you approach customer acquisition and retention, helping you create better means of communication and real-time response when the situation asks for immediate action.
Here’s how your eCommerce store can benefit from using a customer data platform:
Your CDP dashboards enable easy access to customer data view and analysis
In a CDP, your customer data is aggregated and enriched, offering a 360-view of your customers and allowing you to analyze data from different angles. You’ve got all the information you need when your customer support teams look at the profile of a particular customer or when your marketing strategist analyzes the behavior and trends at the segment level.
All your teams share a unique source of truth when it comes to customers
Sharing a unique source of truth for customer data means that your company can create that seamless customer experience online stores are aiming for. Your customer support team can rely on updated information when they’re trying to resolve a customer complaint. The marketing department can fine-tune the email automation to sync with the customer journey.
Your departments can make better decisions based on customer insights
A customer data platform helps your company have a holistic view of the customer journey, including all interactions with your brand. With all teams aligned, your company becomes better at attracting and retaining the right-fit customers.
You can improve customer experiences constantly
A CDP helps you create relevant and personalized experiences across various channels and devices. Putting the customer at the center of your initiatives enables you to build and maintain trust, which is essential in creating solid relationships, boosting customer engagement, and generating loyal customers.
Integrating your CDP with other platforms enables real-time response and decisions
Integration of CDP with other tools in your ecosystem and real-time response help you maintain customer satisfaction levels high. If a loyal customer sends a complaint to your support team, you can act in real-time, ensuring a poor customer experience doesn’t mean the end of your relationship with that customer. You can create a blueprint for real-time response to different situations to boost the agility of your teams.
How to choose a CDP
While all CDPs help you create a centralized view of your customer profiles, a solution built around the particularities of an eCommerce business would be more suitable for meeting your growth goals.
The reasons you should choose an eCommerce customer data platform are:
- You need direct integration with your eCommerce platform to eliminate manual work and collect data in real-time.
- Your CDP should have direct integration with others tools that you’re using, like your email marketing platform or your customer support tool.
- The reports generated by your CDP should be accessible to all teams and easy to understand and analyze.
- The CPD vendor should support your store with practical advice and educational content tailored for eCommerce stores.
- The team behind the CDP solution should understand the struggles and particularities of your eCommerce business and can transform this knowledge into features that make your job easier.
Make sure all the stakeholders understand the reasons your company needs a CDP.
Before making a list of criteria a CDP should check, we suggest you involve people from all departments and levels in the decision process. You want to think about the colleagues who will use it daily and the managers who will look at trends and reports.
Here’s who you could include in the CDP team:
- Business Owner
- Marketing Manager
- eCommerce manager
- Head of Customer Success/ Experience
- Product Manager
- Other C-level managers
The main features you should look for in a CDP and include among your criteria are:
Multi-channel data collection – able to capture online from various channels and offline data from physical stores.
Data aggregation, centralization, and storage – allowing you to capture, aggregate, and analyze historical customer data.
Data enrichment and single customer view – a detailed view of your customers and their transactions for personalized experiences and top customer support.
Automated behavioral segmentation – dynamic customer segmentation for a shared view of what your teams can make to generate better conversion and retention rates.
Measuring and tracking customer satisfaction – real-time data that allows you to track customer satisfaction and maintain high satisfaction levels for your most valuable customers
Data analysis at various levels – view of customer analytics and product performance reports that allows you to design better experiences and improve product assortment.
Automations & integrations to leverage data across other solutions – direct integration with email marketing, SMS marketing, social media, and customer support platforms.
Adopting a CDP can generate positive changes for all your departments, so take your time in analyzing your alternatives. Create your own list of must-haves based on the particularities of your eCommerce store and involve a cross-functional stakeholder team in this process.
See the criteria used by other eCommerce brands in deciding on a customer data platform and hear from them about the reasons they choose Omniconvert’s solutions:
We have been helping online stores for years and their challenges motivated us to create a CDP 100% dedicated to eCommerce.
This is how Omniconvert Reveal appeared. We’re inviting you to try a CDP that analyzes your customers’ behavior across multiple channels. Based on the insight you extract from customer data, you understand your priorities and start applying tactics that help you acquire, retain, and delight your customers while lowering your CAC and increasing your Customer Lifetime Value.
What do you think? Are you ready to analyze our solution based on your list of criteria?
Give Omniconvert Reveal a try! We’re always here to support you with your decision and ambitious plans.
Frequently asked questions about customer data platforms
A Customer Data Platform or a CDP is a software solution that helps your business collect customer data from multiple sources and channels, building a unified, updated single customer view and customer profiles. A CDP makes it easier for all your teams to track and analyze customer data, and enables you to act on customer data by direct integration with other tools. A CDP complements your Customer Relationship Management (CRM) and a Data Management Platform (DMP).
According to G2, companies can choose three types of CDPs: a data CPD for a unified customer data view, a campaign CDP for managing various campaigns, and an analytics CDP for companies to understand their customers better. Make sure to look for a solution that fits your industry and business model.
The best customer data platform is the one that fits your business model and allows you to leverage the power of customer data through its features and integrations with other eCommerce solutions you’re already using. Create a list of criteria with a team of representatives from all departments that will use your CDP.
The most common categorization of customer data types is personal data, behavioral data, engagement data, and attitudinal data. This data can be collected in various ways, including website analytics, purchase information, customer feedback, and others. Customer data collection and smart use of customer segments help you boost customer lifetime value.