Best Practices in Implementing a Customer Data Platform for Retailers

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Gain these ten marketing efficiencies without sacrificing customer experience in-store or online

Customer data is one of the most valuable assets a retail company has, but to unlock all its power within, retailers need an effective tool that helps them extract customer information from various channels and organize it into single views. The next step involves creating appropriate audiences based on each individual’s journey so they can be targeted with tailored messages at specific points along this course while activating newly organized datasets for new marketing initiatives, which will further engage these potential customers and their shopping experience.

best practices for implementing a CDP for retailers
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The holy grail of modern marketing is to find your most valuable customers and convert them into lifelong fans. A customer data platform (CDP) can alleviate this problem in two ways:

1. streamlining data integration, which connects all relevant pieces from other vendor systems
2. integrating external sources without having too much engineering debt caught up on their plate.

Nearly all stores faced pandemic-influenced disruption and needed to grow their online eCommerce, and mobile retailing presence only delivered with a unified customer data across channels. The CDP is a powerful tool for retailers to create personalized communication with customers and acquire new ones. Retailers also added CDPs for better targeting abilities on social media platforms like Facebook.

Give your shoppers the personalized experiences they desire

Shoppers expect an experience curated to their preferences, but a recent study found that only 22% of shoppers feel brands do a good job of personalizing their relationships. A CDP works to fix the misperceptions caused by gaps in the customer journey with integrations. For example, VIEWN’s Connector Gallery allows leveraging persistent user profiles to drive one-to-one personalization anywhere you can send an HTTPS request.

Demand Generation from customer experience

Traditionally, retailers have focused heavily on the awareness stage of the customer’s journey, but that’s all changed over the last few years. Customers now opt-in and expect their actions to be tracked and should therefore be incorporated into their experience with a company. Suppose their data isn’t being properly (and respectfully) collected and activated for personalization through a CDP. In that case, it will leave them feeling frustrated – an opportunity that a competitor effectively utilizing customer data to improve the customer experience (CX) will grab immediately to steal that customer. CX is today’s biggest differentiating factor, and it drives demand.

Upsell, Upsell, Upsell

The CDP not only helps retailers to improve CX and retain customers but also enables upsell. The customer data in their CDP gives them insight into their customer’s preferences and can help them predict what future offers they might respond positively to.

Retailers can use their CDP to achieve continuous customer engagement through improved loyalty programs, sharing product information, and personalized promotions that will give the customer a superior experience while simultaneously collecting even more data for insights.

Optimize displays across the sales channels

Retailers using a CDP can create sample segments of randomly chosen customers to test different views and search functionality variants. Still, retailers also need the ability for them to experiment across channels (eCommerce) devices, including desktop computers versus mobile phones – finding what works best for your customer! Limit the number of attributes to avoid overwhelming shoppers with too much information.

Integrate customer Service

At VIEWN, we believe that data needs to be integrated across departments. This integration will create a more personalized CX by feeding information about your customers into their respective company’s systems so they can see everything you have done for them in one place – from order updates to contact details! With this cross-departmental approach, businesses are able not only to offer valued services but also build loyal followers who may become advocates of yours if handled correctly.

Innovate new products

The data collected in the CDP from customer engagement insights product management and marketing teams can use to improve product lines. Retailers can unlock use cases within the CDP to assess trends amongst their customer base that would otherwise be too difficult to navigate manually across multiple platforms. The CDP removes data silos that commonly cause barriers to accessing this valuable data for many benefits, including product innovation insights.

With interactions occurring across many devices and channels, retailers can no longer rely on legacy systems to understand who their customer is, how and when to reach them, and how to measure the influence of marketing, product, and engineering initiatives on the bottom line. To maintain journey concurrency and reach customers in the right moment with personalized content, many brick-and-mortar and eCommerce brands have started to consider using a CDP to unify and orchestrate their customer data.

Make your digital presence ninja-worthy

After the pandemic, the acceleration of digital transformation, and the new landscape that all businesses now face, traditional business models are becoming extinct. Retailers especially, who have seen massive growth in online sales over the last few years, must rethink how they engage their customers with intelligence across many venues. Flexible CDPs that integrate across digital platforms will help retailers ensure their nimbleness by keeping their MarTech (Marketing Technology) stack best of breed and able to keep pace with innovations coming from every direction, as well as prepare for the loss of third-party cookies and the entrance of web 3.0 and the metaverse.

Accelerate time to value

The data race has created a need for new tools to help marketers innovate quickly and easily. A well-instrumented CDP will provide democratized access to any information from one source, giving you the freedom on what exactly is needed without depending too much upon engineering resources–a single point in time truth about your customer base! It’s also possible for these systems with prebuilt connectors or APIs (depending upon preference), so there isn’t an interruption during workflow when adopting the newest technologies; additionally, they should have some sorting capability that enables unparalleled speed plus agility whenever necessary.

Consider your data wrangled

Brands want to know not only what customers are doing but how they can improve customers’ experience while they’re doing it. Improvement can only come from experimenting with new product features, content, and workflows. A CDP allows you to experiment with different parts of your business more easily and quickly. A CDP reduces the data wrangling required for each experiment, reducing the cost of setup failure by making it easy to revert and creating experiment segments and holdout groups on which to experiment. Create experiment variants based on customer attributes and behaviors across systems, including entry channel, initial product purchased, content consumed, current sales funnel stage, etc. Gather behaviors from source systems and third-party enhancements for analysis. Whether a brand runs experiments on purpose-built software or by hand, a CDP makes experimentation easier and more scalable.

Evoke one community: instore and online

Many modern beauty retailers have realized that their customer base prefers to shop online but only if it feels like they are a part of a larger community where they can get advice, recommendations, and see other users’ reviews. Creating a community and purchasing hub via an app is the best way to deliver a great experience as customers go about their day, but launching an app requires significant engineering resources and the implementation of many third-party vendors.

Using a CDP helps retailers streamline launching and maintaining a mobile app by providing integration with leading marketing, analytics, and BI tools. With a CDP as a mobile data layer, brands can create and launch stable applications and provide customers with the features they are looking for while minimizing lag and downtime. Democratized data access allows cooperation between teams without slowing down the development cycle and allows each team to use customer data however they need to create the best CX.

Measure attribution wholistically

The future is mobile, and a company will doom themselves without an appropriate analytics system to track customer data across all touchpoints. This point can prove difficult for marketers who are used to relying heavily on web browsers as their main platform but now must also account for what happens when someone visits one page in person or via a smartphone app before converting them into customers through retention tactics such as email marketing lists which keep people engaged long enough until they want more information about whatever product it was advertising so far.

Retire “last-click” attribution

Marketers no longer have to rely on “last click” attribution with a complete view of customer journeys. They can test and integrate new tools, using data from there as input into these algorithms/interfaces without instrumenting each tool again! A CDP will also track the long-term performance of customers acquired through advertising by associating campaign membership with full lifecycle events – including upgraded offers or services offered at certain points during their relationship journey – while attributes are tied directly back into acquisition sources, so strategic resource allocation decisions based off this information is possible to make sure you’re always getting your money’s worth from every opportunity.

The data is overwhelming! The amount of information coming from different channels and devices can make it difficult for marketers to understand which customer engagements were meaningful. Still, only after a company finds the right level of sophistication with their chosen vendor that has capabilities suited to just what they need–sometimes this means engineering teams spend time integrating all sorts-of info before realizing it’s not enough or worse yet; leading them down false paths as well. That’s where an attribution provider comes in.

Keep a customer-centric product roadmap

The holistic understanding of the mobile customer journey enables brands to prioritize future roadmap items based on their needs, demonstrated through a single combined data set. Marketers gain better insight into bottlenecks and key areas for improvement to make more informed decisions about what products or services will be most beneficial in supporting your business goals.

It’s more important than ever for retailers to focus on the customer experience. By taking advantage of a customer data platform, you can gain efficiencies in your marketing while still providing a great experience for customers in-store and online. We encourage you to explore our product – find us in the Shopify App Store – and see how we can help you provide an unforgettable customer experience that drives sales. Thanks for reading!

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