What is an eCommerce CDP, anyway?


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A customer data platform is more than just CRM. Learn how it can fuel online marketing objectives and drive business growth

Don’t worry; if you’re scratching your head right now wondering what an eCommerce CDP is, you’re not alone. Most business owners have never heard of this type of data management system before, but it’s important to understand what it is and how it can help your store. In short, a customer data platform (CDP) is a system that collects and organizes customer data to create targeted marketing campaigns. If you’re looking for ways to improve your online sales, a CDP may be the answer. Keep reading to learn more!

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What is a Customer Data Platform

A customer data platform is a perfect way to manage and analyze your customers with easy-to-use software. A CDP system allows marketers to access all their information in one place to be more efficient when reaching out. Marketers designed the CDP to understand what drives purchases or anything else related to marketing tactics. It’s also great for helping track which media best resonates with certain demographics!

A customer data platform is a system that marketers can use to collect and integrate their customers’ information. The result will be an organized profile for each individual in this database, with shared data going back out into other applications within the company or outside it. Marketers gain control of the customer experience.

For a common definition, a CDP is a marketer-managed system designed to collect customer data from multiple sources, normalize it, and build unified customer profiles. The result is a persistent, unified customer database that shares data back to other marketing applications.

Problems CDPs solve for business

Even what you would think as a simple business can have at least 20 marketing applications running to support the ideal customer journey. Due to successful workflows, territoriality amongst product managers, data gets stuck in silos. And the business can’t get the customer-view. The first formidable challenge is connecting that data and unifying it into customer profiles.

54% of marketers say that data quality is the biggest barrier to data-driven marketing. These statistics have been way down in recent years. The CDP is a modern, comprehensive data platform that absorbs customer information from diverse sources such as websites and mobile apps. The ingest process creates one authoritative record for marketers to utilize in their campaigns with ease–eliminating silos along the way. A CDP project still may require field standardization. It also organizes the data to allow the marketer to get the missing field by incorporating it as part of the onboarding process.

Benefits of Customer Data Platforms

Data silos are bad for business. A CDP can help an organization eliminate them and give access to every employee who needs it by unifying customer data, which is especially helpful in today’s competitive environment when companies need their customers’ loyalty more than ever before!

Target Audiences and Personalized Ads

The ability to quickly and accurately extract data from customers is a must for any business looking at their customer base in order not only to manage but also grow. CDPs create profiles that help businesses understand
who these people are, what to do with them when it comes time to interact (whether online or offline), how often this occurs throughout different channels like social media sites, phone calls versus email, where those interactions happen most frequently. The result is an accurate portrayal of your target audience, which you can then use as needed-such as building more personalized ads.

Unified cross-channel marketing campaigns

The CDP allows for a more cohesive and strategic marketing campaign. For example, suppose you are running an email newsletter on your website along with social media posts. In that case, this tool will help bring all three channels together in one place so that it is easier to manage them from the start-to-finish without having multiple tabs open or needing constant attention while using the internet!

How is a CDP different from other eCommerce marketing software?

CRM vs. CDP vs. DMP

At first glance, a CDP might seem similar to other eCommerce marketing tools that also deal with customer data and manage complex profiles. Sales sometimes simplify our offering down to a really big customer database, and I’m always forced not to clarify. Executives want to utilize customer relationship management software (CRMs). And then they are confused because a data management platform (DMP) already had has many of the same functions as CDPs. Still, there are some key differences you should know about, but you will most likely need all three software types to service the customer in an aligned manner.

Generally, CRMs are for sales teams, and DMPs are what advertisers or brands use to grow their advertising audiences and communities. CDP is primarily intended to be in the hands of businesses looking for more information about customer behaviors.


There are more differences between the three platforms than function. What can be a bit confusing is that they have in common the ability to manage identities and provide personalization for all channels. CDPs only do this on an omnichannel level while the others focus more specifically on one channel. Also, CDPs generally work solely with first-party data. That is, data that is provided directly by the customer. An that the customer is “known.” DMPs can work with both “known” and “unknown,” which means that DMP can work with anonymous prospects and leads and know customer profiles.

Customer Privacy

There is a fine line between a personalized customer experience and an invasion of privacy. You must provide a customized experience and make them feel understood without making them feel stalked or watched. Once a customer’s privacy has been breached, they may stay away and go to the following alternative instead.

The paradox between privacy and personalization remains one of the biggest challenges in modern marketing. And by failing to understand your customers and make sense of the fine line between personalization and privacy, you are unknowingly putting your business at risk.

Regardless, CDP systems effectively meet and change with the regional privacy rules like GDPR and CCPA. With customer profiles being the most granular, you keep your customer data and modularize the solution to meet specifications.

Technology has the power to create a seamless, personalized customer experience that will keep customers coming back. Our favorite technologies are marketing automation and customer data platform (CDP). These tools can help your team organize their efforts by streamlining repetitive tasks like lead nurturing or email campaigns. A CDP also provides unified cross-channel marketing capabilities so that you can tailor content according to individual needs across all channels, including web, social media, mobile applications, and more! Another benefit of these platforms is Target Audiences and Personalized Ads, which allows advertisers to serve ads based on an individual’s preferences instead of targeting them with general advertising messages that may not be relevant for them at this time in their journey. To find out how a CDP like VIEWN could work for your business.

Areeya Lila
Areeya Lila has a passion for customer experience and over 20 years in technology. She's an entrepreneur who loves building products; currently, VIEWN enables eCommerce stores to provide the best possible shopping experience through artificial intelligence (AI) powered data analytics and customer personas.


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