Customer data platforms are a type of customer experience and marketing-focused enterprise resource planning (ERP) solution that aggregates and organizes your data from various sources into customer profiles.
Crucially, CDPs don’t require manual effort to maintain. Instead, the data is collected based on people’s interactions with your marketing engagements and website.
The customer profile data that a CDP aggregates should include:
Bringing all of this data together without a CDP is a beyond-complex task for marketers. But the complexity has nothing to do with data being unavailable. In fact, it’s the opposite: immense quantities of information that must be sifted through and sorted make the task arduous.
CDPs manage the sifting and sorting automatically to organize it all into something tied to a specific person’s profile that’s digestible, actionable, and centrally located.
Today, marketers rely on numerous sources of data and tools in their jobs—a dozen on average, and more than 30 isn’t unheard of. While each software tool might provide significant utility, they could be leveraged to achieve so much more when connected instead of remaining siloed and separate. Integration is the key to getting the most out of your big, diverse data sets.
Cloud platforms, software-as-a-service (SaaS), and API integrations have helped transfer and share this data more than ever, but there are still challenges to contend with:
Having the data spread out among various implementations isn’t enough. Per a Forrester study (sponsored by Adobe), 89% of survey respondents stated that “turning data into insights” and “delivering personalized content” remain their most critical challenges.
DotcomWeavers will advise on, implement, and integrate your ERP platforms and eCommerce ecosystem to ensure consistent data is synchronized throughout—and in real-time—but one of those platforms still needs to provide the right functionality if you’re seeking CDP capabilities.
Most businesses are familiar with customer relationship management (CRM), either as a business process for recording and overseeing their sales interactions with customers or through a dedicated solution like Epicor or Salesforce. At first introduction, CDP and CRM solutions may seem more than synonymous—enough so that you might ask, “Do I need a customer data platform?”
However, they aren’t the same. They’re complementary but distinct ERP solutions that eCommerce and other businesses utilize side-by-side.
CRM systems log and analyze your customers’ interactions with your sales and support staff (e.g., scheduled calls, submitting support tickets or warranty claims). A robust CRM will allow any sales or support staff to quickly get up to speed on or revisit who a current or prospective customer is, their needs, and their orders.
In contrast, CDP systems log and analyze all customer interactions when they engage your company and marketing efforts across all channels. While eCommerce CDP systems can also be used by sales staff, they’re primarily for helping marketers and business leaders strategize customer engagement and experiences.
The interactions logged by a CDP solution should include data such as:
Combining engagement information with a person’s profile enables eCommerce operators to develop and launch personalized customer experiences that drive omnichannel sales.
According to the peer-to-peer software review site G2, CDP solutions can be divided into three categories based on their capabilities:
All eCommerce operators should note that a CDP’s level of functionality doesn’t necessarily indicate its quality. For example, a data aggregator and organizer may perform optimally and be used because other ERP and marketing platforms have already been implemented, making engagement-level functionality redundant.
Choosing the right CDP all depends on your existing eCommerce ecosystem—or future plans—and platform interoperability.
If you’re currently evaluating CDP solutions, DotcomWeavers can help advise which would be the best for your current and future systems, as well as perform the integration services to have them running optimally—even for custom-developed connections.
With all of the customer data being aggregated and organized, eCommerce retailers must keep in mind the growing number of consumer protection regulations being enacted.
Only three states currently have active consumer data protection laws on their books—California, Virginia, and Colorado. Still, many others are actively discussing similar consumer safeguards. Beyond the US, the European Union’s strict General Data Protection Regulation (EU GDPR) applies to businesses collecting data on citizens of EU member states.
Crucially, your eCommerce site’s physical address does not affect how these laws and regulations apply to you. However, if your customer is a resident of a state with active and enforceable consumer data protection—or is a citizen of an EU member state—you must adhere to the stipulations. Operating online, eCommerce is particularly vulnerable to circumstances where violations occur, even if they’re inadvertent.
Generally, these laws require consumer consent. They also require thorough explanations of the following to be prominently displayed and written in easily understood language:
You will likely need to create or configure an additional tag within your CDP, designating customers who live in these states.
Note that DotcomWeavers can easily help you display this information on your site and build or configure elements opt-in and consent functionality. Still, legal and cybersecurity professionals should be consulted on your site’s specific consumer data protection wording.
If you’re a Commerce / Magento merchant who leverages Adobe’s extensive eCommerce and marketing suite, particularly Marketo Engage, you should consider implementing their sophisticated Real-Time Customer Data Platform (RTCDP)—sometimes called Adobe CDP.
RTCDP is an app built on the Adobe Experience Platform (AEP) and provides engagement-level aggregation, organization, analytics, and marketing automation for B2C, B2B, and hybrid eCommerce operators.
The Adobe Customer Data Platform provides eCommerce operators with a few key advantages:
Important to note—using the Adobe Real-Time Customer Data Platform does not require using any other Adobe suite products. RTCDP can be used as the only Adobe platform in your eCommerce technology stack.
Whether you’re looking at customer data platforms or other ERP solutions to integrate with your Adobe Commerce / Magento site and broader eCommerce ecosystem, look no further than DotcomWeavers.
Our team has earned over 70 Adobe certifications and Gold Partnership status. We’ve been designing, developing, and launching Magento sites for over 14 years. We leverage that expertise to advise on, implement, and integrate your ERP platforms for seamless interoperability.
To get started with a CDP or other ERP integration, contact us today.
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