As marketers, we’re constantly told that we should make the way we communicate with customers and prospects more personal, more timely, and more relevant.
However, being able to market to each customer in a personalised way requires us to have a detailed understanding of who they are and how they interact with our brand: what’s known as a single customer view.
This guide to the single customer view in ecommerce will cover:
When customer data is incomplete or held in many different places, it can be misleading and result in poor marketing decisions being made.
A single customer view (sometimes known as a ‘360’ or ‘unified’ customer view) means bringing together all the data that you have about a customer – from demographic details to their interactions with your site to their purchase history and more – and consolidating it into a single record.
By collecting and consolidating customer data from a number of different touch points in one place, ecommerce marketers have the accurate insights needed to create powerful, relevant marketing campaigns that maximise each customer’s lifetime value.
This data can include:
Personal data collected from each customer.
Examples: gender, location, age, contact preferences
Source: on-site forms, third parties, surveys, in-store data collection.
Data relating to the way an individual interacts with your store.
Examples: categories and products browsed, products added to basket, products abandoned
Source: cookie tracking
Data relating to the way an individual interacts with your marketing messages.
Examples: email opens and clicks, social ad clicks
Source: email service provider, third party advertising platform
Data relating to the devices that an individual uses to browse and interact with your store.
Source: cookie tracking
Having a single view of each customer can be seen as a powerful means of achieving many marketing ends:
Many online retailers’ data is heavily siloed and difficult to analyse and act upon. Bringing it all together and merging it into a single record for each customer means that it can be used to inform and power effective marketing campaigns.
Having a rich profile for each contact in your database enables you to pinpoint where they are in the customer journey, and extend their customer lifetime value by targeting them with relevant messages at the right time.
Having a full view of your customer enables you to pinpoint who your best customers are and create strategies to keep them active.
Building a detailed profile of a customer and their preferences helps you to accurately predict the products that they are most interested in, and develop strategies for promoting these products to them at the right time.
With a single view of your customers you can better understand their journeys across different channels and devices, and use this to inform your marketing strategies.
In simple terms, gaining a single customer view involves three main stages:
Connecting to each data source and importing the relevant data.
Merging duplicates and matching up different data types to create a single customer view.
Getting your data into a usable format where it can be easily sorted, analysed and segmented.
While this may seem straightforward, in real terms there are a number of challenges associated with creating a unified customer profile, which an experienced third party (like Ometria) can help you overcome. These include:
Ensuring that it remains up-to-date is incredibly important for effective marketing.
Ometria is a marketing platform for online retailers that empowers them to use data to send customers the right marketing messages at the right time to maximise revenue.
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