Skip to Main Content

Jul 12, 2023 | 3 minute read

Why You Need a Commerce CDP

written by Bryan House

“Half of the money I spend on advertising is wasted. The trouble is that I don’t know which half.” That age-old, questionably attributed quote still resonates with so many retail marketers who have trouble effectively converting customers. But it doesn’t have to be that way with a customer data platform (CDP).

What is the role of a CDP in commerce? In case you’re not familiar, CDP software creates a unified database of all of your customer interactions, which can integrate with other technology in your marketing stack. A CDP captures information from multiple systems to create a single view of the customer across all of your channels — including in-store, email, chat, customer support, website interactions and more. As a result, your marketing team can create more effective, targeted campaigns with the goals of increasing conversions or driving customer loyalty. 

A customer or potential customer doesn’t always have to be known for a CDP to be effective. User profiles can also be assembled based on actions anonymous users take on your website. A CDP can group customers into certain segments based on their behavioral attributes. For known customers, a CDP can even more effectively group people by common actions they’ve taken — whether they’ve registered for a loyalty program, abandoned a cart, or are prime targets for a certain product or promotion.

Using a CDP in Retail 

Let’s look at an example of how a CDP can be used by an omnichannel retailer. Let’s say that as a sporting goods retailer, you know that the most effective times to target new customers with offers are at the beginning of childrens’ sports seasons. A CDP would enable you to segment your customer database by parents of children from 5-18. Based on previous behavior, you may know that a certain subset of these parents bought baseball equipment last season, so they’d be most likely to repeat a purchase this year. 

Or you may be able to blend your dataset with third-party data on Little League registrations in a certain region to broaden your “Youth Baseball” pool of potential customers. Once a customer in this third-party data pool transacts in some way or signs up for emails, you can use a CDP to create a new customer profile or attach their identity to an existing, known customer profile. If they’ve transacted before, you may find out that they’re an avid runner, as well. A CDP can help you keep track of all of a customer’s interactions with your brand. The goal is to maximize the number of relevant, personalized campaigns they receive, and ultimately drive more conversions.

Extending Composable from Commerce to CDP

The great thing about a CDP is that it is inherently composable by design, and therefore can be easily integrated with composable commerce solutions like Elastic Path. As illustrated above, a CDP can capture information about your customers. Marketers can subsequently segment the CDP database to trigger certain actions.

For example, if you’re a record company, you can offer limited edition products via a targeted, shoppable landing page only sent to Bob Dylan fans. Using Unstack storefront connected to Elastic Path Commerce Cloud to build and merchandise the landing page, you can target emails using CDP data to a certain segment of customers. There are endless possibilities for the types of campaigns you can create using a flexible, composable commerce solution.

Whether you’re looking to re-engage a set of inactive customers, improve on-site targeting, encourage checkouts from frequent cart-abandoners, or find new and innovative ways to drive conversions with shoppable landing pages, using a commerce CDP alongside Elastic Path might be right for you.