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What is a Single Customer View & What are the Steps to Achieve It?

October 11th 2023


By Dominic Carelse

Marketing Manager

Online customer unboxing

Customers expect a seamless, personalized experience across all of their interactions with your brand — social, mobile app, advertising, the website, your newsletter and emails. Everywhere. The reality, though, is that most organizations struggle to piece together a complete picture of their customers. Marketers who get personalization right will be disruptors (picture Chewy, Zappos, and Sephora); those who fail to adopt a single customer view will fall behind and be forgotten.

Sixty-four per cent of customer experience (CX) leaders will have larger budgets for CX initiatives in the coming years. How will you spend that budget? Did you know that globally, 74% of consumers expect a more personalized experience when they share their data with you? And, as technology advances [i.e., generative artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML) algorithms, etc.],  73% expect personalization to improve.

 Forrester recommends investing in technologies that create and enhance customer-focused interactions. The need for a comprehensive, unified view of the customer has never been more pressing for eCommerce marketers.

Without a single customer view, eCommerce marketers are flying blind, unable to effectively target, engage, and retain your most valuable consumers. The time to act is now. By consolidating customer data into a unified platform and leveraging those insights to power hyper-personalized experiences, you can stay ahead of the curve and future-proof your marketing operations. The eCommerce leaders of tomorrow will be those who make the strategic investment in a single customer view today.

What is a single customer view in eCommerce?

Delivering on personalization is challenging when customer data is scattered across multiple systems and siloed within your organization. This is where the “single customer view” comes into play. A single customer view is a comprehensive, 360-degree profile of each customer that consolidates all relevant data points into a unified, central repository.

By breaking down data silos and integrating customer data from various sources, a single customer view empowers you to gain deep, actionable insights about your customers and deliver truly personalized experiences.

Types of eCommerce data

To build an effective single customer view, consider the various types of data typically collected in an eCommerce environment. This includes:

Behavioral data — Information about how customers interact with your website, mobile app, and other digital touchpoints, such as pages viewed, products added to cart, purchases made.

Transactional data — Details about your customers’ purchase history, including order details, payment methods, and shipping information.

Demographic data — Basic information such as customer names, contact details, age, gender, location, and other personal characteristics.

Psychographic data — Insights into customers’ interests, preferences, values, and lifestyle factors that influence their purchasing decisions.

Interactive data — Data generated through customers’ interactions with your brand, such as customer service inquiries, reviews and ratings, and social media engagement.

Consolidate these diverse data sources in a unified customer data platform (CDP) to gain a comprehensive 360-degree view of each customer. These integrated customer insights will empower you to deliver highly personalized, cross-channel experiences.


Benefits of a single customer view

Achieving a single customer view unlocks a wealth of benefits for your eCommerce business. By consolidating customer data from multiple sources into a centralized platform, a single customer view provides unparalleled insights and unlocks a host of powerful benefits. From delivering exceptional customer experiences to boosting revenue and operational efficiency, the advantages of a comprehensive customer view are numerous and far-reaching, including:


  1. Improved customer experience: With a complete understanding of each customer’s behaviors, preferences, and interactions, you can provide a seamless, personalized experience across all touchpoints, enhancing customer satisfaction and loyalty.
  1. Smarter, more effective marketing: Leveraging the insights from your single customer view, you can segment your audience more accurately, deliver hyper-targeted campaigns, and optimize your marketing efforts for maximum impact.
  1. Increased customer lifetime value: By using the single customer view to anticipate customer needs, personalize offers, and strengthen relationships, you can boost customer retention, cross-selling, and upselling, ultimately driving higher lifetime value.
  1. Faster, more informed decision-making: The real-time customer insights from your single customer view empower you to make quicker, data-driven decisions across your business, from product development to inventory management and beyond.
  1. Enhanced operational efficiency: By unifying customer data and reducing the need for manual data reconciliation, a single customer view can streamline your internal processes and free up your team to focus on strategic, high-value initiatives.

Marketers who fail to prioritize a single customer view risk falling behind. By harnessing the wealth of data available and transforming it into insights, marketers can drive customer loyalty, optimize marketing efforts, make informed decisions, and ultimately increase profitability.

How data silos are hurting your marketing efforts

Despite the clear benefits of a single customer view, many eCommerce marketers continue to struggle with fragmented customer data. When customer information is siloed across various systems, departments, and platforms, it’s challenging to gain a comprehensive understanding of your customers and deliver a truly personalized experience.

This data silo problem can manifest in various ways, such as:

  • Inconsistent customer profiles and contact information across different systems
  • Inability to track a customer’s full journey and interactions with your brand
  • Difficulty segmenting your audience and personalizing marketing campaigns
  • Limited visibility into customer behavior patterns and purchase trends
  • Inefficient, manual processes for consolidating data and generating reports

 Without a unified, 360-degree view of the customer, your marketing efforts are likely falling short. You may be missing opportunities to cross-sell and upsell, failing to retain valuable customers, and struggling to acquire new leads effectively.

How to create a single customer view

Building a single customer view is a multi-step process, but it’s a worthwhile investment that can transform your eCommerce business.

Here’s a high-level overview of the key steps:

  1. Audit your data sources: Identify all the various systems and platforms where customer data is stored across your organization, such as your eCommerce platform, CRM, marketing automation tools, and customer service system.
  2. Consolidate customer data: Integrate these disparate data sources into a centralized CDP that serves as the single, authoritative source of truth for all your customer information.
  3. Cleanse and enrich customer data: Ensure quality and completeness by implementing data cleansing and enrichment processes. This may involve deduplicating records, filling in missing information, and appending additional demographic and psychographic data.
  4. Establish data governance: Instil clear policies, processes, and responsibilities for managing, securing, and maintaining the data integrity. This ensures the single customer view is accurate, up-to-date, and compliant with relevant regulations.
  5. Leverage customer analytics: Apply advanced analytics and predictive modelling to uncover deeper insights about your customers’ behaviors, preferences, and lifetime value to inform your marketing strategies and business decisions.
  6. Activate the single customer view: Implement the single customer view across your marketing, sales, and customer service systems to power targeted campaigns, personalized product recommendations, and seamless customer interactions.

Personalization powered by the single customer view

At the heart of the single customer view is the ability to deliver highly personalized experiences that delight your customers and drive business results. By leveraging the wealth of customer data in your single customer view, you can:

  • Use real-time customer insights to dynamically tailor the content, offers, and recommendations displayed on your website and other digital touchpoints.
  • Leverage customer segmentation and predictive analytics to create highly targeted, personalized email, social media, and advertising campaigns.
  • Understand how individual customers interact with your brand and use those insights to guide them through a seamless, personalized path to purchase.
  • Strengthen customer relationships by anticipating their needs, providing exceptional service, and rewarding their loyalty through personalized loyalty programs and offers.

 By putting the customer at the center of your eCommerce strategy and aligning your marketing, sales, and customer service efforts around a single customer view, you can drive significant improvements in customer satisfaction, lifetime value, and overall business performance.


How Fresh Relevance can help

While building a comprehensive single customer view may seem like a daunting task, there are powerful tools and solutions available to help you get there. One such solution is Fresh Relevance, a leading personalization platform specifically designed for eCommerce businesses.

Fresh Relevance acts as a real-time customer data platform (CDP) by enabling you to seamlessly integrate customer data from multiple sources, including your eCommerce platform, CRM, email marketing tools, and more. This unified, centralized, 360-degree customer profile, gives you a clear, actionable view of each customer.

Leveraging the insights from your single customer view, Fresh Relevance’s personalization features allow you to deliver highly targeted, contextual experiences across your website, email campaigns, mobile app, and social media advertising. From dynamic product recommendations and personalized content to abandoned cart reminders and cross-sell/upsell offers, Fresh Relevance empowers you to drive increased engagement, conversions, and customer lifetime value.


Conclusion: Wrapping It Up

In the fast-paced, competitive world of eCommerce, a single customer view has become a vital strategic asset. By breaking down data silos and unifying customer information into a comprehensive, 360-degree profile, you can gain unprecedented insights into your customers’ behaviors, preferences, and lifetime value.

Ultimately, a successful single customer view enables you to deliver the hyper-personalized experiences that today’s consumers demand, driving significant improvements in customer satisfaction, loyalty, and overall business performance. While achieving a true single customer view may seem challenging, solutions like Fresh Relevance can simplify the process and empower you to unlock the full potential of your customer data.