Customer Portfolios' Blog

4 Steps to a Crystal-Clear Customer View


This has been the year of the omnichannel shopper, and with the upcoming holiday season, that trend will only continue. In fact, over 56% of customers plan to shop in a department store this year, and nearly 57% plan to shop online, per the NRF Holiday Headquarters. Customers want a seamless experience, especially during the stressful holiday season, and the brands that create an easy experience will be the ones to grow customers and revenue. To create a seamless experience for customers, brands need to have a clear, single, customer view.

Pixelated Customer View

A single customer view is easier said than done. Most brands come to CP with basic customer profiles that show pixelated, fuzzy views of their customer. Typically, brands have:

  • Disparate source data about customers from multiple third-party partners. This data may have everything they need to know about one customer, but it is usually in separate silos and not ready to be analyzed.
  • Single customer identifier, i.e., the Customer ID. Using one identifier, brands can track their customers’ purchase history across sources and channels. For example, when customers buy something online and want to return it in-store, brands can track that the customer returned the purchase, but only if they use the same credit card previously linked to their Customer ID.
  • Basic Customer Metrics, such as RFM metrics, and including demographics about their customers which make up their customer profiles.

Does that sound familiar? Brands have all the data about their customer, but it is hard to get a clear picture. Maybe a customer purchased a holiday gift online, and exchanged it in-store for a different style. How many other gifts has she purchased this holiday season, and through what channels? Maybe she usually makes her holiday purchases in-store, so online is not the best channel to target her during the holiday season. You might be able to infer that based on disparate data, but insights like that can only be confirmed when you have a clear, single view of your customer.    

Achieving a Clear Customer View

  • Collect and integrate customer information from all touchpoints. Many brands already have basic customer information, including digital activity, POS activity, direct marketing, loyalty participation, and a customer’s identified preferences. For most brands, these may be in disparate locations, with multiple dashboards that don’t really give too much information about a customer’s 360-view. By collecting the data from all touchpoints and combining it into a single location, you can see how customers behaved last holiday season.
  • Use analytics to determine current (and future!) metrics. Once all your data is integrated, you can use the data to uncover insights such as lifetime value, future spend, and order lag at the individual customer level. This enables you to have a clear view of the current relationship you have with the customer, so you have a baseline to grow during the holiday season.
  • Predict future behavior. Once you have all the data, and can see the current relationship your brand has with a customer, and knowing this information, you can then predict what your customers are most likely to do next. You can predict future spend, how likely a customer will respond to an offer, and model a next best offer based on past and current behavior. This way, you can plan out the right channel, right message, and the right time for personalized communications in advance of the stressful holiday season.
  • Link back to key business dimensions. For example, how does future value of all customers align with growth goals for the brand? Holiday is a good time for customer acquisition, so once you capture the customer, what strategies can you use to keep them post-holiday? By linking customer insights back to business dimensions, you can determine how to use those insights to reach your business goals for the holiday season and beyond.

As the popular Johnny Nash song goes, “I can see clearly now, I can see all obstacles in my way.” As the holiday approaches, you want to see your customers clearly, so you can focus on the larger goal of creating marketing communications that generate holiday revenue.

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