E-commerce tactics: personalisation via Customer Data Platforms

Personalization is hot today. And rightfully so, because we're all busy and want to see only relevant content that makes us happy. And with the impending end of third-party cookies, it's more important than ever to make the most of your own data. This is where a CDP (Customer Data Platform) comes in very handy. We'd love to tell you more!

Why is a CDP indispensable for e-commerce?

First, it is important to know what a CDP is and what you can do with it. A CDP is a central point where you collect data from various sources such as your website, email tool and advertising channels. By combining this data with the algorithms of a CDP, you show the right content at the right time to the right person. This can be on your website, in your emails and in ads. This way you are super relevant throughout the customer journey across different channels and you increase the chance of conversions!

What is personalization via a CDP?

Because you have all your data in one tool, you can go much further than just personalizing on a first name basis in an email. A CDP enables you to personalize content on your website, in emails and in advertisements on an individual level. Of course everyone wants that, but how does it work? 

In the set-up phase you link data sources such as your website, Google Analytics, email service provider, advertising platforms, review provider and your product feed to a CDP. Using machine learning, the algorithm learns to recognize customer journeys and builds profiles. From these profiles you can create segments and you can use them cross-channel wise. 

For instance, you can send one-time buyers a different automated cross-sell e-mail than loyal customers, containing dynamically loaded products. Or suppose a visitor on your website is in the buying phase, then you want to show him a different pop-up than when someone is in the orientation phase. Have we triggered you? Then read on quickly.

Why does this align so well with e-commerce?

The algorithm of a CDP is fed (machine learning) by purchases on your website. In B2B-oriented companies, a purchase (conversion) does not always have to take place on the website. This can also be, for example, a loose contract where an agreement is made. In B2C companies, these purchases do take place directly there, which makes the algorithm smarter.

To fully utilize the power of a CDP, you need at least 500 conversions per month. The algorithm can then learn optimally, recognize conversion paths and thus show the right content in the customer journey. 

Furthermore, it is good to know that a product feed often forms the basis of a CDP. For example, most CDPs have a deep integration with Shopify or WooCommerce, for example. This allows you to synchronize all data about your products in real time. Based on this data a CDP can show the right products (in stock) on your website, in emails and in ads. 

Need inspiration for your e-commerce marketing mix? Read the blog: How to find the best e-commerce marketing mix for your webshop.

What are the best practices?

With a CDP you have endless possibilities, which is why it's important to start small and work thematically. Are you curious to know how we work for our customers? We'd be happy to take you through it:

Set up: 

  1. Kick off meeting with the client

  2. Set up account & install tracking scripts

  3. Connecting website and other data sources 

After the set up you want to go live with the customer journey as soon as possible:

  1. A customer journey consists of four phases: orientation, comparison, decision and evaluation. 

  2. Per phase you set up content (for example pop-ups with USP's or product recommendations). 

After this, it depends on the customer what you are going to focus on. We recommend for a period of three months to focus on one or two themes. Think of: 

  • Increase average order value 

  • Setting up a loyalty campaign 

  • Generate more reviews 

Suppose you want to increase the average order value by 15% in the next two months, you can do this for example by: 

  • Dynamic cross-sell block on the shopping page

  • Automated cross-sell emails with matching products 

  • Product lifecycle advertisements 

CDP: short success case

For a major e-commerce player in the interior & living category, we generated more than one million euros in additional sales in 2020 by deploying a CDP. 

How did we achieve this?

After setting up and building the customer journey, we started working thematically. For the next three months we focused on increasing the conversion rate & the average order value. We are happy to give an insight below. 

Dynamic block with products on the homepage

On the homepage we placed a dynamic block via embedded content that is shown to visitors who have made a purchase in the past. The block shows products based on the algorithm 'based on last purchase'. 

  • Example: Did you look at pillows during your last visit to the website? Then the next time you visit the website, you will see pillows, among other things, on the homepage in the block!

  • Result: The conversion percentage in the group that saw this block was 10% higher than in the group that did not see the block. This block therefore had a positive contribution to the total turnover.

Product recommendation in the evaluation phase of the customer journey 

The evaluation phase is the phase after a purchase. Once a visitor enters the website after a purchase, he/she sees a pop-up with a matching product.

  • Example: Someone bought a new dining table and comes back to the website after a month, they will see a pop-up with matching dining chairs.

  • Result: The average order value in the group that was shown the pop-up was €16 higher than in the group that was not shown the pop-up (and was therefore also in the evaluation phase). 

Smart block on the product page with matching products 

On the product pages, we placed a dynamic block that shows products that match the given product, or that are often ordered with the product.

  • Example: Someone is on the website on a product page looking at a bed, then in the block below the bed they are shown matching products such as bedside tables and bedding.

  • Result: The average order value in the group that was shown this block on product pages was €32 higher than in the group that was not shown this block on product pages.  

Dynamic block with products on the shopping cart page

On the shopping basket page, we placed a dynamic block via embedded content that shows products based on the 'most relevant cart based' algorithm.

  • Example: A visitor to the webshop has placed a sofa and matching armchairs in his/her shopping cart, navigates to the shopping cart page and sees a block under the chosen items with products like a rug and a cool floor lamp. 

  • Result: The average order value in the group that saw this block was as much as €41 higher than the group that navigated to the shopping cart page and did not see this block.  

Automated cross-sell email after purchase

For the three main product categories, we sent an automated cross-sell email containing matching products one day after purchase. We tailored the text to the product category so the entire email is super relevant. 

  • Example: someone bought a couch and 10 days after purchase gets an email saying thank you and have fun with your new couch. We have selected some nice items to match your new sofa. The email dynamically loads products that match the sofa. 

  • Result: Three months after implementation we had generated about €4,000 from these cross-sell emails.   

After this we started working on the following themes, among others 

  • Generating more newsletter subscriptions 

  • Set up a loyalty campaign via email 

  • Reduce the number of one time buyers



That there are opportunities for your (e-commerce) organization with a CDP is a one-two punch. Because of the many possibilities it is important to get started step by step. Are you curious where the opportunities lie for your organization with a CDP? Contact us and we will gladly provide you with tailored advice.


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