CRM, CDP and DXP: What They Are and What You Need

Oct 5, 2022 10:00:00 AM
7 min read

If you’re an e-commerce business, you understand the important role technology plays in your day-to-day responsibilities, transactions, and customer interactions. 

Over 58% of internet users buy something online every week. In order to stand out from the 44.5% of businesses who compete based on customer experience, having the right software, programs, and other solutions is essential. 

But how do you know what solutions are best for your e-commerce store, especially when there are so many acronyms to figure out first? CRM, CDP, DXP…it all ends up sounding the same, right? Well, don’t worry, we’ve got you–and those confusing three-letter abbreviations covered! So, sit back and let us break down three popular technologies online retailers often use to deliver a better customer experience.

What is a CRM?

man shrugging

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems enable businesses to gather, store and analyze customer data, including their habitual shopping patterns. 

Currently, 91% of companies with 11 employees or more use a CRM solution. In the world of e-commerce, CRMs are frequently used because of their capacity to collect valuable information in one centralized location. Online retailers will use this data to enrich customer relationships by reviewing metrics such as click-throughs, products shoppers are interested in, and conversion rates

Standard CRM features include:

  • Cross-channel tracking of each customer’s activities
  • Analytics and reporting that helps predict the success of leads from various channels throughout the sales pipeline
  • Data visualization that showcases data in a variety of ways
  • Contact management and sales automation that improve progress and performance 

CRM Benefits

Aside from storing and analyzing customer data and sales patterns, a good CRM system provides an array of other benefits that help e-commerce businesses succeed, including:

  • Tracking customer interactions
  • Allocating, qualifying, and converting leads into sales (a CRM can increase sales by up to 29%)
  • Providing a deeper understanding of what your customers like and dislike
  • Delivering a higher level of customer support through shopper insights
  • Personalizing interactions and marketing campaigns 
  • Checking the organic search rate and comparing it with competitors
  • Sales force automation which helps eliminate manual data entry
  • Increasing productivity and efficiency of everyday sales and marketing tasks

How to Determine if a CRM Is Right for You

If you’re looking to manage your customer relationships efficiently, CRM software is a great option that works well with e-commerce businesses of all sizes. However, before putting down a lot of cash for this system, ask yourself the following:

  • How do you want to use a CRM platform to grow your e-commerce business?
  • How will CRM tools integrate with your other solutions and platforms? 
  • How easy will the software be to learn and use?
  • What features and functionalities are available?
  • Is it accessible on mobile devices? (mobile access can improve sales by 87%!)
  • How much energy and time will it take to fix any CRM-related issues?
  • Does it fit within budget and will it be worth the financial investment?

Related: Four Technologies to Increase Online Sales

What is a CDP?

man looking for a solutionA customer data platform (CDP) is an empowering tool that tracks, collects, and stores customer information from multiple data sources to help you elevate the customer experience. 

The CDP industry is steadily growing, with a 25% increase already since its $1.6 billion value only one year ago. What makes this software so cool is that unlike data warehouses, which only store customer data, a CDP takes the info gathered from the various data resources  to construct distinct individual customer profiles. This provides e-commerce stores with a complete omnichannel customer view that’s pivotal for understanding each buyer’s unique journey. 

Primary CDP features include:

  • Multi-channel data collection that captures real-time data from any source
  • Data aggregation and storage that enables you to acquire, accumulate, and preserve information
  • Data aggregation that presents a comprehensive view of your customers and their transactions 
  • Customer analytics that allow you to improve experiences and product variety
  • Automated behavioral segmentation to help you yield better conversion and retention rates
  • Direct integration with other platforms, such as CRMs, email, SMS, social media, POS systems, and customer support

Fun Fact: 75% of high-value CDP owners said loading data from multiple sources was the most important CDP capability.

CDP Benefits

Beyond unifying diverse customer data (88% see this as the top benefit), a good CDP has plenty of other valuable uses to enhance the customer experience, including:

  • Providing a 360-degree view of your customers so you get a clearer picture of what they want
  • Measuring success through KPIs and other metrics to better assess your marketing and customer success initiatives
  • Forecasting future customer actions 
  • Identifying trends and individual shopper habits 
  • Growing and promoting your customer profile database
  • Organizing your customer journey information in an actionable manner 
  • Integrating with other tools and programs to facilitate real-time results, decisions, and responses

How to Determine if a CDP Is Right for You

If you’re considering a software program that pairs data with multi-channel marketing to empower more data-driven decisions, a CDP might be right for you. Just take these factors into account first when selecting the right CDP:

  • Which CDP will fit best with the evolution of your e-commerce business?
  • Who will be using the CDP regularly, and what features will they need most?
  • Does the CDP have direct integration with other solutions or platforms you are using?
  • Is the data generated by your CDP accessible to everyone on your team and easy to evaluate?
  • Do you have another solution developed specifically for e-commerce?
  • Will you have access to local tech support to assist with onboarding and potential software issues?

Related: How to Make Instant Data-Driven Business Decisions

What is a DXP?shopper in a digital experience platform

A digital experience platform (DXP) is front-end software that manages digital experiences throughout an extensive range of touchpoints.  

By 2030, the global digital experience platform market is expected to see a compound annual growth rate of 13.3% to reach $30.41 billion USD. For e-commerce, DXPs collect customer data from a breadth of digital channels to build, personalize, and provide better customer content. And it does all of this while working with back-end solutions that take care of responsibilities like processing payments and managing products and orders. 

Common features of most DXPs include:

  • Content management system (CMS) capabilities that enable effective data management and easy content generation
  • Asset management for digital resources that can be applied in various contexts 
  • Automation and personalization to elevate the buyer journey
  • Analytics and AI that extract customer preferences and provide product recommendations
  • Omnichannel delivery that enables customers to purchase and receive orders from multiple sales channels
  • Cloud set-up for effortless data storage and access
  • APIs that link two or more applications and exchange data between synchronized accounts

DXP Benefits

In addition to cloud-native architecture and omnichannel reach that makes it easier to reach customers, DXPs can help e-commerce stores improve their customer relationships by:

  • Streamlining business by combining your e-commerce and marketing platforms together
  • Connecting to your entire customer network to gain vital insights to create personalized customer experiences
  • Tailoring your software stack so it aligns with the needs of your team and existing tools
  • Providing real time data to assess shopper behavior and better identify their needs
  • Using an integrated approach to everything from content to code, while providing an underlying layer for analytics
  • Activating and tracking customer engagement and touchpoints throughout the entire lifecycle
  • Easily implementing anything that’s needed to provide a differentiated shopping experience

How to Determine if a DXP Is Right for You

If a single point of control with flexible architecture and true omnichannel possibilities is what you’re looking for, a DXP solution could get the job done. But there are some things to consider first before deciding which DXP software to choose:

  • What features and functionalities do you require to meet your e-commerce business goals?
  • Which DXPs have the highest rankings, and why?
  • Do preferred DXP vendors provide references and case studies you can review?
  • What integration capabilities does each DXP offer, and does it work with your existing platforms?
  • Is there customer support for team members and software navigation?

What’s the difference between a CDP, DXP, and CRM?

Though CRMs, CDPs, and DXPs all share some similarities—collecting, using, and storing data—their capabilities and use cases are quite diverse. And each focuses on varying e-commerce goals.

Here’s a snapshot of the greatest differences between each:

Key differentiators
  • Deals directly with customers
  • Can power your e-commerce website & applications
  • Tracks your existing customer interactions 
  • Helps manage customer relationships
  • Supports sales team
  • Can be used as an input & output channel to a CDP
  • Manages data on customer behaviors
  • Centralizes customer databases 
  • Provides Identity resolution & segmentation
  • Helps you understand your customers better
  • Offers real-time personalization recommendations
  • Ingests data from CRMs, DXPs, and other platforms
  • Focuses on connectedness and integration
  • Connects to other platforms & external systems 
  • Manages content creation & performance tracking 
  • Helps develop meaningful customer relationships 
  • Delivers personalized content to your customers 
  • Front-end software that works seamlessly with CRMs, CDPs and other programs
Works best
as a:
Primary system for websites and applications Central customer database Digital and content management solution
Best option
Managing customer relationships Elevating the customer experience Managing digital experiences throughout various touchpoints

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Final Thoughts

E-commerce businesses rely on technology to garner sales, attain new customers, and keep existing customers. But knowing which tools to have in your marketing belt isn’t always clear-cut. CRMs, CDPs, and DXPs all bring value to the table, and combined, ensure online retailers have the ability to deliver personalization at scale. 

clients looking at graphsAt the end of the day, it’s less about choosing the “best” solution but rather, the right tool that works for your e-commerce store’s needs. Do your research, weigh out the options and soon, you’ll be one step closer to obtaining valuable software that will elevate your performance levels and set you up for greater success.

Looking to create a more personalized shopping experience?

Partners shaking handsGranify has the tools and the brain to provide tailored customer experiences that meet your customer’s buying needs. Find out how we can help you convert more leads to sales through simple yet effective personalization strategies that truly work.

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