CRM vs CDP: How Should Ecommerce Handle Customer Data?

By Laurence Williams  |     September 10, 2021


CRMs and CDPs collect, store and use customer data. As an ecommerce business, you’ve likely been told to use one or both of these tools, but how are they different? And which do you really need?

Customer Relationship Management systems remove silos in sales and marketing departments by collecting customer data for a 360° view of each customer. They help you add value with personalization.

Customer Data Platforms are advanced, robust databases that collate data from many sources and martech systems, including CRMs. It’s like a warehouse where everyone can access the same information.

Why Use  a CRM?

CRM platforms are the best way for you to take advantage of one customer data platform to be used by different departments for lead generation, acquisition and retention.

Why Use  a CDP?

CDPs ensure all stakeholders can access the same data so that they can draw the same conclusions. A CDP is a great way to understand all of a customer’s interactions with your brand.

Which Does  My Business Need?

CRMs are great for when you’re focused on sales, marketing and servicing customer needs. CDPs help you manage vast amounts of unstructured data in a sophisticated way.

CRMs Simplify Personalization

A CRM is a simpler system that marketing and retention teams use to manage data and personalize materials. 

CDPs Make Executive Insights Tangible

CDPs help enterprise-level companies protect and govern all their data. They benefit from big data analytics and forecasting, and customer data is just one part.

Do I Need a CDP  and CRM?

If you have a ton of data, you likely need a CDP. If you collect enough customer data to personalize follow-ups but don’t automate those communications, you likely need a CRM.

Ecommerce Sites Should Use CRMs

A CRM is a powerful tool with the ability to be exactly what you need it to be. In the right hands, it can be used to efficiently and effectively grow your ecommerce business.

Thanks for reading!