AWS for Industries

Why Retailers Need a CDP to Power Their Customer 360 Strategy

With so many options to browse and discover products, consumers don’t shop linearly. Instead, they use many different, disparate channels along their shopping journey to discover and research products—from social media and websites, to email campaigns and targeted ads, as well as actually shopping in a brick-and-mortar store. Unfortunately, this disjointed approach obscures the shopper’s intent, which is a loss for both shoppers and retailers. To help retailers gain a better understanding of customer behaviors and preferences, they need a 360-degree view of their customers so that they can tailor experiences along the purchase journey.

The Challenges of Siloed Customer Data

Most retailers have several systems that house customer data, like a CRM, DMP, POS, and contact center, which means the data is available to retailers. However, the different systems are usually siloed rather than centralized. Each of the different systems has a specific data set that provides the retailer with a perspective on the customer. However, as stand-alone applications, none of them provide a complete 360-degree view of the customer. Without a single, consolidated view, retailers can’t send relevant messages to educate, inform, and inspire customers along the purchase journey. Instead, they run the risk of missing sales opportunities and annoying shoppers with irrelevant messages.

The Value of Customer Data Platforms for Retailers

A customer data platform (CDP) can help retailers create a holistic 360-degree view of the customer. A CDP aggregates customer data into profiles and makes it available to other applications. The customer profile includes typical information, such as identity, demographics, and even psychographics, and it also includes intent data, such as click-streams, search history, and social engagement. Furthermore, you can include any previous engagements between the customer and retailer, such as calls into the contact center and order history. This consolidated information lets retailers gain an in-depth understanding of the shopper. This holistic customer view is often called Customer 360.

The Differences Between Retail CDPs and Data Lakes

You might be wondering how a CDP works with a data lake. In short, they work together. The data lake collects raw data. Meanwhile, a CDP ingests, aggregates, and transforms a subset of the data from the data lake into context-rich information. A CDP also lets retailers expose the centralized customer data to other systems via APIs—such as Amazon Personalize to make product recommendations, Amazon Pinpoint to build customer segments, or Amazon Connect to predict why a shopper is calling. In turn, this lets them deliver personalized, relevant experiences. If you want a more detailed understanding of how data lakes and CDPs work together, then please take a few minutes and read Where Does a Customer Data Platform Fit in With My AWS Data Lake?

Using CDP Data to Drive Relevant Customer Engagement and High-level Marketing Insights

All that rich customer data can be really valuable to machine learning algorithms, which can tease out intent to provide product recommendations, prioritized search results, and relevant marketing messages. As I mentioned previously, APIs let the CDP easily share information with downstream applications to access customer profiles, which enables more insightful performance.

Retailers can also augment the consolidated shopper data in a CDP with externally sourced, third-party data from AWS Data Exchange to gain even more insights. For example, this can be done to inform decisions about product placement in stores and localized product assortments. Furthermore, the augmented data can drive decisions about marketing campaigns, budget allocations, and other high-level business strategies. CDPs can facilitate more than just static analytics.

CDP Successes with AWS Retail Partners

Some retailers may choose to build a CDP, but most will want to work with an external vendor to purchase one and innovate around the edges. AWS Retail Competency partners Segment, Amperity, Tealium, and Algonomy each provide CDPs that run in the AWS Cloud. It’s crucial to consider the entire customer lifecycle when selecting a CDP, so that you can go beyond marketing and advertising to address every customer touchpoint across the buying journey.


Using AWS services, such as Amazon Kinesis and Amazon AppFlow, Amperity offers a customer data and identity platform that empowers global consumer brands to create unique and personalized experiences by unlocking insights from customer data. Fashion and apparel brands, such as TapestryKendra Scott, and Johnny Was, are marquee Amperity customers.

  • Watch this webinar to learn more about Kendra Scott’s customer 360 initiative using a CDP developed by Amperity to consistently deliver 1:1 marketing for this brand.
  • Read this e-book by Amperity that showcases several consumer brands in the retail and travel/hospitality industries that worked with Amperity to develop a customer 360 strategy to get ahead of new consumer behaviors and expectations.



This AWS partner offers a CDP that collects, schematizes, and loads all customer interactions—from mobile, web, POS, CRM, email, and more—into Amazon Simple Storage Service (Amazon S3), Amazon Redshift, or Amazon Kinesis Data Streams so that you can create a 360-degree view of your customer. The CDP enables real-time personalization without complicated setup or maintenance.


This long-standing AWS partner helps retailers, such as Colruyt Group, Gap, and Adore Beauty, create personalized, omnichannel shopping experiences with trusted customer data. Tealium’s Customer Data Hub is a data ecosystem that supports over 1,300 client and server-side technologies to help retail brands create a unified, real-time view of customers. Moreover, it offers tag management, an API hub, and machine learning (ML) functionality to make customer data more valuable, actionable, and secure.

If you want to discuss your customer data needs or you’re ready to deploy a CDP, then AWS is here to help. Contact your account team today to get started.

AWS Retail Competency Partners Spotlight
CDP Solution

Discover purpose-built solutions and services from a network of industry-leading AWS Retail Competency Partners offering CDP solutions on AWS.


Supercharge customer engagement with Algonomy CDP. Algonomy offers real-time smart hub for retailers and brands with actionable algorithms and analytics, and it enables retailers to impact every aspect of their business, from supply chain management and merchandising, to marketing and customer engagement.


An Enterprise CDP trusted by the world’s most loved brands to accelerate their shift to first-party customer relationships. Amperity accelerates the way that brands identify, understand, and connect with their customers by leveraging AI to deliver a comprehensive and actionable Customer 360.


The Braze customer engagement platform powers relevant experiences between consumers and brands that they love. Braze gives marketers the power to convert creative ideas into well-orchestrated, personalized conversations delivered at optimal times through relevant channels.


Capillary Technologies provides cloud-based omnichannel customer engagement solutions. Capillary AI-powered CDP gathers consumer data from all touchpoints to give retailers a 360-degree single view of consumers and drive highly personalized and contextual customer experiences.


Cordial’s cross-channel messaging and data platform is designed for agile marketing teams and technologists to send personal, relevant, and intelligent messages across any channel.


mParticle makes it easy to holistically manage customer data along with the entire product and customer lifecycle. mParticle simplifies customer data infrastructure resulting in cleaner code, improved site and app performance, less maintenance, and reclaimed engineering time.

Twilio Segment

Twilio Segment CDP provides companies with the data foundation that they need to put their customers at the heart of every decision. Companies can collect, unify, and route customer data into any system to better understand their customers and create seamless, compelling experiences in real-time.


Tealium CDP connects customer data – spanning web, mobile, offline, and IoT devices. Tealium’s turnkey integration ecosystem supports over 1,300 client-side and server-side vendors and technologies, thereby empowering brands to create a unified, real-time customer data infrastructure.

Treasure Data

Treasure Data offers an enterprise Customer Data Platform that balances privacy and data to power great customer experiences in marketing, service, and sales. Treasure Data empowers retailers to responsibly manage data from every source, both securely and at any scale.

David Dorf

David Dorf

David Dorf leads Worldwide Retail Solutions at AWS, where he develops retail-specific solutions and assists retailers with innovation. Before joining AWS, David developed retail technology solutions at Infor Retail, Oracle Retail, 360Commerce, Circuit City, AMF Bowling, and Schlumberger’s retail and banking division. David spent several years working with NRF-ARTS on technology standards, is on the advisory board for the MACH Alliance, and supports the Retail Orphan Initiative charity. He holds degrees from Virginia Tech and Penn State.