Retail based its existence, from its origins, on the combination product-customer.

Even nowadays, specialized retailers place a large part of their strategy on knowing their users very well, based in most cases on the personal knowledge of customers by the owner or sales assistant, who cares to know about the habits of each person. The ultimate goal is to offer a personalized assistance to recommend and propose those products and services that best fit the tastes and preferences of each person.

Customer knowledge and personalization

The great boom experienced by retail in the second half of the 20th century with the territorial expansion of businesses led to a transfer of value to the product in detriment of the customer.

The most important fashion, food and beauty retailers made use of the mass media to attract customers to the physical stores where the product was the protagonist, probably because an individual customer management was no longer possible.

The birth of e-commerce broughta new channel in which retailers could not only sell, but also manage customer data. Customers became, in most cases, not anonymous in their purchases and business realized that all this data: customer profile, historical purchases and behavior could provide great value to companies.


The problem is more in the physical store, how to get customer data in store and how to unify it with the online data? 

  • The first approach to this need was offered by the P.O.S. applications that in addition to registering sales, began to provide customer registration and to assign the transaction to the “customer file”, with certain access to analytical information.
  • Subsequently, CRMs took center of the stage. These solutions, which arrived as key tools in multiple sectors (B2B, travel agencies, telecommunication operators, electricity companies,…) also made their landing in “pure” retailers with the intention of providing a higher layer in terms of customer management either in store and in ecommerce.
  • As an evolution to CRMs in the field of unification and data processing, the concept of CDP has emerged in recent years, placing its value in the ability to ingest data from multiple information silos to try to build what is known as : a “golden record”, “single source of truth” or “single customer view” that brings together all the information about a user dispersed in different repositories and systems.

Although CDP is the best approach of the three, as it is proposed, it is not enough to provide an adequate response in a retail scenario.


In a retailer users can be registered at each interaction point: ecommerce, physical stores, landing pages, etc. with different identifiers, typically emails or phone numbers (although sometimes also Tax ID Number, etc.) This causes two types of problems:

  • The first is that, on a large number of occasions, these registration identifiers are not validated, that is, they could have been fictitiously created (email accounts created exclusively for that purpose) or entered erroneously (user or staff typing error) This causes duplication of accounts and it is common to find the same customer with two or more accounts in each of the registration channels.
  • The second is that the customer may have a different registration identifier on each platform, because each system is a different tool. In stores it appears with an email, in ecommerce with another email or with a phone, etc.
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A standard CDP will work by ingesting customer information from the different information silos: data repositories of CRM, Ecommerce, P.O.S.,… and carrying out “cleansing” and “joining and curation” processes to try to unify the data available on the different platforms around a customer.

But this approach does not resolve in the origin nor automatically the customer identification under a unique ID. Instead it assumes the existing identities in the different business platforms and entrusts the unification of identities to a process of cleasning, joining and curation. Consequently:

  • Data merging, cleansing and curating mechanisms have to be launched periodically, which creates unnecessary extra workload for the marketing or customer team, in a tedious and continuous process.
  • It is necessary to handle duplicate incidents with users, which generates frustration for customers and risks of data inconsistency.
    100% reliable information is never available, which leads to insecurity in data management.
  • The execution of actions and campaigns on clients based on information that is not entirely reliable leads to communication errors, low conversion and worst of all: user dissatisfaction.

Therefore, in a retail environment, the customer management solution (CDP) should, in this order:

  • Offer a mechanism for automatic validation of the customer’s identity in the different channels and points of interaction: stores, Ecommerce, forms,… abstracting the different registration IDs that users use on each platform.
  • Ingest customer information from multiple channels, without joining information silos, without the need for cleaning processes or data joining and curation
  • Manage real time data that allows an agile operation and the automation of actions.

This approach allows to work with reliable customer data and offer value to the business in the different areas that will take advantage of this robust information about the customer:


Marketing teams will be able to build personalized proposals, benefits and services for each customer.

Unified customer profile and behavior data allows marketing to speak one-on-one with each user, increasing value offered, customer brand identification, and ultimately sales conversion.


An unified view of customer purchases, returns and interactions in all channels allows to offer a much faster and more accurate service to queries and incidents.

Customers perceive a brand that knows them and that struggles to offer them a customer service with maximum satisfaction for the user.


The standards and regulations on data privacy as those imposed by the GDPR, require a secure and reliable management of user consent at the different points of interaction.

Having unified and 100% reliable customer information guarantees data and legal departments a reliable and centralized orchestration of the privacy policy and user acceptance, transferring trust to end users and security to the organization.


Sales, financial and the board are users to whom unified customer data management adds value in different areas such as demand planning, stock reduction or business projection.

A CDP for retail should offer a mechanism for authentication and unification of user identities and not just "join" and "curate" information silos

What we offer?

Wapping is a platform created specifically for retail industry to provide a solution to 3 major challenges closely related: customer knowledge, personalization and omnichannel shopping experience.

Regarding the first challenge, (reliable) customer knowledge, the subject of this article, Wapping offers:

  • A customer sign-up/identification solution where the customer is validated on the first interaction in any of the channels to automatically build a unique and 100% reliable ID.
  • The transactional connection of all sales channels for the automatic ingest of all customer interaction with the brand. WE DO NOT JOIN SILOS, but the data is ingested in real-time directly from the source under a unique ID per customer, without cleaning, joining and curating processes.
  • Reliable and robust data that allows the exploitation of analytical customer information and omnichannel purchasing patterns and behaviors, as well as an efficiently user consents under GDPR management.


Unified customer data is key to understanding customers and increasing their identification and loyalty.

Retail industry presents its own characteristics that significantly differentiate it from any other sector. On many occasions, the classic approaches that work in other sectors do not work well in retail. Specifically designed solutions are necessary.

We have seen how Wapping offers a differential and specific solution for retailers in terms of customer data unification, with a platform that solves not only data aggregation but also begins one step earlier by offering an answer to user validation in the different points of interaction with the brand.

Next articles

Once you manage reliable customer data, next step is to turn it into business value. Information is power, only if it can be turned into action.

In next posts we will see how Wapping allows generating that value for the business through the construction of personalized services with an omnichannel performance.

Do you want to know how? Just contact us!

How it works?


Wapping team