Alina Yarova

Head of Content

Customer database in retail

How to Work With a Customer Database in Retail? Fresh Ideas For Collecting Contacts and Segmentation

The sales and scalability of a business depend on the quality and quantity of contacts in the customer database. Only organically acquired, not purchased, contacts are the foundation of company development and building a connection with the audience.

It's crucial to collect customer data from various sources, forming an up-to-date client profile. Such information should be constantly updated and used for segmentation — basic and in-depth — and creating personalized offers.

In the article, we will explore how to enrich and expand the customer database, maintain its hygiene, and use this data for effective communication with the audience.

What is a Customer Database and What is Its Role in Retail

A customer database is a unique repository of information about potential (interested) and existing clients of a company, sorted according to certain criteria. Each company creates and maintains its database differently: small retailers still use Excel spreadsheets, and some have transitioned to CRM, but only creating a complete customer profile will provide a full understanding of the customer, their product preferences, needs, and purchasing behavior.

The main goal

of creating and maintaining a B2C customer database is to use client data for communication, timely identification of needs, and encouraging purchases.

Regularly updating and filling the customer database is essential to:

  • properly promote the product (send the right message to the right audience through the right channel)
  • adjust marketing campaigns to increase customer interest
  • find new touchpoints with the audience
  • optimize marketing communication expenses

However, for a business to truly reach new heights, it's important not only to collect information about clients in a timely manner but also to work with it effectively.

The Value of Customer Analytics

Continuous work with the client database and client analytics allows businesses to identify consumer needs and adjust communications accordingly. Competition in B2C is fierce, so to succeed, businesses must consistently analyze their client database, conduct effective segmentation, and try to automate this process. This helps optimize costs and achieve revenue growth.

Manually collecting, processing large volumes of data, analyzing, and updating it is almost utopian. It's important to focus on marketing automation platforms like Customer Data Platform

The system collects data from various connected sources, processes and unifies the information, and creates unique client profiles updated in real-time. This data can then be conveniently used for audience segmentation and communication across different direct channels.

What Data Should be Stored in the Customer Database

Let's take a closer look at what data should be collected and updated to best understand your clients and offer them a quality user experience.

Basic Information

Marketers need basic demographic and geographic data about the client. These are static data that rarely change over a long period.

Clients often share this information themselves in their personal profile on the website when subscribing to newsletters, filling out offline client forms, etc. This data includes:

  • name, gender, date of birth,
  • phone number,
  • email,
  • place of residence and time zone,
  • marital status, number, and age of children;
  • education,
  • pets,
  • occupation, etc.

Basic information helps to target advertising to specific buyer segments in different countries, send different messages to men and women at convenient times according to geographic location, and so on.

Customer profile in Yespo CDP

In-depth Information

Interestingly, 64% of customers expect a personalized approach based on previous interactions, which is impossible to implement without continuously enriching the customer profile.

Retail will not be able to attract new customers and retain existing ones by merely sending bulk standard offer campaigns.

An extended customer base accumulates data that is later used for deep segmentation. It's crucial to gather the following information:

1) User behavior on the website, in the app, and across channels:

  • how frequently the customer interacts with the business over a certain period (views products, fills the shopping cart, etc.);
  • the type of content the customer interacts with and when (promo or triggered campaigns);
  • in which direct channels the customer is active (this will help understand where to best build communication).

2) Purchase history:

  • what exactly the customer buys, how often, and from which category;
  • the average check size, the total amount spent on purchases over a specific period, etc. (this criterion can be used to identify, for example, VIP customers).

With such information about the audience, you can offer additional products and services that satisfy other needs of the customers.

9 Best Ways to Collect and Enrich Customer Database

37% of marketers consider acquiring quality leads a challenging task. We've compiled options for obtaining quality customer data offline and online to later use them for segmentation and forming product recommendations.

Subscription Form

This is a classic way to get static data — name, phone number, email, and offer to receive newsletters in a convenient channel. According to statistics, the most effective placements for subscription forms are the home page (37%) and any kind of customer-facing page (33%). Using the form, you can get:

  • users' name;
  • gender;
  • email;
  • mailing address;
  • phone number, etc.

Subscription form in a widget with a discount incentive

However, the subscription form for news, promotions, and updates on new publications can be placed anywhere on the website:

Short subscription form in the website footer

In addition, you can add fields with subscription preferences so that subscribers can indicate what they are interested in. Try to get all possible user contacts to provide an omnichannel approach.

As for the design of the popup form, users are more interested in types with gamification. For example, online store Modoza tested several types of sign-up forms: standard discount popups, a “Choosing a gift” game and a Wheel of Fortune. The last one showed the best performance with a 6.9% subscription conversion rate. In overall, using popup forms the company managed to increase subscription conversion by 5 times.

In addition, in the order confirmation email, companies often suggest subscribing to promotional emails to keep track of new products or promotions.

Email Surveys

Once you’ve got subscribers through the form, you should find out more about them. For example, make a survey in an email to fill in the information about consumers' preferences. You can do this with AMP emails. Its advantage is that a person does not need to click on a link to fill out a questionnaire about themselves. All fields are easy to fill out in the email itself.

Example of an email survey

Social Media

Social media are also great for enriching customer databases with static and in-depth data. You can:

  • obtain firsthand information through quizzes, polls in feeds, and stories;
  • collect static data from followers' profiles;
  • quickly create advertising campaigns, motivating to get a discount in exchange for information about preferences, lifestyle, hobbies, etc.

Offline Events

Utilize exhibitions, forums, and conferences — places where people with common interests gather. At such events, the method of data collection depends on the situation and the format of the event itself — sometimes, it's appropriate to share business cards during personal communication.

Another great option to learn more about your customers is to conduct Interviews and surveys.
Offer to take a survey to visitors at retail locations or fill out paper questionnaires at the checkout. To motivate the customer to participate, offer a bonus or discount on their next purchase.


This method is relevant for both online and offline communications. It's one of the most common ways to enrich a customer profile because there are many ways to implement it:

  • call centers;
  • emails;
  • messages in other direct channels;
  • offline surveys.

Importantly, feedback can be obtained not only from customers who have made a purchase. Abandoned carts and abandoned views are also important triggers, and responding to them can help you learn more about a person.

Surveys in Widgets

Customers love gifts, samples, and giveaways. For businesses, this presents an opportunity to collect additional contact information. A beneficial offer in exchange for information can be made through a survey widget on a website.

 Example of a widget survey for free delivery


Marketers often use this technique to obtain contact information. Create an interesting quiz and motivate the individual to take it. To send the quiz results to the user, ask for contact details like an email or phone number.

Bonus Cards or Gift Certificates

Previously, this option was available only for offline visitors, but now you can order a gift or discount card on the website or in the mobile app of your favorite store.

Physical gift cards available for purchase online

Delivery Arrangement

Even if a user browses your website via an unauthorized profile, you will obtain their data during the order placement. The same applies to offline visitors — at least a name, phone number, and geographical data will be needed for home delivery.

Advantages of Customer Database Segmentation

The purpose of segmentation is to send relevant offers to interested clients — both existing and potential. For this, it's necessary to group contacts into specific categories depending on the marketing strategy.

Although preparing campaigns for a segmented base requires more time, this approach has advantages:

  • increasing customer loyalty;
  • increasing repeat sales;
  • boosting sales through personalized offers.

If basic segmentation allows working with large groups divided by age, gender, and country, then in-depth segmentation lets you form hyper-targeted segments. Let's examine this tool in more detail.

3 Effective Methods of Customer Database Segmentation

While working on attracting and retaining clients, businesses should remember the three main types of segments upon which marketing strategy is built:

  • Strategic segments — the most important group of consumers, on which a business focuses during strategy selection and development directions.
  • Derived segments — smaller segments formed based on strategic ones. Large groups, formed by activity, life cycle stages, etc., are divided into smaller segments with additional data (e.g., male/female, but with details like language, average check, etc.).
  • Micro-segments — the most interesting and complex type of segmentation. Here, the marketer has a wider “playfield” as working with micro-segments allows for pinpoint targeting of client needs. For narrow audience campaigns, the marketer sets many conditions, often acting as triggers for client engagement, reactivation, encouraging repeat sales, etc. Here, the quantity and quality of client data are crucial, and for working with such segments, the client base should be formed and updated automatically, as happens in CDP Yespo.

One of the main advantages of CDP is that the platform provides extensive possibilities for automatic data processing with AI for:

  • predicting the likelihood of client actions;
  • creating narrow segments;
  • launching highly targeted campaigns.

On such a platform, deep segmentation is possible, namely:

  • Behavioral segmentation
  • Event-based segmentation
  • RFM segmentation
  • Cohort segmentation
  • Value-based customer segmentation
  • Predictive segmentation
  • Parametric segmentation

Let's discuss in more detail the most common types.

RFM Segmentation

This type of segmentation is based on the date, number of purchases, and their total amount.

RFM analysis in CDP Yespo

In the table, the vertical axis represents the number of sales, and the horizontal axis indicates time intervals. Each cell shows what percentage of the total number of clients (upper right corner) occupies a certain position on the sales scale of the company.

Learn more about RFM segmentation

Learn now

The RFM method helps identify several customer categories and predict their transition from one category to another. Additionally, it provides insights into further actions regarding specific customer base segments:

  • new customers (for whom it is advisable to talk about the brand's benefits, offer welcome bonuses, and products interesting to newcomers);
  • regular customers (likely to be interested in new products, hot offers, and useful advice emails from the brand);
  • VIP customers (requiring a "heavier" approach — not just new items, but exclusive offers, loyalty programs, early access to sales, and unique rewards);
  • at-risk group — customers who need to be re-engaged (use discount offers with limited validity, bonuses, and other motivators to draw attention to your product);
  • lost customers, inactive for over a year (it's better not to disturb them).

 Read about how Stylus re-engaged inactive contacts.

Predictive Segmentation

This type operates on AI algorithms and can accurately segment customers at risk of churn and those likely to be engaged. It's an essential tool to better understand customers and adjust strategies to achieve desired outcomes — winning back and attracting the audience.

AI-based customer segmentation

helps increase Customer Lifetime Value (CLV) and demonstrates an understanding of consumer needs.

Predictive segmentation algorithms identify the customer base segment ready to make a purchase. For retailers, this is crucial, as identifying the "hot" customer category is one of the primary desires and goals in B2C. For such segments to be formed, the system needs to record high interest in communication and purchasing activity. This can include:

  • interaction in chat;
  • clicks on discounts and emails;
  • clicks on banners;
  • frequent website visits;
  • active engagement during product page views;
  • review reading;
  • participation in surveys;
  • having a loyalty card, etc. 

Use bonuses and perks from the company to ease and expedite the customer's decision-making. Employ omnichannel strategies to accurately convey your offer to the customer.

Behavioral Segmentation

According to a study, 52% of customers expect that all offers from a brand will be personalized based on previous interactions with the company.

Personalized experiences based on customer behavior are crucial for increasing conversion in retail. For behavioral segmentation, the customer profile should contain extensive information about interactions with the brand over a certain period, such as purchases, product views, etc.

These data allow timely sending of triggered and personalized messages to encourage users to take desired actions. For example, offering a time-limited discount or providing additional product recommendations.

Read about how the company Pokupon utilizes behavioral segmentation.

Maintaining Customer Database Hygiene

Constant contact verification is essential to eliminate inactive contacts and enrich the database with new information (interests, age, place of residence, etc.). Customer data should be updated as quickly as possible, ideally in real-time.

Imagine a client's profile indicating "Poland" (GMT+1), but the person has already moved to Sri Lanka. Even if they are still interested in your company and products, sending offers at night will likely reduce conversion and increase annoyance.

Using a CRM system requires more attention to the database's relevance, reducing time for marketing strategies. However, in a CDP system, thanks to website tracking and data transmission from the application via SDK, the information in contact profiles will be updated automatically in real time.

The marketer will focus on working with real data, giving the business more opportunities for relevant personalized interaction with clients.

How to Collect Customer Data and Create Segments with Yespo

Yespo CDP enables the automatic collection of customer data from various sources, the formation of unique customer profiles, and the use of this constantly updated information for segmentation at any level and creating personalized product offers.

Thus, the platform can collect static and behavioral data from:

  • website;
  • mobile application;
  • 8 direct channels;
  • offline sources — retail store transaction data are transmitted through POS terminals, but employees can also manually enter data about products viewed by visitors.

The Yespo platform complies with GDPR, CCPA, and LGPD, ensuring reliable protection of customer data and their confidentiality.

By utilizing all the stored information about customers, deep segmentation of the contact base can be conducted — the number of conditions for segment formation is not limited.


The customer database is a valuable foundation for any business, especially B2C. Collecting data about customers is crucial for any marketing strategy. 62% of retailers have stated that they have a competitive advantage thanks to the analysis of customer data.

Modern marketers can reach a wide audience, but effective communication requires a personalized approach. Without proper data collection — both static and behavioral — marketing efforts are blind, hoping to engage significant customers without really knowing their needs.

Comprehensive customer data allows for the creation of hyper-targeted segments and the offering of the right product to the right people through the right channel.

A customer data platform is the best tool for automated collection and updating of dynamic data. The platform's functionality allows for tracking customer behavior across multiple sources, recording this information in contact profiles, and performing deep segmentation of the audience by various parameters for highly targeted campaigns.

If you want to learn more about in-depth segmentation, data collection and unification, and other possibilities of marketing automation on the Yespo CDP — book a personal consultation.

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Alina Yarova

Head of Content

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