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360° customer view in retail enables sustainable customer experiences

It is a frequently heard complaint of recent years: stationary retailers would be left behind by e-commerce. The opposite is the case. Because by smartly combining online trade and store-based business, e-commerce shows new ways of creating sustainable customer experiences. A central concept in this context: 360° view of the customer.

Sopping Mall

Sopping Mall © Deutsche Telekom AG

What is the benefit of a 360° view of the customer for retailers?

In marketing communication, we speak of a 360° view when all available customer data is summarized in a comprehensive customer picture or customer profile. This picture shows the customer in the totality of his marketing-relevant attributes. It enables vendors to address customers in a targeted and individual manner across all channels and company divisions. The data provided by a 360° view includes, among other things, all information provided by the customer himself. In other words, all data provided by the customer's (buying) behavior as well as all conclusions that can be drawn about his or her characteristics. Together they form a complex picture of the customer. It ranges from personal data to their needs, interests and preferences. By keeping this data up to date and continuously enriching it with new information, retailers can bind a customer to the company in the long term. So 360° view and customer centricity must be seen as two sides of the same coin.

Anonymous faces become loyal customers 

But how can stationary retail collect all this data and thus provide a 360° view of the customer? The central question is how to turn anonymous faces into loyal customers. Because unlike order processing on the Internet, the customer leaves little or no data behind in offline transactions. The answer to this question must therefore always depart from the same basic premise: an optimal connection between the online and offline world. After all, a visit to a store is only one of many possible touchpoints with the customer. This makes completely new store concepts possible. Mobile applications can support the customer at the physical point of sale, while the offline shopping experience is flanked by online offers and services tailored to the customer.

All customer data at a glance

Where is what data collected? Which systems contain this data? Where is data exchanged? And how is data currently transferred between the existing systems? If a retailer wants to get a 360° view of his customers, it is important to get an overview of all customer data and to integrate their systems in a meaningful way. This is followed by the challenge of systematically linking and analyzing the data and making it usable across all systems. Correctly prepared, the data then forms the basis for concepts and measures that make it possible to create a 360° customer profile.

360° customer view enables companies to view their customers in the light of their needs. First of all, each customer can be evaluated based on his or her interest in certain products or services. Data helps to analyse past purchases and business relationships, determine current needs and pave the way for a new purchase decision. Communication measures can then be planned to inform the customer about products relevant to him, to support him in selecting suitable products or even to provide him with individual offers for a desired product. 

360° customer view opens up new opportunities for retailers

With 360° vision, digitization opens up new opportunities for retailers to take customer focus and loyalty to a new level. For the customer, the line between the offline and online shopping experience becomes blurred, as he or she feels taken care of the same way at all touchpoints. Retailers get new opportunities to get to know their customers and to address them according to their needs. This enables a level of customer experience that creates added value beyond the stationary business - and makes the customer a familiar figure offline as well.

Are you interested in the 360° view in marketing communication? 

Then please contact our expert Jacqueline Karow at


Smart retail

Digitization will ensure the future success of retail.