Shopping online has transformed from a highly impersonal experience to a deeply customized one for each individual that comes to your store. Making your buyers and potential customers feel valued and recognized for their individuality and authenticity is key for high levels of retention as well as acquisition. However, personalization and humanizing your shopping experience takes ample data, analytics, and ongoing communication.
This is where CRM technology steps in to save the day. Short for customer relationship management, CRM platforms are the pillars of eCommerce success. They unify all of your customer touchpoints, provide a clear overview of your lead generation potential, and help you maintain long-term bonds with your customers, despite being a primarily digital business. For many companies, investing in CRM requires a hefty budget, so understanding the perks that this software comes with will help you find the right solution for you. Here are a few key reasons CRM will drive your eCommerce business forward and why it has become critical for modern-day business success in this industry.
Lead generation perfected
E-commerce companies depend on lead generation and continuous conversion rate growth to succeed. To do that, companies use a wide array of communication outlets, be it email, newsletter campaigns, social media posts, blog content, all the way to influencer campaigns. Tracking, measuring, and improving all of these efforts are too time-consuming and cumbersome to be done manually.
You can unify all of these interactions under a single CRM roof, safely stored on the cloud, and easy to access by all of your teams. This prevents all kinds of communication mishaps, such as contacting the same customer twice on the same day via different platforms, or sending an email reminder to the wrong person. Lead generation is significantly simpler when conducted under one umbrella, with a reliable CRM tool.
Improved customer relationships
Sales are not limited to your sales team. Your marketers are actively trying to sell your product even though non-promotional content and your customer support agents can up-sell and cross-sell every time they interact with a customer. Integrating your CRM with other communication tools helps your customer support teams to provide the right product information, engage your customers better, but also boost your conversion rates.
For example, some of the best VoIP solutions for eCommerce businesses can integrate easily with your CRM platform and allow your support teams to access relevant data in a heartbeat. Whether they’re on the phone with the customer and need immediate assistance, or they’re chatting with them on the site, combining the communication potential of your VoIP system with the data from CRM helps enhance customer relationships. The result? Greater customer loyalty, more purchases, more recommendations, and a closer bond with individual buyers.
Cutting marketing and advertising costs
The eCommerce machine requires ongoing cross-departmental collaboration. Your business analysts and marketers help your sales team, for example, when crafting communication strategies for your target demographic. In turn, your sales department is indispensable when determining the most profitable customer groups to market to and the most effective campaigns to create.
With CRM at hand, your sales team can make data-driven reports for your marketers. These can allow for smarter budget allocation to avoid unnecessary expenses on paid ads and sponsored posts. Specialized targeting and improved segmentation (to which we’ll get shortly) help cut costs long-term.
Better supply and demand forecasting
Not a single eCommerce business can enter the playing field blind. That is to say, and you cannot base your product selection or inventory management on hunches. You need regular and ongoing market research, and you need access to relevant information that can fuel your decisions regarding supply and demand. A CRM tool helps you track customers’ shopping preferences and general purchase trends. That, in turn, lets you predict future demand fluctuations.
By being able to meet the market demand and not overstock on unnecessary products, you effectively save money and keep your customers happy at all times.
Smarter customer segmentation
Your target demographic’s search patterns and personal preferences dictate your eCommerce marketing campaigns. What’s the purpose of placing a sponsored ad selling floral wedding dresses in front of people who consistently search for fitness gear? Instead of wasting funds and time on such errors, your CRM platform can collect and analyze your customers’ online footprint to provide smarter segmentation opportunities.
What’s more, segmentation empowered by CRM helps you beyond those campaigns. It allows you to capture better leads over time, provide better services and products, and improve your brand as a whole. Your customer support crew will also have a much easier time talking to individual customers because of the specific data they have at their disposal.
Now that you have access to such a wealth of customer data, your CRM software pulls directly from your website and social media integrations. You have the power to fuel your personalized campaigns. Based on each customer interaction, you’ll be able to generate new campaigns quickly to retarget old customers and reduce abandoned cart rates. Every time a customer stops by, your website will be able to create a customer-specific experience and suggestions, personalized discounts, and messages that elevate their experience.
Automate repetitive processes
Unless you’re running a miniature, a local online store selling a limited number of items to a very narrow demographic, you certainly need automation. Eliminating repetitive and error-prone tasks that can cost your business dearly is much simpler with the right CRM platform. Advanced CRM tools offer automation options that include everything from data entry, analytics, automated report generation, all the way to personalized customer messaging.
By reducing your manual workload, you’ll be able to allow your social media managers, digital marketers, and customer support agents to do the core of their jobs with greater ease. Finally, automation will enable you to avoid human errors such as missing entries in your database, misplaced leads, or similar communication slips that could cost you, long-term buyers.
E-commerce companies are always on the lookout for ways to reduce their expenses while increasing customer satisfaction and brand differentiation. This is an exceptionally competitive industry, but if you focus on your customers, you’ll have a far better chance to succeed for the long haul. CRM tools provide just that: an overwhelming focus on what your customers want and what they don’t want from your business. Use CRM to take your eCommerce brand to the next level and ensure that your brand provides an unforgettable experience to each customer that comes your way.