How do you maintain connections and relationships with your clients?
In today’s e-commerce sphere, client connection happens through a variety of platforms and channels. You might interact with the same customer on your site, on social media, through email, in-store, or even on the phone with customer service.
How do you make this experience consistent for your customer? How do you keep your customer’s information so you can personalize and tailor your marketing accordingly? How do you capture this visitor to push them towards conversion?
Customer relationship management (CRM) software is the greatest innovation in organizing your client information. These systems will keep track of your customer data— individually and overall— to give you greater insights into your sales, marketing, operations, and target audience.
What do these systems do and how can they benefit your e-commerce store?
What is a CRM system?
Customer relationship management software is the key to effectively managing relationships and partnerships. It helps you store customer data and direct interactions between store and customers.
CRM systems create a database of customer information, including:
The goal of today’s CRM systems is not just to collect customer data but to utilize artificial intelligence to personalize solutions and enhance e-commerce functionality at every part of the customer journey. You’re collecting in-depth data so you can provide the most advanced service to your customers.
1. Personalize Marketing
Your customers know that personalization technology is out there. And they expect that you’ll use that tech to provide them with the best possible shopping experience.
CRM software helps you keep information about your clients so you can offer this personalized service. These systems can actually make full customer profiles with their name, email, prior purchase history, reviews, social interactions, interests, and more. This allows you to target each person individually or segment customer lists based on interests, products, or other customer data.
This is the best way to boost your marketing. You can send personalized emails to a segment of customers who have shown interest in a specific product line. Or you can send automated messages to customers who have left a negative review. You can even link this system to your website to change the way your homepage appears to different types of customers, based on their previous browsing history.
2. Improve Sales Performance
Looking at a customer’s CRM profile is a great way to get an idea about their purchasing behaviors. So, a sales representative can look at their profile to see previous purchases and products viewed, so they can make style recommendations and upsell or cross-sell more effectively.
This also works for automatic sales targeting tools. Your website can pull info from the CRM to determine which products that customer has searched for. The site will then automatically show content and advertisements related to those products.
CRM systems also enable an enhanced omnichannel presence. Customers who search online can get tailored service in stores when their sales associate looks at their data. A customer can be in the fitting room and the associate can hand them a dress they were looking at online for them to try on. The customer instantly feels the associate knows their taste, and they get a consistent, positive experience with the brand.
3. Enhance Customer Service
The CRM system keeps your customer’s data about their purchases and behaviors as well as your business’s operations like inventory and orders. This collection of data can help customer service representatives see where any potential customer concerns might pop up before they turn into problems.
And if a problem has already happened, your customer service team can log into the CRM system to get a bigger picture view of the customer and issue to provide strong, streamlined service.
This generally also helps reduce return rates, since customer service representatives can provide higher quality responses to better address the client’s individual needs.
4. Drive After Sales
One of the most challenging aspects of the customer journey is the follow-up after the sale. A purchase isn’t the finish line. You want to continue to reach out to customers after the initial purchase to enhance customer service and instill long-term loyalty.
When you focus on the after-sale campaign, you increase the lifetime value of your customer. Retention costs a lot less than acquisition, so you want to utilize the after-sale to maintain loyal customers and boost repeat purchases.
Your CRM system will keep track of a customer’s purchases, including their interests, sizes, and style. This can help you narrow down your personalization and targeting after the sale. For example, you can follow up asking how they liked a specific product or you can send an email with related products and accessories.
5. Forecast and Manage Inventory
CRM systems can congregate different customer profiles to see products that are purchased and viewed most frequently. It can even track this information down to the type of customer viewing the product and even when and how they’re looking at these products.
This provides a trove of data that the operations team can use to understand how the product is moving. This helps forecast manufacturing, sourcing, and production moving forward to provide trending goods that customers really want.
Strong forecasting helps your business better cater to the customer. You can vet your product lines in a way that appeals to your target customers, so you start to create a more consumer-centric brand that your customers will fall in love with and be loyal to. Forecasting also helps minimize leftover inventory loss by better predicting the products that will actually sell through for the season.
What CRM systems are available?
Salesforce is the largest player in CRM software. SalesforceIQ is specifically made for the e-commerce sector, and it’s great for small to midsize companies. It’s a low-cost solution with a lot of functionality and features. Its artificial intelligence analyzes your data to help tailor personalized marketing and forecast sales highly effectively.
Other popular CRM systems include:
Different CRM systems have different capabilities, features, and pricing, so we recommend doing your research before committing. Many will offer a free trial, so you can try them out to see which will work best for your e-commerce team.
CRM systems store critical customer information that benefits every department of your business. Sales can use it to upsell and cross-sell to individual customers. Customer service can use it to solve issues quickly and directly. Marketing can use it to segment customer data to personalize campaigns, especially after sales campaigns. Operations can use it to determine product popularity and forecast inventory.
Customer relationship management systems give you all the customer information you need to enhance your business’s functions to provide the best possible service. In a world where customers expect personalization and brand consistency, CRM systems allow you to streamline interactions from initial impression through the lifetime of the customer journey.
Do you use a CRM system for your e-commerce store? How has it benefited you? Let us know in the comments below.