How would you like to have a personal assistant who knows everything about your customers?
And we mean – everything: their likes, dislikes, desires, fears, shopping habits. Everything.
This assistant will help you identify opportunities, save time and money, streamline processes, and ultimately drive revenue.
Sounds like a dream, right?
Well, with a robust Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system in place, this dream can become a reality for your eCommerce store.
In this article, we’ll explore what CRM is, how to implement it for eCommerce, its benefits, and the top CRM platforms that can take your online business to new heights.
What Is Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Customer Relationship Management (CRM) refers to a business’s set of practices used to manage customer interactions, provide personalized customer experiences, improve satisfaction and retention, and ultimately drive sales and revenue growth.
Customer Relationship Management mainly revolves around understanding your customers and their needs (then, evidently, delivering on those needs.)
For a successful CRM process, you and your teams will need to:
- Gather data on customer interactions.
- Analyze customer behavior and preferences.
- Develop targeted marketing campaigns and sales strategies.
Considering the complex and multidisciplinary nature of the CRM processes, an eCommerce business will typically need software and tools to manage customer data, track customer interactions, and automate customer service and sales processes.
The collection of marketing tools and software professionals use for their CRM processes is called a CRM System.
Benefits of CRM in eCommerce
Tl; Dr: a CRM system is essential for building solid and lasting customer relationships and driving growth and profitability.
Moreover, if customer-centricity is on your mind, a CRM eCommerce system is the vehicle taking you there.
Now for the more extended version. When any tools relating to CRM integrate with the rest of your eComm tools, you’ll notice the following changes inside your organization:
- Improved customer engagement
Customer engagement is how you build customer relationships – based on understanding customers’ needs, desires, and challenges.
The CRM system will help you track customer interactions and take action based on your insights. This means responding to their concerns, congratulating them on their progress, and helping them whenever they get stuck.
A CRM system enables you to monitor everything your customers are doing and your responses to their actions, so you’ll be sure no customer slips through the cracks.
- Better retention rates
Besides making customers feel seen and heard, keeping tabs on their issues and concerns also helps you react to and solve them.
A sound CRM system helps you prioritize and resolve tickets from your customers. So you’re providing excellent customer service and keeping customers returning to your online store.
41% of customer-centric companies reported at least +10% revenue growth over the past year – thanks to improved retention.
It’s definitely worth investing in a CRM system for this reason alone.
- Increased sales
The latest stats reveal that implementing a CRM system improves sales communication by at least 56% – leading to better performance and more significant closed deals.
This happens because the system helps sales reps to identify sales opportunities based on customer history, behavior, and recommendations.
These insights inform professionals on the relevancy of their marketing strategy and empower them to upgrade their approach, which will increase sales and revenue.
- Faster & more efficient operations.
Based on the features of your CRM system, you can automate processes and workflows and save up to 77% of your time spent on repetitive tasks.
A sound CRM system helps you streamline lead management, order processing, and customer service, removing inefficiencies from your workload.
- Better data management
Lastly, the CRM system will lead to more efficient management and organization of your customer data.
With the CRM tools, you’re essentially centralizing customer information in a single database, improving data accuracy and accessibility.
Since everyone inside the organization can access your data and use it as a unique source of truth, you’ll make more efficient decisions and improve your overall business operations.
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How to Implement CRM in eCommerce
Implementing an eCommerce CRM requires careful planning and preparation. Fortunately, other professionals have done it before, so we now have the roadmap for implementing a robust CRM system.
Below are a few measures you can adopt to guarantee that the CRM implementation proceeds without any hitches.
Step 1 – Define your reasons for doing it.
In this preparatory stage, you need to identify the goals and objectives for your eCommerce CRM tools and the problem or challenge a CRM system could solve.
Setting goals and assessing the issues will help with the research stage, giving you a list of must-have functionalities your CRM tool must possess.
For example, your goal may be improving customer satisfaction. At the same time, the challenge can be represented by a lack of customer insights.
Step 2 – Research and choose the right CRM System.
Once you have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, you should research different CRM solutions and identify the one that best meets your business needs.
Look at cost, features, ease of use, and scalability factors and weigh them against the benefits you want from the CRM platform.
You could also make a pros and cons list for each finalist, then consult with your teams to pick the right tool for your organization.
Step 3 – Gather and organize your customer data.
Before implementing the CRM of your choice, you need to take hold of your customer data.
Organize your contact information, form submissions, purchase history, and any other customers’ behavioral data you have gathered in the past.
Organize this data in a structured way to ensure the eCommerce CRM integrates smoothly with your company’s history and processes.
Step 4 – Build and train your team.
The CRM system won’t do wonders on its own – you still need to build a team to support the implementation of the CRM system.
So, once you’ve chosen a CRM tool, build the team who will use it (usually, this is your Customer Success department) and train your employees to use it effectively.
The training should include the following:
- Customer data input
- Tracking customer interactions
- Interpreting customer insights to inform decision-making.
Ensure you’re fostering an open culture where people always feel comfortable asking for more training or tutorials.
Step 5 – Integrate with other systems.
CRM Systems built explicitly for eCommerce need to be integrated with the rest of your systems: the eCommerce website, marketing automation tools, and other customer service software.
This way, you’ll streamline your operations, create better customer journeys, and improve efficiency across all departments.
Step 6 – Monitor. Optimize. Repeat.
Now that you’re done with implementing your CRM system, you need to monitor and optimize your processes to ensure you’ve made the right choice.
Track key metrics (customer engagement, Customer Lifetime Value, churn rates, etc.) and use the insights to inform your strategies.
Besides this implementation process, there’s also a series of best practices for implementing a CRM in eCommerce you should be aware of:
- Start small. Scale gradually to ensure a smooth transition.
- Involve key stakeholders in the planning and implementation process.
- Use data analytics to inform decision-making.
- Provide ongoing training and support.
- Continuously optimize and refine your strategy based on customer feedback.
Top CRM Tools for eCommerce
According to eCommerce professionals and G2 reviews, the following CRM tools & software were top-rated and recommended.
However, we advise you to do your own research and weigh in the advantages and disadvantages according to your own needs and the specifics of your customer base and processes:
- HubSpot CRM
The CRM System powered by HubSpot offers a range of valuable features for e-commerce businesses. These include contact management, lead tracking, email marketing, etc.
It’s also free to use, making it an excellent option for smaller businesses.
Salesforce is popular in the eComm world, as its features were specifically designed for the business type. With Salesforce, you will benefit from marketing automation, lead management, and customer service tools.
However, it can be pretty pricey, so it might be a better option for already established businesses.
Zoho CRM is a cloud-based CRM tool offering features such as sales forecasting, contact management, and email marketing.
Its great advantage lies in its highly customizable feature suite.
Freshsales is used by marketing and sales departments as it provides features, lead and deal management, and email tracking.
It also offers a range of integrations with other eCommerce tools, so it can help streamline processes.
Pipedrive also offers contact management, deal tracking, and sales forecasting. Still, it could be more helpful in terms of managing your customer base.
How to Choose a CRM Tool for Your eComm Business
Evidently, you have plenty of options as more and more tools emerge. In a sense, it resembles a lot picking the person you’ll marry.
You can’t skimp on research and testing, as this CRM will be in your daily life. Moreover, customer experiences depend on your management system, so you must choose the one CRM software that will simplify your life and enhance profitability.
How do you pick an eCommerce CRM software that’s intuitive to use, the onboarding process won’t drive you crazy, and will help your team track customer satisfaction?
We’ve put together a series of factors to consider when picking the right CRM platform for business.
When analyzing a CRM tool’s features, consider your needs and demands. Some tools will offer basic features at a modest price, but your business might need more advanced functionalities.
Think of the specific processes going on inside your business and evaluate whether or not your top selections can help streamline those processes. If not, you should look even further to find the ideal solution.
There’s no point in having email marketing features (for example) if the CRM system of your choice doesn’t integrate with your email marketing tool.
When it comes to customer experience, personalization and consistency are keywords. So you’ll need a CRM tool that makes your job easier and saves your resources, not a solution so poor in integrations that you won’t be able to use it to its full potential.
A chaotic onboarding process is one of the most common churn reasons for SaaS.
If your teams are confused or lack support when using the new software, they will be less productive, and your customers will end up being neglected.
Consider product and user reviews when choosing a new CRM tool, or even test it on a trial basis and see how the adoption works out.
Do you remember how frustrating it is to buy a new car and then pay monthly visits to the car service to fix the countless issues arriving?
The same can be said for the CRM platform. If the tool is challenging to maintain, you’ll end up being frustrated and losing money and energy in the process.
Before subscribing to a CRM tool, assess how easy it is to maintain the tool regarding security, backup, or upgrades.
Omniconvert Reveal – First CRM platform built with Customer Value Optimization in mind
eCommerce is changing.
It’s not all about clicks and traffic anymore, as the real battle (and growth) plays out in the retention part of the business.
With this shift in mind, we created Omniconvert Reveal – the first CRM platform built with CVO in mind.
Unlike other CRM platforms that solely concentrate on customer data collection and management, Omniconvert Reveal is the first CRM for eCommerce that offers comprehensive features to optimize the value customers bring to your business.
Think of Customer Experience insights (the Net Promoter Score feature), customer segmentation (RFM), product performance insights, and even a dynamic Audience Builder feature for smarter acquisition.
You can use Omniconvert Reveal to turn new customers into long-lasting relationships and even create targeted campaigns personalized to each customer’s needs and preferences.
With this innovative approach to CRM, Omniconvert Reveal is a game-changer for businesses looking to unlock the full potential of their customer relationships. Check out the full features of Reveal here.
All in all, implementing a CRM platform for your eCommerce business can revolutionize how you interact with your customers, boost your sales, and elevate your brand.
All that’s left for you to do now is implement everything you’ve learned today.
It’s time for research, trial and error, and a willingness to adapt. All will lead to you finding the ideal CRM platform that aligns with your eCommerce goals and helps you achieve long-term success.
Frequently Asked Questions about eCommerce CRMs
eCommerce businesses can greatly benefit from using a CRM system. CRM helps you manage customer interactions, track customer behavior, and personalize marketing efforts.
All these efforts combined can lead to increased customer satisfaction, loyalty, and sales.
To use an eCommerce CRM, businesses need to implement CRM software to manage customer data and interactions, automate marketing campaigns, track customer behavior, and analyze data to improve customer engagement and sales.
The 3 types of CRM are Operational CRM, Analytical CRM, and Collaborative CRM.
Operational CRM focuses on automating and improving customer-facing processes.
Analytical CRM focuses on analyzing customer data to gain insights.
Collaborative CRM focuses on improving communication and collaboration across teams.
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) refers to the strategies, processes, and software that companies use to manage their interactions with customers.
eCommerce refers to the buying and selling of goods and services online.