E-commerce shop owners have a lot of competition, so meeting customer needs is more critical than ever to win (and retain) business.
Personalizing interactions, tailoring email marketing and offering 24/7 customer support may seem like a tall order for small businesses. Today, it’s all possible to manage with an e-commerce CRM.
In this guide, we’ll explain what an e-commerce CRM is, what to look for in an e-commerce CRM and how it can increase sales and keep your customers coming back.
An e-commerce CRM is a customer relationship management (CRM) system designed primarily to help e-commerce stores manage customer data, learn from shopping behaviors and carry out a variety of everyday operations tasks.
A CRM maintains relevant information about your past, existing and potential customers, gathering everything in one place so it’s up-to-date and accessible across teams and departments.
The world of e-commerce is fast-paced. A tool that can deliver real-time insights, keep tasks organized and automate admin so you can focus on building relationships and driving growth is invaluable.
Here are a few of the ways an e-commerce CRM can help your business.
Cut back on repetitive tasks that take up your team’s valuable time by setting up automated workflows. Use your CRM tool to move prospects through your sales pipeline by setting up automatic actions tied to triggering events. For instance, setting it up to immediately schedule a follow-up call when a deal moves to a specific stage in the pipeline.
Automation frees up time for higher-value activities, which means greater productivity. Our State of Sales and Marketing report revealed that people who automate tasks are 16% more likely to hit their targets.
Your e-commerce website attracts new visitors all the time. A CRM can help you capture as many interested parties as possible and nurture them until they’re ready to buy.
CRMs with web chat features, for example, can engage visitors at their point of need, so you never miss an opportunity to impress a potential buyer. Some chatbots allow you to customize questions, collect information, pre-qualify leads and direct them to a live representative when needed.
Additionally, some platforms allow you to use web forms to gather email addresses or entries for events, automatically routing and storing data in your CRM. The right tool can boost the effectiveness of your e-commerce platform by capturing and organizing customer data so you always have the info you need when you need it.
A CRM can help you improve the customer experience to create loyal buyers. It allows you to track customer interactions (such as in a contact timeline) and analyze buyer behavior (such as email engagement and purchases) so you can tailor the shopping experience to the individual.
Shoppers now expect a personalized buying experience, and the best way to provide one is to dig into what they want and organize your digital marketing efforts accordingly.
For example, group customers into email list segments based on their purchase history, then send personalized offers and promotions to each segment. You can also notify existing customers about product updates and new product launches, or ramp up your after-sales service with a loyalty program targeting your most active shoppers.
A CRM stores sales data you can use to understand your customers better. A dashboard of intuitive graphs, charts and interactive tables lets you visualize shopping habits to get a deeper understanding of your customers’ behavior.
A tool with a strong insights and reporting feature lets you recognize winning patterns and spot areas for improvement. Sales slowing down? An e-commerce CRM can help you see this and take action to get things moving again.
Some platforms will also provide you with accurate forecasting insights so you can predict incoming revenue. Knowing what your business is likely to turn over can help you prioritize campaigns and allocate resources to meet your goals.
Traditionally, businesses used a CRM to manage the relationships with their business-to-business (B2B) clients. The tool stored information like contact details, preferred contact method and where deals were within the sales pipeline. They were intended to foster team collaboration and track sales processes.
Today, CRMs have much more functionality, opening up the tool to many more industries, including retail. An e-commerce CRM has features relevant to online sales and customer experiences. They allow business owners to tailor their platforms to their specific business needs.
For example, a stationery shop owner might use data gathered from their e-commerce CRM to optimize their website for their target audience. Say they find that the most visited category in their online store is greeting cards. They can restructure their site so ‘greeting cards’ is a featured category on the home page.
A mattress retailer with a small sales team might use a CRM to collect leads and manage customer support queries. They could use an automated chatbot to gather and pre-qualify leads and handle straightforward customer queries. This frees up time for their sales and support teams to follow up on new leads, address complex issues and close more deals.
Your e-commerce CRM system should provide actionable customer insights to help you grow your business. A top tool will let you run reports and create customizable performance dashboards to track real-time updates.
You should be able to track daily, weekly and monthly sales, conversion rates, email engagement and more, right from your CRM.
It’s likely that you have more tools than just a CRM in your tech stack. A platform that integrates all your tools in one place can save you time switching between apps and syncing data.
For example, integrate your CRM with customer support and marketing tools to manage queries and automate campaigns from one convenient platform. Streamline internal processes by choosing a tool that integrates with project management platforms, like Asana and Trello, and simplify meeting admin by integrating with communication platforms, like Zoom and Microsoft Teams.
Keep your data and activities together in a CRM that integrates with your favorite tools.
The right e-commerce CRM will help you improve your customer experience and your internal processes, and that means a boost to your bottom line. Let’s look at five ways you can use a CRM to increase sales in your online business.
Take advantage of automations to make your processes more efficient and give your team more time to focus on complex sales activities.
One way to take advantage of automations is to set up triggers to immediately move prospects along the sales pipeline. For instance, when a new prospect enters their contact information on your website, have your CRM add them to an automatic email funnel and send them a follow-up with a clear call to action.
Create customer segments within the CRM based on their purchases, pricing, order quantities or other metrics. With this information, you can automatically target each group using a personalized message or relevant offer.
For instance, Pipedrive’s Campaigns add-on lets you create segments by using filters to send specific campaigns to a specific audience.
In the image above, you can see that the filter is set to create a list of all the contacts who interacted with the campaign named “Very important Campaign”. This will let the company send a tailored message to all those who showed interest by clicking on this specific campaign.
You can also use automated chatbots to handle straightforward customer queries, freeing your sales reps to address complex issues and close more deals.
Throughout the customer journey, from browsing to purchase and after-sales support, customers expect a tailored experience. Use your CRM to quickly give all your interactions a personal touch.
For instance, stored data about your customers, like demographics, location or preferred price range helps you build a complete customer profile. You can use this knowledge to focus your overall marketing strategy and increase sales.
Stored customer data on preferred communication channels lets you know how to reach out to people with new offers in a way that will get more responses. You can also use segmenting and customizable templates to send targeted offers and messaging.
E-commerce CRM systems can track customer interactions across all touchpoints, including contact forms, search engines, emails, phone calls, social media, live chat and support tickets.
With everything stored in one easily accessible, organized system, any team can use the information.
Easy access means no one falls through the cracks. Marketing teams can track leads, see what they’re browsing, and send enticing offers to encourage them to buy. Customer service staff can quickly answer customer support requests by confirming purchase history and replying promptly to keep customers satisfied.
One central hub reduces human error and duplicate information, making sure you can reach customers and leads in a timely manner.
Email remains one of the most effective and affordable communication tools. A robust email strategy can help you connect with your target audience, nurture potential buyers and upsell current customers.
An e-commerce CRM will allow you to design, send and track targeted, engaging campaigns with features like open and click tracking, sales templates and email marketing automation.
For example, you can send more emails in less time by populating ready-made email templates with personalized messaging. Here’s a look at how templates within Pipedrive’s CRM allow you to tailor your message using fields:
The templates can use the specific information associated with deals, contacts and organizations stored in the CRM to automatically fill out the fields and personalize each email.
Use your platform’s stored customer data to segment audiences and send campaigns based on contact history. Then measure a campaign’s success with data including open rate, click rate, click-through rate and total/unique clicks.
An e-commerce CRM helps you reach the right customers with the right message at the right time.
CRM software contains information and data sources vital to increasing sales and growing your business. Analyzing your performance shows you where to optimize your marketing campaigns and sales workflows. It can also give you insight into your customer satisfaction rates.
Using a combination of default and custom insights and reports, you can track criteria like the number of new customer sales versus repeat purchases or the number of store browsers versus buyers to understand your conversion rate. You can also run forecasts based on sales trends and set targets for the next period.
A CRM solution can help e-commerce businesses thrive by helping them understand their customers better, personalize their marketing campaigns accordingly and streamline their sales processes.
Choosing the best CRM and package for your business is a matter of knowing which features to look for and understanding how to implement them in your organization. The right platform will help you manage your processes and support your customers as you continue to grow your business.
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