The ecommerce industry has become increasingly competitive over the years. Online stores in most industries have to operate in increasingly advanced ways to maintain their share of the market and to grow into the business of competitors. This trend will continue for the foreseeable future. Due to this increasing competition, many companies have begun to implement strategies and tools such as predictive pricing software or auto-populating blogs in order to grab a larger part of the attention economy and to gain a leg up on the competition.
The most efficient method for online success, however, and the one that can best guarantee future viability, is Customer Relationship Management (CRM) component.
CRM as a concept is nothing new; businesses have long practiced policies of treating and managing customer expectations and interactions. But in the ecommerce world, the methods have become a bit more complicated. How can ecommerce CRM enable online retailers to more easily grow their bottom line? Here’s a look at eight ways it can help.
Guiding a lead through the buying process is the bread and butter of a successful ecommerce operation. Making sure you have a robust CRM system in place to nurture, guide and catalog decisions made through the process will allow you to see both the strengths and weaknesses of your current strategy. This will let you close more sales as well as patch up leaks in the sales funnel.
Though we will dig into more specifics on actionable results from data under customer trends, trend based sales, and analytics - giving a quick overview on the importance of general data collection won’t hurt. Being able to leverage your sales channels in a way that provides you with the ins and outs of who is buying from you and why, as well as information that will allow you to predict their habits and more effectively speak to them can make the difference between a business that can see exponential growth or one that will never rise above its current plateau. Data allows you to optimize every aspect of your offerings and messaging strategies.
Gathering actionable data and then acting on it accordingly has turned small time operations into sales giants, and the ignorance of this data has left many more lost in the ether of the internet. Many businesses purchase large data sets or costly software to plan for and predict upcoming purchasing trends. This can be very effective but requires an incredibly savvy mind to justify the prohibitive costs.
With CRM for ecommerce, online cross-channel retailers can attach software to all of their sales channels in order to start compiling data on specific market and target demographics. This data will be entirely unique to a business and can be near impossible to replicate through other means. With data directly from your customers, you can begin to track their buying habits and purchasing trends through different seasons, holidays and other events. Over time, you will be able to tailor your offerings to meet your customers’ specific desires and needs, sometimes before they even knew they wanted it.
While most services will give you fundamental insights into your customers and what is being bought from your site, rarely does the information go beyond that point. As with the consumer trends, the more information you have, the more you can accurately tailor your offerings, sales campaigns and messaging directly to the people who are actually buying from your site.
With a good CRM system in place, you can start to optimize every aspect of your online presence to better speak to and sell to your customer base. This will lead to a boost in everything from site conversions to social media shareability.
Trend Based Sales
Amassing all that data on your customer base can be turned into some pretty amazing results. When you get to know your shoppers, their trends, their habits and their preferred messaging, you can begin to predict what they will want and why they will want it. Being able to market products with specific messaging at the time of the year, you know demand will increase will exponentially benefit your business. Loyal shoppers will purchase more, and these well-placed deals will attract new customers who operate in those same social and demographic circles. Everything from your email campaigns, to your coupons and discounts, will have a much more potent effect.
Connecting The Team
Being able to work quickly and efficiently is the key to any business that wants to keep morale high and mistakes low. While software like Teamviewer or Trello can be great assets, they don’t allow you to integrate complex data sets into your discussions very easily or seamlessly. A CRM based solution can allow you and your team to interact with and discuss your data in real-time, as well as tag and note items for consideration. This makes sure everyone is working off the same game plan and is aware of what needs to be done.
Ensuring this seamless team communication is put to good use is another key aspect of ecommerce CRM software. Hand out tasks, track results and ensure proper accountability at all times, while also eliminating the majority of miscommunication mistakes. Having a one-stop-shop for both project management and customer relationship management will make sure that both aspects of your business are working together hand in hand.
Having a quality return policy has been shown to directly correlate with the overall loyalty of your customers. At the same time, you want to protect your bottom line and reduce the ill effects of returns as much as possible. With CRM software you can track the data behind returns and find out what products are being returned and by whom. Problem products can be addressed in a number of ways. Tutorial videos or more clear explanations on your site or landing pages are just a couple examples.
The reality is that today’s multichannel market demands cross-channel CRM for ecommerce. With the right solution in place, you’ll be able to set new business milestones. Without it, you could be guessing on the next smart move. That doesn’t mean you can’t still win. It just means that you may have to experience more setbacks along the way.