How important is CRM for the success of eCommerce?
You have a great product. You have also designed a good website. You have optimized your website and you are also getting web traffic. Conversions have so far been good. But can you be happy and relax? No! Because competition is just waiting for you to slip up. So, what should you do? You need to leverage CRM or Customer Relationship Management. Because only a flawless website and good products are not enough to enable customer retention or ensure customer loyalty.
What is CRM?
CRM is a software that deals with providing you with an overview of the business. You can store customer-specific data in one place and use this data to analyze potential sales opportunities. The best part about using a CRM tool is that all customer data and information are stored in one place. You can organize this data based on your needs and use it to your advantage to:
- Discover new buyers and customize schemes to develop them
- Understand the needs and requirements of current buyers and ensure their loyalty by giving them personalized offers, discounts, loyalty programs etc
- Decipher patterns in customer buying behavior and pitch products accordingly
- Lower management costs
CRM and eCommerce: A unique combination
While the CRM software can be used for online and offline sales, there are certain differences between the two. In an offline CRM, the sales reps log in customer information based on data they collect from their B2B clients. But an eCommerce support service provider offers a CRM that does not have sales reps with physical access to customers. Data collection needs to be done by integrating your existing eCommerce website with the CRM tool. This will enable you to track the browsing behavior of your customers and provide you with a comprehensive view about their habits, needs, likes, dislikes and even pain points. Analyzing this data collected will help you to:
- Handle customer queries efficiently
- Route customer calls precisely to the proper agents
- Empower your customer interfacing workforce to resolve issues quickly
- Upgrade your customer self-service portal and make it more customer-centric
- Track customer purchasing history
- Formulate an effective digital marketing strategy etc
Proper use of the CRM tool will help you to increase brand awareness, reach and enhance customer loyalty by:
- Providing details about customer history: When you have data about your customer’s online movement on your website, it becomes easier to segregate them. This segregation will further help you to pitch the right products at the right audience niche. A knowledge of customer history will also give you important insights into the response you can expect when you introduce a new product.
Additionally, it will also guide you to understand the preferred product types of your customers, the preferred price points etc.
An analysis of customer behavior will help you understand the best times of the year when your sales peak. Since sales is seasonal by nature, an understanding of the peak times will help you to formulate strategies relevant to those times. This will ultimately increase the volume of your sales and enhance revenue generation.
- Enabling efficient management of your eCommerce support service: If you allocate your resources based on the behavior of customers who visit your website, you can make best use of their potential. For example, CRM helps in customer segregation. Hence you can have a team exclusively for premium customers who buy products that are expensive and of the best quality. You can also have another team for the medium category of customers who buy a lot of mid-prices products regularly and are generally loyal to your eCommerce portal. You can further have a team to track the behavior of new leads and initiate engagement with them to enable their conversion. Dividing the work will result in better team management and better team output.
- Formulating highly customized marketing strategies: You would also be having sales and revenue targets for your eCommerce store. To achieve them and ensure sustainability of your online business, you need to have a good marketing strategy. Formulating this strategy becomes easy when you have a CRM tool integrated with your website. The data collected will help you to analyze past customer purchases better and come up with schemes and offers specially designed based on the purchasing or browsing history of your customers.
How you contact your customers is also very important. You have to choose the means based on their preferences. For example, if they prefer an SMS over email, there are higher chances that they will ignore an email detailing exciting schemes for them but read an SMS. Since, the aim is to ensure that schemes designed for your customers reach them, knowing the preferred means becomes extremely important.
Other important information that you will gain by using a good CRM include gaining an understanding of the demographics of your customers, the location from where you get your maximum customers, the price-points most customers prefer etc. You can incorporate this information in your marketing strategy and make it more effective and efficient.
- Making it easy to expand your business: Being inundated with customer requests, demands, complaints will restrict your ability to look into the other important aspects of your online business. Every business needs to expand. It is a survival strategy and will help you to beat competition. This expansion can be regarding the products that you sell, the locations that you cater to, the audience niche that you are targeting etc. But before you embark on any expansion plan, you need to ensure:
o Your current business processes and systems are working properly
o You have ample data to plan your expansion
A CRM tool can help you with attaining proficiency in both aspects. By making it easy to gather and analyze data, it gives you the knowledge required to initiate the expansion. Additionally, it also enables you to invest your resources properly and use them in the right direction so that you can meet current customer demands accurately. By enabling good time and team management, the CRM tool allows you ample time to look into the other aspects of the business and improve them as required. This is another very important advantage of implementing a CRM.
The CRM tool can be used in a number of innovative ways also. When you start using the tool you can use it to train your employees to improve their customer management, understand trends thereby manage your stocks and inventory better, understand pain points and address them to improve website performance etc. With so many advantages that can be availed of, implementing a CRM software in your eCommerce business becomes a necessity.