A little more than a decade ago, CRM software became the must-have solution for larger companies. The ability to keep track of contacts, sales opportunities, and wins and losses was all very cool at the time. But just like every other technology platform, CRMs have advanced far beyond their original, enhanced-rolodex capabilities. The e-commerce industry is booming and so are the technology companies that are building and refining robust CRMs designed specifically for e-commerce. With newer solutions out that integrate with marketplaces like Amazon and eBay to offer cross-channel data, such as you would find with a multichannel PrestaShop CRM software solution, e-tailers of the modern era have more marketing tools at their fingertips than ever before.
The importance of good customer relationship management (CRM) can hardly be overstated for online retailers. Those who are taking advantage of the latest CRM tools to collect and leverage online customer data are gaining market share and increasing their profits. Here are eight areas where an e-commerce CRM will empower you to take your online store to the next level.
What’s Trending Where
Aggregating and analyzing information across all of the virtual branches of your store is certainly possible, but these sales channels themselves are often anti-social. This lack of connectivity means you’ll either have to manually fit all of the pieces of your sales channel puzzle together or purchase expensive software. That is, unless you’re using the right CRM.
E-commerce CRMs are designed to collect data in real-time from all your virtual stores and put it into one central database. With all the data pieces organized, the software’s analytics kick in showing you trends in sales, returns, net income, as well as patterns in customer behavior both at a high-level and across your individual sales channels.
Diving Deeper into Analytics
E-commerce platforms like WooCommerce make online selling accessible to any would-be entrepreneur, but their analytical tools are generally very basic. You can look back at your sales history, but you won’t have any idea of what’s going on inside the customer’s head.
You need more information like the time of purchase, how much value on average is being bought, whether there’s a return trend, which areas of your site are attracting the most traffic as well as reviews posted on social media that offer feedback for your company. With CRM, in-depth information like this on the behavior of your customers is an invaluable tool for optimizing sales and preparing targeted marketing campaigns.
Tying the Team Together
Effective communication is the foundation of any successful team and how well your team functions together determines how good your business truly is. Keeping everyone informed and driving forward together is tough using chat services like Skype that aren’t connected with your other software programs.
With a CRM that provides chat and tagging functionality all your analytics, customer contacts, leads and more are all accessible to your entire team… with a simple click. Any topic can be called up individually by team members or discussed together in real-time through chatting, file sharing and data review. This is the best way to maximize productivity, manage time wisely, and achieve more progress.
Effective Task Management
Another point to bring up about your team is how project management affects success. Traditional project management software is very different than CRM, and you rarely find them working harmoniously together. CRM for e-commerce, however, is here to deal with that limitation.
With e-commerce CRM, when you need to tag someone with a new task (as you’re chatting with your team) you can use a task list to assign them a new duty. You can add notes and deadlines to enable team members to work more effectively. This is how you eradicate the tediousness of updating and maintaining separate project management software programs for tasks and at the same time do wonders for accountability within the team.
We all love leads, but few of us love tracking and updating interactions with them. Properly configured CRM’s can easily separate leads into logical categories like organic leads from online visitors, fresh signups from newsletters, social media leads, leads from other businesses, etc. By keeping up with the time your leads are coming into the funnel, staying aware of when you engaged and nurtured them, as well as your next marketing steps, you assure a more successful online business experience.
Customer Relations Management is, after all, the foundation of all CRMs and with that power you will be able to gauge your leads more effectively and develop targeted follow up strategies to garner repeat business. You can also be alerted to sales and how they’re trending which is covered next.
Sales Based on Current Trends
E-commerce CRMs offer trend analytics, a powerful tool that helps you better understand how your customers think. You may have numerous selling channels where you serve a high volume of consumers who all love shopping on each individual site. There’s a lot of good to this because you’ve gained loyalty for your products and branding. The next step is to market to them using this data.
The powerful benefits of sorting through the piles of sales and customer data to give incisive top level information on buying trends, spending habits, preferred shipping methods and returns is all made possible by using customer relationship management tools.
With CRM for e-commerce, you’ll know who is buying which products, who is looking at specific products but not buying and who is a chronic returner. Using this information you can tailor email and newsletter campaigns as well as adjust your product offerings across your virtual stores.
The importance and benefits of CRM software stem from its cloud based hosting and its ability to collect vast amounts of information from all visitors to any of your sales channels instantaneously. Over time, you will have a trove of information on your customer base that is proprietary and tailored to your specific industry.
Data like this can improve your closing rates, social media campaign strategies and help you connect more effectively and market with confidence to your base because it is they themselves that defined their needs. No longer do you need to guess at what your customers want or when they want it.
People return products for reasons that vary depending on the situation. Studies have indicated that loyal consumers are created based directly upon the ease of online product returns. More and more, buyers expect an easy return process and when you are using the right CRM management software this process takes care of itself.
By using the CRM analytical tools, you can see return rates for individual products or product groupings. Identifying problem products enables you to improve return rates by taking simple actions like tweaking your landing page, upping the quality and/or quantity of images or including simple tutorials for more technical products. CRM also offers you the ability to categorize consumers who constantly return products - which is handy to know when making your marketing lists.
These are but a few of the many benefits modern CRM offers today’s online retailers. Instead of having one ace up your sleeve, you could have many. Knowing when to hold or fold them just got a heck of a lot easier.