In today’s world, having a good relationship with the client is the basis for creating a strong, long-lasting business. Especially if it operates within the e-commerce sector. And in the fast-paced world where rapid changes often influence the business environment, making sure that the customer is on our side is important more than ever.
Curious about how e-commerce came to existence, I dig a little into the deep abyss of the Internet to find out the beginning of this so lucrative today business sector. Surprisingly, one of the first things sold on the internet was a large pizza from Pizza Hut in 1994. There’s more to that so if you’re curious about the birth of e-commerce, you can follow this link.
But today, the business of online transactions is much more complicated. Even though making a purchase usually takes only one click, the entire process that leads to the customer’s shopping decision is based on an advanced system.
E-commerce and CRM
CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is an inseparable part of e-commerce. It helps in managing relationships with customers and in collecting all the data about them. Through the eCommerce CRM software, you can easily automate procedures, manage contacts, and use the tool as a pipeline manager. All that, and even more in one place.
It’s also a great source of information about your business. It allows you to see whether your business strategy is right as well as determine the strengths and weaknesses and answer such questions as how are your data management and communication systems working? Are the processes necessary in managing customer relationship going the right way?
However, all that isn’t enough, if you don’t know how to use CRM to grow sales of your online store.
5 Smart CRM Tricks for E-commerce
Today’s business world is very demanding. Everything changes rapidly and if you don’t follow these transformations, you will stay behind. But… knowing how to operate on the market and having the right strategies is what can help you stay on top.
Here’s what you can do to take your company to the next level in a smart way.
1. IMPLEMENT CRM SOFTWARE
One of the best and at the same time the smartest solutions for e-commerce is, obviously, implementing CRM software. If it’s not part of your e-commerce strategy, you shouldn’t linger around but get good software immediately.
CRM software can tremendously help in growing sales of your online store – it serves as a means of acquiring data about customers. But having that data does not solve all your problems and doesn’t answer any questions in itself. It’s about the way you use all the information and what you do with it.
If used in a smart way, the tool can work miracles.
First of all, CRM software automates the process of sales and incredibly enhances work. Many procedures become replaced by the program which very often eliminates most if not all tedious tasks.
But automation is not everything. One of the crucial aspects in e-commerce is creating and managing sales pipeline and that’s what a good CRM software can help you do. Proper pipeline management then helps to forecast sales, avoid mistakes, properly apply metrics, and easily review pipeline processes. According to Hubspot, “Companies that master pipeline management see 28% higher revenue growth.“
The implementation of CRM software creates a unified system of managing customer data within your company. People can quickly and easily log all the statistics in there. It works as a reporting tool with always up-to-date facts.
Here are 5 of the best CRM software to automate and organize work of your online store:
Having the right CRM software is a fantastic way to smartly outrun your competitors, get to know your customers and their needs.
Every store needs Marketing teams who would be responsible for promoting the business, and e-commerce sector needs it more than others. But the trick is in making it smart.
CRM should serve everybody who is engaged in your online store because it can help people understand all the processes and gain a transparent view of the business. And that includes Marketing teams, not only Sales team or people who are strictly responsible for managing the data about customers.
And so, a very clever tactic is to use smarketing. What’s smarketing? It’s engaging both Marketing and Sales teams into work to create a better marketing and sale strategy to gain more customers.
How are things looking like? What are customers’ profiles? Who shops at your store? Marketing team should know answers to these questions and have every information given straight up. It will not only improve the collaboration between the two teams but will be helpful in directing customers to more effective communication channels.
What’s more, in marketing everything happens now. All campaigns and activities are based on the current information. And who has a better access to the database if not Sales team? Such a cooperation is a must. When the information in the database change, so should the campaigns. It can also help expand marketing and reach out to more potential customers. There’s even more to that – it can be a source of an idea for a new product and it can help extend the offer of your online store.
That’s why it’s important (and smart) to use smarketing.
Sometimes, it may be hard to see the clear boundary between the Marketing and Sales actions. Nevertheless, these two definitely should work together to grow sales of your online store. If you need, you can even merge Marketing and Sales departments for even better results.
According to Invesp, it’s seven times more expensive to acquire a new customer than retain an existing one.
That’s why focusing on customer retention is a smart move. Loyal clients are those who bring the most revenue. They like your offer, are satisfied with the customer service, and want to come back to you. So what should you do to keep high customer retention?
Of course, the most important part of getting loyal clients is to provide them with professional customer experience. Attracting new customers is one thing but making sure the existing ones stick with you is another.
Your team should constantly evaluate the needs of customers, monitor their purchase history and make conclusions based on such research.
A strong relationship with clients and knowing their needs are the best ways to keep or even increase retention. It also helps in attracting new customers. How? Happy customers who are satisfied with the product or service are more likely to recommend it to friends and family. That can create a chain reaction – customer one recommends your store to customer two, customer two recommends your store to customer three, and so it goes.
PRO TIP! Use live chat software to always stay close to your clients and keep them satisfied. Keep the conversations in support history to always know what’s going wrong. It’ll help you prevent future problems and potential customer loss.
4. OUTSMART YOUR COMPETITION
Every business has competitors, so does e-commerce. But there’s a smart way to outsmart your rivals.
Personalized communication is the key. With it, you will gain loyal customers. Because if your competitors reach out to your niche of clients, you will already have a strong customer database. It’s an astute way to outwit competitors and even win potential clients.
Remember, if your customer doesn’t choose you, he will choose your rival so make sure you keep customer close and let him know he’s important.
PRO TIP! Use marketing automation tools – create targeted messages to customers, automate e-mail marketing and ad campaigns, create content, and many, many more.
I mentioned the CRM software as one of the smart ways to help your online store grow sales. But it’s not the only tool that can help you.
There are thousands of apps out there which are made to enhance our work. Email marketing, customer support, accounting, document management, collaboration, team and workflow management, project management software are just a few of many that are available. And there are 3 types of integrations
- Native integrations – these are built into the CRM software
- 3rd-party integrations – created by independent companies
- Custom integrations – developed using APIs
If you integrate your CRM app with other tools, it will become a productivity and success powerhouse. Your team will avoid extra paperwork and will be able to fully automate most of the processes.
Use Zapier to automate your work even more. It’s one of the best apps for work automation. “Zapier is a web automation app. With Zapier you can build Zaps which can automate parts of your business or life. … Zapier supports hundreds of apps. You can mix and match triggers and actions to automate just about anything.”
Sounds great, right? Let’s look at how to smartly apply this solution to your online business on the example of integration between Pipedrive and Shopify via Zapier:
1. Improve workflow and transparency thanks to one shared place to store information about your clients/vendors:
- Team can easily check on the customers’ data
- Everybody can see the mailing history with your customers
- Everybody can put notes and share them with the rest
- Sync products between your store and CRM [there’s a zap for this Shopify <> Pipedrive]
Interestingly, this way of integrating relates to the first smart solution for e-commerce on the list – implementing CRM software. That’s because integrating other tools to your CRM system makes processes even easier and more agile.
2. Increase conversion by focusing on the abandoned cards:
- Abandoned cards display on the pipeline
- React to abandoned cards quickly to increase a chance to place an order by a customer
- Automate your work and send e-mails automatically when dragging and dropping a card to next stage [e.g. abandoned cart -> contacted]
- If you have a phone number, you can also call to check for the cancellation reason (e.g. learn that competitor has a better offer)
Now, this type of integration relates to the fourth point – outsmarting your competition. You can not only increase conversion but quickly make the customer choose you, not the competition. This brings us to point three – retention. If you take care of the customer who abandons cards, you are likely to gain a new loyal one. And increase retention as a consequence.
3. Handle canceled orders in a structured way:
- Once an order is canceled, an information appears on your pipeline
- React quickly and send an automated email to your customer once the issue is moved to another stage and solved
- Identify customers most often canceling orders and be prepared to cancel in advance
How to Make It All Work?
Undoubtedly, it’s best if you use all these 5 elements together. They are very much interconnected and work best if applied en masse.
They say that if you care about your employees, they will take care of your customers. Don’t forget that the only way to achieve success and increase the sales of your online store is to be dedicated to your work and treating your employees as a second family.
As a customer, I am personally loyal to those online stores that care about my needs, are interested in my opinion, and quickly resolve conflicts (if there are any at all).
Thus, implementing CRM solutions is great but keep in mind that it also serves your customers and your employees.
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