Despite the global economic uncertainty of our times, eCommerce continues to thrive. That’s likely in no small part due to online purchases taking the lead in times of social distancing. Another crucial factor, however, is arguable that eCommerce has embraced digitization more than most industries. Thus, it had the necessary foundations to uncover growth opportunities and adapt. One such element was the adoption of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software, in tandem with chatbots and other technologies. To explore this subject in some depth, let us devote this article to exploring the benefits of using CRM software for your eCommerce business.
What is CRM?
Initially, let us briefly define CRM. As the name implies, CRM is business software that seeks to manage all aspects of a business’s interactions with customers. Far from a novelty now, CRM is the largest software market in the world. Indeed, Statista forecasts that global CRM market revenues will reach $43 billion in 2021.
To meet its goals, CRM will typically offer the following core features:
- A consolidated customer database
- Lead and contact management tools
- Marketing automation and lead analysis tools
Moreover, CRM may typically specialize in one of 3 different types, each with a different focus:
- Operational; marketing, sales, and service automation
- Analytical; customer segmentation, profitability analysis, and predictive modeling
- Collaborative; interaction and channel management
Finally, it is noteworthy that each solution’s features will inevitably vary. Thus, should you choose to use CRM, proper research into different solutions is highly advisable.
The benefits of using CRM software for your eCommerce business
With definitions in order, we may now delve into the benefits of using CRM software for your eCommerce business. While many CRM benefits are universal, some do find more specialized applications in eCommerce specifically.
#1 Customer segmentation
Starting with marketing outreach, CRM converges with innovative technologies to enhance digital marketing. Its most fundamental benefit, then, on which marketing strategies may expand, lies in personalization through customer segmentation.
Customer segmentation typically relies on any of the following grouping criteria:
- Demographics; age, gender, education, income, etc.
- Psychographics; personality, interests, and values, etc.
- Behavioral; habits, behavioral patterns, etc.
- Geographic; location
- Technographic; ownership and use of technologies
- Needs-based; perceived needs
- Value-based; the estimated monetary value to the company
Understandably, CRM software offers notable benefits to customer segmentation. Many solutions provide such functionalities, and others synergize with dedicated segmentation solutions. In turn, segmentation can inform marketing content and outreach, including:
- Copy, style, and tone
- Outreach timing
- Retargeting ads
Moreover, personalization informs multiple aspects of marketing, as we’ll cover just below.
#2 Enhanced PPC campaigns
On the subject of personalized marketing, Pay-per-Click (PPC) offers an excellent way to advertise effectively on Google. This holds particularly true for eCommerce, especially since the advent of Google Shopping. PPC advertising, as the name implies, is not an organic form of advertising. Instead, it entails paid ads whose cost is determined by actual clicks produced. As such, it can offer a considerable return on investment (ROI), as long as one can ensure a data-driven approach. This is where CRM and PPC overlap; CRM data helps determine customer lifetime value (LTV). Moreover, its customer insights help refine PPC copy, ensuring higher click-through rates (CTR) and thus higher conversion rates.
#3 Higher conversion rates and increased customer retention rates
Having touched on conversion rates, CRM explicitly aims to enhance the quality of customer interactions. In the context of eCommerce, its insights on customers can drive conversions through informing such practices as:
- Curated product lists
- Custom search categories
- Wish list discounts
Understandably, personalization enables such hyper-focused practices for maximum benefit. Simultaneously, this high level of personalization can enable such practices that enhance retention rates as:
- Loyalty programs
- Personalized newsletters and product recommendations
- Personalized re-engagement emails at optimal times
Customer retention is, by all means, a key metric for all industries, as customer acquisition costs considerably more than customer retention. Indeed, multiple studies place acquisition cost anywhere from a notable 5 times to a staggering 25 times higher than retention.
#4 Fewer cart abandonments
Moreover, customer retention yields a notable benefit for eCommerce specifically in fewer cart abandonments. Indeed, this phenomenon poses a significant challenge for the industry, with studies placing eCommerce cart abandonment rates between 68-74%. In this regard, too, CRM insights can offer tremendous assistance.
Typical reasons for cart abandonment include:
- Unexpected costs
- Inconvenient navigation and long purchase processes
- A lack of trust
In response, typical remedies for it include:
- Exit-intent popups
- Automated cart abandonment reminder emails
- Personal outreach
In all such cases, CRM’s touchpoint records can inform choices and optimize outreach timing. Moreover, many solutions offer integration options with other systems and tools to help refine and expedite the process.
#5 Enhanced social media interactions
Another crucial avenue for eCommerce stores lies in social media activity. Indeed, social media campaigns and referrals produce considerable traffic. Thus, channel management is a notable benefit of using CRM software for your eCommerce business.
In this regard, Collaborative CRM explicitly offers channel management. This functionality allows businesses to respond to inquiries and feedback more swiftly, bolstering the brand’s public image. Similarly, one may use it to forward support inquiries to appropriate agents, increasing customer satisfaction. Finally, many CRM solutions offer excellent social media integrations to expand their potential uses.
#6 A streamlined workflow through automation
Finally, as we’ve highlighted above, CRM offers a plethora of automation options. Thus, its marketing uses aside, it can facilitate workflow automation and thus increase productivity.
In this regard, consider the processes CRM can help automate:
- Task delegation and management
- Employee performance monitoring
- Customer data entry
- Marketing emails; welcome emails, purchase follow-ups, retargets, etc.
- Customer support and service
Naturally, the exact applications of automation will vary, both by solution and business infrastructure. But CRM explicitly promotes automation and thus facilitates such applications.
To summarize, the benefits of using CRM software for your eCommerce business are numerous and far-reaching. From customer segmentation that informs marketing to insights that enable personalized outreach and tackle cart abandonment, options abound. CRM offers to enhance PPC campaigns, increase conversions and retention rates, and even streamline workflows and communication. In an increasingly digital business landscape, it can be your most trusted technological asset.