Online business

Ecommerce has grown into a $2 billion industry thanks to consumers who prefer the convenience of online shopping versus the many difficulties associated with going to a brick and mortar location. But even though these customers have eliminated the face-to-face interaction between seller and shopper, they seek interactions as people as opposed to being viewed as just another order number in the system.

This is where an eCommerce Customer Relationship Management (CRM) solution comes into play.

You see, an e-commerce CRM helps e-commerce sellers tap into the customer journey from the first order onward, giving sellers the opportunity to build stronger relationships with customers, better identify trendsetting products, make smarter marketing moves and understand the needs of their customers. This is, of course, in par with the fact that CRM also empowers e-tailers to improve relationships overall, thereby also increase loyalty and retention along the way.

What follows are the top five reasons your ecommerce business needs a CRM:

  1. See All Your Data in One Place

When sellers are just starting out, many pick one sales channel and stick to it. However, Sellbrite found that merchants of all sizes can realize 143% more revenue when selling on three channels or more. For medium-sized sellers, this number doubles. Chances are you’re selling in more than one place, given today’s marketplace options.

There’s no way around it: Keeping track of all the customers from your multiple channels is hard to do without some help. By the time you match the order to the customer and the channel, more orders have come in that you will have to spend your precious time categorizing. Add it all up, and you can quickly be neck-deep in analytics, and still confused when it’s all said and done.

Enter a CRM to the mix. When you integrate a customer relationship management tool to your online store, the software automatically fills in the customer data for you, pulling data from all your sales channels and creating robust customer profiles and contacts, instantly. The result is a contact list of detailed customer profiles based on their order histories and any other information that was imported from your sales channels. Imagine having this data at your fingertips.

  1. Easily Discover Loyal Customers

Once all your customer data is imported, it is easy to see which shoppers are making purchases time and time again. These are the loyal customers, the superstars of your buyer base, and each purchase adds more information to their customer profiles to help you improve the relationship.

Loyal customers are easy to reward, and the options are nearly limitless. They can get early access to sales, sneak peeks of new products or digital coupons, to name a few. (The latter will inspire further loyalty, according to 68% of consumers.)

  1. Avoiding Costly Customers

One in three items purchased online gets returned, so returns are impossible to avoid as an e-tailer. But with a CRM, it is easy to see which customers are the ones taking advantage of your returns policy. You can tag these customers as serial returners and be wary of reaching out to them while marketing new products, sales or any special events happening on your site.

Imagine being able to market a series of best-selling products to your most loyal customers while excluding serial returners and problem customers along the way. The result: more sales, fewer headaches, better relationships and a healthier return on your marketing dollar.

  1. Order History = Personalized Marketing Messages

Consumers have high expectations when it comes to ecommerce. This is to be expected in the day and age of behemoths like Amazon and Zappos, which have a strong focus on delivering an impeccable customer experience. One of the top selling points is the personalization that comes with shopping on these sites, which is a feature you can replicate with a CRM.

With a CRM, you will see the items a customer has ordered in the past, which you can then use to craft a personalized message recommending similar products.

The proof in the pudding?

Adestra found that email personalization results in a 56% increase in customer satisfaction; and reports from Barilliance and McKinsey show around a third of e-commerce sites’ revenue comes from recommended products.

It’s a no-brainer.

A CRM gives you the power to improve your bottom line without having to attract brand new customers.

  1. Real-Time Reporting Keeps Your Store on Trend

Have you ever wondered if there was a way to view the seasonality of shipping costs, buyer trends and other information that could ensure your store was always one step ahead?

A CRM with real-time reporting is the answer.

These reports show you the trends as they are playing out, from the success of your sales channels and your products to the seasons when consumers are placing the most orders or making the most returns.

While you can get information about the large-scale e-commerce industry performance from the Internet and reports released by Amazon and the National Retail Federation, your store has its own set of unique data that you would benefit from tapping into.

So why pay the price for big data that you can’t use when the right CRM gives YOUR data that you can use?

Add a CRM to Your Toolkit Today

Customers drive your eCommerce store, regardless of what you sell. By getting to know them better, you can make smarter business moves and increase your revenue. If you’re still unconvinced, take a test drive of the current array of ecommerce CRM solutions out there. You’ll quickly find that it offers immediate benefits to your business.