Same day delivery, fresh grocery shipped right to your doorstep, pay at your convenience, cashback, coupon codes, 24×7 chat support, and worldwide shopping access, are just the tip of a massive iceberg that we now call eCommerce – An industry that has grown so rapidly over the past decade. The expectation is that worldwide online sales will account for $4.5 trillion by 2021. It can be safely assumed that eCommerce is slowly taking over retail shopping and with more and more people accessing a variety of handheld devices, the growth of online shopping will only continue to rise stupendously.
By the end of this year, worldwide eCommerce sales will approximate to 15.5 percent of retail sales. This small stat goes to show how the dimension of shopping is slowly and steadily shifting towards eCommerce. Having said so, it is obvious that the number of users accessing an eCommerce site is on a constant rise and to manage this humongous number is not a child’s play. In order to collect, analyze, manage, maintain and expand the customer base, a CRM tool is needed. Integrating a CRM system with an eCommerce website has become an absolute necessity to sustain in the global market.
eCommerce systems are platforms used for transacting purchases of goods on an online platform. Buying and selling commodities, be it products or even services from the web is the essence of any eCommerce system. B2B and B2C are the two eCommerce markets that are constantly evolving. Simply speaking B2C (Business to Customer) is a transaction between a business and a direct customer and B2B (Business to Business) is a transaction between two businesses.
In either case, eCommerce functionalities include but are not limited to:
Registering new customers
The customer registration process is more than just new customers signing up for an account. It is the first association for an eCommerce system with its customers, which is the starting point for a long-term relationship.
Product Management forms the crux of any eCommerce website. Delineating products based on product code, category, cost, size, quantity available, delivery time and date, variants, description make it an effortless shopping experience for the end-user. Thus focusing on product management directly affects sales and profit.
Managing the cart and payment
After users have shopped for hours on an eCommerce website they expect the payment process to be smooth and error-free. For this purpose, the checkout action has to be perfectly maintained. From coupon codes to multiple payment options to delivery time options, checking out successfully is a win-win for both parties.
Once orders have been placed, updating the order tracking on a timely basis is critical for an eCommerce system. Once the products have been shipped, it is a good practice to update the shipping information along with the tracking number.
For continuously evolving products, amending content on a regular basis is imperative. Keeping up with the ever-changing technology and being the guru of your products and services will improve product expansion and global user procurement. In order to master all the core business functionalities, an eCommerce system should follow a unified approach. This means putting together all components that target customer satisfaction and consistent shopping experience across all devices, regions, and channels.
Top eCommerce Platforms
With eCommerce, it is necessary to contemplate what your competitor’s game is. To design and materialize an intriguing eCommerce system, there are varied tools in the market that can be used. The most promising out of them are:
The go-to option for building an eCommerce system, Magento offers two options for deploying affordable and scalable websites – the Magento Open Source and the Magento Commerce edition. Some advantages of using Magento are completely responsive, automatic updates to the website, efficient product management, state-of-the-art SEO support, and customizable themes.
Why is Shopify Plus great? Simply speaking, it is the easiest eCommerce platform that can be used by anyone with or without technical skills. Shopify Plus provides all the tools built-in to create and launch your eCommerce site without a hassle. Businesses can transact across multiple social media and merchant channels.
Apart from efficient product and content management, BigCommerce focuses on hosting services and also data security for your eCommerce system. According to the BigCommerce website, it is a highly expandable open SaaS platform that nurtures superlative integrations, scalable APIs and webhooks.
CRM – An Overview
CRM, on the other hand, focuses on customer databases. As the name suggests (Customer Relationship Management), CRM aims at improving customer management and rapport. While enterprises are focusing on their core business, they might overlook customers’ behavior who are actively accessing their eCommerce site. Long term relationships with customers are key especially when you want to be in the business for the long run. Everyone knows that word of mouth is crucial in being victorious in this competitive era. And for the word of mouth to spread, maintaining a good relationship with customers becomes pivotal.
When an organization has thousands of customers, personnel from the sales or even marketing departments might find it laborious to keep track of their customers’ interests. Thus one central datahub with all customer’s information, both physical and behavioral will give quick answers to anyone dealing with this data at a later point, even many years later.
Deriving a model for:
- Customer approaching
- Analyzing profit solutions
- Converting leads and clicks
- Pre-sales and post-sales engagement and
- Project management
are some of the many analytics that are derived efficiently using CRM. B2B and B2C users find it extremely imperative to implement CRM usage to inflate sales successfully.
Best CRM Software to look out for
Some of the best CRM software for your eCommerce website are:
The most widely CRM software that wins because of its simple interface and ease of use, makes it the market leader. It gives the user a very clear blueprint of metrics such as leads, conversion rate, customer profile analysis, and sales performance. And what’s best about this software is that it is completely free to use.
The USP of Salesforce CRM is that it can manage all customer data coming in from different channels such as emails, social media, phone calls, etc. Salesforce CRM works with a standard set of objects and facilitates better customer relationships. These objects include Account, Contact, Product, Lead, Solution, Forecast, Report, etc.
This CRM, developed by Microsoft, focusses on offering world-class customer support which ultimately translates to a loyal customer. They cater to customers’ expectations that keep changing daily thereby fostering your organization’s success.
Zoho CRM is the perfect CRM solution for companies of any size. From small startups to midsize organizations to large enterprises, Zoho aims at automating all your customer-related activities and effectively utilizes the mobile platform to get results on the go.
The CRM tool by Freshworks is a centralized work hub for managing all your customer needs from one place. The UI is highly engaging and visually appealing to its user, offering a 360 degree perspective on customer interaction. You can seamlessly integrate with multiple mailing sources such as Office 365 and Gmail to send and receive automated emails based on customer behavior.
Pipedrive CRM aims at providing profitable insights on goals and targets by providing an intuitive UI with pending tasks and activities. The layout is simple and straightforward making it easy to use and to organize contacts effectively.
eCommerce CRM integration in B2B Sales
Integrating an eCommerce system with a CRM system is instrumental in shaping an organization’s customer database. From categorizing customers to evaluating their lifeline to analyzing their behavior and triggering automated marketing campaigns, CRM plays an important role in keeping your eCommerce site right in trend.
What does eCommerce CRM Integration mean?
The underlying success factor of an eCommerce site is providing an uninterrupted and personalized website experience for your end-user in the present as well as in the future. And CRM is equipped to do just that. Some of the important functionalities achieved by an eCommerce CRM integration are:
- Keep tabs on your customers’ behavior
- Convert leads and clicks to actual buyers
- Access all information from one place thus making your core business robust
- Provide post-sales support to customers
- Give access to your customers to view their orders history and preferences
- Tackle problems and errors in managing customers and orders
- Solve customers’ problems in real-time
- Generate invoices automatically thereby reducing errors
- Create brand awareness by gaining control over a multitude of devices
- Automatically send out emails and newsletters personalized to customers
- Maintain up to date customer information and reduce inconsistencies within the system
Many processes within an organization can be coordinated with the eCommerce CRM Integration. To seamlessly maintain, manage and coordinate all these processes with the end-users and thereby, improving productivity and visibility, an eCommerce CRM integration is highly recommended.
The example of Amazon
The best example of an eCommerce CRM Integration would be that of Amazon which uses an in-house developed CRM software. Customer data is captured at the very instant of customer registration and this information is later used to personalize user experience across a multitude of channels. Upon first using Amazon, users are provoked to enter their personal details to sign up and with Amazon’s simple user interface they are automatically tempted to revisit the site over and over again.
Amazon also provides analytics, such as time spent on the site, category of products ordered, etc to its users. Viewing order history, reordering items, using gift codes, using the Amazon wallet, flexible payment options are all added advantages of using Amazon. All this is possible only with an efficient CRM integration.
Advantages of integrating eCommerce with CRM
As seen earlier, utilizing a CRM for your eCommerce implies that your entire customer analysis is handled effectively making you survive in this competitive industry. The next section lists the important benefits of eCommerce CRM integration:
Centralized database for customer management
Maintaining a meticulous repository of customer details enhances business growth significantly. Accounts, clicks, leads from various sources, and guest access are the common types of contact details that are managed.
Due to the ever-growing eCommerce industry, staying connected with the customers by providing personalized experiences becomes mandatory. It becomes easy to keep track of all your customers’ interests and categorize them based on location, time and date, number of views and clicks, the flow of website access, etc. This triggers substantial email campaigns, thereby building customer loyalty.
Clicks and leads conversion
Converting clicks and leads to buyers is an integral part of an eCommerce CRM Integration. Generating leads means converting persons that visit your eCommerce site to viable buyers. They might not make a purchase during their first visit. But by leveraging the eCommerce CRM integration, leads can be analyzed, their data patterns can be visually charted and thus effective communication to customers can be strategized. It can be as simple as sending out an email with the customer’s name in it.
Prolific after-sales service
The success of an eCommerce site does not end once a customer buys a product. It is essential to accomplish after-sales follow-ups, get feedback from customers and analyze suggestions and complaints. Storing all this information in a central database like the CRM will be extremely useful for direct and indirect marketing and serves as a great tool for your sales team.
Qualified and Predictive Analytics
In any business acquiring new customers becomes futile when they don’t sustain long enough. The competition is so high that losing a customer means some other business is gaining one new customer. Analytics plays an indispensable role in getting numerical data about customers’ behavior, thus improving customer retention. Some traits that are commonly analyzed by the eCommerce CRM integration include:
- Demographic entities: Age, gender, location, race, etc
- User integrity
- Products return ratio
- Website and app usability
- Lead conversion
- Email and content relevance
Continuous data synchronization achieved by eCommerce CRM Integration keeps your eCommerce site on top of the sales ladder. You will be avoiding manual errors by integrating a CRM system and consequently, customer satisfaction will be vastly improved. Treating a customer like a VIP and giving them that extra personalized touch will keep any eCommerce system the best in the market.
eCommerce CRM Integration Strategies
We have been talking about customer personalization over and over. Delivering personalized data right to customers’ personal devices promises not only a successful transaction but also future revisits to the site and a long term journey. This is extremely evident in the case of Amazon; and some other successful eCommerce giants that we come across so frequently in our day to day lives. Here are some strategies and futuristic approaches that can make your eCommerce CRM integration a sure shot success, along with stats that show why eCommerce CRM integration is necessary:
Cloud-based eCommerce CRM integration
Cloud-based CRMs are easy to install and hassle-free in terms of usage. A good internet connection and a compatible device are all what your end-user need to make the integration seamless. This also guarantees round the clock accessibility.
AI in CRM
“In the whole of the United States, it is predicted that if Artificial Intelligence is evoked in CRM, an additional 394 billion USD could be gained in revenue, by 2021.”
The whole concept of eCommerce being so prolific is the digital transformation it is currently undergoing. And with AI, it can only be made better by automating email campaigns, converting abandoned carts by reaching out to customers automatically, segmenting customers, and thus keeping them happy.
“Eighty Percent of Respondents Said They Had Stopped Doing Business with a Company Because of Poor Customer Experience”
Stop doing guess-work and accurately measure and analyze your customers based on age, location, gender, race, etc. The most simple example is that of Facebook where you can target a post to a particular audience. If you are selling a product on Facebook, you have the option to limit it to a set of people. This can also be automated based on which CRM you are using for your eCommerce site.
Centralized Social Media Marketing
“61% of US consumers say that they have messaged a business in the last 3 months”
“96% of fashion brands based in the US use Instagram to reach consumers”
It is apparent that multiple social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, Google, etc., are used as channels for eCommerce sales. Thus it is important to utilize CRM effectively to unify all your social media leads and clicks, thus converting them to business prospects.
Awards and Rewards. Cashback!
“79% of US consumers said that free shipping would make them more likely to shop online”
– Walker Sands
eCommerce is not about selling one product to just one customer. It’s about having loyal customers come back and shop often. Offering rewards for referrals, loyalty points for shopping often, free shipping for signing up, extra discounts, cashback, and special gifts are some of the perks that tempt users to keep visiting an eCommerce site often. CRM can be used to categorize users based on their usage lifeline and frequency of buying and send out periodic and appropriate awards.
“63% of US online shoppers said that they would not make a purchase if they couldn’t find the return policy”
Assure… don’t pressure
Going back to the example of Amazon, they have mastered the act of gaining their user’s trust at every point of online shopping. As the user is checking out, he is again prompted with related products, associated products and the like. This gives him the assurance that he has more options to choose from. This is possible only by a CRM which can track the user’s behavior and how he has perceived his shopping experience so far.
“Mobile accounts for 46 percent of online orders, compared to 54 percent for desktop”
Assuring that CRM can be accessed on the go on any device, it is evident that you can access your customers’ data on the go, round the clock and also be able to share data with your team. Text messaging facilities, built-in phone calling options, and location tracking are some features that modern CRM tools aim at encompassing.
“83% of US online shoppers expect regular communication about their purchases” – Narvar
The science of being able to predict customers’ future behavior based on their present and past purchases is the core of Big Data. Since targeted marketing has become the essence of eCommerce, CRM plays a vital role in product development and sales strategies.
How can Cloras help?
Cloras is a continuously evolving tool that connects and integrates ‘n’ number of systems. From eCommerce to CRM to ERP, all your digital commerce solutions can be integrated using Cloras. It offers a simple to use web interface and requires no complex programming knowledge and is cloud competent. For your eCommerce CRM integration, Cloras offers effective solutions and performs real-time data synchronization. Following are some highlighting features of Cloras:
- Real-time and scheduled data synchronization
- End to end security for your data
- Integrate n number of multi-platform systems
- Advanced mapping and modifiers
- Complete logs
- No manual workload
eCommerce and CRM are two platforms that need to be synchronized without any backlogs and with a futuristic approach. With the number of people, accessing eCommerce sites growing on a daily basis, using a top-notch CRM tool becomes a compulsion for an eCommerce site. For this integration to be done effortlessly, Cloras offers real-time, customer-centric and fully automated solutions that will not only help your business grow but also keep you in the race for the long run.
References | Links