Does Your Business Really Need an Ecommerce CRM Tool?

Have you ever wondered if there was a better way to manage all your customer data? 

From data on people who bought from your online store in its initial days to all those up until now. 

Their support requests, order data, contact information and more just seems to be getting too much to organize as you grow. 

If you nodded your head even once, welcome to the stage of business where you need to start focusing on streamlining your customer data. And for this you need an eCommerce CRM tool.

In this article, we’re going to explore the signs that indicate that your business needs a CRM tool and how having such a CRM software will benefit you.

What is an ecommerce CRM tool? 

As an ecommerce store owner, maintaining a good relationship with your customers is crucial. After all, it’s your customers who will decide if you can continue in the market or not. 

This is where data comes. But to be able to use that data in your day to day communication, you need a tool that makes it easily accessible. 

An ecommerce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) is software used to manage your company's interactions with past, current and potential customers.

It is a database that stores all customer-related information in one place, in an organized way. It helps you convert raw data into logical information that can be used to strategize potential sales opportunities, personalized marketing campaigns, service your customers better and much more. 

A CRM tool can benefit your business in the following ways:

  • It helps you discover, attract, and even retain new customers
  • It provides you access to necessary information on your current customers to understand them better and develop loyalty programs
  • It lets you understand your customer’s buying preferences better
  • It reduces customer management costs
  • It also lets you easily integrate with an e-commerce platform
  • It enables you to provide quality customer support and service
  • It improves collaboration between employees within the organization

A CRM can also enhance your customer’s experience of shopping from your store. Here’s how:

  • You can improve your marketing by running campaigns and generating leads based on customer data and information you already have access to
  • You can track where the customer is in the buying cycle. This lets you make strategic moves to persuade them to complete their purchase
  • Keep your customers updated about their order status, new product releases, and so on
  • Provide high-quality customer support

You’re using a number of apps for marketing and sales, so when is it time to start using an ecommerce CRM tool? 

Signs you need to invest in an ecommerce CRM and how it helps 

We’re going to address a few challenges that growing online businesses tend to face and how having an ecommerce CRM helps.

1. Is your customer and order data all over the place? 

As you start to sell online, you may tap into different channels and marketing platforms to reach your customers. To be able to do this, you are probably using a few marketing tools as well. 

While you’re succeeding at making sales, when it comes to data, each tool holds information around your customers and their orders in silos. There is no central repository of data available, and you need to move from platform to platform to collect it. 

How does an ecommerce CRM help? 

The biggest benefit of using a CRM tool for your ecommerce business is the ability to store all your required records in one place. 

With an efficient CRM software, you can sync all your data and information across different marketing and sales channels; this is especially important as you start to scale your business and diversify the strategy with which you reach your customers. 

You will not need to manually update and sync data every time you need to complete a data-driven task. Be it identifying your customer segments, calculating the ROI from each marketing and sales channel, insights for new launches, improving your customer support and service, and more, an ecommerce CRM enables it all. 

Imagine not having to manage multiple sheets anymore, or generating reports by collecting data from different documents! 

2. Are you struggling to personalize your marketing and sales campaigns?

When more than 70% of consumers expect personalization from businesses, a good marketing strategy is one that continually adapts to the market’s changing needs and preferences. 

But with consumer demands changing in the blink of an eye, it’s getting harder for businesses to keep up - be it in acquiring new customers or keeping the existing ones engaged. 

How does an ecommerce CRM help? 

With an ecommerce CRM tool, you get access to all your order and customer data in one place. This holistic view enables you to understand the changing consumer preferences, identify market trends and even predict demand. 

This helps you create better marketing and promotion campaigns around your existing deals, and also your upcoming launches.  

An ecommerce CRM also helps you easily track customer lifecycle and repeat transactions and provide offers based on customer behavior and traits. This boosts the conversions you get on customer engagement and retention campaigns as well. 

3. Is inventory planning and forecasting inaccurate? 

Understanding what products are being liked the most gives you an upper hand in gathering the required resources to maintain your inventory. It’s also important to be able to identify changing consumer patterns, gauge demand and plan out your upcoming product inventory to keep your business sustainably running. 

When you’re selling on multiple channels, it can be tough to keep a tab on your inventory and consumer behavior. 

How does an ecommerce CRM help?

An ecommerce CRM tool brings all your data onto one platform. This means that irrespective of the number of channels you’re selling on, the data is visible to you in one place. 

It gives you detailed insights on sales per channel, the hot-selling products and shifts in consumer demand over a period of time. This helps you remain better prepared both in terms of which sales channel will take up more of your inventory, which products you need to restock for which platform and when you need to make that restock. 

In addition to the above, the ability to see your sales performance in one place also equips you with better forecasting abilities. 

4. Is your customer support and service lagging behind? 

Did you know consumers will pay 17% more to do business with firms for better customer service?

You could provide the best products, but if your customer support is poor, customers will not choose you. They will rather shop from your competitors. Businesses lose close to $75 billion a year just because of poor customer support.

From sending out proactive communication like order status alerts, delivery delays or even information that helps them use their purchase better,  all accounts for a good customer experience. 

How does an ecommerce CRM help? 

An ecommerce CRM tool will help you streamline the conversations happening across your support channels, bringing them onto one platform. This makes it easier for you to keep track of open conversations - positive and negative, and ensure an efficient response time. 

Additionally, having easy access to a customer’s information - their purchase history, their queries/complaints - can help you resolve issues more efficiently. 

5. Are you struggling to measure or understand performance analytics?

You could have the best of products, deals and discounts on your store, but unless you’re monitoring the impact of your marketing, service and support, and sales efforts, you could be losing out on opportunities and draining your resources. 

How does an ecommerce CRM help?

Using a CRM tool allows you to create detailed reports and graphs of necessary data including website visits, product page visitors, orders, customers, incoming customer queries and so much more; leading to better decision making and resource allocation. 

Since you also get complete visibility on the sales you generate per channel, you know which one to invest in more as well. For example, if you see more sales happening on Instagram and less from market places, you can add more advertising budgets to your efforts on the social media platform. 

6. Do you find it difficult to find data points that will help you make strategic business decisions? 

As you start growing your business, you may need to look into different target markets. This may include capturing new customer segments, locations and sometimes even adding new product collections to your store. 

But if you are basing such business decisions on limited data and assumptions, you’re more likely to make a mistake. 

How does an ecommerce CRM help?

With a better view of your data and how your store is performing in different customer segments, you can identify potential opportunities to expand your business. 

This includes looking into newer locations to sell your products, offering better shipping and delivery services to certain demographics or even the type of products you’d like to sell on the store. 

Automated, synchronized data transfer lets you execute your company vision in a very effective manner, while adapting to real-time changes, across all departments. This gives you an advantage over your competitors as well, when it comes to meeting consumer demand on-the-fly. 

If you nodded your head to at least three questions above, there’s a high chance you’re soon going to be facing the other three challenges as well. It’s time for you to get an ecommerce CRM tool. 

How to choose an ecommerce CRM tool? 

CRM needs for every business may differ depending upon the scale of their operations across different departments. But here are a few pointers to consider while choosing the best ecommerce CRM tool for your store: 

1. Ability to track and manage customer data efficiently

As an e-commerce store, you need to understand your customers and adapt your buyer personas as their purchase preferences change.

Now this data can come from multiple sources - your marketing channels, support channels or for that matter, your existing customers, through their feedback, reviews and post-purchase queries. 

An ecommerce CRM tool should offer an easy integration with all these platforms and tools to help you keep track of all your customer data on one dashboard. 

Additionally, a good CRM tool is one that also comes with features that let you easily integrate with your store. This includes submission and subscription forms, as well as the ability to track a website visitor’s journey - products searched for, added to cart, wishlisted, purchased and so on. 

2. Ability to enable personalization at scale

According to research, most ecommerce businesses across the globe tend to see an average conversion rate of only 2.86%. So even when a business is spending thousands of dollars on driving traffic to their website or mobile app, they’re only able to convert a handful into customers. 

If you look at it the other way around, you will see that there’s actually a lot of opportunity to sell here that is being left untapped. 

The one and only way to convert this traffic is ‘personalization’. 

A good CRM will help you identify and segment your potential customers based on parameters such as their location, age group, pages visited and other data points. This helps you create hyper-personalized campaigns to nudge them into making a purchase from your store.  

Here are some statistics to show you the importance of hyper-personalization

  • 80% of consumers are more likely to purchase a brand that provides personalized experiences
  • 71% of consumers feel frustrated when a shopping experience is impersonal
  • 70% of millennials are frustrated with brands sending irrelevant emails
  • 36% of consumers say retailers need to do more to offer personalized experiences

Pro tip: Look for an ecommerce CRM tool that seamlessly integrates with your other marketing apps, so you can leverage data for personalized campaigns across all channels. 

3. Ability to manage it on the go

As a business owner you’re probably looking into a number of different operations across various departments. You can’t possibly stay glued to your screens at all times to talk to your customers or potential buyers; which makes it extremely important for your ecommerce CRM to be mobile too. 

Your ecommerce CRM should ideally have a mobile app that lets you connect with your prospects, record and access their data, and make more sales, even when you’re on-the-go! 

4. Ability to track sales 

Getting all your data in one place isn’t the only thing that an ecommerce CRM does. A good ecommerce CRM software also comes with a powerful reporting system that will help you look into your sales performance over a defined period of time. 

Right from the potential buyers that have reached out to you from the website or social media, to ongoing conversations, and those that you successfully converted into sales, a CRM tool should be able to offer in-depth insights to help your team identify loopholes and opportunities to grow the business. 

In an ideal scenario, a good ecommerce CRM should let you generate reports based on source/ sales channel, location and other parameters, making it easy for you to evaluate target market performance. 

5. Ability to scale with your business 

While an ecommerce CRM comes with a number of benefits, it’s still an investment you need to make - above and beyond the resources you set aside for operations. 

You may look for an ecommerce CRM tool that suits your needs and budgets ‘now’. But a smarter move is to look for a software that has the ability to scale with your business; letting you upgrade (or downgrade) as per your business needs; without having to import/ export all that data and move between tools. 

Getting started with a CRM is easy on Shopify! 

To start using an ecommerce CRM, most businesses need to go through weeks of implementation. This includes discovery of their use cases, how and where they want to collect data from, the customizations they need and then working on the integrations. 

But as a scaling business, that’s like losing a week’s worth of customer data! 

Shopify makes this easier. 

Both Shopify and Shopify Plus come with powerful plug and play integrations with the best ecommerce CRM softwares. Leveraging Shopify APIs and SDKs, you can also set up custom workflows and automations to enable a seamless flow of data across the different departments of your ecommerce business.  

Explore the potential of Shopify Plus and ecommerce CRMs here

Frequently asked questions about CRM in Ecommerce

Does eCommerce need CRM?

CRM is an essential tool for any business, including e-commerce sites. It allows you to keep all your marketing, customer support, customer and order data streamlined and well-organized on one dashboard. This in turn helps you get an overview of your business performance in a comprehensive way.

Does Shopify have CRM?

Shopify does not have a built-in CRM. But it does integrate with the best ecommerce CRM solutions including HubSpot, Salesforce, Netsuite, Microsoft and many others. You can explore all the CRM integrations possible here.

Is Shopify a CRM or CMS?

Shopify is a CMS (content management system) that is built specifically for ecommerce businesses. It is a platform that makes it easy for businesses to create an online storefront or market place to receive orders digitally. It comes with powerful features and add-ons such as ready-to-use themes, marketing apps, etc that make running an online business easier.

What is the best CRM for ecommerce?

From HubSpot, Zoho, Pipedrive, Netsuite, Microsoft to many others, there are a number of powerful ecommerce CRM tools available. The best ecommerce CRM tool for your business may vary based on the stage at which your business is at, the integrations you require and the resources available to you.

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