If you observe around you, you’ll notice that today, everyone, from a budding artist to a homemaker or an entrepreneur selling raw material to SMEs has an ecommerce website. This change reflects two things; one, that the market has a multitude of players offering more specific, and more or less similar products to customers and two, that the customer’s choice market has widened exponentially. In both these cases, there’s a dire need for online businesses to stand out in the market to drive more brand recall and generate more revenues.
While a great range of products, an engaging website, marketing campaigns, and a talented team at the backend can go far in making your brand stand out among other players, one of the primary aspects that makes the cut is customer experience.
We’re talking about evolved customers who know what they want and where to look for it. Take this statistic for instance. According to a 2017 Demand Gen Survey Report, 89% of B2B customers use the Internet to conduct “12 searches” before engaging on a brand’s site. There’s more. Criteo, a France-based personal retargeting company reveals that the desire for instant access, round-the-clock accessibility, and fast turnaround will become a must-do for ecommerce businesses by 2026.
So, what does customer experience in ecommerce mean?
- Tracking and managing customer data effectively
- Converting website and app traffic
- Personalizing marketing
- Delivering above par customer support
How can online businesses fulfill this? With customer relationship management (CRM) software. We know, we know. CRMs have a reputation for being complicated, clunky and expensive pieces of software. But there are also simple, intuitive and affordable CRMs out in the market which don’t require you to put in ample time and effort in understanding and using it. You don’t even have to invest in all features a CRM offers; start small and expand your feature set as your business and requirements grow.
With that, let’s take a more in-depth look into how to choose the best ecommerce CRM for your online business.
As an online business, you must be having a buyer persona in place. For example, if you’re running an online tuxedo rental website, you might want to target men aged between 29-50 who are likely to rent a tuxedo for their wedding, for a conference or a formal event. Further, you might be targeting a specific region, say SFO, ones who are employed and are in a middle-income group and so on. So, how do you understand whether your website visitors fit into that buyer persona or not?
For starts, look for an ecommerce CRM that enables you to create registration forms on your website, where you can collect crucial information about your potential buyers; name, email address, phone number and more. Some modern ecommerce CRM software top it up with the ability to enrich a potential buyer’s profile by capturing their social media profiles and other publicly available information about them. You can even track your website visitors’ activity, such as the product categories they searched for, the products they viewed and more.
This could give you more context into who your visitors are and whether they are relevant to your business. It will also provide ample insight into what your potential buyers are looking to buy.
According to Bigcommerce, the current average conversion rate for ecommerce stands at 1-2%. There’s a LOT of room for online businesses to improve their sales and revenues.
But, how do you convert effectively? The first step to do this would be to classify buyers who are more likely to purchase from your website. A good ecommerce CRM software can help you score your potential buyers based on various parameters such as zip code, age group, links clicked and more. Based on the multiple buckets your potential buyers fall into, you can create customized engagements with them to improve their likelihood of purchase from your website.
And, this takes us to our next criteria.
What do you do with the goldmine of information you’ve gathered about your potential buyers so far? Look for an ecommerce CRM that enables you to send targeted emails to them and persuade them into purchasing a product on your site. For example, if a potential buyer has left some items in his cart, you can send him a reminder with a catchy, data-driven subject line that goes; “50 other shoppers like the bowtie you added in your cart! Hurry before stocks run out!”. Or, if you’re running offers on a particular set of products in a specific region, you can identify all potential buyers in that region who will fit that profile, and shoot an email to them. This will not only increase conversion rates but also build loyalty and ensure repeat purchases.
You needn’t even manually invest time and effort into sending targeted emails to each set of buyers. Just automate the launch whenever possible. For example, if you’re introducing discounts during a particular season, like Thanksgiving Day, create an email campaign to be sent to your buyers and automate the task so that it gets sent out at a specified time. Or, if a set of buyers have products in their cart for over a week, you can create an automated message to be sent to them, reminding them to complete the purchase.
Here’s proof! Criteo, in a study, found that 91% of online buyers want to receive promotional emails from ecommerce players. AND, according to Accenture, buyers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, and knows their purchase history.
If you want to go one step further and analyze how your business is performing, look for an ecommerce CRM which also gives you performance insights. You can understand how a particular marketing campaign performed, which sources your buyer group came from, what your sales revenue looks like, which region you are getting the most website and app visits from and much more. This will help you rethink your sales strategy and improve business performance.
Every customer comes with an expectation when they visit your website. It doesn’t just end with buying a good product. Repeat buys, and loyalty also comes with timely support be it to track shipping, to manage exchange/returns or to resolve queries on products they purchase.
If you don’t get your support act together, you’re likely to lose out on a lot of customers. Take a look at this statistic. According to NewVoiceMedia, businesses lose $62 billion per year because of poor customer service. That’s a considerable number.
So, how can you resolve this with an ecommerce CRM? Watch out for CRMs which come with support integrations, so that you can work seamlessly across teams and stay on the same page concerning customer data; their purchase history, their queries/complains and more. This will ensure that you pull up data about a customer in a jiffy and even provide quick turnarounds on resolving issues.
All in all, the ecommerce CRM you choose for your business needs to do three things; save time, help you deliver a great customer experience and bring more moolah into your business.