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If you're looking for ways to enhance your online customer experience, you've likely asked yourself, "What is an ecommerce customer relationship management system... and do I need one?".

As your ecommerce site grows and your business expands, it can be challenging to handle the increases in customer service demands. An ecommerce customer relationship management system (CRM) can help you meet these challenges and improve the customer experience of your online business by storing and analyzing customer data.

In this article, I'll fill you in on what an ecommerce customer relationship management system can do for your business and why you should consider working with one.

What is an ecommerce CRM system?

An ecommerce customer relationship management system (CRM) is a platform designed specifically for ecommerce businesses to manage and analyze customer data, including personal details and purchasing history. This type of ecommerce tool tracks every aspect of the customer’s experience from a virtual standpoint by reporting traffic, conversions, click-through rates, and email subscription lists.

This data is valuable in helping ecommerce businesses retain their customers and improve their overall customer experience.

What are the main elements of an ecommerce CRM system?

  • Data reporting: Ecommerce CRM systems provide information on how users interact with your site. Data reporting includes information on site traffic, preferred products, conversion rates, and successful promotions. You can use this data to improve different pages on your website. This level of data reporting is also critical for developing a marketing plan that stands out amid the competition.
  • Data analysis: Along with data reporting, ecommerce CRM systems analyze data metrics, saving you time and money. For example, ecommerce CRM systems evaluate customer behavior, order history, and marketing campaigns to generate an organized customer profile and increase your store’s profitability. Identifying your target demographic and their preferred forms of marketing can help you improve customer satisfaction.
  • Easy integration: Most ecommerce businesses have small teams. Thus, one of the main elements of ecommerce CRM systems is simple and adaptable integrations. CRM ecommerce integration is low maintenance because systems are designed to seamlessly merge with an online store and provide automated data tracking.

How does an ecommerce CRM system work?

An ecommerce CRM platform works by linking to your online store. Once the ecommerce CRM system is successfully integrated, you can collect and analyze customer data using your ecommerce CRM solution.

These systems organize customer information and performance metrics into charts, graphs, and diagrams that are easy to read and track.

What are the goals of ecommerce CRM systems?

The main goal of an ecommerce CRM system is to gather and organize data on the customer experience. Most ecommerce CRM systems offer different options for data visualization, so you can change the layout of data reporting to fit your needs.

Additionally, ecommerce CRM systems are designed to automate marketing and improve data analytics. CRM systems for ecommerce businesses collect data to generate customer relationship reports, saving marketing teams time and money.

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Common features of ecommerce CRM software

Although different ecommerce CRM software offers distinct features, every CRM system offers similar baseline capabilities. These basic functions and CRM tools include marketing automation, customer data collection, and data analysis.

How does ecommerce CRM software track customer journeys?

To track customer journeys with an ecommerce CRM system, simply link your CRM software to your online store. Integration allows you to set up data reporting features, which you can use to track customer data and analyze customer motivations.

Ecommerce CRM systems collect and analyze sales patterns to create a visual map of each customer’s journey. This will help you determine whether customers can easily navigate your ecommerce store and proceed to checkout.

By reviewing the data from your CRM system, you can improve the customer experience. You can also optimize your website across different devices, allowing customers to purchase your products from their phones, tablets, and desktops.

How does ecommerce CRM software personalize marketing?

Ecommerce CRM software personalizes marketing by collecting and analyzing customer data. With this information, your ecommerce company can curate a customer relationship that appeals to your target demographic.

For instance, with ecommerce CRM systems, you can more easily create targeted content, product recommendations, and promotions based on a customer’s order history.

You can use this data to create blogs, social media posts, and website copy that appeals to your target audience. This level of targeted content can help drive site traffic and increase product sales.

What kind of analytics does ecommerce CRM software provide?

Ecommerce CRM systems provide analytics on different aspects of the customer experience.

CRM ecommerce tools collect data metrics detailing brand awareness, organic search statistics, and conversions. With this information, you can identify how your customers are finding out about your store and strategize your marketing plan. For instance, if your customers are mainly learning about your store through Facebook ads, you can consider expanding your reach across other social channels.

CRM solutions also collect information on different pages of your website. You can use ecommerce CRM solutions to analyze your ecommerce platform as a whole, determining which pages need to generate more traffic.

Perhaps your home page receives high traffic but also has a high bounce rate. Lowering the bounce rate can help customers through the sales funnel.

Benefits of ecommerce CRM solutions for your business

From marketing automation to customer retention, ecommerce CRM solutions offer many benefits for your ecommerce business.

In fact, ecommerce growth trends indicate that online sales will continue to increase. Thus, ecommerce business owners will need to match this growth through automated marketing and CRM.

How can ecommerce CRM solutions help businesses refine their marketing strategies?

Ecommerce CRM solutions help businesses improve their marketing strategies because these niche ecommerce tools provide information on a business’s target customers. Understanding your ideal demographic can help you generate marketing campaigns that are personalized and effective.

Essentially, ecommerce CRM software provides you with a map of your customers. This map details a buyer’s journey as well as a buyer’s preferred products and marketing campaigns. You can leverage this data to improve your customer retention rates, customer satisfaction, and product sales.

Furthermore, customer retention is more valuable from a cost standpoint than customer acquisition. By generating customer loyalty and encouraging existing customers to remain customers, you can increase sales and solidify brand awareness.

How can ecommerce CRM solutions help businesses strengthen their relationships with customers?

Ecommerce CRM software aims to improve the customer experience overall. As a result, implementing an ecommerce CRM solution can help you strengthen your relationship with your customers.

You can use ecommerce CRM integration to analyze the top-performing products from your ecommerce website. Then you can make informed decisions when selecting new products for your inventory. Choosing products that are curated toward your customers’ needs will improve customer satisfaction and sales.

Additionally, ecommerce CRM solutions can help you improve your customer service. As your online business grows, it can be challenging to respond to hundreds of customer service questions and feedback. Bad customer service can send your existing customers to your competitors’ sites.

Luckily, ecommerce CRM software can automate your customer service process, allowing you to meet increasing demands and save time. You can set up a chatbot through your CRM system to help customers resolve simple purchasing errors.

How can ecommerce CRM improve your inventory management and forecasting?

By collecting customer data on order history, purchasing behavior, and the sales funnel, ecommerce CRM solutions provide you with the information you need to improve your inventory decisions.

For example, CRM solutions identify top-selling products, making it simple to conduct product analysis. After evaluating which products perform best, you can better select new products for your online store.

Likewise, you can also use ecommerce CRM systems for inventory management. Because ecommerce CRM software collects real-time data on supply and demand, you can plan ahead for your manufacturing and product orders.

Choosing an ecommerce CRM solution for your business

When choosing an ecommerce CRM solution for your business, it’s important to think long-term. Consider how your business is expected to grow. You’ll want a CRM solution that can manage the growth of your online store and align with your business goals.

What should you look for in an ecommerce CRM solution for your business?

First, research the integration processes for different ecommerce CRM solutions. Integration can be overwhelming if the process is not straightforward. Therefore, choose an ecommerce system that is adaptable and applicable to your online store.

Also, consider the scale of your business. Pipedrive and Copper are great options for small and medium-sized ecommerce businesses, while HubSpot is a good option for large-scale ecommerce sites looking to streamline and optimize their processes.

Finally, look for an ecommerce CRM solution that is aligned with your business goals. For instance, if your current marketing strategy relies heavily on email lists, then research ecommerce systems with advanced email integration features. 

On the other hand, if your objective is to improve customer support, then consider choosing an ecommerce system that includes a virtual support center or chatbots.

How do you compare different ecommerce CRM solutions?

When comparing different ecommerce CRM solutions, consider four main factors.

  • Usability: Research different ecommerce solutions to understand how each software offering functions. Finding a user-friendly system is key to a successful integration process. Ecommerce CRM software that is disorganized can be confusing for your marketing team.
  • Data analytics: The data tracking features are some of the most important elements to compare when researching different ecommerce CRM solutions. Check to see whether a system has ad hoc reporting and embedded analytics. Also, determine whether your company needs the data analytics features being offered. Some ecommerce CRM systems offer a long list of capabilities. However, if your business is not going to use these features, then it’s not worth the added cost.
  • Cross-channel tracking: With so many online marketing platforms, it’s important to consider all social media channels for your consumer strategy. Find out which ecommerce CRM solutions track the buyer journey across social platforms. This will help you create a comprehensive customer profile that improves your overall marketing strategy.
  • Return on investment: Evaluate the price of the software to determine if the return on investment is worth it for your online business. Perhaps a more expensive system is necessary for your business at this time. On the other hand, if your online business is still in the early growth stages, it may be more cost-effective to implement CRM software that stays within your budget.

What are the best-rated ecommerce CRM solutions?

While there are numerous ecommerce CRM systems, different solutions offer unique features.

  • Marketo offers lead management, account-based marketing, and onboarding training. With an emphasis on features, Marketo is known for its long list of capabilities and CRM strategies. However, because this ecommerce CRM solution is more expensive, it’s best for established ecommerce websites.
  • Creatio is known for its process-centric approach and offers seamless integration. This ecommerce CRM tool provides third-party integration, connecting to a wide range of apps.
  • Ontraport is an ecommerce CRM solution that makes launching a marketing campaign for your ecommerce platform simple. It helps you grow and develop different areas of your site, improving traffic and conversions.
  • Active Campaign has great email marketing and dynamic content features. You can set up email, live chat, and SMS conversations with this CRM system. This software also offers many options for third-party integration to improve customer satisfaction.
  • Salesforce is an ecommerce customer relationship management system that helps teams unify extensive customer information into one easy-to-use, central interface. Salesforce also offers its own ecommerce features to help you align online sales and customer experience enhancement.

Overall takeaways

Ecommerce CRM systems collect data on the customer journey, providing you with the information you need to improve your marketing strategy.

Need help to choose the best CRM for your team? I've got great news.

Our team has scoured the market, done our homework, and chosen the best of the bunch. Be sure to check out our comprehensive list of the best ecommerce CRM software available today.

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By Francois Marchand

Francois Marchand is passionate about helping and educating business leaders, ecommerce professionals, and digital marketers grow their skill sets to stay ahead of the competition. Francois holds a BA Specialization in Communication Studies & Journalism from Concordia University (Montreal, QC) and 20+ years of experience in ecommerce, marketing, traditional and digital media, and public relations, including The Vancouver Sun, National Post, CBC/Radio-Canada, Unbounce, and Vancouver Film School.