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What is the role of customer relationship management (CRM) in e‑commerce?

Denise Castillo
May 29, 2022

Customer relationship management (CRM) systems allow companies to analyze their past, current, and future customers on a variety of levels. CRM is essential for any business, including e-commerce sites, because it allows them to grow and succeed. This article will discuss other functions of CRM in relation to e-commerce and how it differs from traditional CRM.

The role of customer relationship management (CRM) in e-commerce

    E-commerce CRM vs. Traditional CRM

    One of the primary roles of traditional CRM software is recording and storing important customer information (i.e. preferred contact method, account information, and potential customer leads) all in one location. Utilizing traditional CRM software in daily operations is beneficial because it helps businesses understand how to adequately interact with their customers and satisfy their needs.

    The primary goal of traditional CRM is to unite employees and customers by ensuring everyone gets what they need. Finally, traditional CRM provides those in sales with a customer profile detailing information on past purchases and outreach history.

    E-commerce CRM (e-CRM) primarily focuses on the sales and customer experiences that are conducted online. Like traditional CRM, e-CRM is able to analyze customer information and sales patterns and record and store data, however, it is able to do so all day, every day. Most e-CRM software also has the ability to analyze your site’s metrics, for example:

    • Conversion rates;
    • Customer click-through rate;
    • E-mail subscription opt-ins;
    • Which products customers are interested in.

    This easy-to-use e-commerce add-on is designed to provide customers with personalized experiences. Giving your customers the ability to customize their e-commerce experience, on top of listening to their needs and making them feel heard, are just a few tips to keep in mind when attempting to build your customer relationships. Not only can these tips help recruit new customers, but can help retain current ones as well.

    Impact of e-commerce on CRM

    Although it is truly about managing relationships with customers and providing a great customer experience, e-commerce has made an impact on CRM in a variety of ways. One study discovered that e-commerce had promising implications for improving customer satisfaction and loyalty. In fact, the study shows that the elements that lead to customer loyalty are:

    • Competency;
    • Capability to establish the relationship;
    • Commitment;
    • Solving the customer’s problem;
    • Trust;
    • Quality of the relationship.

    Implementing e-CRM is beneficial not only because it records and stores customer data 24/7, but also because it is capable of accomplishing all of the above — ultimately ending with positive customer experiences.

    The importance of CRM for e-commerce sites

    CRM has impacted e-commerce sites by becoming an essential part of a business’s success. One study found that interactively collecting and condensing customer data helps to build a company’s e-CRM capability, which ultimately leads to their corporate success. It is safe to say that going forward, CRM platforms created specifically for e-commerce (as well as implementing a scalable e-commerce solution) may very well be a necessity for web-based businesses.

    Failing to understand the importance of CRM for your e-commerce site could result in the loss of a multitude of benefits, including but not limited to:

    • A better understanding of supply and demand;
    • Seeing if your customers are able to navigate your site without any issues;
    • Better customer service;
    • Easy check out processes;
    • A decrease in loss and costs (due to the ability to better record customer sales);
    • Having the ability to create advertisements that are aimed at your target audience.

    Tips for choosing an e-commerce CRM solution

    It’s important for businesses to take the time to find an e-CRM solution that fits their specific needs. Similar to selecting the best e-commerce solution provider, it is recommended to take into consideration the following tips to help you select a CRM platform that complements your business.

    1. Create a plan on how you wish to use this solution to help grow your business;
    2. Think about how the solution will work and integrate with other business platforms and tools;
    3. Consider how to train your employees on the new integration and explain the importance of it to them;
    4. Understand the amount of time and effort it takes to factor in an e-CRM solution;
    5. Make sure it is within your budget to integrate the solution;
    6. Read the CRM directions prior to selecting it to make sure they are easy to comprehend (you don’t want to choose a difficult solution);
    7. Conduct thorough research on the platform, including researching the future of CRM, the level of customization, and the level of mobility (is it accessible on a mobile device?).

    Prior to finalizing your e-CRM plans, review the information above to help you get a better understanding of the role of the solution and how it can be beneficial for your business.

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