It’s not enough to just sell via your website anymore and still build a thriving ecommerce business. As brands add more channels to their portfolios—social media, apps, third-party marketplaces, and more—shopping trends are changing, too. Shoppers are more likely to go to Amazon than Google to find what they’re looking for, which means that just having an ecommerce site will get you buried in the “noise.”
With more and more shopping moving to ecommerce in 2020 for both essential and non-essential purchases, it’s even more important that businesses meet their target audiences where they are. Amazon could be a big one, but so are social media feeds where consumers may be following influencers or asking for recommendations to find the products they need and want. Selling on multiple channels across multiple devices impacts customer retention as well, retaining an average of 89 percent of customers even before the pandemic.
But offering multiple channels isn’t enough. You need to know which ones are effective so you can better target your sales efforts. That’s where your CRM comes in.
You Can’t Act on What You Don’t Know
It’s said in many companies that “if it’s not in the CRM, it didn’t happen.” And while you might chuckle at that statement, it rings true. Companies can’t act on information they don’t know. So, if your customers’ multichannel behaviors aren’t collected in your CRM, it’s going to be that much more difficult to create an effective multichannel marketing strategy.
Your CRM might already track email and desktop ecommerce browsing behaviors, but it also needs to be able to track mobile behaviors as well as how customers engage with each different channel, both on desktop and on mobile. You’re talking information on every action and touch point, from mobile and web push notification, to email and in-app, as well as in-browser messages.
Advantages to Multichannel CRM Solutions
What started as a back-office tool for managing contacts and customers, CRM technology has now advanced to enable cross-channel engagement, even leveraging AI and chat bots to empower a more personalized customer experience. Your CRM is the core of what enables brand strategy, technology integrations, and keeping up with customer trends. Staying connected to your customers on an ongoing basis has always been important; it’s even more important as you add sales channels to connect with this next normal for ecommerce behavior.
The ability to support a robust multichannel approach includes having a strong IT foundation in the form of an automated high-performance CRM that can integrate all your customer touch points. For some, moving to this new multichannel structure will be an evolutionary process, after so long existing in a single-channel operation that may be inflexible or even siloed.
With a CRM designed to manage multichannel sellers, businesses can expect the following advantages:
- Increased sales: This is the biggest and most exciting result. Multichannel CRMs can use automated marketing tools to recommend compatible items to buyers based on prior (or current) purchase history, such as recommending the ideal ink refill cartridge for the printer they recently ordered.
- Consumer data and analytics collected and analyzed across all platforms: It’s true that collecting and analyzing data from multiple platforms is challenging, but a purpose-built CRM solution can aggregate information for you in order to uncover actionable insight to influence the bottom line. This could include data on region, purchase type, cross-sell opportunities, seasonal trends, and more.
- Opportunity to expand: When new marketplaces emerge, CRM data can help you understand your newest target audience and how they behave in this specific marketplace.
- Time savings: Selling on multiple channels means more revenue and profit, but also more work. A CRM designed to handle multichannel sales can carry some of that burden for you, so your operations are more efficient.
Multichannel CRM: Not if, but When
Beyond the impact on customer retention and sales, having a multichannel strategy makes your business both agile and flexible. As technology continues to evolve and new channels emerge to influence customer behavior, a brand that is already positioned to manage and track a multichannel business approach will be able to adapt and evolve faster. Having a CRM in place with features that link and leverage customer interactions, no matter the channel, is critical to providing customer satisfaction and gaining customer retention.
Are you ready to leverage the full power of the multichannel market for your bottom line? If so, your next question should be how quickly you can roll out the right multichannel CRM solution to serve your needs and hit the ground running. Contact our software specialists now for your FREE software consultation.