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CRM: What is it and how does it apply to your business?

Customer relationship management is a large part of any successful business operation. In the online retail sector specifically, managing consumer information is part of the overall process of running a viable ecommerce platform.

What is CRM?

At its most fundamental level, CRM software allows your company to manage business relationships and organize the data associated with these partnerships. More specifically, a CRM platform stores both current customer and prospect information collected in one centralized location. A CRM solution will greatly enhance the internal visibility of your current operation and help you keep track of partnerships and potential sales opportunities on the back-end of business. If your ecommerce platform relies on other businesses to operate, a CRM platform can significantly help organize a plethora of customer information.

How will it impact your business?

In addition to helping organize customer information and keep track of current sales opportunities, CRM systems also improve collaboration between employees. Since most CRM platforms are cloud-based, they can be accessed from nearly any location as long as you have a secure Wi-Fi connection. Some systems even have apps for mobile device users, so they truly are accessible from any location.

As a result, more visible and organized data will help provide products and services your customers want. A CRM platform can benefit your online store in the following ways:

From a business partnership perspective, working relationships are heightened because ecommerce companies with CRM platforms are able to more effectively provide quality customer service.

How does it impact the customer?

CRM doesn't directly impact the customer because it's more of a business-facing tool. However, if you are able to understand and utilize CRM systems properly, your company - and its customers - will be the benefactors.

There are four aspects of CRM that benefit the customer-relationship lifecycle:

  • Marketing: Your business can run campaigns and generate leads based on a current database of information, expanding on what you already have.

  • **Sales:**Your business not only can track its opportunities, but it can also use CRM platforms to assign, qualify and convert leads into sales. CRM helps track where the customer is in the buying cycle.

  • Orders: Inventory management integrates with your ecommerce platform so you can have greater visibility on who you deliver products to and when.

  • Support: Provide high quality customer support service through case management and developing a deep knowledge base on what certain customers do and do not like.

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