Effective customer relationship management is a key to success for any B2C-oriented retailer company. This is why a CRM system is an essential part of an e-commerce platform. It lets website owners collect, monitor, and manage all types of information about their customers. Using this information, one can conduct analytics, form detailed reports, track the progress in various spheres, work out marketing strategies, and so on.
No matter whether you are just going to build a marketplace website or already own an e-commerce platform, CRM is one of the first things you should think about. In this guide, we’ll figure out the benefits offered by CRM systems to e-commerce websites and tell you how to make the most of using these systems.
In fact, both site owners and customers benefit from implementing a CRM system, as it makes their collaboration more convenient and effective. Still, before developing such a solution, you’d better weigh up the pros and cons and decide whether your particular business needs it or not. There is no reason to install software just because you can do it or because anyone else has it.
The chances are that CRM software will work for you if your business is built around the client-oriented approach. Some examples of such businesses are almost all types of online stores, large retail and wholesale companies, beauty shops, and so on.
If you focus extensively on incoming calls and requests; if you are looking for new ways of attracting customers, then, definitely, you should consider implementing a CRM system. Frankly speaking, the vast majority of e-commerce websites will benefit from using it. Let’s have a closer look at the advantages of customer relationship management systems for e-commerce startups.
There is no need to explain that CRM solutions enhance the effectiveness of the customer support service and improve your relationships with customers. Let’s see in closer detail why and how particularly it happens. Here are the main benefits of CRM for e-commerce platforms.
As you see, there are many ways to improve the effectiveness of your company’s functioning with CRM software. If you’ve made up your mind to implement a CRM solution, it’s crucial to select the right type.
When it comes to selecting a CRM system for business, the first thing you need to do is to define clearly your goals. You must understand what features you need and how much you are ready to invest in the CRM creation. After that, you will be able to decide on what type of CRM software will meet your expectations best. Commonly, three types of CRM systems for e-commerce platforms are distinguished.
Depending on your business scale and specifics, you may opt for one type or another. While cloud-based CRMs are quite OK for small and some medium-sized companies, owners of serious businesses should consider developing a custom CRM system from scratch.
For everyone who has a large-scale or complicated business, developing a CRM system from scratch is a good idea. The main benefit of a proprietary CRM software is its flexibility and adjustability to the company’s needs. In other words, you can add any features you need and, at the same time, eliminate all unnecessary elements. This is important, as some scripts and modules can slow down a program significantly, so what’s the point in using the ones you don’t need?
When using your own CRM product, you don’t have to buy a license. You are the owner of the software, so you can provide access to it to anyone you want to. Also, you may be sure that the software won’t be modified without your permission, as it can happen with third-party products. You may expand the functionality or change anything you want at your own will.
At the same time, those who opt for developing a unique CRM system must be ready to invest in it. The development costs are rather high, though, in the long run, the product will pay for itself. In the next section, we’ll review the main stages you will have to go through to create a custom CRM product.
Creating a high-quality custom CRM system is a complicated and time-consuming process. It consists of several main stages, which, in turn, can be split into smaller steps. We offer just an approximate scheme for you to rely on.
At the same time, don’t overestimate the role of CRM solutions – this is not a cure-all solution. While being an effective business tool, CRM software doesn’t resolve all the problems. Its implementation is just a way to optimize the business processes of a working company and make it more client-oriented.
While different CRM systems can offer different possibilities, essential features usually stay unchanged. Here are the main functions that an e-commerce CRM software performs. You may expand or edit this list during the development process.
This is a list of must-have features that are found in the majority of custom CRM systems. However, you may add much more interesting and unique functions that will make your customer management system fully meet your requirements. Keep in mind, however, that each additional feature will increase the development cost.
Well, if you have already figured out what type of CRM software you need and what particular features you want to have, now, it’s time to hire developers to fulfill this task. Here are some simple tips on choosing a reliable web developer team.
If you don’t have an in-house team of web developers, chances are you will want to outsource this task. Here, you’ll have to choose between local and foreign developers. Both approaches have certain benefits and drawbacks. For example, by ordering the product development in Eastern European countries, you can significantly reduce the costs, as hourly rates vary from $35 to $50 there. Just for comparison: in the USA, one hour of web development costs about $150-$200 for the same services.
Clutch is a well-known platform where professional web developers and IT specialists offer their services. Here, you can find real customer reviews and check ratings of various companies. If you don’t know what to begin your searches with, Clutch is a good option to consider.
Developing custom CRM software is a complicated and responsible task. Logically enough, you want to hire professionals who already have some experience in CRM system development. So, don’t be shy to ask for portfolios and study the examples provided. A company without a portfolio is a pig in a poke.
When it comes to CRM software, a web app has some benefits if compared to a mobile app, even if the latter is built with the use of top-notch technologies. Of course, it is not completely impossible to use a CRM system on a smartphone, but a large screen provides more flexibility and convenience. That is why, when choosing a developer, try to figure out the ones that make focus on web development.
Nowadays, it is quite obvious that a CRM system has a lot of advantages for e-commerce projects functioning. If you are an owner of a large-scale business with a solid customer database, then CRM software is an absolute must-have for you. We hope our tips and recommendations will help you choose the right type of customer relationship management product and find high-qualified professionals who will bring your idea to life.
Vitaly Kuprenko is a writer for Cleveroad. It’s a web and mobile app development company with headquarters in Ukraine. He enjoys writing about technology and digital marketing.