Cross-Channel is the Future of E-Commerce CRM
There have been plenty of fads and technology trends that have come and gone over the years. In regards to software, cloud is easily the trendiest of the bunch. Think back just a few years ago, and individual user licenses were required to use Microsoft products. These were paid in annual fees and the price was not cheap, by any means.
Software makers have evolved to remain relevant and to protect their bottom line, in a world where piracy runs rampant. The simple solution to this was attained by the innovations procured with cloud computing. Today, Microsoft’s 365 suite allows users to pay a low monthly price to access a growing library of Software as a Service (SaaS), with multi-device accessibility. Adobe’s Creative Cloud offers similar benefits, as do many other software makers.
Indeed, cloud is the answer for software solutions. Even e-commerce shopping cart providers offer cloud hosting. Services to the likes of Shopify, BigCommerce and 3dcart are all cloud hosted, and can be accessed from nearly anywhere that a user has an internet connection, and even from mobile devices.
With new reports from Prologis predicting that e-commerce will surpass $4 trillion in worldwide sales annually by 2020, you can bet that newer cloud based software will emerge that services this rapidly growing industry sector. At the forefront will be omni channel e-commerce CRM solutions. What follows are a few reasons why they’ll help create an e-commerce revolution.
The Cross-Channel Evolution
One of the primary reasons why e-commerce CRM will be such a trendsetter is because of cross-channel integration. Most retailers sell on numerous sales channels. For example, a tech retailer may host a shopping cart on Shopify, but may also have a presence on Amazon, Newegg and eBay. They do this because it’s a smart way to maximize presence and gain saturation while facilitating sales. The drawback is that they can’t really aggregate the data from all of their sales channels into one hub.
Newer e-commerce CRM resolves this dilemma via cross-channel integration. Newer systems plug-in to a variety of sales channels, via direct API, and pulls the data from them instantly. They are able to generate detailed charts and graphs, and populate customer profiles, complete with order, shipping and returns history.
Integrating Shipping & Returns Functions
Most retailers are using a shipping or returns software solution of some type. However, shopping carts do not directly provide these necessary systems. Most host app stores, where users can download or install a direct integration. But rarely do these integrations work cross-channel, and they don’t really communicate orders in between these channels, either.
CRM for e-commerce can. As a central host, it can integrate with these popular e-commerce returns plug-ins to connect all channels, and to filter all data into a central hub. This not only streamlines fulfillment and reverse logistics, but also paints a clearer picture of the seasonality of sales and shoppers’ behavior with more robust analytics.
Another reason why CRM will reshape the e-commerce industry as a whole is because it takes marketing to a new level. Most retailers are guessing on what sales campaign will be successful and which one won’t. They also have no idea of what the return rate will be on certain products, or who is making the most returns. What’s more, they are unaware of what shipping methods are the most popular, and which products are selling the most as a result.
With CRM, this information becomes crystal clear. A retailer can, for example, create a new sales event and email marketing list that excludes serial returners to maximize revenue generation. They can also learn what products sell more, to what demographic and during what time of the year. Using cross-channel analytics, they can then procure the most efficient means of marketing these events.