In an era where shoppers are overwhelmed by choice and retailers are competing harder than ever for their attention, the success of your enterprise depends heavily on your listening skills.
Those who you should be listening to are, naturally, your customers. How does your unique selling proposition fit in with their needs and desires? What are their values and expectations regarding customer experience? What does it take to engage the average customer and build a lasting relationship with her?
Answers to these questions aren’t universal. Thankfully, modern technology allows us to tap into invaluable data, categorize it and utilize it to improve customer satisfaction. Customer relationship management software (CRM) stands out as one of the most valuable technologies because it allows us to look through the eyes of each individual shopper and manage these individual customer relationships.
Let’s have a look at how CRM is helping improve the retail sector and how you can utilize this software to grow your business.
Adjusting your retail strategies
The information you record on a CRM system will include demographic data, customer preferences, purchase history, in-store experiences, shopping behaviors, etc. These systems are meant to be integrated with other systems such as marketing automation software or, in this case, an in-store analytics solution, to show you valuable insights.
The insights will be vital for segmenting your market so that you can adjust your approach to different customer groups. You’ll have all kinds of useful customer information in one place, pointing you to key patterns that you can use to improve both your online and offline stores.
For example, if you find that a large customer segment is comprised of senior citizens, you’ll want to ensure your brick-and-mortar store is easily accessible and that your representatives are trained to help them if there’s a need to use newer technologies. Or, you might find that your biggest customer segment is comprised of people who have been buying only the eco-friendly and organic products you offer. This type of information can certainly guide your decision-making regarding everything from the aesthetic of your stores to the products that line your shelves.
There are numerous ways to utilize CRM data for effective marketing, and customer segmentation is an important part of this. But the great thing is that all this data gathered on the CRM system allows you to go beyond tailoring promotions to specific customer segments. You can actually target individual customers and create personalized offers based on their purchase history and interactions with your store. Using a CRM system will help you create personalized customer journeys and help you increase the relevance of the promotional material you’re sending to each customer.
Staying on top with omnichannel management
With different channels for promoting and selling your products, the necessary operations are multiplied as well. It’s not easy to stay on top of everything and merely holding it together means a lot of missed opportunity for expanding your enterprise. Streamlining these operations and channels can certainly result in significant revenue growth.
A CRM system doesn’t only help you manage the interactions you have with customers, but also the B2B operations your retail business entails. It’s a powerful tool to help you keep up with sales, forecast the popularity of products, and determine the performance of each channel. With these insights in the palm of your hand, you’re able to make smart business decisions and streamline the different channels.
Improving customer retention
When you put data to use in order to improve customer satisfaction and address specific points of the buyer’s journey, you’re on your way to encouraging repeat business and customer loyalty. Improving customer retention is the result of all the other benefits of utilizing a CRM system put together, because you’re essentially dedicated to serving each customer in a more comprehensive and focused manner.
I’ve already talked about the importance of using a CRM system to personalize promotional offers, and this is crucial to improving customer retention. For example, when you have a customer who has bought something from you a while ago and that product now faces expiration, you’ll send out special offers at just the right time in order to encourage the customer to buy from you again. These kinds of targeted promotions are also much cheaper for you and much more likely to result in success. You can also use the data at hand to craft loyalty programs and further reduce sales costs.
Lastly, a CRM system will also store data on customer service interactions. Digging into customer complaints can also point you to key concerns among larger customer segments as well as individual concerns. Addressing these will help you improve your overall business and encourage customer loyalty.
CRM systems have come a long way from being relatively simple contact databases. Retailers can now utilize CRM software to create insightful databases of customer interactions and detailed information that opens the doors to a number of benefits. From pointing your marketing efforts in the right direction to comprehensively adjusting your retail strategy, implementing a CRM system can be a game-changer for your business.
About the writer: Daniel Bishop started off as a content consultant for small SEO companies. In the end, he found his place as a junior editor for ReallySimpleSystems. Always searching for new opportunities, he loves sharing ideas with other professionals in the digital community.
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