How to Build Effective Custom CRM for Retail Stores & eCommerce

eCommerce Jul 31, 2020

Shop Assistant 1:

Would you like any help at all? I am right here when you need me, OK, dear?

Shop Assistant 2:

G’day, Matt! Happy to see you back just one week before your birthday. Here's a couple of T-Shirts you checked out previously. They are flying off the shelves… we only have a few sizes left, inclusive of yours, so we reduced the price for these. Add to cart?

Planning a birthday party and need something in the smart-casual category? Here is a jacket in your favorite navy blue and beige trousers in a matching fabric, just as you like them, in your preferred price range. Party is taking you over your monthly budget? No worries, mate, grab a Birthday discount! See you soon Matt, we knew you’d love this classy duet!

Do you feel the difference?

In case you didn’t sense it, Mathew is from Australia too, thus the “g’day” greetings. This is content personalization in action.

Pretty amazing, right?

Nordstrom online store

This is how eCommerce functions when boosted by CRM.

With over $48,2 billion in market value for CRM software the world over in 2018, businesses from every niche – be it online or offline are trying to get the most out of this cutting edge technology.

Needless to say, retail and eCommerce are the businesses for which ROI is the quickest and benefits are the most obvious. With the majority of B2C eCommerce models having more than affordable average checks, getting people to buy is a "mission possible" scenario.

When backed by the wealth of data that comes from CRM, eCommerce is capable of attracting more leads with high-purchase intent, minimizing leakage at every step of the funnel, converting more quickly, and upselling more.

Retail customer relationship management systems are the oxygen of the eCommerce blood system that brings nutrients to every cell, stimulating processes in the entire organism.

We are excited to lead you through the basics of the CRM for retail development, its benefits, the fundamental functions of customer relations management software for eCommerce, and – most importantly – the specifics of custom CRM for retail.

What Is CRM In Retail?

What is CRM for retail?

Customer Relations Management System is software that collects & manages client data to provide efficient means of communication, increases customer loyalty, precipitates the conversion cycle, enables upselling and administers in-depth analysis for creating further efficiencies across the board.

What are the features of CRM?

There are different CRMs available on the market with most of them being a turnkey universal solution for all industries across the board.

There is some industry-specific CRM software too, that is engineered to suit the needs of a specific industry, for example, retail and eCommerce.

And there are custom CRM software development systems for companies that invest in their unique technical DNA and have the data analytics department and capability needed to translate the insights arising from big data into surplus in the bottom line.

Nonetheless, all of these solutions share a few common features:

  1. Contact management
  2. Task management
  3. Deals & Pipeline management
  4. Calendar & reminders
  5. Social media integrations
  6. Email marketing
  7. Reporting & analytics

When it comes to the specifics of the CRM in retail, the most common additions of industry-specific features on top of a universal system are:

  • Merchandise management
  • Order management
  • Return management
  • Mail order
Retail CRM Features

Which Functions Does a CRM Perform?

The role of a CRM in retail and eCommerce is overwhelmingly vital; as it collects all the data about every single touchpoint a client has with the brand and helps a marketer to move a client down the funnel more quickly.

Let’s review some of the main functions of this technological wonder.

1. Contact Data Collection, Storage And Management

One of the most fundamental functions is to collect & store data related to clients. With all the social media & touchpoint website tracking integration, CRMs have now moved into collecting enriched profiles for each contact that go way beyond the mere name, gender, and location parameters. Modern CRMs create client profiles with professional data, social media profile links, website activity, and purchasing and browsing history.

2. Organization of Work Flow of The Team

Task management is a powerful functionality that helps to create, assign, schedule, and postpone tasks: for yourself and respective team members.

3. Deal and Pipelines Management Mission Control Center

Deal and pipeline management helps to record, manage, schedule, and organize all business coming into your sales funnel and assign it to pipelines, team members, etc. Dashboard view & reporting allows for the best monitoring of both successful and low-performing trends.

4. Calendar and Reminder Modules

Most customer relationship management software will have a calendar and reminders embedded. These allow for seamless planning of  processes for team members as well as sending out reminders of upcoming meetings to partners and clients.

5. Reporting & analytics

Big Data is the new secret ingredient of a successful eCommerce business. Those online shop owners who managed to jump on this wagon early on got way ahead of their competition. Big data enables businesses to see trends in the budding stages when there's still time to react.

A properly cleaned and deciphered big data set is an amazing crystal ball too. You can get good answers to adequately posed questions.

6. Social media integration

Social media has been growing ever since its conception and no substitutes are anywhere in sight. The advertising power is incredible, as retail & eCommerce leaders know all too well.

Social media can be integrated with CRMs via third-party apps like Zappier or via API. This marriage is made in millionaires' heaven… at least in future millionaires' heaven.

7. Email marketing

Email marketing is a basic feature of every CRM out there. Some systems go as far as providing a suite of features rivaling that of email marketing software with open rate stats, group mailing features, and the like.

The Impact Of CRM Usage In Retail

CRMs are the mission control center of eCommerce and retail. They have an impact across so many functions and departments, including:

Top Clients Segment Optimization

Data accumulation & interpretation help businesses sort out and segment the top customers. Loyal clients have a higher average check and lifetime value, being overall the crème de la crème of your customers. By using CRM's segmentation features, a business can separate the top 5%, 10%, 20% into specific groups and analyze them to:

  • Scale success and attract more of such clients
  • Maximize revenue from an existing pool of top clients
  • Create hand-made promotions for loyal customers
  • Run an ambassadors' offer
  • Socially listen to them to understand sentiments toward the brand

Granular Personalization Opportunities

Personalization is an impactful marketing technique that's widely used by the retail industry online and offline.

CRM is a wealth of data that permits endlessly granular personalization. It can be taken to any stage of the funnel and any method of communication with clients: from marketing automation, email marketing, and loyalty program management, to sending out birthday offers.

Nurturing Brand Loyalty

It’s easier to establish contact with a person you have some background info on. It's even easier to keep the bond going with rich information on file, which includes social insights as well as corporate information. CRMs provide an opportunity to get access to enriched client profiles.

Apple, for example, focuses on CRM usage in its stores ensuring great customer service. They strive to make sure that each iPhone purchase is a worthwhile event and a special experience. We all know it worked like magic, don't we?

Why Develop a Custom CRM Solution vs a Ready-Made One?

Out-of-the-box solutions are available for as little as $20 per user per month in the plug-and-play format with an extensive suite of features. Why would you need to invest all the time and capital required into creating one of your own?

1. You Are Big Enough to Feel Possessive About Your Customer’s Big Data

With GDPR in place, data is much more secure than it has even been. But big players still focus on keeping their data to themselves. This is one of the big reasons why Amazon and Apple will develop their own software a lot. It gives them full control of the data and they are the ones benefiting from its analysis.

2. Big Company = Many Users = Big Monthly Check

A small or medium eCommerce business will be tempted to buy an out-of-the-box CRM, as they don't have enough cash flow to create a system of their own.

A bigger company with a lot of employees may end up paying quite a hefty monthly fee for CRM usage, even if the vendor charges just $20 per month per user and has an enterprise discount. So, even if the price of a custom CRM system for eCommerce is $40,000 - $200,000, this one-time investment may be a better deal.

3. Custom Is Custom. Nothing to Add. Nothing to Take Away. Perfect Fit.

If you ever had a custom-made suit or pair of shoes, you know what it feels like. There’s no friction. No wearing-in period. You put it or them on and it feels like you belong. Similarly, with custom CRM you only get the features you need. You don’t have the clutter you don’t use.

Custom CRM Development Benefits

Retail CRM software, when custom developed as per your business needs, will help your online store business flourish, bringing loads of value, measurable in saved hours, increased conversions, and saved dollars:

  • Save time automating repetitive tasks & enabling smooth task management and daily planning.
  • Increase client loyalty by nurturing rations through social listening, honing in on your top converting segments, and personalizing email marketing.
  • Zoom in on the details through tagging options and creation of custom fields to assign a common descriptor to any data point, enabling further reporting.
  • Get industry-leading insights by leveraging big data to analyze the user journey and increase efficiency at every stage of the funnel.
  • Personalize email marketing boosting this already high-ROI channel to new records in open rates, click-through rates & conversion.

Things To Consider Before You Build a Custom CRM For eCommerce

Before buying a CRM or opting to develop your own retail CRM, consider doing the math: you need to find out about custom CRM development costs and figure out how much monthly payments will be for a ready-made solution for your team size.

Depending on the developer's country of operation, a CRM may cost as little as $40K without loads of extra features. Suppliers in Asia and Eastern Europe offer an incredible value for your money in terms of website, mobile and software development.

If based on your current stage of company development, market ambitions, and funding, you make a decision in favor of a custom CRM for eCommerce or retail, take into account the following criteria:

  1. Which features you need in your CRM
  2. Which currently used apps & software solutions you want your new software to be compatible with
  3. Which existing CRM solutions you like and why
  4. Which access levels you need in your system
  5. Which company with an extensive verifiable eCommerce software development portfolio you can delegate it to

Why Zoolatech?

Building your own CRM is a big decision, as you get the entire company’s technical DNA rewired.

CRM is a key part of a tech stack, specifically for retail and eCommerce.

If you are at the stage of your company’s growth, where you both appreciate the power of Big Data and can afford a few tens of thousands for a custom made customer relations management system, then we are delighted to meet you.

Zoolatech helps retail companies and eCommerce businesses just like yours with custom eCommerce development, data analytics, and business intelligence.

Zoolatech, as a savvy software development company, decided to provide top technical solutions at a fraction of the usual cost. With a birthplace in California, we shifted quite a bit of our development operations to Kyiv, Ukraine. So our clients get it all:

  • Western granular understanding of the eCommerce business & technological infrastructure crucial for success
  • Silicon Valley-like communication & clear, straightforward business processes
  • Technical talent of a high caliber with the most attractive price tag
    Let’s get your needs for CRM in retailing covered within a cost-effective price range and with quality guaranteed from Palo Alto. Allow our sales department to provide you with our best quote tailored to your particular needs. The consultation is free and you can start making plans based on specific figures. Get in Touch with the Zoolatech team to get Big Data working for your success.

Zoolatech Team

We are a team of technology addicts eager to transform our clients’ needs into efficient and innovative solutions through high-quality service and reliable customer support.