Why do brands need an ecommerce CRM?

Alexandra McPeak, July 17th 2020
A woman with a smile working on her laptop

One of the most important tools in a business owner’s toolbox is their customer relationship management (CRM) system.

Although they’re often thought of as a system for B2B (business-to-business) companies to manage lead and customer data, CRMs are also very important for ecommerce businesses as well. 

Typically, an ecommerce business may manage contacts in a list or spreadsheet, which can quickly grow unwieldy as your business grows and scales.

An ecommerce CRM can help you manage all your customer data in one place.

What is an ecommerce CRM?

An ecommerce CRM is a tool used by ecommerce businesses to manage relationships with customers.

This can include everything from storing information about them such as their birthdays, order preferences, email addresses, and phone numbers, to managing newsletter, SMS subscriptions, customer service requests, and much more.

Ecommerce CRMs allow brands to market and communicate with their customers in a deeper and more meaningful way.

Direct-to-consumer (DTC) brands utilize ecommerce CRMs to maintain this data about their customers, as consumer behavior changes when macro and micro economic factors pivot.

In addition, ecommerce CRMs integrate with all of the ecommerce tools that a brand already uses.

This includes their website and ecommerce platform, such as Shopify or Bigcommerce, Facebook and Google advertising campaigns, email and SMS campaigns, and much more.

By having all of these tools integrated, it not only saves the brand considerable time, but it also helps to create a seamless experience for their customers.

Integrate your ecommerce platform with a marketing CRM

Ecommerce CRM considerations

When deciding on which ecommerce CRM to use, there are many considerations.

You could opt to go with a more traditional CRM, such as Salesforce or Zoho, but these may not have all of the built-in features an ecommerce brand would need out-of-the-box.

They’re highly customizable but take a considerable amount of time to learn and set up to fit the unique needs of your business.

A good ecommerce CRM should have the following features:

  • The ability to gather information from your customers, such as through signup forms, popups, etc.
  • The ability to integrate with all of the tools you use. At a minimum, it should integrate with your order management system and ecommerce platform.
  • The ability to view customer profiles and activity history.
  • The ability to segment your customer data based on actions they’ve taken, properties (data) you have on them, and browsing behavior.
  • The ability to create automation flows that allow you to trigger actions (such as sending an email or SMS) based on a trigger (such as an order being placed or cart being abandoned).
  • The ability to communicate with end-users (such as through sending email or SMS campaigns).
  • The ability to easily add and remove people from lists.
  • The ability to do reporting and analytics.
  • Tools to allow you to better understand your customers, such as predictive analytics, expected date of next order, and more. This can help you to define trends and determine what makes a profitable customer.
  • Tools to help you analyze customer acquisition costs (CAC) and lifetime value (LTV).
  • The ability to test and optimize various elements to continuously improve (such as A/B testing your forms or emails).
  • The ability to access it from anywhere, such as with a cloud-based service model.
  • Access to a quality support team that can provide training on how to use the tools and help  should you run into issues.

Start creating signup forms to capture customer audience data

Ecommerce CRM takeaways

Since most CRM systems are built around the needs of a B2B business, choosing a system with built-in features for ecommerce is important. Ecommerce CRMs provide the relationship management features of a traditional CRM with the unique features that cater to an ecommerce business model.

Not all ecommerce CRMs are created equal, though, which is why it’s important to determine the features that are must-haves for your business and which features are nice to have but not vital.

Ready to get started with an Ecommerce CRM? Klaviyo’s ecommerce CRM is free forever up to 250 contacts, with tiered pricing that grows as your business grows.