How to Run a Smarter E-Commerce Business With CRM Personalization

In today’s highly competitive market, customers expect brands to personalize their content and product recommendations to meet their exact needs. 

But don’t just take our word for it. Some surveys suggest that as many as 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from brands offering a customized experience. 

This is where CRM software comes into its own. 

A high-quality CRM works wonders for keeping track of your customers and empowering you to communicate with them at just the right time. Not to mention, with the data your CRM collects, you can also offer a more personalized approach to your marketing, customer service, and social media strategies.

With all that in mind, here’s how you can start using CRM personalization to run a smarter e-Commerce business.

There’s lots to cover, so let’s dive in!

What’s CRM Personalization, and Why Does it Matter?

In short, CRM personalization refers to using the contact info you’ve collected through your customer relationship management software (CRM). Most notably, for tailoring your sales and marketing strategies to meet your audience’s specific needs. 

To stay ahead of the competition, start personalizing your marketing campaigns. Period.

There’s plenty of evidence to suggest that tailored content is critical to the way customers perceive your brand. In fact, 31% of consumers say they wish their shopping experience was far more personalized than they’re currently receiving. 

This stat aside, there are several other benefits to personalizing your customer interactions…

1. Reduce Your Abandoned Cart Rates

Your CRM keeps you informed of every stage of the sales funnel, including when your customers are about to exit it for good. At this stage, you can reach out to convince them to return to their purchase. This might sound like a lot of work at first. But in fact, you can automate this whole process with most CRMs.

With an average shopping cart abandonment rate of 69.57%, sending personalized reminders to customers could provide the nudge they need to complete the purchase. Just think of the impact this could have on your bottom line!

Your CRM toolkit should allow you to schedule an abandoned cart email sequence. You can send the first email one hour after the cart was abandoned, reminding customers of the checkout tab they might still have open. You could then send a follow up three days later (if they still haven’t purchased) while it’s still fresh in their minds.

And remember –– compelling copy goes a long way! And so do the discounts you can include with the reminder. This automated email sequence could be the difference between securing a sale and a potential customer going by the wayside.  

2. Enhanced Cross and Up-Selling Strategy

Your CRM should track your customer’s purchasing history. 

With this info to hand, you can create tailored product recommendations based on the recipient’s consumer behavior. You could either suggest items that complement their recent purchase or perhaps something likely to also spark their interest?

Perhaps a matching throw for those cushions they just bought? Or, bulbs for that lamp they purchased? 

Whatever it is, it’s worth noting; personalized shopping cart recommendations influence over 92% of consumer purchases.

3. Improved Cross-Channel Marketing

As we’ve already hinted at, you can use your CRM to reach your customers in the right place at the right time. Don’t forget that not everyone’s preferred communication method is email. 

Using your CRM, you can track your customers’ favorite comms channels. Then simply put that to good use by contacting customers via their favorite media. It almost goes without saying that this is one of the quickest pieces of low-hanging fruit you can take advantage of for improving customer satisfaction. 

How Can You Use a CRM to Personalize Your eCommerce Business?

As we’ve already alluded to, you can use a CRM to collect, store, and track your customer data in the form of ‘customer profiles.’

This includes (but by no means is limited to):

  • Their name and gender
  • Their email address
  • Their date of birth
  • Their location
  • Their preferred communication and marketing channels (social media, email, SMS messaging, etc.)
  • Their buying habits and favorite product categories
  • Their previous interactions with your company (support tickets, reviews, emails, etc.) 

With this info at your fingertips, you’re better positioned to send personalized recommendations to customers. To put this strategy into action, you’ll need a CRM that works in conjunction with email marketing or marketing automation tools. 

Many CRMs already include these features. However, if you’re using a simpler CRM, here are some tools you might be able to integrate with to benefit from these desired features.

Moosend: This is an all-in-one marketing platform that allows you to create personalized landing pages, newsletters, and email marketing campaigns. 

Outfunnel: This is another marketing automation tool that focuses on aligning your sales and marketing strategies. Outfunnel tracks your ‘sales-ready’ leads to help you better engage your audience. 

With such rich customer profiles at your disposal, you’re better equipped to send tailored content to your subscribers. For example, you could send them a happy birthday message, congratulate them on an anniversary, or send them recommendations based on their favorite product categories. 

…These are just a few examples, but you get the idea.

You can also chase up on previous interactions. For example, suppose you’ve just received a negative review. In that case, you can program your CRM to ping you a notification so that you can then take action. This encourages you to reach out promptly, work your customer service magic, and, hopefully, salvage that customer relationship.

Segmentation

Most CRMs also permit you to segment your list based on your subscribers’ online behavior, demographics, their stage in the sales funnel, and much more. And if you decide to use chatbots for data collection, you can set them up in a way that they automatically tag and segment your site visitors based on their site behavior.

With your email list neatly divided into specialized segments, it’s much easier to create and send customized content. Needless to say, the more detailed your segments, the more personalized your messaging can be. 

For example, let’s say you sell furniture and tools within the ‘home and garden’ industry. You could segment customers into laser-specific lists. For instance, those that frequently browse garden decorations and have purchased planters in the last five days. This empowers you to send tailored content that you know will be of interest to them, such as an email about seeds and plants that would go well with those planters.

This is just one example, but you can see just how powerful this could be for strengthening your customer relationships and increasing sales. 

Expanding on this subject further still, you might also have a segment for new customers to welcome them personally. This is a great chance to cement your relationship early on and refer them to other resources that could be of value to them.

So let’s recap. 

Here are a few customer segment titles you could use to kickstart your audience segmentation strategy:

  • First-time subscribers
  • First-time buyers
  • Returning and loyal customers
  • VIPs
  • Recently purchased from a specific category
  • Only buys when discounts are applied
  • Recently left a very positive or a negative review
  • Recently received a product in the mail

Analytics

Last but by no means least, your CRM should also come with data analytics and reporting features. You’ll soon learn which demographic forms the bulk of your customer base, and which products and services your audience engage with most. 

By keeping an eye on the data, you’ll soon see what customers most appreciate about your brand, and more importantly, the parts of your business they’re not so keen on. From there, you can focus your time and energy on enhancing your customer experience.

Social Media Marketing

As we’ve mentioned already, you can use your CRM to centralize all your customer interactions into one hub – including social media comments and messages. 

This makes it much easier to reply to comments and follow interactions across various comms channels. Use this CRM functionality to respond to comments personally and tailor your social media content to meet your customer’s needs.

Offer Smoother Customer Service with a Centralized Helpdesk

Your CRM doesn’t only centralize your social media interactions; it also does the same for your customer’s email and support tickets. Depending on your chosen software, you may even be able to monitor customer reviews across various platforms like Google, Yelp, Yell, etc. 

Needless to say, with a centralized help desk, you’ll provide a much smoother customer service experience. You’ll also make it much easier for you and your team to put fires out the moment they start.

In short, having full visibility over customer interactions from the convenience of one place allows you to respond quicker and more effectively.

Boost Customer Retention and Lifetime Value

Did you know it’s five times as expensive to acquire a new customer than it is to retain an existing one? 

The bottom line: Your customer retention rate is essential to your bottom line. 

After all, you’re much more likely to sell to a customer who’s previously had a positive interaction with you than you are to sell to someone who’s never encountered your brand.

Unsurprisingly, you can use CRM personalization to boost customer retention. Most notably, by checking in with customers once in a while to remind them of your brand. Perhaps you could ping them over a personalized product recommendation? Birthday wishes? Content updates that are of interest to them? Discounts?

…You get the gist.

The longer your customer remains loyal to your brand, the greater their lifetime value, i.e., how much you’ll make from a single customer over their lifetime. 

With each successfully personalized interaction, this value is bound to increase. 

So how can you boost retention?

  • Follow up with customers after they leave a review – whether it’s good or bad. Either thank them or offer a solution to whatever the problem is.
  • Provide parcel tracking and email customers after their delivery arrives. Make sure they’re happy with their purchase and that everything was up to standards.
  • Encourage customers to write reviews after they purchased a product.
  • Offer discounts to customers that haven’t engaged with your brand for a while

Integrate Your Loyalty Programs

Your CRM might even integrate with customer loyalty solutions like Loyalty Lion. 

Offering shoppers discounts as rewards are fantastic for encouraging customers to return to your eCommerce store. It also comes in useful for quantifying which customers your VIPs are—I.e., those that present the greatest customer lifetime value. 

Once you’ve identified the customers that have your back, you can use a loyalty program to reward them with discounts and unique benefits. Combine this with personalized thank you emails to further elevate the customer experience, and you’re onto a winner!

When Should You Start Using a CRM?

A CRM might not be the first or most important tool for your eCommerce business. For instance, if you’re just starting out, you might not (yet) have an email list that needs nurturing. If that sounds like you, the first step is building an email list. Then, when you have an audience that needs managing, it’s time to invest in a decent CRM

Examples of First-Rate eCommerce CRMs

There are loads of CRMs on the market, and it pays to compare and review each of them before investing your hard-earned cash.  

Some of these tools function solely as a CRM. In contrast, others include marketing automation and email marketing tools to help you reach your contacts more effectively.

Here are two examples of eCommerce CRMs that provide the functionality you need to boost your marketing personalization.

Really Simple Systems

Really Simple Systems is a CRM for small businesses. It aims to help you build long-lasting relationships by keeping track of your customer interactions and better managing your audience. 

The software includes everything you need to execute, manage, and monitor your marketing campaigns and activities. On top of that, it also provides tools to help you handle customer support tickets quicker and more efficiently.

All in all, Really Simple Systems is a cloud-operated platform that provides a centralized hub for you and your team to manage your customer relations.

Engage Bay

Engage Bay is an all-in-one marketing and sales CRM. Their toolset allows you to acquire, nurture, engage, and, eventually, convert customers. 

Trusted by over 15,000 merchants, Engage Bay offers plenty of marketing automation features. Most notably for creating lead capture forms, landing pages, and email sequences. 

You also get access to the following features:

  • Web analytics
  • Appointment scheduling
  • Sales automation, deal management, and ticket management tools
  • Deal management tools
  • A live chat function

Handy, right?

Ready to Start Using a CRM to Personalize your Marketing?

CRMs might just be the very definition of the phrase ‘knowledge is power.’ But in this case, knowledge is also profit. By tracking your customer interactions and data profiles from one centralized hub, you can easily reach out to them at the most crucial stages of the sales funnel. 

Nowadays, CRMs are often included in whole marketing suites that incorporate marketing automation and email marketing functionality. However, if you opt for something simpler, make sure your CRM tool works in conjunction with such features and integrates with your chosen eCommerce platform. 

The bottom line: Start using the insights your CRM provides to bring personalized value to your customers. 

What CRM are you using? How do you personalize your customer interactions right now? We’d love to hear about your experiences in the comments below. Speak soon!