Posted by Indusa Admin on November 18, 2016 8:24 am
Half of all retailers plan to spend more on CRM software in 2017.
Retailers are increasingly adopting CRM strategies, and acquiring the platforms and tools to support long-lived customer relationships. Few retailers depend on a single channel business model, and channel proliferation is driving the need for technology to become the connective tissue between the various commercial interaction points and the various customer segments.
CRM is no longer on the retail wish list; it is a must-have enabler of digital transformation. Whether you’re setting up a distribution network, have a kiosk in a shopping mall, or operate a brick-and-mortar shop, CRM software is essential to your retail business. Through its marketing, sales, and big data capabilities, CRM software helps develop highly-personalized relationships with customers that can increase loyalty and retention, ultimately impacting your bottom line.
Think about it – store visitors are looking for a tactile, assisted service experience; but when your in-store resources cannot convert the customer at the point-of-sale, the sale can become long-lived. Retailers can learn a lot about lead and opportunity management, including saving the sale, win-backs, voice of customer, and cross-channel/ cross-selling. Customers want the digital and call channels to be fully in touch with the store. The old adage is still true: It’s cheaper to keep a customer than to gain a customer, so consider if you’re doing everything in your power to keep your existing customers happy.
If you’re still on the fence, Indusa recently spoke to 10 experts about why it’s so important for a retail business to have CRM software.
Here’s what they had to say:
“I’ve used a CRM to get my line into 140 retail locations thus far, in one-and-a-half years. I honestly don’t know what I’d do without it — my business relies on it.”
- Joanna Kinsman, founder and designer of Kini Bands
“CRM allows a company to keep track of their customers’ likes, dislikes, preferences, buying patterns and more. All of this information allows the retailer to personalize and customize the individual customer’s experience. You want a customer to think, “They know me, they know what I want and they present it to me the way I like it.” Take advantage of compiling the information and data on the customer, and use it to create a better customer experience.”
- Shep Hyken, Customer Service and Experience Expert, New York Times and Wall Street Journal Bestselling Author
“The best advice is to concentrate on the 80/20 rule: 80% of volume is coming from 20% of the best tier customers. Additionally, unlike major Big Box retailers, SMB’s have the flexibility and opportunity to have their proverbial “ear to the ground” when it comes to addressing the direct needs of their local customers. By using a hyper-local focused marketing tactic, SMBs can quickly and effectively attract new customers, and tailor their experience accordingly. Similarly, while it may be difficult for SMBs to offer the same level of deals that their Big Box retailers can, the level of service and attention that SMBs can pay to their customers is exponentially better than anything a Big Box can do. Service should be the biggest priority when it comes to SMBs getting the most out of their CRM.
- Brian Phillipy, Marketing Expert, Retail Guru, and President of Afligo Marketing Solutions
What is the lifetime value of a customer? What is the lifetime harm for failing to take care of a customer? The only way to maximize the first and minimize the later is with a CRM system.” – Mark Hunter, CSP “The Sales Hunter”“What is the lifetime value of a customer? What is the lifetime harm for failing to take care of a customer? The only way to maximize the first and minimize the latter is with a CRM system.”
- Mark Hunter, CSP, founder of “The Sales Hunter”
“At the most basic level, if you don’t know who your customers are, it’s kind of hard to sell to them or market to them or call them or build a relationship with them. At a more advanced level, when you gather data in your CRM, you can improve targeting with promotions that appeal to each segment, and then measure the performance of those campaigns – and ultimately improve them. When CRM is integrated with your website, you know if a customer has visited, what they looked at and where they spend the most time – so you can design campaigns that appeal to them as an individual. If you are not using CRM, you are missing out.”
“Having a CRM system is more than vital for retailers. They must create and maintain an ongoing relationship with their customers to create incremental visits and sales. They aren’t a retailer’s customer unless they know who they are, and how they can reached.”
- Doug Fleener, retail expert, speaker, consultant
“These days, the biggest point of differentiation that small and medium-sized retailers enjoy is a personal connection with their customers. However, businesses that don’t invest in tools that allow them to scale those connections in a consistent and relevant way squander the opportunity. Far too many businesses think that social media outreach and associate training will do the trick but both tend to manage relationships in a generalized, incidental or reactionary way. CRM tools kick in proactivity and personalization and once again, scale is the key word.
- Carol Spieckerman, President and CEO, Spieckerman Retail
“The internet has had the effect of completely recalibrating consumer expectations of retailers both on and offline. As consumers, the web has trained us to expect a new and unprecedented level of personalization, customization and relevance in our dealings with retailers. We expect offers and communications to be congruent with our unique needs and preferences. If retailers are to remain competitive, they will have little choice but to deliver on these expectations. So, a system of universal customer relationship management across channels has become table-stakes. If you don’t know who your customers are, how can you possibly meet these new and heightened expectations?”
- Doug Stephens, founder of Retail Prophet, nationally syndicated columnist, author of The Retail Revival
“Since starting to use a CRM, we’ve noticed our retention improve massively. We have access to much more data about our customers, so we can provide a far more personalized service. We’ve even managed to implement a reward system because we can track previous purchases so easily. Making use of our existing customers has actually helped us to reduce overall costs, as we’re less concerned about winning new business and have therefore slashed our marketing investment.
- Max Robinson, owner, Allfloors Glasgow, a small flooring shop based the UK.
“More so than anything else, customers are vital for retailers to succeed. Keeping this in mind, CRM is critical in supporting merchants through the entire lifecycle of customer relationships. From managing existing customers to helping to identify potential customers to improving consumer relationships and more, CRM offers essential support for today’s modern merchants to stay both competitive and relevant in what is undoubtedly a crowded marketplace.
- Nicole Leinbach, founder of Retail Minded, author of Retail 101: The Guide To Managing and Marketing Your Retail Business
Worldwide sales for the retail industry are projected to grow to $27 trillion in 2020. As spending increases, don’t get left behind because you didn’t invest in a CRM. As our experts noted, CRM software provides the tools needed to form a highly-personalized relationship with customers, resulting in brand loyalty and repeat business. A purchase may ensure you get a customer, but utilizing the power of a CRM ensures you keep that customer.
Need help choosing the right CRM software? STILL on the fence the benefits it has for retail? Want to know how a CRM uniquely empowers your customer service?
Download our eBook, The Last CRM Guide Retailers Will Ever Need.