A Key Part of Shopping Cart Software
Before digging into the subject of customer relationship management (CRM) it might be a good idea to look at some of the highlights of enterprise shopping cart software. The ultimate goal of any online operation, retail or wholesale, is to give the potential customer an experience that is so inviting and lacking in stress, a conversion takes place. The potential customer becomes a buyer and hopefully, a loyal customer.
The benefits and features you look for as you consider shopping-cart software will depend, to some extent, on the specific type of operation you'll be presenting and your personal way of doing business. But, there must be a few basic elements available in your b2b shopping cart software, such as an easy-to-use online storefront, with an attractive appearance because people make important decisions based on first impressions and also decide emotionally before rationalizing their decision based on reason.
In addition to the fundamental shopping process, which must be smooth and stress-free, you should also have what many in the field call "back end" capabilities. Two of the most important in this area are customer-resource management (CRM) and enterprise resource planning (ERP). You will also need an efficient warehousing solution, with inventory control, BIN management and more, accompanied by serious automation so you spend minimal time actually running your e-commerce venture. If you're an online seller, either retail or wholesale, and you're not satisfied with the restrictions placed on your business by your current online shopping cart software, you may want to take a closer look at Shopping Cart Elite.
When you read about this best shopping cart software or listen to presentations of online shopping cart software providers, you'll hear the word "automation" used again and again. Why? Because you should be able to offer, sell, and ship your products automatically, without having to pay extra money to get this automation, the marketing tools you need, or the search engine optimization (SEO) capabilities to help your business grow.
You need one provider who has the ecommerce software to do it all. It can be very frustrating to try conducting business online if you must change e-commerce platforms several times just because the software you have doesn't do the job. The goal is to put successful SEO and pay-per-click (PPC) processes in play, along with a solid, social-media-marketing campaign. You can make this happen without having to use plans and programs from several sources.
With these fundamentals in mind, you might want to consider how strong the CRM element is with your software plan. Customer resource management is an extremely effective tool for business success. The goal is to efficiently manage relationships you have with customers, the people who provide revenue to keep your business alive and well. With an effective CRM system as part of your shopping-cart software, you can more efficiently handle challenges which arise daily. Rather than using an "educated guess" method, you can determine why sales are declining, why clients move on to other suppliers, and why the company is not hitting revenue goals.
The best CRM elements focus on two words: client and management. The most important factor is being able to view client activity accurately, so you can achieve profitability over the long term. This involves more than seeing the numbers. You have to ask what the numbers mean, and use the answers you get, the answers accurate data will give you. To get a good start in understanding how this type of analysis can help, visit Shopping Cart Elite and read about the special attention given to TEA ecommerce software.
The goal was to provide software that will measure every "visitor engagement" on the site, along with identifying what action each visitor took on the website. For example, "In one case our findings showed us that Google Adwords was sending up to 80% of garbage traffic to our client websites, and the remaining real traffic was measured for visitor engagement." A good Google shopping cart element such as this can identify the impact of marketing efforts, so you know which ads are performing on which channels.
In addition, the CRM element in Shopping Cart Elite can be used to manage billing, quotes, orders, phone communications, phone-order tracking, email communication, notes, store credits, attachments, customer rewards, discounts for B2B, contacts, subscriptions and many other essential data details. The best shopping cart software considers every customer interaction a "touchpoint." Each one is recorded and available in detail so you can analyze and use the information. You'll be able to see which pages the customer went to, which videos were viewed, which emails were opened, and so on.
More About CRM
With the right software, your customer touch points can be analyzed to help you put each customer into a lead-type category (hot, cold, warm). This is done automatically as part of your comprehensive shopping-cart software plan. You can determine lead types within a range of dates and act upon just those. If you want to send warm leads a specific message or autoresponder, you can do this with one click. Of course, if someone is browsing but is not truly interested in buying, you can handle these as inquiries and use this important interaction to help them become a prospect (and have a better chance of converting them).
With the correct software tools and automation, you can immediately, and easily, treat an inquiry as a become prospect. These potential customers will engage in a number of ways, including viewing videos, reading reviews, attending webinars, participating in demos etc. With accurate and timely information, you'll be able to manage your prospects and guide them to becoming a lead, one of the most critical steps in your marketing efforts.
Your prospects transition to lead status when they make real contact to purchase. But you should also consider a prospect as having made this transition when they engage with your operation multiple times. If you have an individual who has used live chat or email, or has made contact by phone, you have the physical contact you must manage effectively. Shopping Cart Elite software does this and much more without being labor intensive.
Know Your Customers
Summarize the factors that make customer data usage essential with these three words. Of course, it will help to focus on the details. You have a lot of valuable information in your account files, most of it capture and ready to use because you've chosen outstanding shopping-cart software. When you use the data correctly you'll do more than survive. You'll lead the way because you know your customers well.
When you review CRM results and analyse the numbers carefully, you may see that profitability is at the top of the priority list. You can focus on shipping costs, the expense of returns, how discounts impact your sales numbers etc. The vast majority of customers purchase from one category. If this is a change that has taken place over a period of time, you may need to make sure your salespeople and your marketing plan have a solid foundation in this area. This will prove valuable on a weekly and monthly basis, most certainly.
Your customers have a have a lot of choices. You don't have a captive audience. You must know your customers as individuals. You must know how those customers fit into certain categories, how they like to buy. You need to know what they don't like and tailor your efforts accordingly. Customer data will quickly reveal winners and losers in your business. Every business will have what has traditionally been called a loss leader. You just need to understand what they are.
Speaking of knowing your customers, it's essential to review your customer data thoroughly, so you understand which buyers choose which brand names, how they came to select this specific place in your overall operation, which channels they followed to get there, and which customers seem to have purchased without paying much attention to a brand name. The best enterprise b2b shopping cart software can provide all this information for you, and handle most of it automatically.
With the proper analysis, you should be able to use your data to identify trends, which means knowing which paths they take to get to a certain location. If a majority of your customers started buying in another category, for example, what was it that made them change? What did they do differently? Did you make a change in your advertising or marketing efforts that had a long term effect on your regular visitors? All of these questions can be answered with remarkable certainty.
It's more than important to use accurate customer data. This is essential. You should never rely on educated guesses to make inventory decisions, advertising decisions, marketing plans, and so on. Make use of the customer data being gathered and stored for you. You might determine, for example, why sales in some areas are declining, while activity in another area, such as inquiries, is increasing.
Technology allows many people to take the steps that turn a business idea into reality. The market has become a world phenomenon, so you have the opportunity to buy and sell on a truly global scale. Perform your best with the correct ecommerce software. You'll be glad you made that choice.