Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software has been a game-changer for many businesses looking to grow their business, provide excellent customer service and expertly manage their customer relationships.
There are many CRM software tools available on the market today. While they all have different features that make them unique, and specific types are tailored to specific business needs, what all CRMs have in common is that they are designed to manage contacts, organise outbound marketing, optimise customer retention and drive sales.
Every business participating in eCommerce understands the importance of maintaining positive, well-organised customer relationships. Especially when a business begins to grow in size meaningfully, it becomes nearly impossible to do so without the help of a CRM system to keep track of everything in one place.
To help your business make the right decisions when it comes to which CRM to onboard, we’ve rounded up the top 7 CRM software and provided feature comparisons so that you can make the choice that is right for your business.
The CRM systems listed below are used by some of the world’s most successful eCommerce businesses to keep track of the interactions they have with their customers. Let’s go through them to see which one might be right for helping your business reach the top of its eCommerce game.
eCommerce CRM: What Is It and What Does It Do?
CRM software was designed to help your company store, manage and use customer data to improve business performance. eCommerce CRM software does this, but with a specific focus on eCommerce businesses.
eCommerce CRM software can provide insight into purchasing habits, customer behaviour and customer interaction with your company’s social channels. By entering customer data into a CRM, you can track when a customer last purchased from your company, the last email or Tweet they sent to your business, and which email campaigns they have been included in.
By leveraging this information all in one centralised place, a CRM gives your business the ability to better target customers and improve its sales.
Why Does Your Business Need an eCommerce CRM?
Each business has unique needs, and an eCommerce CRM can help you meet those needs in the most effective, intelligent and tech-driven ways. The benefits of using a CRM for your eCommerce business are numerous.
For starters, the simple action of tracking your customers in a CRM means you’ll be better able to target them for upselling or cross-selling opportunities. By understanding each customer, you can segment audiences and create more targeted marketing campaigns.
This is just the start of the benefits that CRMs have to offer. One of their key offerings is that they can automate processes such as sending emails, invoicing, reporting and financial forecasting. The ability to automate all of these tasks makes your business more efficient and saves your employees’ valuable time when they don’t have to complete these tasks manually.
Automating Marketing with CRM Systems
CRMs are designed to be able to create smart workflows that are triggered by certain events. For example, a customer hasn’t purchased from your company in over six months? You can set this to trigger outreach to those customers via an email marketing campaign that offers a 10% discount on new purchases.
Indeed, the above is an example of marketing automation, a key function of CRM systems and the main function of CRM systems for many businesses. Marketing automation is especially important for eCommerce businesses, which are centred around product sales cycles.
By automating the marketing process, CRMs can help run cart abandonment campaigns, automatically follow up with customers following a purchase, update customer purchase history directly into the database, and provide detailed reporting breakdowns on shopping habits.
In automating all of these tasks, you can put your marketing budget to work in the areas where it is needed most, ensuring that your company maximises repeat business and builds strong relationships with its customers.
7 Best eCommerce CRM Software Tools
As you can see, there are many benefits to implementing eCommerce CRM software into your business. Here are the top tools used by the pros, along with their top features. Each has different advantages, so this is a good place to start if you want to make comparisons.
1. Salesforce Pardot
Salesforce is the granddaddy of CRM software. One of the first-to-market and most popular out there, Salesforce lives up to the hype with its continuing popularity within the market. It offers many different types of CRM software aimed at different sectors.
For eCommerce businesses, the most popular choice is Salesforce Pardot, a powerful online CRM system and marketing automation solution aimed at B2B businesses.
Salesforce Pardot enables marketing automation to support B2B businesses of all sizes. If you already use other Salesforce products within your business, Pardot will be a breeze to incorporate. Pardot also integrates with Google Clouds, Intuit Quickbooks, Mailchimp, Slack, LinkedIn, DocuSign, Dropbox and many more.
Offering rich, sophisticated features, Pardot is a bit on the pricey side, starting at $1,250/month (£918/month) for up to 10,000 contacts. It is known for being easy to learn and use, and offers a free demo.
Another proven marketing automation software, Marketo is part of the Adobe family of software and has been supporting businesses with their marketing automation needs for over a decade. It supports lead management, provides email marketing tools, revenue attribution, and account-based marketing.
Marketo is extremely feature-rich, offering detailed reports and dashboards, smart automation, and can activate campaigns based on the trigger activities of your leads.
Microsoft integrates with Dynamics CRM, Netsuite, Oracle, SAP Cloud for Sales, and SugarCRM. It also offers custom configurations. Like Salesforce, it’s also not without its (well warranted) price tag. Marketo CRM software starts at $895/month (£658/month) for up to 10,000 contacts. It also offers a free demo.
3. Hubspot CRM
Hubspot is a CRM designed for larger eCommerce teams that are looking to increase their business growth further.
Hubspot has a powerful dashboard that offers many useful features, including territory management, quotes, and proposals, document storage, task management, segmentation, mobile access, lead scoring, and a calendar system. It also offers multiple integrations with other marketing automation tools.
In addition, HubSpot also offers project management capabilities, scheduling and can provide quotes and proposals, as well as offering forecasting and client tracking. Hubspot also provides lead management and financial CRM.
When it comes to integrations, Hubspot integrates seamlessly with a number of popular apps in its ecosystem, including Google Calendar, Slack, Outfunnel, Mailchimp and many more. Hubspot allows you to automate your marketing activities, including social media management and email marketing. It also tracks lead generation and can support video conferencing.
Hubspot offers a free trial for prospective users.
4. Zoho CRM
Zoho is a popular eCommerce CRM that is designed to suit businesses of all sizes. It offers all the standard features of the bigger-name eCommerce CRMs, along with customer experience and financial forecasting tools.
Zoho is highly customisable, meaning that you can make it bespoke to work for your particular business needs, regardless of how big or small your business is.
Zoho integrates with its other products, including Zoho Books (bookkeeping/accounting software) and Zoho Desk, its omnichannel customer service solution.
In terms of pricing, it offers a freemium version of its product and a free trial of the more advanced CRM software. Zoho CRM starts at $12/year/user (£9/year/user), with different packages offered at different feature levels.
Ontraport is an eCommerce CRM software that allows you to create and launch automated marketing campaigns using email, landing pages, SMS, and pop-up forms.
Its main focus is to help you put your marketing budget behind leads. It enables growth opportunities by targeting customers through landing pages, forms, memberships sites, and more. It was designed with business owners and entrepreneurs in mind to help them optimise their leads and close more new business.
Ontraport integrates with many leading business software, including Quickbooks, Google Calendar, XERO, Acuity Scheduling, Calendly, PopupAlly, ConvertPlus, Freshdesk, Zendesk, Shopify, WooCommerce, Facebook, Zoom, and many more.
It starts at $79/month (£58/month) for 1000 users and offers a free 14-day trial.
6. Active Campaign
Active Campaign is an eCommerce CRM software that offers solutions for email marketing and marketing automation, which are specifically designed to help drive brand awareness, track leads and increase conversions.
It provides intent analysis, email segmentation capabilities and supports dynamic content. It also helps organise your contacts and score leads and attribution tracking. It also supports customer conversations through email, SMS, and live chat.
Active Campaign offers integrations with Shopify, Salesforce, Typeform, Facebook, WordPress, Google Analytics, Unbounce, ClickFunnels, Pipedrive, WooCommerce, WPForms, 123FormBuilder, ActiveWoo, Basecamp, Dropbox, Facebook, and many more.
Its pricing starts at just $9/month (£7/month) for up to 500 contacts and offers a free demo.
Ideal for digital marketers, SharpSpring is a sales and marketing platform that offers campaign tracking, email marketing and a content builder.
The user interface (UI) of its CRM is clean and simple, making it easy to use with a powerful search function and useful data visualisation capabilities. In addition, it offers dynamic landing pages, social media tools, form builders, as well as reports and analytics.
SharpSpring integrates with Veeqo, Plecto, Easy Projects, Tilkee, AdRoll, Hello Bar, Paperform, Bookeo, TradeGecko, PomoDone App, CloudCart, StoryChief, Ravetree, Bookmark, FullContact, SimpleTexting, Omniconvert, Accredible, Databox, WebMerge, Pipefy, WebinarNinja, and more.
Its pricing starts at $550/month (£400) for up to 1500 contacts, and a free demo is available.
eCommerce CRM Software Comparison Criteria
When comparing eCommerce CRM software to find the right one for your business, there are many features that you’ll want to consider. However, as a guideline, there are some main evaluation points that we recommend looking at:
- User Interface (UI). At its very basic, you want to ensure that the CRM system you onboard is user-friendly. You want it to be something that your entire team will find easy to use since a cumbersome interface may be a serious barrier to utility.
- Customer Support. Onboarding can take time, especially as you get team members up to speed on using a new software system. You want to ask questions to find out how much support each CRM company provides. Will there be a rep on standby to help your team with their implementation and day-to-day usage questions? Technical support, user tutorials and training are all important parts of the package.
- Cross-Channel Tracking. Today’s customer journey takes place across numerous touchpoints. A customer might first view your website on their laptop but ultimately purchase by clicking through a marketing email on their smartphone. Therefore, it’s important to track this journey to understand your customers and their journey better. A CRM that offers cross-channel tracking will be able to do just that.
- User Intent. One of the main reasons we use CRM software is to get to know our customers better. Analyzing information and providing guidance around user intent is important to marketers looking to understand their customers better. This may be a top feature for your particular business.
- Data & Reporting. A CRM is only as good as the data it provides. At the very least, each CRM tool should provide embedded analytics and ad hoc reporting meaning you can pull custom reports when necessary. Also, look to see whether it provides data visualisation. Charts and graphs are a handy way of displaying data that can provide important insights upon which board members and top leaders make key decisions.
- Integrations. These days, many software tools integrate with other top software. This means you can connect a CRM with content marketing software, product lifecycle management software and more. Which other software does the CRM integrate with? Knowing this will help give you an idea of how you can maximise your digital toolkit for optimal results.
Now that you know what is out there and what to look for in terms of features, you can be better informed about making the important purchase decision of choosing the right eCommerce CRM software.
Weighing up your options and even taking a free, no-strings trial can be a good place to start. After all, since its features are so valuable to upgrading how you run your business, a CRM is often one of the most important business tools that a company will implement.
No matter which CRM you decide is best for your business, eDesk will help you deliver consistently exceptional customer support, by providing a dashboard view of your inbound customer conversations. Find out more by booking a demo, or try for free for 14 days.