Rapidly developing technologies have empowered the customers: they are more informed, more connected and no longer loyal. Their expectations have changed. They very much rely on social media and mobile technologies when they want to make a purchase.
To be successful, retail companies need to have real-time communication with their clients that will deepen customers’ devotion and create new business opportunities. Retail CRM is the progressive IT-solution, which enables retailers and reps to manage their business processes and better engage with clients.
An advanced retail solution software is meant to help salespeople meet evolving demands of consumers. The platform is flexible and fast enough to provide the reps with an instant and seamless access to the client information, which is used by managers to offer customers personalized service. If a client is treated like the only one, they turn into loyal buyers.
Why does your company desperately need retail CRM software?
Since retailers pursue long-term relationships with clients, let us compare customer loyalty with a happy marriage. Retailers want all the leads to fall in love with their products or services from the first sight. The powerful retail CRM system acts like a luxurious engagement ring, enabling your reps to move a potential client down the customer lifecycle.
Retail companies varies from small enterprises and startups to huge chain stores with many departments. To incorporate all the retail activities, improve the supply chain service, merchant system and inventory management, companies need software that will bring all the workflows under one roof while drastically reducing operational costs.
CRM implementation in the retail industry gives retailers a serious competitive advantage because this supporting platform entails strategies for business development:
- Multi-channel communications with clients;
- Customer experience management;
- Social networks and mobile engagement;
- Retail marketing automation;
- Targeted loyalty programs;
- Segment marketing.
Activities improved with retail CRM
Retail CRM provides integrated options for all the aspects of business operations, encompassing all the communication channels. This software presents an advanced IT-environment, which handles activities of the retail industry. Let us take a closer look at how functionality of the CRM system can arrange retail activities.
The smart CRM for retail is meant to:
- Improve your company’s image,
- Enhance customers’ loyalty,
- Increase up- and cross sales,
- Perform spend management;
- Personalize promotional campaigns and align them with target audience,
- Incorporate communication channels,
- Plan, nurture and automate campaigns,
- Evaluate success of promotions and rectify marketing activities on the base of results of commercial multichannel campaigns.
By integrating retail CRM into the cash register software your reps have an access to the customers’ profiles and entire history of interaction directly in your store. The platform synchronizes client communications from all the channels (phone, web, email) and stores it in a centralized database to improve customer service. By having this information at hand managers can predict the needs of every visitor and make the most relevant offer.
The customer support service team can benefit from retail CRM as they always have an access to customer information and are able to deliver an immediate response to any query. The resolution time gets dramatically accelerated due to better visibility into cases and automated assignment. Hence, your customers receive a personalized and highly interactive service what boosts their satisfaction and loyalty.
Retail CRM streamlines financial planning by providing insights into cash flows, costs and risks. The solution includes tools for budgeting, planning, and sales forecasting. The platform manages accounts payables and accounts receivables, controls fixed assets, performs cost accounting, executes financial controls, handles cash and back service, and delivers operational reporting and analysis.
Supply chain management
For a better control, retailers need a comprehensive view of products and business. The CRM retail software has tools that handle buying, replenishment, orders, warehouse and transportation logistics. With such an intelligent system, the reps get connected and consistent collaboration without information gaps connecting members and partners, departments, points of sales (POS) and districts. The unified IT-environment enables the managers to perform after-sale service and support.
Analysis and planning
Retail CRM solutions have tools, which:
- Perform analysis of the market situation and your competitors in the marketplace;
- Estimate profitability of opportunities and loyal customers;
- Monitor success of products and services;
- Develop sales and marketing strategies;
- Analyze customers’ profiles with the view of defining their demands and buying patterns;
- Forecast sales and revenue with a breakdown into products, services, territories, departments, clients, individual reps and whole departments;
- Generate all sorts of reports for reps and executives, such as assessment of response rates, sales pipeline, revenue or return on investments;
- Gather information from various social media networks to know the people’s opinion about your retail company, focus sales efforts, identify and get benefit from trends.
Retail CRM entails features for online sales and services fully integrating the website of a retailer. E-services are aimed to improve online shopping experience of clients by capturing information about them. The CRM solution provides the tools for search support, e-response to clients’ inquiries (tickets), multichannel online help and customer service including a live chat and follow-ups, price configurations, and orders, payments and transaction record management.
CRM for retail delivers a full toolset for high-end field services:
- Preventative maintenance management;
- Inventory control;
- Dispatch and scheduling management;
- Contract management;
- Job costing;
- Work order management;
- Shipping and receiving control;
- Quotes and orders performance;
- Worker time management;
- Service history tracking;
- Warranties management.
A good retail CRM must coordinate and improve communication between retailers and their channel partners. The solution empowers retailers to customize and improve administrative tasks. The software makes valuable information (shipping schedule, for example) available to all the suppliers and partners, organizes non-stop collaboration, develops documents and certification programs, distributes leads among partners, tracks financial results for every channel partner, provides insights into revenue coming through the partner channels and manages co-marketing campaigns.
Effects of Retail CRM
Integration of CRM helps companies improve customers’ satisfaction, reduce operational costs and increase market share. The retail CRM solution manages relationships between individual clients, points-of-sales and channel partners what is advantageous for all the parties.
The holistic functionality of CRM for retail enables the vendors to:
- Perform email marketing,
- Maintain and upgrade the client database,
- Analyze spending habits and predict customers’ behavior,
- Define and automate business processes from an offer to order,
- Organize communication between all the participants involved into the sales process.
Obviously, CRM for retailers is used to boost operational efficiency, stay in touch with the most valuable clients and sell them more. The system recognizes the changes in clients’ demands and expectations and creates loyalty programs based on customers’ preferences. Also the platform tracks your partners and competitors what enables your company outperform your market rivals.