An All-Encompassing Approach to Cloud-Based Retail CRM

Jun 24, 2022 | Blog

This article originally appeared in  CRM Buyer

Customer relationship management is the foundation of retailers meeting the demands of the ever-changing industry. Both customers and relators have been in a state of flux since 2020, and even prior to with rapid advancements in technology in eCommerce capabilities. Many consumers quickly took advantage of heightened convenience when it came to purchasing through online channels. Spending comes with more ease when the options become more convenient, that becomes a tower of packages at your doorstep.

With this increase in online shopping, many retailers responded by investing heavily in digital transformation all along their retail management ecosystem, deploying omnichannel solutions to remain competitive in what would become the new era of retail; a seamless blend between in-store and online sales channels. This required the advancement of a range of areas from mobile point-of-sale (POS), to order management systems, through to reporting analytics and secure CRM (Customer Relationship Management).

People today expect options and personalization. Whether it is a streaming service bumping curated shows to the top of your profile, the ability to have your doctor meet virtually from your couch when they are sick, or your favorite retailer allowing you to shop in the ways that work with your lifestyle. You may want to buy online and pick up in-store, others want to browse and purchase entirely from their mobile phones. Some customers still crave the complete in-store experience and the tactile and social elements of shopping.

Retailers need to cater towards any and all of these preferences. Understanding customer expectations and feedback is important to ensure customer satisfaction. In order to achieve this, retailers need an all-in-one solution that integrates completely and seamlessly with their cloud-based CRM and wider retail management system. POS systems that have in-built CRM solutions can be leveraged by retailers to streamline their operations.

Why CRM Matters

The global CRM software market is projected to grow to $49.6 billion in size by 2025, with a significant increase of almost $4 billion from 2020. By leveraging CRM, retailers can classify a customer in several ways including data led segmentation, customer behavior, purchase frequency, recency, and likelihood of purchase.

CRM plays an indispensable role in managing a retailer’s relationship with consumers. In a new environment where customer expectations continue to grow, it has never been more important for a retailer to be in tune with consumer demands, and more importantly, have the ability to deliver on them. Retailers must ensure that their CRM integrates seamlessly with their wider applications that complete an omnichannel offering, enabling an all-encompassing approach that remains flexible with changing consumer needs. This means, even if your brand has over 30 different websites, you can have the ability to handle orders and returns from any of them through sophisticated omnichannel solutions.

Creating a Holistic Approach

The general aim of a CRM tool is to establish and strengthen the relationships between customers and the retailer. In order to build a successful relationship, a business must know their customers, understand their habits, and respect their values. With all these points combined, retailers should have the necessary information required to understand consumer demands as well as business needs. Customers are more likely to return when they feel that the retailer “gets” them.

Shopping at your favorite store should feel like shopping with your best friend.

The right CRM allows retailers to create a single source of information around every individual customer, enabling consistent visibility of every shopper. A holistic customer view enables retailers to visualize customer purchasing habits across sales channels, allowing them to easily segment customers. The capability to access all customer data in one place gives retailers the ability to build meaningful relationships with shoppers and create customer loyalty.

The appropriate CRM also enables customers to use their earned loyalty benefits or stored value across any channel with customer data & assets centrally visible. In addition, the software should be user-friendly and allow businesses to integrate external applications and tools to maximize efficiency.

Meanwhile, with consumers becoming increasingly conscious about how their data is used, GDPR compliance is now a significant consideration to keep in mind as well.

Importance of a GDPR-compliant CRM

An appropriate CRM should not only fulfill business needs but also ensure the safety and security of both consumers and business. The retail sector has been named one of the top targets for phishing attacks, according to the FBI Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3). Retailers without the right technologies can put themselves and their consumers at risk. An advanced CRM system with state-of-the-art security elements should never be overlooked.

For any retailer, customers and their data are the most valuable assets – compromising on the security of these assets can lead to huge fines from regulators. On top of that, retailers can lose consumer trust and business reputation, all due to a lack of the appropriate security measures in place.

The modern CRM should allow retailers to store customer data securely in a separate repository, which is accessed and referenced only when needed by associates, without ever revealing or importing customer data into a local system. This minimizes the risk of a breach – both externally and internally, and makes data security simple, easy and compliant.

An All-Encompassing Solution

It is vital to have a strong POS system that is user-friendly and flexible when it comes to integration. In order to bolster the CRM, retailers should move towards all-in-one integrated retail solutions that cater to business needs in sync with each other. Retailers need a solution that is compatible with the wider retail management system – from POS through to CRM and order management, as well as reporting and analytics. This combination can support retailers’ productivity with increased synchronization, while providing seamless integration and user experience. In retail terms, one size seriously fits all.

Delivering a great user experience is the key to building positive customer relationships. However, in order to achieve this, retailers should be able to utilize the data from the CRM to seamlessly adjust operations across the wider management ecosystem. It also creates a more harmonious experience for associates who only must learn one system, versus two or three to complete their daily tasks. This eliminates a tremendous amount of user error.

Modern POS solutions configured in smartphones and tablets can provide information and access to the entire customer history through customer profiles in the mobile POS app. This can enable retailers to attract and retain customers by providing personalized experiences, which is what most of us are looking for in our tech-driven world. Based on marketing data statistics, 90% of people were drawn to personalized content.

Retailers need to understand that while cloud-based CRM is important, it must be used as part of a wider, all-encompassing retail stack. This can allow retailers to cover all bases in order to remain competitive and flexible to changing consumer demands. Those using an all-in-one solution can gather all information in one place. This can further strengthen their position in an increasingly saturated landscape and provide retailers with an advantage over their competitors.

Being a Savvy Consumer of Customer Data

Retailers can use data from their POS, CRM, and OMS to better understand their customers. Companies can create new designs based on what is selling with their top buyers and create deals targeted to when customers are buying. Imagine learning that 60% of all online orders are being shipped within an hour of Charlotte, North Carolina? It might lead to an exciting new endeavor for your business. Setting up a solid foundation allows ample room for growth. In today’s retail world, that starts with your omnichannel retail solution.

Teamwork Commerce is an omnichannel solution that provides retailers with POS, OMS, Inventory Control, CRM, and Analytics. As a leading partner of Apple, Teamwork is constantly evolving and ensures the use of cutting-edge technology. The world’s leading retailers use Teamwork Commerce to create customer-centric omnichannel and frictionless experiences, and offer exceptional customer service. For more information, visit: https://www.teamworkcommerce.com

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