Why Your Online Store Needs an Ecommerce CRM Platform Pronto

If you’re an ecommerce business owner, we’re willing to bet you’re pretty familiar with the word “ecommerce” (after all, it is in your business title). And since you’re familiar with the business world, we’re also willing to wager that you’re semi-acquainted with the acronym “CRM” (customer relationship management).

But what happens when you merge the word “ecommerce” with the acronym “CRM?” The short answer: Drip. The long answer: an amazing/mind-blowing/personalized sales and marketing automation platform that lets your business build real relationships with its customers.

In this blog, we’ll cover everything you need to know about why your online store needs an ecommerce CRM platform—and what it's missing out on if it sticks with ye olde ESP.

We’ll highlight the major differences between an ecommerce CRM platform versus traditional CRM, we’ll touch on the benefits of ecommerce CRM solutions, and then we’ll finish up with tips on how to choose the best ecommerce CRM for your business.

Ecommerce CRM Versus Traditional CRM

If you've been using a traditional customer relationship management platform like Salesforce or Zoho, you might wondering what the big diff with an ECRM is. Let's break it down now.

What are the Differences Between Ecommerce CRM and Traditional CRM?

CRM stands for customer relationship management. CRM software systems manage and store customer information (such as contact information, accounts, and leads) in one main location.

They help companies organize and maintain their relationships with clients and are essential for business development departments as well as marketing and sales teams. CRM systems can also give business staff members detailed information about a customer’s purchase history and buying preferences.

Ecommerce CRM—often seen in the wild as ECRM—stands for ecommerce customer relationship manager. An ecommerce CRM, like Drip, is designed specifically for the buying and selling of anything online.

Drip is built to hold millions of records and is designed to let an ecommerce business see exactly what its customers are up to both day and night, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. From what products the customers are interested in purchasing to what emails they’re clicking through, Drip connects heaps of data to intelligent automations across marketing channels so that businesses can connect with customers on a more personal level.  

While both a traditional CRM and ecommerce CRM are all about helping businesses store and manage customer information and data, there are a few notable differences between the two.

A traditional CRM is:

  • Designed for salespeople. The goal of the traditional CRM is to bring a salesperson closer to a prospect—even if the only way to that prospect’s heart is through a cold, salesy pitch. (Think echoey Tin Person without a heart.)

  • Cumbersome. A traditional CRM is great at telling sales teams about customers and prospects, but the systems themselves are bulky, complex, and usually take a Precambrian era amount of time to learn.

    [Fun fact: The Precambrian represents more than 80% of Earth’s total geologic record. If you can dedicate this amount of time to learning a traditional CRM system, please let us know your coordinates to the Fountain of Youth.]

  • Rooted in the traditional. Focused mainly on the traditional methods of communication—phone calls and emails—traditional CRM software usually includes a profile of each customer and their outreach history. Essentially, it’s the standard, basic, archaic way of relating with a customer.

Whereas an ecommerce CRM is:

  • Designed to bring the brand closer to the customer. With constant personalized experiences, ecommerce CRMs aren’t pushy, cold, or aggressive. Rather, they’re experience-enhanced and focused completely on personal marketing communication.

  • Easy to use. From store owners to team members, an ecommerce CRM like Drip is built for any ecommerce marketer. With an intuitive user interface, easy navigation, helpful resources, and round-the-clock 24/7 customer support, Drip is built for humans by humans. You don't need an entire team to manage an ECRM. Instead, it can be totally managed by just one person.

  • Rooted in present-day technology. From tailored Facebook ads to text messages, emails, direct mail, and personalized landing pages, ecommerce CRMs utilize automated, multi-channel marketing techniques and are great at understanding and connecting with customers no matter where they are in their customer journey. With attentions being pulled in every direction today, the more places you can put your brand, the better.

Traditional CRM or Ecommerce CRM? That Is the Question

If you’re hemming, hawing, and trying to decide whether to go with a traditional CRM or an ecommerce CRM for your business, the answer can be found by asking yourself one basic question: How personal do you want your business to be with its customers?

Sure, a traditional CRM is great for organizing customers and prospects since it collects, stores, and catalogues tons of data points. But at the end of the day, a traditional CRM’s main purpose in life is to make a sale, then move on to the next prospect. Sale. Prospect. Sale. Prospect. Sale. Prospect. Essentially, a traditional CRM is an outdated record player stuck on the beat of a cold, salesy repeat.

But if your business is looking to connect with customers in a more personalized way, an ecommerce CRM like Drip might be right up your alley. Our platform focuses on the human side of ecommerce so that an online business like yours can better understand its customers and create more meaningful connections. From personalized email campaigns that deliver spot-on messages to deep segmentation capabilities and automated workflows that guide customers down unique journeys, Drip can help your ecommerce business see its customers in the full color spectrum.

The rhythm of an ECRM looks more like welcome, nurture, sale, thank you, nurture...across any marketing channel your brand is using. Instead of paying attention to making the sale, ECRM pays attention to the customer experience (which, ya know, does the selling for you).

Benefits of Ecommerce CRM solutions

Still unsure of the opportunities that lie ahead with ECRM? Check out some of our favorite strategies that enhance experiences, show customer love, and put brands ahead of their online competition.

Successful Ecommerce CRM Strategies

The online world is jam-packed with stores, and shoppers are faced with options layered with more options. So how do you set your online shop apart from the other zillion online businesses?

How do you attract new customers and retain existing customers while the ecommerce industry continues to grow every year? And what is the secret to selling more from your ecommerce storefront? The answer to these questions all boil down to one central solution: create better connections.

An ecommerce CRM helps businesses create winning impressions and lasting connections. Check out a few of our successful strategies:

  • Drip’s segmentation capabilities run deep so that you can keep tabs on all of your customers. Label each customer’s experiences and actions with various tags and custom events—locations, dates, how many times a person views a page or makes a purchase—and filter people by one or many things to better understand and taregt a niche part of your audience.

    Deep segmentation lays the foundation for targeted and relevant marketing campaigns so that your business can reach its customers on a more personal and relevant level. 

  • Personalized email campaigns let you send topic-specific email series to your subscribers. Whether you’re looking to send out sales and marketing emails, informative and educational emails, or even post-consumer acquisition onboarding emails, campaigns can hold as many emails as you’d like and are a cinch to build and launch. And to keep things extra easy, we’ve even created campaign blueprints that are ready to go when you are.

  • Lead scoring is another great strategy that ensures your business is sending highly targeted messages to customers. Lead scoring keeps track of customers by assigning (or deducting) points based on the different actions customers take.

    For example, if a customer purchases an item, they earn some points; but if they cancel an order, some points get taken away. Lead scoring gives an ecommerce business an in-depth look at how its customers are engaging with the brand so that its best customers can be rewarded (or their not-so-loyal customers can be enticed back into the fray).  

How Does an Ecommerce CRM Build Customer Loyalty?

Loyalty can’t be bought—it has to be earned. At Drip, we believe in the power of personalization. Our platform is designed to help online businesses—like yours—focus on the human side of ecommerce. Our highly personalized, intelligent automations have the power to deepen customer connections and pave the way for happier buyers and a better bottom line for your business.

Drip connects loads of customer data to smart automations across media channels so that your business can talk to its customers at the exact right time with the exact right message.

The Benefits of an Online-specific Approach to CRM

If an online-specific approach to CRM sounds daunting, think again. Drip was built by humans, for humans, so we’re all about making sure our platform is user-friendly and down-to-earth. After all, technology is supposed to make your life easier, right?

Here are a few top benefits of an online approach to CRM:

  • Ease of use. When it comes to implementing must-have ecommerce strategies like abandoned cart emails or personalized email campaigns, Drip’s platform won’t slow you down. It’s intuitive, easy to navigate, and you won’t have to touch a lick of code. Adios clunky traditional CRM!

  • Helpful resources. An ecommerce CRM like Drip comes fully loaded with how-to videos, blog posts, webinars, and a Knowledge Base filled to the brim with articles. Oh, and to make things even sweeter, we offer 24/7 customer support for any paying customer.

  •  A large community. The internet is all about connection. Signing onto Drip ECRM means you're also a part of a community of people just like you. They're always around to toss ideas at or offer help—something that could be hard to find on-the-fly in the offline world. 

Choosing an Ecommerce CRM Solution

Throughout this blog we’ve looked at the differences between a traditional CRM and an ecommerce CRM, and we’ve also explored the benefits of ecommerce CRM solutions. Now that you’re familiar with a hefty amount of the perks associated with ecommerce CRM solutions, how do you go about deciding which ecommerce CRM solution is right for your business?

Here are two big questions to ponder before selecting an ecommerce CRM solution:

1. Does the platform you’re considering work with the rest of your ecommerce tools?

Does your ecommerce business currently utilize Shopify, BigCommerce, or PayPal? Is it big into Facebook or Instagram advertising? If your online business already utilizes other ecommerce tools, then you’re going to want an ecommerce CRM platform that plays nicely with those existing tools.

To make sure you always have the right tools to grow your business, Drip integrates with almost 100 different application integrations. Magento, Leadpages, Salesforce, Facebook Lead Ads, Facebook Custom Audiences—seriously, the list keeps going. And, on top of that, we’re always adding more integrations.

And what happens if Drip doesn’t integrate with your favorite tools? No worries. With our API (Application Programming Interface) you can adapt pretty much any tool to talk to Drip’s platform. Plus, when you throw in middleware apps like Zapier, the options continue to expand. The more you connect, the greater the growth possibilities.

2. What’s your game plan?

What is your ecommerce business looking to do? Is it looking to just send email? Or is it looking to really dig into automation? If you’re a business just getting off the ground and you want to send email, Drip can still definitely help, but you’ll really amp up your ecommerce brand if you start using powerful automations like rules and workflows.

Basic rules inside of Drip let you set reactions that automatically happen when a customer takes a specific action. Also known as if-this-then-that rules, these can be set to apply and remove tags, change campaigns and workflows a customer is in, send coupons, and more.  

Workflows are automated journeys that customers are guided down. They help to automate your most essential email marketing tasks and make it easy for you to map and build your marketing funnels in Drip’s platform. Workflows can incorporate any campaign, integration, Facebook ad, and more.

By pairing automated workflows with if-this-then-that rules, the customer journeys that can be designed within Drip’s platform are pretty much endless.

Which CRM Tools Should Every Ecommerce Company Be Using?

An ecommerce CRM platform like Drip is stocked full of great tools that will help take your ecommerce business to the next level. But what’s the point of having a million tools in your toolbox if you forget to use them? (Or, even worse, you forget they even exist.)

Here are a few of the top ecommerce CRM tools that your business should definitely be utilizing:

  • Automated workflows. As mentioned earlier, workflows are automated paths that people are guided down depending on what they do. From applying tags and adding people to Facebook Custom Audiences, to delivering lead magnets and deploying email campaigns, automated workflows can help to put more time back into your busy day.

    On a side note, Drip’s platform also includes pre-made visual workflows that are tried, tested, approved, and ready to convert customers.

  • Abandoned cart emails. Drip’s Cart Abandonment Recovery email campaign blueprint contains three pre-made emails with pre-written copy that are ready to hit email inboxes with the touch of a button.

    Roughly 70% of visitors who fill up their online shopping cart don’t actually follow through to the checkout, so it’s vitally important to remind customers when they’ve left an item behind. With Drip, the Cart Abandonment Recovery campaign deploys automatically each time a cart is left behind by making an abandoned cart automated workflow. It’s pure magic (and money).

  • Revenue dashboards. With Drip’s latest dashboards—Account, Email Campaigns, Workflows, and Broadcasts—you can keep up-to-date on how your ecommerce business is performing and where your revenue is coming from.

    View revenue from your latest campaigns, check out the average time it takes subscribers to make a purchase, and see the average order value attributed to each broadcast. Utilizing Drip’s dashboards is a great way to gauge the overall performance of your business, see what's working, and continuously optimize every customer experience.

An Ecommerce CRM Platform Is Your Ticket to Ecommerce Business Success

While a traditional CRM might have once been considered a cream-of-the-crop system for businesses looking to connect with customers, it seems to have finally met its archenemy: ECRM.

Ecommerce doesn’t appear to be going away anytime soon, so if you’re an online business owner looking to grow and adapt with the times, an ecommerce CRM platform like Drip is going to be your golden ticket to ecommerce business success.

It's about time online business owners focus less on filling the sales pipeline and more on creating memorable and relevant customer experiences—and Drip is here to help.