4 tips: making B2C CRM software work for your retail business
Retail marketers know how important data is to the success of their work. But as more sales and communication channels emerge, more campaigns get tested and new markets open up, more data gets generated. Harnessing all this data isn't that straightforward. It's a problem that tech companies big and small rub their hands together about. "B2C CRM software can dramatically change your relationship with your customers". How often have you heard that?! The reality is that the software is one of several really important enablers required by the retail marketer to be a success. Enablers not solutions. Even though the implementation and adoption of B2C CRM software can involve something of a learning curve, the sooner a business accepts it's part of the solution, the sooner it can get to the point where it can reap the rewards. Let's explore what is needed for the retail marketer to be a success for their business
B2C CRM software is a starting point for the retail marketer
Retail marketers are great at generating data. There are loads of pretty easy to implement tools for collecting and analysing data. But insight comes when analysing data in context so they key in being able to link data together. This is where software can play a really helpful role. With the right B2C CRM software in place the time it takes to generate insights about marketing performance reduces greatly. Gone are the days where the marketer had to manually link datasets.
- Make sure that data is being collected correctly in a way that will be usable. Common errors include: creating too many lists in email service providers, which make managing that data harder as time passes, Also bad implementation of Google Analytics, especially when it comes to duplication of orders. There have been a tonne of blogs written about common pitfalls - here's one we particularly like.
- Find a software system that is easy to use, which automatically links together the most important data, thus saving you time to plan the amazing campaigns you'll be able to create to engage customers more relevantly.
How else to get benefit from B2C CRM software
Storing and linking data isn’t the only benefit of a business instilling B2C CRM software. Built-in analytics, which certain platforms provide can help predict what to do next and help understand the impact of the marketer's actions on different groups of customers. This allows the retail marketer to understand where opportunities arise, and how these opportunities should be approached.
The key here though is to know what questions to ask of the data. While common goals exist for every retail marketer, the nuances of their respective businesses and markets mean that questions need to be considered in different context. Sometimes behavioural data alone won't complete the picture, so being able to reach different segments and ask them different questions directly is also a valuable thing to do, which the right B2C CRM software can enable.
- Ask questions and try to dispel common assumptions. Use the software to answer questions as best as possible. If it isn't answering certain questions which keep cropping up then contact the software provider. Some companies love hearing this kind of feedback and will be willing to make changes to their service to cater for such situations.
- Look for the answer, don't generate another report. Keep asking yourself so what until you can't really answer any more. Most business intelligence tools still require the user to find the answer. The interpretation of data is almost an art form unto itself, so finding softwares which are predictive based on analysing what's happened previously take some of the hard work out of the way for the retail marketer. But there's always going to be a bit of interpretation needed, so if it's not your strong suit, maybe the CRM software company can help, especially if they understand retail?
While no CRM software can transform a small retail business into a global giant overnight, it is one of the ingredients that will help such a business can build. Sprinkle in a curious, questioning retail marketer, with a good "plan, test, learn" philosophy and a supportive management team that champions the customer and you've got the ingredients needed for success.