HomeBlogE-commerce TipsThree steps towards a smooth CRM implementation for e-commerce

Three steps towards a smooth CRM implementation for e-commerce


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CRM is growing as an industry, and with this rapid growth, software is being adapted to fit the demands of companies who have more specific requirements when it comes to managing customer data.

A good example is in the ecommerce market – an ecommerce CRM allows users to access information about their customer’s shopping habits, as well as offering added functionality like marketing automation. As with any CRM, there’s an implementation phase and in order to make the process of implementing your ecommerce CRM as smooth as possible, you should consider the following steps:

Migrate customer data

Migrating your customer data – such as billing and shipping addresses –  across from one system to another seems like a daunting task at first. Many companies decide to do this out of necessity –  whether that’s for financial reasons, such as high maintenance costs, or for technical reasons like the database is ill-equipped to deal with new components from customer management to advertising.

Customer data – and the analysis of it –  is vital in the running of a successful e-commerce platform. For example, marketing automation in ecommerce CRM systems responds to the behavioral habits of site users and recommends products accordingly. By providing this kind of personalized shopping experience, a business can see an increase in sales because customers are more likely to be presented with products that are tailored to their interests. We also know that re-engaging new customers costs six times more on average so it’s imperative to keep repeat customers happy through the use of loyalty schemes, for instance.

It’s important to plan ahead. Don’t wait until it’s situation critical before you decide to upgrade your ecommerce CRM because no matter how efficient your new system is, it’s going to take time to implement.

Commit to the testing phase

You should treat your ecommerce CRM as a strategic asset and so testing should be an essential part of any successful CRM implementation plan.  It’s important to test your ecommerce CRM before you go live for several reason, not least because a technical hitch at a later date can costly you dearly in terms of orders.

The first step is to clean up any existing problems with customer data quality. Ask yourself, is there missing or duplicate data e.g. customer email addresses? Hopefully, most of these issues should have been resolved during the migration phase. Other areas to take into account when testing your ecommerce CRM are functionality, reporting, integration, and regression and user acceptance testing. Once you’ve addressed a defect in your system, don’t forget to run the test for a second time in order to establish if other areas need attention.

Ensure user-adoption with a robust training plan

It’s difficult to get an accurate picture of CRM implementation failure rates but new research by Smart Insights suggests that less than 41% of new systems are successful. According to the National Computing Centre,  one in three companies say their CRM roll outs deliver only limited benefits, which is often due to the fact users aren’t trained to use all the features.

User-adoption is key to the success or failure of an e-CRM implementation project and to reap the full benefits of your system after roll out, you will need to invest in CRM training for all users including any support staff who will be dealing directly with returns or customer complaints. Using a combination of training methods such as company-wide seminars, online courses and classroom-based training can help you achieve the best results.


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