Yesterday saw the reopening of non-essential shops in England and Wales, a moment that many businesses have been looking forward to and preparing for.
Many shops will have put a number of processes and measures in place to ensure that their business is Covid secure and ready to welcome back customers.
Over the last twelve months, retailers have gone above and beyond to adapt to the ever-changing imposed restrictions. When the restrictions were first eased in June 2020, many shops made alterations to the layout of their store, brought in limitations on the number of shoppers, and provided consumers with hand sanitising stations upon entry and exit. Other shops went online for the first time ever, offering click and collect or delivery services. Some businesses really utilised social media to engage with their customer base and encourage a sense of community surrounding their brand.
Once again retailers have put enormous amounts of effort into reopening their stores, and many consumers will be delighted to get back to shopping on the high street, but’s important not to let the digital side of sales slip, it’s still more important than ever.
Looking ahead, for retailers who haven’t already implemented a CRM platform into their processes, they should look to do so. There are so many benefits that it could have in terms of ensuring a seamless customer experience both online and in-store.
Benefits of CRM in the Retail industry:
Streamlined working process
As mentioned at this current moment in time, shops and especially small, independently run shops, will be putting a great deal of time and effort into opening their doors again. With so many having taken on the online side, it would be unfortunate to let it slip when responsibilities need to be split. By implementing a CRM platform, certain working processes can be streamlined. For example, in terms of sales, an advanced CRM can be used to track communications and leads, and efficiently organise customer data. From a marketing perspective, a CRM can be used to collect valuable information relating to campaigns, this data can then inform new strategies and working processes. CRM platforms can also be used to manage internal communications, offering the opportunity to quickly and easily handle workloads, delegate tasks and work efficiently across teams.
With a CRM system in place, shops would be able to easily manage the online aspect of their business whilst still dedicating the time needed to their in-store efforts.
Improved Customer Service
Following on nicely from the previous point, improved customer services are a huge benefit of CRM platforms. As suggested, by making working processes more efficient, there is more time to dedicate to other areas. Customer services can be improved both in-store and online through the use of CRM platforms.
The Intilery Single Customer View enables you to view data and communications relating to each individual customer on a single page, this allows you to identify any pain points. With this information, you can choose to target your audience members with personalised solutions via digital communications (email, SMS, instant chat). Similarly, if an employee were to have access to this information in-store, they could come up with creative solutions that don’t repeat any previous actions or advice.
Increased Retention and Revenue
Leading on from this is increased customer retention. Improved customer services, combined with personalised communications and especially thought-out customer journeys it’s likely that you will see an increase in customer retention, as your sales and marketing strategies will aim to turn them into loyal customers. With increased customer retention comes an increase in sales and revenue.
An omni-channel marketing is a strategy that offers the customer an all-encompassing shopping experience. This sales approach integrates online shopping (via any device, whether that be desktop or mobile) and in-store shopping to create a seamless experience.
Developing an omni-channel marketing strategy can involve a lot of work that spans several different departments within your business. It’s important to consider areas such as marketing and sales, customer services/support and of course your product. You should consult the teams working in these areas in order to build a plan, ensuring that they all understand the aims and objectives you have set for this omni-channel strategy.
An advanced CRM platform that offers real-time insight can be of huge benefit to your omni-channel marketing strategy. Enabling you to connect with your audience, analyse customer behaviour and deliver timely, relevant and personalised communications is a real bonus when considering your omni-channel strategy.
In terms of the current situation, shops will be aiming to get customers back into their stores, and there are certain strategies that they could be using to do this. One example would be to send out communications offering reassurance about the Covid measures that have been implemented in the store. Making this information readily available on your website, social media, app, email and SMS messaging is one step towards an omni channel marketing strategy, but when customers see these measures in place in the store, it will complete the experience.
Similarly, you could start to offer incentives, or loyalty schemes that encourage customers to buy in-store and online. Perhaps by purchasing items in-store, your customers could collect loyalty points that can then be used as a discount either in-store or online. Creating communications that match this, or customer profiles that will log the points can aid in creating an omni-channel experience.
As you can see, CRM platforms are very versatile and can be used in a number of different ways to achieve several goals and results, it’s important to consider the strides your business could take if you were to invest in a CRM platform.