Update on May 23, 2022
That’s my go-to place when I realize at 8 PM of an August Saturday eve that Friendship Day is actually tomorrow.
You see, we’ve all been there, making last-minute purchases, yet getting them at our doorstep conveniently.
No wonder Amazon reported a colossal $96.15 billion in net sales in Q3 2020, with a 37.4% increase from the same period in 2019.
The secret behind this massive success?
Amazon’s CRM, of course!
As they say, it’s always best to learn from the best. So, I’ll first show you how Amazon uses CRM so you’ll know what to expect out of your CRM implementation efforts.
Table of Contents
1. Personalized Promotions
Before you made your first purchase on Amazon, you had to create an account, right?
One of the main reasons why Amazon does this is to make a smooth and personalized shopping experience for its customer base.
This paves the way for sending recommendations based on your interest. So, Amazon can easily tap back into what you like and thus sell to you consistently. Based on your past purchases, Amazon’s CRM would bring you those tailored promotions and keep engaging and delighting you.
When you implement a CRM system for your business, you too can mimic this eCommerce behemoth.
2. Data Collection and Storage
When you buy something from your Amazon account, your personal and payment details are stored in Amazon’s CRM. This makes it easier for a user to purchase again.
At the click of a button, you can order your products and have them arrive the next day. And needless to worry, all your personal data would be protected by Amazon Pay’s top-notch fraud prevention tools.
See why Amazon is crushing the competition?
3. Product Recommendations
My brother and I undertook a project to build a DIY speaker, and we’ve been looking out for some parts on Amazon. Therefore, every time I logged into my Amazon account to check for the components, I was welcomed with the following product recommendations.
This has made my search facile and highly user-friendly.
And who is responsible for making my journey seamless? Amazon’s CRM tool.
With its recommended product and people also bought marketing campaigns, Amazon allures customers with not the slightest pressure.
If you could also have a good CRM tool in place, who knows, maybe you might be next in line, turning over billions every year.
Although Amazon uses its in-house CRM, many others use an industry-featured CRM tool such as Ingage. It is as powerful as Amazon’s CRM to help you have a level playfield against tough competition. Let’s now see how you could take up a CRM implementation project for your retail business and turn the odds in your favor.
1. Ensure Executive Buy-In
Before commencing your CRM implementation project, get buy-in and support from your executive management and senior management team. Without this, a successful implementation is only a mirage.
I’ll tell you why. All things being equal, it should be your organization’s leadership pushing for CRM. The heads should hold the rudder from selection through deployment, charting out the business requirements, and deciding on the CRM technology that works best for you. If you are merely going to get their approval without any engagement from their end, it’s a clear tell-tale that it is not a high priority for your organization.
So, get your executives to embrace the Customer Relationship Management system. The more engaged they are throughout the process, the greater will be implementation and user adoption rates.
2. Choose the Right CRM
Choosing the right CRM technology for your business is a crucial part of the implementation roadmap. Do not blindly go by a cheap CRM or by the highest rated G2 Crowd reviews.
Take the time to thoroughly evaluate your options—understand the retail challenge you are facing and select a CRM that will contribute to potential growth. Consider your business' key requirements and select a CRM system that will best suit your needs. If your needs are complicated, then you could end up choosing a platform like Salesforce.
3. Develop a Deployment Strategy
Ensure you have a project manager assigned exclusively for the software implementation process. Identify your short, medium, and long-term goals when you document the deployment stage with your implementation partner and keep these goals attainable.
Then, based on your organization’s needs, policies, and business processes, opt for either on-premise or cloud deployment implementation approach. While with a cloud-based CRM, you needn’t purchase hardware and support IT infrastructure, on-premise requires a higher level of technical requirements from your IT department.
Alternatively, though you are freed from software maintenance in a cloud-based deployment, if the server goes down, you’ll lose access to your data. But this is a rare case and can be rectified quickly.
So, weigh the pros and cons carefully. Discuss with the stakeholders and go for the implementation strategy that works best for you. In the meanwhile, be sure to ask the CRM implementation team or the sales representative about the implementation cost. It can surely vary based on feature add-ons, the number of CRM users who can work on the application on a daily basis, integration with third-party tools, and other aspects.
Read this article on the breakdown of CRM implementation costs to determine an approximate cost.
4. Equip Your Employees
Most often, organizations that fail to put employees through a user training program for the CRM system reap nil results.
Your employees must first understand why CRM is being implemented. Then, they should know how to leverage its powerful tools to improve your retail marketing and sales processes. Without the additional training, your employees would lack the knowledge to operate the CRM system properly. This, in turn, will crash your investment.
So, understand that just because those in leadership become familiar with the CRM system during the selection process, there is no guarantee that your end-users would also become comfortable with it. Give them the training they need and put that on your budget plan.
This is the only way to decrease pushback and increase adoption rates.
5. Track Your Progress
Once you have successfully deployed your CRM platform, track your key performance metrics. See if you have recorded your customer data and leveraged the same efficiently. Check if your sales have increased. Find out if you can close deals faster now.
In case you see any deviations from your expectations, discover the root cause and nip it in the bud. Sometimes, you might have to add a couple of plugins and features to your CRM or train your employees to overcome the roadblocks.
The road to every CRM deployment is a bumpy one. How your team handles these bumps makes all the difference between a successful and failed CRM implementation.
A CRM is an all-in-one tool for customer management and has many benefits for your retail business. Your marketing managers can launch personalized campaigns, your sales team can efficiently increase customer profitability, and your support team can address customer needs any time from anywhere in the world and ensure better customer satisfaction.
But the phase of implementation can be a tricky one. Right from demand analysis, to determining the essential features and any additional features for the CRM and giving training for users, it requires time and investment. But it is worth it.
Need professional assistance? Feel free to get in touch with us. We’d be happy to help.