Merchants should be careful when selecting or switching to the ideal CRM or shopping cart for their online store.
Are your CRM and online shopping cart compatible with your payment processor? Too often e-commerce business owners launch their online stores without checking their customer relationship management (CRM) and shopping cart capabilities. By the time merchants have integrated these on their website, they discover their setup isn’t the right fit for their payment processor. Alternatively, a seller may be in business for a while, but hasn’t upgraded to a system to help grow their company. Plus, the implications these solutions have for their merchant account remain unknown. So, have you been in business for over a year and work in a high-risk industry? If so, then continue reading this two-part blog to make sure you don’t compromise your business’ sales or merchant account.
Just how important are your CRM and online shopping cart?
They may be used interchangeably, but a CRM and a shopping cart are not the same. A CRM is typically used to manage your customer data, your affiliates and all your business interaction with your buyers. A shopping cart allows potential consumers to select items they want to purchase then takes them through the checkout process. You may find a single software that attempts to offer both solutions. But more often than not, you may have to find separate software to meet your CRM and shopping cart needs based on specific requirements for your business type.
Selecting the right solutions will allow you to grow without limiting payment processor partnerships or payment type options. At least 26% of US shoppers will abandon their orders, because the checkout process was too long or complicated. Plus, without a CRM in place, e-commerce businesses can fail to convert up to 79% of their leads given data isn’t tracked correctly? And there are so many other factors that can negatively affect your conversions when it comes to your order process and page.
A poor mobile experience will cost you valuable business. Customers are moving more toward mobile methods of payment. Not having a CRM and shopping cart combo that facilitates this type of shopping channel could cut into your potential sales.
The Baymard Institute reported that 34% of online buyers chose to cancel transactions because the site required that they create an account. Yes, we agree that it’s important to get buyers onto your email list so you can manage them through your CRM. But, forcing them through an additional step to make a purchase may ultimately affect you negatively in the long run. Your shopping cart should have a checkout page designed to increase conversions.
With so much potential for lost revenues through your CRM and shopping cart applications, it’s no wonder that both these solutions are critical elements of a successful e-commerce business.
What can a properly integrated CRM and online shopping cart do for your business?
A CRM aids in managing the customer relationship lifecycle from lead generation to sales and support. A good customer management system should ensure the following:
- Marketing: It allows the ability to run campaigns and generate leads through your database. Additionally, if you have affiliates, it should allow you to manage them efficiently and track their activity.
- Sales management:Well-designed CRMs and shopping carts help customers navigate your sales through your order page.
- Order management: If you have inventory, the CRM should be integrated for visibility of your products in mind.
- Responsive customer support: It will allow you to improve relations with your clients and include a rapid response rate.
Building out a CRM and shopping cart for your e-commerce business
When looking at CRMs and shopping cart software for your business, there are a few key questions you need to ask. This is in addition to the four general areas your CRM should address that we noted above.
You’ll want to look at some business-related questions that the design of your CRM should facilitate based on your business model.
- Which gateway/payment processor/payment options are important to you or may be at a later date?
- Do you need to manage affiliates?
- Can you calculate shipping rates and taxes automatically?
- Can it manage inventory stock, for physical items?
- How well can it handle sales reporting? And, does it offer the information you need to make critical business decisions?
- Can you maintain an effective customer database that can be segmented and targeted based on interests?
- Is your customer data in a secure environment that is PCI compliant.
- Does this company(s) have a history of data breaches?
Make your next move
As you can see, selecting and integrating a CRM and shopping cart is much more involved than it appears. The most successful merchants examine their options based on a number of factors and not simply a brand’s popularity. Tools like this should be examined for security and flexibility, especially for recurring billing models and alternatives to credit cards like ACH.
In part two of this blog we will highlight the essentials for a robust checkout process, PCI compliance and troubleshooting. In the meantime, contact DirectPayNet for advice on this subject, or if you have been processing for a while and need a new payment solution. Email our team today!