Without CRM data, the ecommerce industry would be incapable of making informed strategic decisions or optimizing customer journeys in pivotal ways.
There was a time when the ecommerce industry was the Wild West, where major players carved out their territories and wrote their own rules.
Now — even with constant disruptions — patterns and common practices emerge in the ecommerce field. Some of these repeated trends can be attributed to trial-and-error and others to imitating market leaders, but the lion’s share of credit should go to data.
Without customer relationship management data, ecommerce would be just another boom-and-bust industry with no idea of where to grow or how to repeat success. With CRM data, ecommerce companies can learn more than they ever imagined about customer psychology and how to optimize the buying experience.
The steadily increasing integration and proliferation of CRM data is responsible for some of ecommerce’s biggest trends, including the following three recent ones that are rewriting the rules as we know them:
Virtual Sales Staff Upsells
“How can I help you?”
These powerful words start off many buyers’ shopping journeys when they first enter a brick-and-mortar establishment, and this type of attentive guidance eases the stress of a shopping experience. Positive customer experiences are also a huge factor in purchasing decisions among luxury good buyers.
Thanks to technology like online chat modules, ecommerce businesses can harness this same power. Customer service representatives can not only provide information before a sale to ensure higher satisfaction, but they can also be ready to upsell or cross-sell based on the customer’s decisions.
All of these conversations can be dutifully monitored, too, and placed inside a CRM repository. That data reveals how people’s choices are made and influenced in real time within a person-to-person interaction, informing future sales and segmenting strategies, as well as ways to optimize customer service procedures.
Contextualization Tops Personalization
Many marketers gather data in the pursuit of personalization, but some ecommerce sites are going a step further into contextualized purchases. These customized shopping experiences reflect the last action a purchaser took and, if available, past historical data for their account.
By using CRM data from both anonymous and identified accounts, ecommerce websites can serve up the ideal navigation path for a quick, frictionless purchase. Examples include an ecommerce site capturing a search engine lead through the query “truck tool boxes” and displaying cross-sell accessories such as wrenches to match their expected purchase.
Cross Device Selling Dominates
Some 85% of online shoppers migrate between devices during the course of a purchasing journey. This fact means in order to serve up the most relevant information, the ecommerce CRM data must include device, IP address and geographical information in order to follow the user between devices.
They can accomplish this feat through deterministic means by requesting a log-in, but they can also use a probabilistic algorithm to narrow down within a small percentage that the same user has switched to another device. Following this digital trail is critical for attributing final conversion actions to initial clicks.
All of these strategies require diligent data management practices, as well as an up-to-date CRM architecture, but ecommerce brands that pull it off reap the biggest rewards.