Why Your SMB Needs a Retail CRM
Customer relationship management is not just for enterprise businesses. If you're a brand looking to drive sales by growing customer loyalty, read why your small-to-medium-sized retail business needs a CRM.
If you’re a small-to-medium-sized, but growing, business in the retail space, you are probably running lean and bootstrapping yourself as you try and make it in an extremely competitive industry. So the last thing on your mind may be to pay for software you might never use. Retail CRM software? You’re not a Nike, an Estée Lauder, or even a Nordstrom-style brand that deals with millions of customers. Why would you need a CRM?
Yet over 91% of organizations with ten or more employees use a CRM today, and that number is growing. Why? Because the ROI speaks for itself:
- Companies engaging with customers via CRM see them spend 20% to 40% more on their next purchase
- CRMs increased revenue by 41% per each individual sale rep
- CRMs lead to an increase customer retention rate of 27%
What is a Retail CRM?
A Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform made specifically for retail businesses helps teams acquire, communicate with, nurture, and service their audience at every stage in the customer journey. Retail CRMs organize all of the data from your customers and leads so you can track every touchpoint, and analyze the data to increase sales.
And unlike typical CRMs in other industries that are focused on B2B relationships, retail CRMs deal with everyday customers and are made from the ground up with B2C relationships in mind. Furthermore, due to the nature of retail, these CRMs are built with the understanding that customers will shop both online and in-store, and merging the data collected from different places (ie, omnichannel retail) is a key component.
Key features of retail CRM software include:
- Ability to connect to your website, ecommerce site, in-store point-of-sale (POS) system, and more to get a holistic view of each customer.
- Tracking sales attribution to specific associates and their activities to provide actionable insights into optimizing sales.
- Automating email & SMS campaigns to efficiently communicate with segments of your audience.
- Leveraging data to personalize product recommendations to drive more value.
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What are the Signs You Need a Retail CRM?
Sure, all this is well and good, but your SMB has gotten by just fine without a CRM thus far. Do you really need to invest in this type of software? Let’s help you answer that question by looking at specific needs of a growing retail business.
1. Your customer data is a mess
You have this spreadsheet with their phone numbers. But this one has their clothing sizes. And this physical notebook lists what products they are waiting on to be restocked. And those seven Post-It notes are the ones to call back today.
This type of ad hoc “CRM” is common for small businesses, and even adding ten more leads or customers can make things unmanageable. This disorganization is especially a problem if your team has to collaborate on servicing each customer; the right updates may not be easy to communicate to the next sales associate.
A retail CRM provides a central database where updates for each customer can be easily added and found, and automation helps keep point-of-contact details accurate as well. As your SMB grows with more leads and customers, you’ll want a solution to help manage your growing database.
2. You earn sales through customer relationships
Studies show SMBs don’t rely on getting more leads for more sales compared to larger firms. Rather, they rely more on nurturing customer relationships to grow their business. If you’re a smaller retail business, there’s a good chance you care much more about establishing and maintaining good communication to win more business.
If so, a good retail CRM can help small teams do more when it comes to effective 2-way communication. By leveraging branded templates for emails, intelligent audience segmentation to target the right groups, and an all-in-one messaging interface to make texting easy; your CRM puts relationships at the forefront of your sales & marketing efforts.
Lingerie brand and Endear customer, Jenette Bras, on the power of customer relationships:
“We want to make sure the customers know there is an intelligent, caring human at the other end of their texts, not just an automated template. Endear allows [our Fitters] to be that intelligent, caring human."
3. Your messaging is too generic and impersonal
Larger companies have so many customers that 69% of these brands tend to send “generic, non-personalized emails to their entire database.” As a small business, your strength is in providing a better customer experience via clienteling than big brands. And if you’re finding your messaging is not personalized as it should be, you should invest in a retail CRM.
Your CRM can help you segment your audience so specific promotions and product recommendations can be personalized. And by showing customers you are catering to their wants, you can help strengthen relationships so they become life-long lovers of your brand.
“We have great adoption on Endear’s messaging tools. Everyone uses them and loves them! For example, Psycho Bunny releases our new collections as ‘drops’ of 10 to 15 styles with limited availability. We use Endear to notify our most loyal customers of these new drops so they can be the first to know about them. This makes them feel special and is great for our relationship.” - Psycho Bunny case study
Ready to see if a CRM is right for your SMB?
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Written byRobert Woo, Writer @ Endear