Even before the days of Covid-19, the trend to online sales was inescapable. Since early 2020 however, the move to online sales has accelerated enormously – with the latest studies showing that over one third of consumers now shop online weekly.
For those organizations with a business model that lends itself to online sales via an e-Commerce presence, this is a great opportunity. But of course, like any form of sales, the data from these sales needs to be captured effectively for analysis, accounting, and future sales and marketing purposes.
So the IT staff, general management and ownership of these businesses need to consider how the data from their e-Commerce store will be captured, and where that data flow will be directed.
The most common approach for Small/Medium businesses is to connect that data flow directly to an accounting system, so that the data about new customers, their invoices and payments will be added to the likes of QuickBooks Online, Xero, or FreshBooks. Somewhat larger organizations may choose a full ERP system to receive that data, such as SAP.
The issue with this type of approach, however, is that this data may never see the light of day in your CRM, where your sales and marketing staff can make use of it for future strategic initiatives. Some of the things they would do with this data if they had it include:
- Target email campaigns at online shoppers, specific to the products they purchase.
- Understand the differences in product lines that sell through sales staff vs online.
- See consolidated sales histories for clients that make purchases both online and via sales
staff while speaking to them on the phone.
- With a 360 degree view of all sales data, model which clients and which products are
genuinely bringing the most value to the organization.
The trouble with linking this data directly from the e-Commerce site to your CRM is that many CRMs simply have no place to put the sales data. Without an all-in-one CRM, your CRM does not contain invoice and payment data from sales made by sales staff or from online sales.
But with an all-in-one CRM, your sales staff can see screens like this, that show a client’s invoice history:
As we discussed in our blog post 5 Things Your Business Needs to Crush the Competition, if you adopt a technology platform that looks somewhat like the image below, where WooCommerce is shown as the e-Commerce platform, your CRM becomes a central repository of lead data coming in from your website, sales data from your eCommerce store, and client interactions from your customer portal. And all that data can be leveraged by your sales staff, by clients within the portal, and by your marketing staff. It’s simply a better mousetrap!
Looking for more information? Read our Ultimate Guide to All In One CRM Solutions.