How a Good CRM program linked to a Brand Online Store helps a Brand navigate through uncertain times

Updated: Oct 6, 2020

Did we ever think that there would be a situation where your distribution is shut down? And that there would be no way to even communicate directly with your consumers?

Selling on online marketplaces like Amazon is good for sales, but what happens when you want to talk direct to your consumers and buyers? You will not have a way to reach them as Amazon and other marketplaces do not allow you to use the consumer information that you get from your sales data

The outbreak of Covid-19 has had an unprecedented impact on the supply chains of all the ecommerce players. The lockdown has brought the e-commerce sector to a grinding halt. Except for essential commodities, where some brands are able to get through to the household

As business re-opens,  many organizations will reviewing their existing operations, business revival and continuity plan.

At the center of business revival is the customer – existing and prospective.

Understanding how consumers have been impacted, including changes in their buying behavior and prioritisation of purchases  will become crucial in framing up of the revival plan.

The New Normal – Need of an ecommerce CRM

The easing of lockdown is expected to be staggered amid several measures of social distancing, limited access to physical retail stores with skewed inventory levels across segments. Apart from Government guidelines and directives on  social , consumers too will show restrain in stepping out. Purchase may be deferred specially for  high ticket as well as non-essential commodities. Consumers may prioritize their purchases towards higher value for money items , with an eye on preserving their savings

An e-commerce CRM platform would help brands manage these scenarios to organize and maintain relationships with existing and new customers, under the new normal regime, will define success of any organization in the coming time.

Brands would need a lot of insights, data and scenario analysis to make the most of the new normal. Post lock-down, the new normal will force to customer to churn amongst brands and platforms basis availability, connect and adaption to the redefined customer requirements. Consumers will show a higher inclination towards brands who would have understood customer preferences, addressed their apprehensions and delivered beyond their expectation.

How does the ecommerce CRM fit in a brand strategy?

Resumption of business would require attracting new customers and retaining existing ones with a better return on marketing expenditure. Not only the competition will be fierce, the market may not be the same. With uncertain consumer sentiments, non-availability of information on the impact on their lives, success of ecommerce operations would depend on how brands interact with their customers.

1. Understanding the impact on customers The pandemic has impacted the lives of the customers in unprecedented and various ways – both personally and professionally. Marketing and communication, therefore, will not be the same as before. Brands would need to tread carefully while communicating with their customers and must be empathetic of the challenges each one might be facing. These challenges may not be uniform –

  1. It may vary with geographies – state governments will have different guidelines and different levels of restrictions across their states

  2. It may vary with customer segments – B2B customers would have impacted differently than individual retail customers. Urban and semi-urban buying behavior would have differently impacted

  3. It may vary with product groups – Buying of non-essential commodities may get deferred but personal vehicles and two wheelers may see a spike in demand

CRM plays a pivotal role in gathering insights to enable brand build strategies to manage their interactions with their customers and deliver basis their expectations

2. Need assessment

CRM solution for online engagement enables brands with valuable insights on customer needs and preferences like most in-demand products and services, successful promotions and engagement levels, purchase history, etc. Availability of quality customer data and buying cycle has helped brand conduct predictive, preventive and curative analyses for effectively managing customer journeys.

3. Manage communications Customer interactions, through the customer journey, which is tailored to the customer preferences and based on the situation assessment is one of the most crucial elements in relationship management. Communications, which get delivered, aides recall and prompts action which at the same time is not invasive, repetitive and redundant.

Benefits of E-commerce CRM solutions

Brands are seeing overnight changes in consumer behavior – from bulk-buying to online purchases – many of these changes are expected become a norm for the new future. Brands are trying to integrate their online and offline channels to make it more customer centric – CRM forms the backbone of integration encompassing managing and monitoring existing and new customer relationships. We have assisted brands in building ecommerce CRM infrastructure which has benefited in many ways: –

As a brand operating in the new world, if you have only been focused on selling on online marketplaces, think again

Here are the essentials for any brand

  1. Set up and operate a Brand Online Store. Even though it may not get you the same sale volume as your marketplace initiatives

  2. Put in place a good ecommerce CRM (Customer Relationship Management) system to stay in touch with your consumers

  3. Evaluate bringing in your offline sales consumer contact and loyalty programs onto your ecommerce CRM so that the communication with the end consumer can be seamless

  4. Work with specialists who are well known for their expertise in Brand Online Retail

To know more about how you can build your consumer connection using an Brand Online Store and eCommerce CRM please contact us

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