Canada’s retail industry got off to a jittery start for 2019 when several major chains filed for bankruptcy and made announcements one after the other that they are closing stores. While it is not unusual for the retail industry to experience rocky growth especially after the packed holiday season of December, February saw more store closure announcements that came from prominent brand quarters like Payless, ShoeSource, Home Outfitters to name a few. This also indicates a major availability of retail space that will be as easily filled as was emptied given some retail chains that are seeing tremendous sales growth like Lululemon and Aritzia.
Some retailers are taking a step back and analysing the industry trends, observing where the market is headed while international brands are making a beeline to foray into the Canadian retail space.
For physical stores who are on the brink of shutting down or are facing slow sales, one of the most reassuring ways to increase sales per square foot is to adopt CRM solutions for retail businesses. This is how embracing technology and CRM adoption will steer your boat through choppy waters –
For better alignment of Sales and Marketing wings
CRM software equips marketers with tools to build and execute programs, automate processes, and manage content on the basis of big data and predictive analytics. Similarly, the sales team gets easy access to sales goals, personalization data and dashboards, pricing literature, automated and filtered leads, and compact integration with email and mobile devices.
When both marketing and sales teams are using the same data in real-time from the CRM platform in place, it brings about synergy, encourages communication and accountability.
Team members get to cohesively manage leads, campaigns, and combine the sales and marketing funnels to better sales efforts and outreach. Managing projects, digital assets, workflows, and approval processes across various departments and agencies through a single platform.
Facilitation of Better Customer Service
Billions are lost in retail businesses every year due to poor customer service. Restricting your CRM platform to a mere transactional database is not going to reap any substantial benefits unless its features are used to form a genuine relationship with customers. The customer service team of a retail business can draw maximum benefits by maintaining a strong relationship through the customer lifecycle being operated via a robust CRM platform.
Customer service is your foremost step towards providing support and it is important to equip your customer support team with the right data and metrics. Also, you minimize the risk of losing business because of inconsistent and shabby customer service by improving the entire agent experience with a CRM in place.
With an instituted CRM for retailers you will capacitate your agents with an interactive service hub that provides information on a few clicks for quick and smooth resolution of customer issues; dashboards with real-time information flowing in to give a complete singular view of the entire workload to choose the order of an enquiry or complaint resolution depending on severity or popularity; visual representations of work items and notifications on priority items requiring faster resolution.
Get to increase profit margins by leveraging Big Data
With a competent and customised CRM platform in place, you will have access to chunks of quality information and effectively using those analytics can increase the efficiency, management, and output of several areas of your retail business like customer acquisition, segmentation, remarketing, pricing strategy, inventory and supply chain management.
The CRM platform pivots big data for smarter and more contextually driven processes. It enhances the impact of behavioural and environmental data flowing in from IoT, interpersonal and online and conversations. CRM combined with big data provides improvements in product utilization patterns, asset lifecycle management, new product introduction processes, branding-marketing, offer management, and risk reduction business processes.
For peak Customer Loyalty
Loyalty programs are an important and powerful tool for retail businesses but they are often under-utilised and CRM software is the leading mode of implementing and managing customer loyalty programs. When implementing a CRM’s loyalty program, you can easily enroll members, manage their profiles, analyse customer behaviours, define reward tiers, redemption and other guidelines. With CRM, loyalty programs become a two-way street where the customer service team can create portals for customers to access so that they can view their referrals, reward status, redeem reward status along with their transaction history. This shall encourage customer engagement and building of goodwill.
In the past, Gartner has predicted that 80% of an enterprise’s business will come from 20% of its existing customers and with the management of loyalty programs via a CRM platform, with its rewards, accrual guidelines, and social listening features, a company is set to retain more customers. Through these engagements when a strong brand recall and a relationship is built, a retail business can easily employ predictive analytics to upsell or cross-sell the right product or service at the right time. With these processes and mechanisms in place a retail store is most likely to earn referrals.
The customer is more empowered today than ever before, and with a CRM software, all players in the global retail market get to keep customers happy and engaged in a highly-personalised experience during sale and post-buyer or aftersales journey. As far as the backend is concerned it allows marketing and sales teams to take incisive calls and decisions when targeting and selling to prospects.
And these solutions are not for large retail setups only, in fact, CRM software for small retail businesses in Canada is making waves in the enterprise software market.
Don’t deprive your customers of the exceptional experience your retail brand is very much capable of giving. For better communication, sharp sales forecasting, a one-stop destination for management of each product line or service, and for improved data management get your retail store or chain a CRM today. The only way to survive the competition onslaught from e-stores is to be at the forefront of a customer’s recall by way of strong branding and customer relationship strategies.
For custom CRM solutions for retail businesses in Canada feel free to reach us on email@example.com with your requirements. Our consultants shall get in touch with you immediately.