Recently, Adrecom released a new update for our e-commerce suite that provides substantially improved CRM integration capabilities.
We’ve used a RESTful API design to ensure the fastest possible transfer of data between systems. Even better, we’ve set up plug-and-play integration for industry leaders Sugar CRM, Salesforce and Microsoft Dynamic.
Why is this important? Because integrating e-commerce and CRM suites enables a whole range of new business functions and benefits.
Why Integrate CRM and E-Commerce Platforms?
The main purpose of integrating CRM and e-commerce platforms is to enable the systems to share customer and transactional information. Some of the most important information to share includes:
- Customer information such as addresses, contact details, and demographic data such as age, gender, and location. Changes to this type of information are usually picked up first at the point of sale, so integration ensures CRM platforms don’t contain aging or inaccurate information.
- Customer order history. Integration between CRM and e-commerce platforms makes it much easier to keep track of customers across multiple orders and ensures all internal teams have access to a full order profile when handling customer queries.
- Order details such as delivery and shipment information. This aids in customer service queries and can help smooth over internal fulfillment issues.
- Invoice and credit information. Once again, this helps to provide customer service teams with a full picture when handling customer queries.
- Abandoned shopping carts. It’s common for customers to begin shopping and placing items in their shopping cart, only to later abandon the cart. Integration between CRM and e-commerce platforms enables businesses to capture this information, including which specific products a customer has previously added to their cart.
By sharing this information between CRM and e-commerce platforms, businesses can improve the efficiency of their operations and ensure a better overall customer experience.
However, the benefits of integration go far beyond this.
8 Business Benefits of Integration
So far we’ve looked at the procedural benefits of integration — that is, how businesses can improve existingprocesses by integrating their CRM and e-commerce platforms. And while these advantages are undeniable, they aren’t the most important benefit of integration.
In addition to the procedural benefits already mentioned, integration facilitates a whole series of business benefits and functions that would otherwise be impossible.
Most obviously, continuous data integration between your e-commerce and CRM platforms ensures your teams can access current, accurate data at any time, regardless of which system they use. This naturally leads to improved operational efficiency and a drastic reduction in manual data entry errors.
And that’s just the start. Other business benefits include:
- Avoiding lost sales. As we’ve already noted, it’s very common for customers to abandon shopping carts mid-way through a purchase. By tracking abandonments, businesses can use automated emails and notifications from their CRM to remind customers about the products they had added, and even provide incentives to complete the purchase.
- Improved customer support. Full integration between e-commerce and CRM platforms ensures that customer support teams have access to guaranteed up-to-date information using a single application. This includes all customer information, past and current order information, and payment details, making it easy to resolve common customer queries and requests.
- Customer loyalty programs. One of the big advantages of CRM platforms is that they enable the use of loyalty programs designed to reward repeat customers. With e-commerce platform integration, all purchases can be automatically tracked and allocated to the correct customer without the need for manual data uploads.
- Greater customer insight. E-commerce platforms collect a ton of information about customer browsing and spending patterns. When this information is available within a CRM, it can be thoroughly analyzed and used to inform promotions, website layout, and even the development of new products.
- Better direct marketing. Taking things to the next level, integration makes it possible to conduct trulypersonalized marketing by targeting customers with promotions based on their browsing and purchasing behaviors. After all, the more relevant a promotion is to a customer, the more likely they are to engage with it. This also reduces resource wastage caused by approaching customers with unsuitable promotions.
- Seamless customer experience. When customers contact a support team, they expect representatives to have access to all of the information needed to resolve their queries. Integration between e-commerce and CRM platforms is critical here because it ensures all internal teams have full access to customer data regardless of which application they are using.
- Customer reactivation. It’s very common for customers to use an online store once or twice, and then ‘disappear’. Integrating e-commerce and CRM platforms makes it easy to reestablish relationships with these customers by automatically contacting them with new promotions after a specified period.
- Enables self-service. E-commerce integration with CRMs is a vital component in enabling self-service portals, which allow customers to log in and check order status without calling anybody. This has obvious customer service benefits, and also helps to reduce the burden on customer service teams.
The Hidden Success Factor: Data Cleaning
So far we’ve looked at the benefits of data sharing between e-commerce and CRM platforms. But the truth is that just sharing data isn’t enough — you have to ensure that the data being shared is accurate, current, and clean.
Simply put, if one of your systems contains a lot of ‘garbage’ legacy data (which is likely) you don’t want that data to be shared with the other system in its current format. As the old saying goes: “Garbage In, Garbage Out” (GIGO).
Which brings us to another key point. One of the most commonly discussed topics when it comes to API integration is the speed with which data can be shared between systems. In reality, though, the speed of data transfer isn’t the main problem — it’s the speed of clean data transfer that makes the difference.
That’s why, when integrating e-commerce and CRM platforms, you should give a lot of time to ensuring that your proposed solution is capable of fully cleaning, de-duplicating, and formatting legacy data from both systems.
At Adrecom, this cleaning process is our specialty. Just like our CMS Migration Service, the API integration we’ve developed for our e-commerce platform is paired with automated data validation, architecting, and cleaning capabilities.
The result: rapid transfer of clean data between your e-commerce and CRM platforms.
Upgrade Your Business Processes
We’ve always been proud of our e-commerce suite. Particularly its bulk data management tools that enable our customers to synchronize their web sites with internal operations systems.
Now that we’ve introduced clean API integration with the industry’s leading CRM platforms, we believe our e-commerce suite has the potential to revolutionize the way our customers do business.
And if your organization isn’t running Sugar CRM, Salesforce, or Microsoft Dynamic, don’t panic. We can set up integration with any CRM within a matter of days.
So if you’re ready to start enjoying the business benefits discussed in this article, don’t wait. To discuss your needs with one of our experienced team members, get in touch today.