Elevating Your E-commerce Brand with Customer Relationship Marketing
July 5, 2023

Elevating Your E-commerce Brand with Customer Relationship Marketing

If there's one mantra that we've heard repetitively as e-commerce marketers, it's "The Customer is King." - and that's partially true. Often times the best products are actually the ones that customer doesn't yet realize they want or experiences that they didn't even know were possible.

This is why today's innovative e-commerce brands have begun turning to traditional customer relationship-building methods like retail clienteling powered by today's modern technology. This approach allows eCommerce stores to build close relationships with customers, collect rich client data, and provide personalized shopping experiences allowing those brands to understand the customer's needs and preferences, and foster conversations that differentiate them from the competition.

Customer relationship marketing today involves more than just tracking orders and sending out emails. It includes engaging with customers on a personal level, providing a seamless shopping experience, understanding customer needs and motivations, predicting their future purchases, and offering tailored solutions that meet those needs in real-time. 

In this article, we'll delve deeper into CRM (Customer Relationship Marketing), and what it means for you and your customers. We'll reveal some nuances, and introduce you to a unique tool – Humankind's Conversational Commerce Software – that can revolutionize your CRM strategy.

What is Customer Relationship Marketing?

CRM is an approach that focuses on fostering deep, long-lasting relationships with customers.

Instead of purely transactional interactions, CRM encourages brands to build emotional connections with customers, listening to their needs, personalizing experiences to meet their preferences, and by doing so, creating brand advocates who help drive more business.

In short, customer relationship management (CRM) is the bridge that fosters loyalty and helps retain existing customers.

What it's not. In the last few years, software companies have used the term CRM interchangeably with customer relationship management software (CRM software). While those two terms are related, they’re not the same. CRM software helps organizations manage their customer relationships in an organized way. It can be used to collect and store data about customers, track interactions, categorize customers into segments and personalize outreach efforts. But CRM as a concept is more than just the CRM software; it’s the entire strategy that empowers and drives customer relationships.

How Important is Customer Relationship Marketing in E-commerce?

In e-commerce, the cost of acquiring new customers often far surpasses the cost of nurturing existing ones - making repeat purchases attractive to a brand's bottom line. A CRM focus provides a cost-effective solution for managing and prioritizing customer retention and satisfaction (CSAT) to help you generate high repeat purchase rates.

The reason for this is: When customers receive personalized attention, they feel valued and heard (a rarity in today's noisy world). This feeling gets anchored in the customer's mind which fosters trust and encourages them to come back and repeat that experience.

During the C19 pandemic, we saw the dramatic effects of isolation on the human spirit. This created a rare and potentially once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for brands to completely re-envision the customer experience by focusing on personalization, tailoring user experiences for customers at all stages of their journey, and creating personalized touchpoints that demonstrate care and consideration - but there weren't many tools that supported this human connection…

In fact, most of the tools available tried to replace humans with workflow logic which customers found frustrating and inefficient.

This is where Humankind’s Conversational Commerce Software comes into play, offering an unrivaled opportunity for brands to connect with customers on a personal level.

Our platform offers scalable personal shopping with a 1:1 human connection. Used by brands like Saucony Shoes, Taylormade Golf, Cascadia Tents, OLAPLEX, or Wolverine Worldwide - these established brands are harnessing the power of CRM to enhance their brand loyalty and drive excellent shopping experiences.

Technology and Customer Relationship Marketing: The Perfect Blend

Technology has dramatically transformed the way brands interact with customers. While emails and social media have their benefits, concierge commerce is a trend that's gaining traction. It allows brands to communicate directly with customers through messaging platforms, making interactions more personal and immediate.

Take, for instance, SMS. Just a few years ago, the thought of using SMS for personal shopping seemed far-fetched, but today it’s a mainstay in many eCommerce stores. From order updates to promotional offers, and even follow-ups, customers can now get almost real-time updates through text messages.

Humankind's Conversational Commerce Software stands out in this space. It's the only software on the market that provides a one-on-one human connection with brands through SMS. It goes beyond simple automation, introducing genuine human interaction into the mix, which results in an enhanced and personalized shopping experience.

How Does Humankind’s Conversational Commerce Software Enhance CRM?

  1. Personalized Experience: Customers interact with real human product experts who guide them through the purchasing process, providing a unique, personalized experience.
  2. Real-Time Engagement: By enabling real-time communication, our platform improves customer satisfaction (CSAT), leading to increased loyalty and brand advocacy.
  3. Scalable Human Interaction: In the past, scaling one-on-one interactions has been a challenge. Today, Humankind's software allows businesses to extend this personal touch to a large number of customers without compromising on the quality of interaction - and when your team needs to grow to meet new demands, we have the resources to help you grow your internal product expert team AND outside personal shoppers.
  4. Increased Sales: A well-informed customer is more likely to make a purchase. By providing expert advice during the buying process, the software can contribute to increased sales.

Questions People Often Ask About CRM

There is a long list of questions people often ask about CRM (again, not talking about the software), let's answer some of the common questions to help you get a better understanding of how you can put the methodology to work for your brand:

  • What are examples of CRM?

Examples of CRM could be anything from practicing modern retail clienteling, promotions targeted based on previous purchases, new product launches that are relevant to the customer, personal shopping assistance, and birthday discounts are all examples of CRM. Brands using Humankind's Conversational Commerce Software can add a unique example – providing a real human connection via text and SMS.

  • Why is CRM so important?

CRM fosters loyalty and customer retention, which are often more cost-effective than acquiring new customers. Plus, satisfied customers are likely to refer your brand to others. This drives "word of mouth" and creates a positive cycle of growth.

  • What are the different types of CRM?

There are three primary types of CRM: Operational CRM (which focuses on automating and enhancing customer-oriented business processes), Analytical CRM (which analyzes customer data to improve decision-making), and Collaborative CRM (which integrates external stakeholders into customer service). Each one has its own benefits and drawbacks, but that's a topic for another time.

  • What are the benefits of CRM?

Since we've talked about this throughout the article, I don't want to belabor the point - in short, customer relationship management drives better outcomes for customers and brands.

Related Topics to Customer Relationship Marketing

If you're researching a customer relationship marketing strategy, here are a few related concepts to consider and ways that you can implement your CRM more effectively:

  • Customer Retention: This strategy focuses on retaining as many customers as possible, often through customer loyalty programs, bundles, discounts, or quality customer service. CRM is a primary tactic for customer retention and can help you create long-term repeat customers.
  • Loyalty Programs: These programs reward repeat customers, incentivizing them to continue doing business with your brand. CRM strategies can enhance loyalty programs by personalizing them to each customer making them feel listened to and understood.
  • Personalized Marketing: This is a marketing strategy where companies leverage rich customer data and digital technology to deliver individualized messages to current or potential customers. This is a critical component of your CRM approach and Humankind can help you supercharge personalized marketing on the most powerful channel, SMS.
  • Conversational Commerce: This term refers to the intersection of technology and human interaction to facilitate a transaction - meaning brands can interact with their customers through messaging apps, chatbots, or live chat, like Humankind’s Conversational Commerce Software, to support e-commerce sales.
  • Brand Advocacy: CRM can help turn satisfied customers into brand advocates - individuals who spread positive word-of-mouth about your company - leading to increased brand awareness and potential new customers.

If you'd like to see how Humankind helped our customer OLAPLEX implement these strategies to increase their CSAT score to 4.94, check out our case study by clicking this link.

In Conclusion...

With technology advancing rapidly, and tools like augmented reality (AR) and virtual reality (VR) going mainstream, the future of shopping is here. CRM is the bridge between the marketing strategies of the future and today's customer relationships.

Customer relationship marketing is no longer just a desirable component of an overall marketing strategy—it's a necessity. In an ever-competitive e-commerce world, with more than 2.5 million stores in the U.S. alone, it's the one factor that can set a brand apart, turning first-time shoppers into loyal customers and brand long-term advocates.

In the end, enhancing your customer relationship marketing efforts is about staying one step ahead of the competition, anticipating customer needs, and meeting them where they are. And the first step in that journey is bringing the human touch back into digital commerce. It's time to make your customers feel valued, heard, and above all, human. After all, we're all just humans doing business with other humans.

Humankind’s Conversational Commerce Software helps brands tap into the power of SMS and real-time conversation to give customers a unique, personalized shopping experience. Our platform enables businesses to scale one-on-one interactions with their customers without compromising on quality. To see how we can help you drive customer loyalty and satisfaction, book your demo today.

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