Since the dawn of modern technology, a pattern has repeated itself: A challenge emerges and software providers rush to deliver a solution. Then, with time, that solution becomes part of a more powerful, integrated experience.
As we look to the next evolution in technology, there is a clear case to be made that customer relationship management (CRM) systems will logically converge with the eCommerce platform.
The Future of eCommerce and CRM
It seems inherently obvious that a company would want to have a single system of record for customer information and interactions as well as the customer’s commerce transactions.
In B2C eCommerce, the next-generation convergence of CRM and the eCommerce platform introduces a wealth of new possibilities to monitor and measure everything that happens online and capture every interaction with a customer or prospect—both automatically and on a massive scale.
Combining interaction and order data in a single repository will enable the ability to drive dynamic and personalized merchandising and offers online.
Despite the undeniable value of capturing and analyzing as much customer information as possible, the traditionally separate worlds of eCommerce and CRM have made integration economically unviable.
Most companies would agree that recording all customer actions on an eCommerce site is useful, yet few are willing to make the investment to replicate that data into a separate CRM system. The only way to achieve this goal is to build CRM and eCommerce directly on the same platform, creating a single data source.
How to achieve balance in modern CRM integrations
A CRM system needs to adapt to micro-interactions, even if it is just a quick visit to a website while standing in line to order a sandwich.
This may not be a deep or meaningful interaction, but it is certainly one that is helpful in understanding the customer’s purchase intent. But without an integrated platform, it’s unlikely that such an interaction would ever be properly captured.
Transforming a CRM system to become a comprehensive commerce platform is not a realistic expectation. What’s more likely is for eCommerce platforms to start moving beyond being purely transactional systems and toward systems that provide the foundation of the customer relationship.
Once CRM capabilities are embedded in an eCommerce platform, the ability to capture and connect all interactions and transactions, present relevant products and make attractive offers will only be enhanced, rendering both CRM and eCommerce as better solutions than either was as a standalone.
While the technology challenges presented when integrating standalone CRM and eCommerce can be daunting, finding a vendor that offers both capabilities natively integrated will multiply your returns.
To find out more about our approach to CRM and eCommerce integrations get in touch below for a free consultation.