Contributing over a third of SME turnover, retail is big business, especially when there is still so much uncertainty around consumer spending – I’m not mentioning the B word.

Survival in retail has always been difficult, how many times have you walked into a shop and become extremely judgemental on what they’re doing wrong? I hate to admit, I’ve done this so many times. I’m not an expert, sometimes it’s just common sense, especially when it comes to customer relations.

Great product, rubbish service

No matter how good your product is, if you don’t know your customer then you’re at a disadvantage. Retailers of all sizes have one thing in common – they want to make money and the more money you make, the more successful you become. Rather than small and medium sized businesses trying to emulate their corporate, high street counter parts, they need to make the most out of what they can do, and a fundamental aspect of this is implementing a retail management system that has an integrated customer relationship management (CRM) module, keeping customers happy and making them more likely to be loyal.

CRM isn’t complex, and if SMEs want to win the loyalty battle, then it should become an integral part of your retail management strategy.

Slick CRM for savvy retailers

Imagine having access to your customer data in real-time, wouldn’t that be great? You’d be able to see who is buying what, how often, where and when; letting you make quick, informed decisions around keeping those loyal customers coming back. If you notice a repeat shopper has bought five bars of soap over the past month, send them a direct promotion, thanking them for their custom with a money off voucher. Simple.

Having the ability to configure custom fields that are unique to your own CRM is a great way to add important information about customers. Knowing when birthdays are goes a long way to making customers feel valued, especially when it ties in with a promotion, but with an intuitive CRM system you can capture details on a more granular basis, letting you offer more than promotions. If you can see what brands people regularly purchase, you can send targeted comms at these shoppers promoting new lines, limited editions, pre-orders and more.

CRM + Loyalty = Happy Retail

Some of the best CRM systems should provide retailers with the ability to fully integrate loyalty schemes to gain a complete single view of all customers and their activity. It would also help towards increasing loyalty, as retailers can target non-loyalty, but regular shoppers with marketing activity to encourage signing-up, even tying it in to specialist promotions for extra points if they sign up within a certain time frame, driving extra sales and footfall.

Running the one system for your retail management can automatically avoid duplicate, or incomplete customer records, continuously keeping your data up to date, as well as provide you with the option to select ‘opt-outs’ in line with GDPR. If a customer is in sore and they forget their loyalty card then with easy postcode lookup, retailers should be able to access customer data instantly at the till, making sure they aren’t missing out on points and eliminating the FOMO affect – Bravissimo do this perfectly, no cards or apps, just your postcode and name at the till.

Diverse payment options

As your CRM grows and your retail business becomes more consumer focused, you can use it to your advantage. If you sell larger, or more expensive items then an intuitive CRM system will integrate fully with payment options to let you take deposits, or part-payments by customer account and even set credit limits at the point of sale.

With an option to make gathering customer data mandatory at the point of sale for such payments, you can easily implement e-receipts and digital warranties, meaning your customers don’t need to keep hold of those bits of paper for longer than needed. Plus, if an item needs to be returned, you have instant access to the e-receipts, meaning customers can still return something without their paper receipt.

Grab the opportunity

CRM doesn’t need to be daunting to smaller retailers, it’s a massive opportunity for you to create sleek, engaging and downright fantastic relationships with your customers, keeping your bottom line healthy.

Find out how you can male sure your CRM system is the best in the business, download the RetailStore platform brochure here.

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