What Is An eCommerce CRM & Why Your Online Store Needs One
Your customers are the reason you’re in business, and the better you take care of them, the more business you’ll do. Managing your customers can take a lot of time and effort, though. Fortunately, it doesn’t have to! In fact, you have more options than ever before when it comes to CRM — Customer Relationship Management — and there is a wide range of software options that will help you.
Not that long ago, CRM involved a type of ancient technology known as a Rolodex. The days of flipping through those card-sized files in their circular container are long gone, thanks to numerous software solutions.
You may be new to the idea of CRM software, or you may have been using it for years. Regardless, if you connect with your customers online, you need a different, specialized type of eCommerce CRM solution to make the most of every interaction with them.
Other Featured Options:
- Pipedrive: Best for mid-sized B2B organizations looking for an efficient, easy-to-use CRM.
Read more below to learn why we chose these options.
Table of Contents
- What Is An eCommerce CRM?
- eCommerce CRM VS Traditional CRM: What's The Difference?
- The Benefits Of Using An eCommerce CRM
- The 6 Best eCommerce CRM Software & Tools
- Zoho Pricing
- Zoho Features
- Zoho Integrations
- Capsule Pricing
- Capsule Features
- Capsule Integrations
- Drip Pricing
- Drip Features
- Drip Integrations
- Copper Pricing
- Copper Features
- Copper Integrations
- HubSpot Pricing
- HubSpot Features
- HubSpot Integrations
- Pipedrive Pricing
- Pipedrive Features
- Pipedrive Integrations
- Choosing The Right eCommerce CRM Tool For Your Business
- In Summary: The 6 Best eCommerce CRM Software & Tools
What Is An eCommerce CRM?
Think of it like this: the idea of relying on a Rolodex is laughable today, right? Well, if your eCommerce business is using a traditional CRM software that focuses mainly on sales, you’re leaving business on the table. When your customers are finding your products and buying them online, around the clock instead of during traditional business hours, you need a CRM solution that meets them when and wherever they are. That includes:
- Acquiring leads from multiple channels
- Engaging and re-engaging customers
- Timely communication and support
- Email marketing and newsletters
- Social media channels
- Moving opportunities through your sales pipeline
- Advanced reporting that delivers a comprehensive view of your sales goals, marketing results, seasonal trends, and more
- Customer support 24/7
- Gathering and making the most of customer data
The right CRM can take the work out of those key processes, leaving you with more time to focus on growing your business.
But how can you choose the right eCommerce CRM from the wealth of options that are out there? We’ll break down six top choices for you, so you can choose the right eCommerce tool to help your business succeed.
eCommerce CRM VS Traditional CRM: What's The Difference?
A traditional CRM system focuses on sales. It tracks customer data and automatically triggers certain actions, like a phone call or follow-up email when customers haven’t bought in a while. While traditional CRMs can track and react to online sales, they generally don’t take into account the vast amount of non-sales activity that happens online.
That’s where eCommerce CRM systems deliver a clear advantage. From the first time a lead visits your eCommerce store to the time they click the Buy button, or exit without buying, your eCommerce CRM tracks every click. And when follow-up communications are triggered, like a special email offer to customers who abandon their cart without purchasing, you can see how customers react. If you send out a newsletter, which links do customers click? Do they buy from you? Your eCommerce CRM collects all that data and uses it to help you shape your next actions.
|eCommerce CRM||Traditional CRM|
|Tracks all activity and interactions||Focuses mainly on sales|
|Connects multiple platforms, including social media||Looks to personal contact, phone calls, web traffic|
|Collects customer feedback||Manages & stores customer information|
|Uses data to show you how to build your brand||Tracks purchases|
|Personalized for each customer, based on previous actions||Uses traditional, scripted approaches|
The Benefits Of Using An eCommerce CRM
If you’re wondering what you can expect from an eCommerce CRM, and if using one is really worth the expense and the hassle of using it, read on. Here are some of the top benefits you’ll see once you get started with your new eCommerce CRM:
Every time customers visit your online store, they leave a lot of data behind. Where do their clicks take them? At what point do they decide to buy, or to leave with an empty shopping cart? There’s a gold mine of data that shows you how to make your online sales strategies work better. But it’s hard enough to collect the data, let alone organize and learn from it.
Unless you’re using an eCommerce CRM.
Start by encouraging online visitors to register for a free account. Maybe you can give them something to entice them to hand over their information, like a percent-off coupon, a free download, or some special deal. Enabling customer profiles through your eCommerce CRM allows customers to maintain wish lists, receive personalized loyalty rewards and offers, track shipments easily, and experience streamlined checkout, with store information that can include their payment method, shipping address, and order history.
In exchange, you get a heaping helping of coveted data: email address, regional location, name, purchase history, and possibly age and gender. That information will allow you to jumpstart your CRM and develop precise and effective marketing strategies.
One warning: Think twice before you require customers to create an account. They may be leery of handing over that information before they become a satisfied, repeat customer. Or they may be overwhelmed with the number of online accounts they already have. It’s wise to offer a guest checkout option, rather than lose the sale.
Traditional CRM might prompt you to pick up the phone or send a letter to a customer who hasn’t bought from you in a while. Those are actions that take a certain amount of time and money to perform. But not when you use eCommerce CRM.
You’ll have endless opportunities to follow up and attempt to reengage customers through eCommerce CRM. And it won’t cost a penny or take a moment of your time. If a previous buyer hasn’t visited your online store in a while, your CRM can automatically send an email offering information about a special offer, just for her. If a customer leaves items in his shopping cart and leaves without completing the purchase, your CRM can send a reminder or even an incentive to come back
The possibilities are nearly endless. Here are just a few of the things you can task your CRM with automatically delivering:
- Information about rewards/loyalty points earned
- Notifications about price changes on items they’ve viewed or placed on their wish list
- Seasonal sales
- Personal coupon codes
- Information about local events
- Any calls to action you can think of to draw customers back to your store
The easier it is to draw out data about customers and their habits, the easier it becomes to use what you know to increase sales. Your eCommerce CRM will effortlessly deliver a bird’s eye view of everything that happens in your online store.
Want to see all the items customers have purchased more than once? No problem. Need to see which promotions helped the most during last year’s slow season? You got it. Wondering which social media sites are doing the best at driving traffic to your store? It’s easy to drill down and see the specific details you need.
Any online store lives or dies by its reputation, and nothing affects reputation like excellent customer service, or, unfortunately, terrible service. This is another area where it’s eCommerce CRM to the rescue. Happy customers will be invited back to your store, through automated marketing efforts, and unsatisfied customers can be salvaged if you identify and resolve their problems quickly, by letting CRM streamline the process.
That could mean flagging customer support requests with varying levels of urgency, so the highest priority issues receive your attention first. And because you’ll have a customer’s entire order history at your fingertips, your interactions with them will be informed by all the information you can track. That means you may never have to tell them “I don’t know,” and you’ll be able to see at a glance what each customer’s lifetime value looks like, so you’ll know when it’s worth it to pull out all the stops to keep them happy.
In a crowded online marketplace, it is critical that your brand stand out. But it can take the work of a full-time manager unless you activate an eCommerce CRM system.
It may take nothing more than an email or a social media post to keep your brand fresh and attractive, right in front of existing and potential customers’ eyes. Even if they don’t click through to your store and make a purchase, staying visible with regular, high-quality points of contact will deliver sales over time.
The 6 Best eCommerce CRM Software & Tools
Whatever you’re selling online, you need an eCommerce CRM system: An eCommerce CRM is the key to driving sales, turning browsers into buyers, and boosting your eCommerce business. Every time a customer visits your website or clicks a link, the eCommerce CRM uses that information to help you make more sales. Ready to get started using an eCommerce CRM? There are many choices out there, including our top 6: Zoho, Capsule, Drip, Copper, HubSpot, and Pipedrive.
1. Zoho CRM
Best for eCommerce businesses of all sizes looking for an easy-to-use, inexpensive CRM solution.
Zoho’s affordable cloud-based CRM solution focuses on generating and capturing leads, conversion, customer retention, and loyalty. It offers users enterprise-level sales automation to help you hone your operation’s efficiency. Completely mobile accessible, Zoho delivers security, too, with encryption, audit logs, IP restrictions, and two-factor authentication.
It’s also known for ease of use. To start, there’s an in-house migration system — Zwitch — that will help you bring your existing sales data onboard when you sign up for Zoho. Low-code developer tools allow you to build your own CRM on the Zoho platform, of you can use the customization options to add features to the standard CRM.
You’ll find plenty of integrations in the Zoho Marketplace, or you can use Zoho’s Developer console to build your own. Use the Widget SDK to embed third-party apps and custom web pages into your CRM account. And Zoho also offers 40+ integrated business and productivity apps, all of which work for both web and mobile, and they’re built to work together.
Should you run into trouble, Zoho support is available 24/7 with responses commonly delivered in under an hour.
- Free trial, free plan available
- Simple pricing plans
- Numerous integrations
- Minimal learning curve
- Key features available only on top-level plans
- Coding may be necessary
You can choose the best plan for your business from a range of Zoho offerings — from $12 to $45 per month per user. Each offers a flexible month-to-month option, though you will save 20% if you choose to pay annually. There’s even a stripped-down “forever free” edition that allows up to three users, aimed at home business.
The free version includes up to 10 email templates, website visitor tracking, and basic customer support.
Plans are tiered, with additional features and benefits coming each time you step up in price. Check out the full details of each plan before you make up your mind. Or sign up for a free 15-day trial, with no credit card needed.
You won’t be disappointed in Zoho’s feature set. It’s massive. Here are some of the highlights in key categories:
- Leads, contacts, and accounts
- Activities: tasks, events, calls, and notes
- Multiple pipelines
- Recurring activities
- Enrich data with Twitter, Facebook profiles
- Social tab
- Automated lead generation from social media
- Social interaction from leads/contacts
- Website visitor tracking
- Email authentication
- Custom segmentation
- CRM for Google Ads
- Business hours
- Case escalation rules
Zoho integrates with these eCommerce platforms:
2. Capsule CRM
Best for startups to midsized businesses. Special focus on real estate, construction, travel agencies, accountants, and hotels and hospitality.
Aimed at organizations on the move, Capsule delivers a mobile app for Android and iOS that lets you take customers with you wherever you go. Capsule’s mobile app lets you view contacts’ sales histories and notes, and start new calls, messages, and emails. The mobile app even recognizes callers who aren’t in your phone system, pulling information from your CRM to show you who’s calling.
It’s easy to build your customer base in Capsule. You can import existing contacts from Outlook or Google Contacts or via CSV, vCard, or spreadsheet. And you can Sync Capsule contacts with your apps to see their customers’ social media activity and other key information, like open support tickets.
Capsule offers five pipeline reports, including by milestones, teams, growth, or forecasting. Reports include Won/Lost Opportunities, with a Lost Reasons report that lets you track lost sales, spot trends, and take action before negative impacts spread. And a visual pipeline lets you keep an eye on the big picture as opportunities pass through your sales process
Every Capsule plan includes unlimited custom fields, calendar, task management, customizable sales milestones, a visual drag-and-drop pipeline, sales reporting, email integration, security features that include two-factor authentication and restricted access features, customer support, Zapier integrations, the mobile app, API access.
- Free plan, free trial available
- Mobile app
- Competitive pricing
- Easy to use
- Limited users
- Limited features for larger businesses
You can choose from three paid Capsule plans — ranging from $18 to $72 per user per month. Each plan includes a set of built-in features that increases as you go up in plan level. There’s also a pared-down free plan, that’s limited to two users per organization and up to 250 contacts.
You can test Capsule with a free trial of up to 30 days, with no credit card required. The company advertises that its plans require no long-term commitment, saying that users can upgrade, downgrade, or cancel at any time.
Screenshot of Capsule webpage captured 11/20/2020
Capsule’s built-in feature set is not the most robust in the field.
However, Capsule offers a satisfying number of integrations that you can use to customize your CRM. Add what you need one by one, or download a custom app like Zapier to cover most of your bases. There’s also an API you can use to integrate with third-party applications or your own custom apps. Here are some of the highlights of what you’ll get out of the box:
- Fields and tag
- Group contacts based on your own business needs
- Record the information that matters most to you
- Add unique activities that are meaningful in your business
- Add reasons why a sale fell through, so you identify common ones
- Filter opportunities based on status, tags, milestones, and more
- Select the currency you prefer and set it as standard
- Track conversion, sales milestones, and forecast in one view
- Two-factor authentication
- User roles
- Restricted access to records
- GDPR compliance
Screenshot of Capsule CRM webpage captured 10/24/2020
Capsule integrates with these eCommerce platforms:
Drip Ecommerce CRM
Best for small businesses that want to compete with eCommerce giants.
Drip can be a solid CRM option for nearly any kind of business. However, Drip was built for eCommerce in particular and naturally serves that type of business well. Drip focuses on eCommerce KPIs key performance indicators — such as what links customers click, what pages they visit, what products they revisit, and what emails they open — to show you how likely customers are to buy and how best to reach them.
That includes a special focus on Facebook ads thanks to Drip’s Facebook Custom Audiences integration that automatically starts, stops, or changes the ads customers see, based on the actions they take. Drip also leverages the email addresses you collect in your CRM, gathering data, and enabling smart automations. The result is timely communication with personalized context.
- Transparent pricing
- Impressive feature set
- Free trial
- Specialist focus on eCommerce
- Number of contacts limited
- Expensive for larger businesses
You can test-drive Drip for 14 days, with no credit card required, or sign up for a free demo. If you like what you see, you can sign up for a paid plan. Pricing depends on how many contacts you have in your account. To give you an idea of what you might expect to pay for what you need, here are some samples:
- Up to 500 contacts, $19/mo.
- Up to 2,500 contacts, $39/mo.
- Up to 3,000 contacts, $49/mo.
- Up to 3,500 contacts, $59/mo.
- Up to 4,000 contacts, $69/mo.
- Up to 4,500 contacts, $79/mo.
- Up to 5,000 contacts, $89/mo.
- Up to 6,000 contacts, $99/mo.
At 150,000, the monthly cost would be $1,699. If you have more than 150,000 contacts, you will need to communicate with Drip to receive a quote.
You can use drip out of the box, or add integrations, including Zapier, to customize your CRM.
- Tags you can use to track and segment customers
- Custom fields that let you capture detailed information
- Tracking Events alerts you to every product view, purchase, and more
- Track what each shopper searches for, opens, clicks, and buys
- Automated, customizable engagements at key points in the shopping and sales process
- Personalized discount codes, product recommendations, price drop notices, and more
- Collect data, then use what you know about customers to target add on Facebook and Instagram
- Use text messages to grab customers’ attention
- Make the most of customer engagement with behavior-based automations and workflows
- Personalized emails using Liquid and Personalized Content blocks
- Clear dashboard displays key metrics all in one place
- Split tests inside automated workflows
Drip integrates with these eCommerce platforms:
4. Copper CRM
Best for businesses that rely on G Suite and want a familiar, easy-to-use CRM solution.
How comfortable are you with G Suite? If it’s your favorite go-to set of tools, you may want to take a closer look at Copper. It integrates perfectly with Google applications, updating records and importing data effortlessly, so you don’t have to.
- Free trial available
- Straightforward pricing
- Minimal learning curve
- Limited integrations
- Expensive for small businesses
You can try out Copper CRM with a 14-day free trial, no credit card needed. If you like what you see, you can sign up for a plan, with options ranging from $25 to $119 per month. Plans on the lower tiers have limitations related to users and contacts, and some features are available only on higher levels.
Copper features a native integration that allows you to manage many CRM functions right from your Gmail inbox. You can also sync with your Google calendar, saving you the hassle of transferring information. Copper doesn’t have a lot of third-party integrations, but it does have an open API, and you can add Zapier to cover a lot of your needs. Here’s what you can expect to find:
- Set rules with smart workflows
- Create personalized emails with ready-to-use templates
- Merge fields to send personal messages to multiple customers
- Share calendar links to set up meetings
- Two-factor authentication
- Data encryption
- User access management
- Automatically track data from your dashboard
- Real-time insights into sales
- Organize sales data so it works for you
- Transfer data to Google Sheets or Google Data Studio
Copper integrates with these eCommerce platforms:
5. HubSpot CRM
Best for companies seeking a versatile free CRM solution.
If you’re operating on a shoestring, adding a CRM element to your eCommerce plans can sound like a great idea that’s just a bit out of reach. Well, don’t let cost keep you from focusing on managing customer relationships because HubSpot offers a product that’s entirely free to use. And, this time, “free” really does mean free.
Even better, the HubSpot CRM is a robust tool that delivers everything you’ll need not only to get started with CRM but to develop a pretty solid plan that can improve your sales. Choose HubSpot CRM, and you’ll be able to enjoy it for free until you develop a contact list of one million. At that point, you’ll have little trouble budgeting for a plan that comes with a price tag higher than $0.
- Forever free
- Numerous features
- Easy to use
- Mobile app for iOS and Android
- Add-ons can add up
- Limited templates, notifications, and other resources
To be perfectly clear, you won’t pay a penny to use HubSpot’s CRM. It’s completely free to use. However, you may want to add some apps to make the CRM work better for you or to make it integrate with your shopping cart.
We know, when you hear the word “free” associated with any software, you think you’ll be getting a stripped-down, bare bones product. When it comes to HubSpot’s free CRM, however, you need to think again. You’ll get all this and more — for free:
- Store, track, and manage sales
- Store, track, and report on customers’ activities and tasks
- Use custom fields
- See what contacts are doing on your website
- Integrate with Gmail and Outlook
- Create forms to gather contact information
- Share with your team an inbox for incoming email and live chats
- Email tracking and notifications
- Chat through Facebook Messenger
- Create a bank of answers to FAQs
- Record data on every company in your database
- Log and assign customer issues as tickets
- Detailed metrics on sales activity and performance
HubSpot integrates with these eCommerce platforms:
Best for mid-sized B2B organizations looking for an efficient, easy-to-use CRM.
Pipedrive is CRM with a focus on helping users visualize their sales process. As the name would suggest, Pipedrive excels at letting you see where each sale individually, and sales as a whole, are at in the business process — from scheduling, completing, and tracking necessary activities.
Pipedrive’s customizable visual sales pipeline lets you slide opportunities from lead to deal, and every step in between. It’s easy to add custom fields, so you can track sales by product, by salesperson, by contact type, or by any other metric that matters to you.
Known for its ease of use and low learning curve, Pipedrive features an intuitive user interface and a clean dashboard. It’s a flexible CRM solution that you can set up and start using quickly, even if you don’t have a lot of experience with sales automation.
- Free trial, with no credit card required
- Easy learning curve
- Numerous integrations
- Mobile friendly
- Expensive add-ons
- Features limited on lower-level plans
You can choose among four Pipedrive plans, with tiered benefits that deliver more as you go up in price. Plans range from $12.50 to $99 per user per month. The most glaring difference in the tiered features is in the communications.
You’ll need to pay for the midlevel Advanced plan ($24.90/user/mo.) if you want customizable email templates, two-way email sync, group emailing, eSignatures, and customizable signatures. Some important reporting and security functions are limited to the Professional plan ($49.90/user/mo.). You can try Pipedrive for free, for 14 days.
Pipedrive offers two attractive add-ons that could affect your pricing:
- LeadBooster: $32.50 per company per month. This allows you to engage leads with Chatbot and Live Chat or draw them in with Web Forms.
- Web Visitors: $41 per company per month. See who is browsing your website, how they found you, what they engaged with, and how long they stayed to discover your hottest leads and what your existing customers want.
Pipedrive comes loaded with useful features. You’ll also find more than 200 integrations available in the Pipedrive marketplace. Pipedrive comes with Zapier, making it easier to add functions to your store. There’s also an open API you can use to develop custom features. Here’s a sampling of what you’ll find out of the box:
- Native apps for Android and iOS
- Sync contacts and calendar with Google and Microsoft
- Record audio notes that are automatically transcribed so you don’t have to type them up
- Unlimited customizable visual pipelines
- Leads inbox pools leads and keeps your pipeline uncluttered
- Chatbot engages online visitors 24/7
- Customizable web forms
- Import data from a spreadsheet or migrate from another CRM
- AI-powered sales mentor delivers personalized tips
- Workflow automation eases the burden of repetitive tasks like email followups
- Pull contacts’ data into your CRM from Google, LinkedIn, Twitter, and more
- Webhooks push real-time updates
- Track calls, email, and contact history automatically
- See full timelines of contact activity history
- Automatically link emails to deals and contacts
- Make calls from the web
- Send trackable quotes, proposals, and contracts from your CRM, and know when documents are opened so you can follow up at the right time
Pipedrive integrates with these eCommerce platforms:
Choosing The Right eCommerce CRM Tool For Your Business
As you can see, you have many good options for eCommerce CRM. And fortunately, you don’t have to choose blindly.
Take advantage of free trial periods to play around with a few different CRMs, to make sure you hone in on the best one for your business needs. If you can test it with your shopping cart platform, even better.
Once you’ve decided on the eCommerce CRM that’s right for you, you’ll be able to choose a paid or free plan and start using it in earnest. Take your time and make sure you know how to onboard efficiently by reading our article Best Practices for CRM Onboarding.
As you become familiar with your CRM, look for more ways to use your software effectively to support your sales goals by reading our article 11 Ways Businesses Should Be Using CRM Software. Your CRM software should be able to grow with you as your sales — and your business success — continue to build.
In Summary: The 6 Best eCommerce CRM Software & Tools
- Zoho CRM: Best for eCommerce businesses of all sizes looking for an easy-to-use, inexpensive CRM solution.
- Capsule CRM: Best for startups to midsized businesses. Special focus on real estate, construction, travel agencies, accountants, and hotels and hospitality.
- Drip Ecommerce CRM: Best for small businesses that want to compete with eCommerce giants.
- Copper CRM: Best for businesses that rely on G Suite and want a familiar, easy-to-use CRM solution.
- HubSpot CRM: Best for companies seeking a versatile free CRM solution.
- Pipedrive: Best for mid-sized B2B organizations looking for an efficient, easy-to-use CRM.