If you’re a CIO in retail, you understand the importance of access to good data. It’s critical to what you do.

However, like two city skyscrapers built next to each other, traditional data management systems function as independent “side-by-side” structures. In other words, your ERP data are in one place and your CRM data are in another.

Which worked fine until the internet changed how customers shop and interact with their favorite brands. They’re now in control of their shopping experiences

Can you see what your customers really want?

Your customer wants to access every detail of the winter down jacket — get a panoramic view (in every color), zoom in, check the size-and-fit guide — and the availability — read the reviews, scrutinize the features, look at suggested similar products, add to the cart and check out in a couple of clicks — all on her phone, on a coffee break.

To pull that off with one customer, buying one product, is no mean feat. To do it for every customer and every product you sell requires a sophisticated, highly automated approach.

In fact, creating a shopping experience that turns customers into die-hard fans requires lightning-speed data analysis, manipulation and response – which will not happen if your data exists in different places – that is, in separate ERP and CRM silos.

And that’s where upgrading to an integrated ERP/CRM solution comes in.

Here are some reasons to reel in your data and get everything you need to create fantastic customer experiences and generate massive revenue streams.

1 – Stay one step ahead of your customers

As customers load up their carts, your ability to show them related products or check on availability can mean the difference between a multi-item purchase and an abandoned cart.

Staying ahead of what the customer wants requires super-responsive automation — from an online store to warehouse.

An integrated Microsoft Dynamics 365 solution helps you predict your customers’ needs in real time across any channel. And with every positive transaction, you can build customer loyalty and get bigger returns.

2 – Plant the seeds for eventual sales opportunities

Not every customer will be ready to buy as they interact with your brand, but the impression you make will put your brand to the front of their mind once they are ready to buy.

With the ability to track customers’ activities — by individual account and their demographic profiles — you can create more effective and precise promotional campaigns

3 – Create brand love with strategic customer service

Even though many of your retail transactions may take place online, customers will often require personal attention at multiple points during the sales process.

For the associate answering questions about the specifications of a backpacking tent or the location of a recent order, having access to the customer’s data in an easy-to-use dashboard allows them to create a positive — and essential — customer service experience.

4 – Get the big view

Your integrated data system pulls all your customers’ data into one place, and that means you have access to any data, at any time.

This eliminates delays in gathering data from isolated systems. Instead, you can evaluate current stock levels and generate financial reports from your customized dashboard on any device. No waiting for an associate to get the spreadsheet over to you – instead, you can access the information you need, as you need it.

5 – Embrace the power of automation

As you implement your marketing and brand strategies — your email blasts, customer inquiry follow-ups and reorder reminders — intelligent automation is key to successfully coordinating all your efforts.

A cloud-based Dynamics 365 system adds a whole new layer of automation in the form of Power BI (Business Intelligence). It gives you the ability to see and access all your metrics — from sales and marketing to IT and HR.

Your super-fast responses to customer needs can be the difference between closing the sale and losing it to the competition.

Moving at the speed of retail

To stay competitive, your retail operation must respond to every customer’s needs and create a shopping experience that delights and keeps them coming back.

As your customers come to expect more automation and personalization as part of their shopping experience — of getting what they want with minimal effort — you’ll need the fastest, most accurate data management system to meet their expectations.

Learn how an integrated ERP/CRM system can make your life easier with a FREE system assessment. We’ll take a look at your existing system and map out the best options for your integrated ERP/CRM upgrade.

Schedule your Free CRM assessment with one of our AlfaPeople experts today.

Managing Partner at AlfaPeople

With +25 years in the enterprise business solutions space, Erik has a proven track record of advising Midsize and Enterprise companies through successful implementations. His strong focus on Retail for the last 10 years has led to Erik being recognized as a respected leader in Dynamics Retail solutions and a trusted advisor to many retailers.

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