Posted on May 18, 2020

Why Salesforce?

Salesforce for Retail IndustryIn this era of rapid technological change, business leaders need to be aware of the latest software offerings to take advantage of important new functionality. A key platform for business users is the immensely popular Salesforce. Like any other enterprise software, however, Salesforce needs to be configured, customized, and administered properly for optimal function and a maximum return on investment. In addition, there are best practices that are unique to each industry.

In a series of blog posts, we’ll be taking a look at important best practices for some of the industries that Korcomptenz specializes in. This post focuses on the retail industry.

Top Five Best Practices in the Retail Industry

The retail industry includes businesses of all sizes, from mom and pop shops to ecommerce stores to massive chains. The underlying feature of all of these businesses is the sale of products to their customers and the need to continually attract both new customers and repeat business.

This is true whether you are selling apparel, technology products, consumer durables, or even food products. The audience might be different, the purchasing cycle might be shorter or longer, and the competition might be niche or fierce, but ultimately all retailers need to continually drive sales of individual products, sold as units or in-bulk.

One of the keys to driving sales is the customer experience, and the speed at which customers can place and receive an order, plus access customer service. Salesforce can play a critical role in this process, but chances are it’s not the only system you use. Therefore, it’s critical to enable Salesforce to access customer data from these other systems.

  • Synchronize your data: A positive customer experience requires sales and service teams to have access to complete information on the purchasing history, preferences, and any other supporting information. This will enable your representatives to respond quickly and accurately to a customer’s needs, allowing them to easily place a repeat order for a favorite product, identify a new customer, and provide accurate service. A few systems you should consider integrating with Salesforce to achieve this goal are:

    1. Accounting and ERP software for display of financial information
    2. Ecommerce software to consolidate online purchases for an omnichannel experience
    3. Point of sale software to consolidate offline purchases
  • Capture as much information as possible on your customers and prospects: In today’s competitive environment, merely knowing a customer’s name and address isn’t enough. Smart retailers leverage the ability to append additional data to a contact to capture other information like their birth date, gender, and even their likes and dislikes from product ratings or progressive forms. This data will enable you target customer’s specifically around their unique needs and preferences. Using Salesforce’s Account Hierarchy, you can even map customers to their other family members to maximize your performance.

  • Leverage marketing automation capabilities: Driving retail business is all about creating mind-share when the customer is ready to make a purchasing decision and driving that decision. Salesforce offers marketing automation packages and/or can be integrated with other software to keep in touch with your customers and prospects without any manual intervention. In addition to sending notifications around abandoned carts, time since last purchase, etc. you can provide special offers on their birthdays or other milestones, plus generate referrals and drive alerts around new products, seasonal trends, etc.

  • Analyze and visualize your data: Salesforce includes important tools that can help you generate insights based on your past performance and even forecast future performance. These insights can be helpful in both targeting individual customers based on their unique history, segmenting customers based on similar patterns, and planning your promotions. You can also measure the impact of your promotions and marketing more precisely. There’s even AI-powered Salesforce Einstein to help automate these tasks and identify trends you might have missed.

  • Experiment and iterate your loyalty and promotional programs: While the widespread usage of technology to measure results can create the impression that retail has become a science, there’s still an art to it. If you’ve implemented the above best practices, you’re in a position to experiment with different promotions, rebates, and loyalty programs to determine which works best for your customers, or even your individual customer segments. For example, if you’re concerned that a loss-leader offer might not generate the additional business you need to remain profitable, you can run it against a small number of your customers and determine it’s actual impact in the real world. You can test various types of offers – discounts, BOGOs, points, etc – and see which strategies generate the best return for your business.

Contact Us and Keep Reading to Learn More

We hope the Salesforce best practices in this blog have been helpful to you. Please visit Korcomptenz to learn more about our Salesforce solutions for the retail industry or to schedule a complimentary consultation. Also, be sure to check back in the future for best practices for other industries.

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