Is Free Ecommerce CRM Software Worth It?

If you do business online then having Ecommerce CRM Software has become a necessity. It doesn’t matter what your sales volume is per month, recent studies have shown that how a company handles shipping and returns – key CRM benefits – is the most important factor in generating high customer satisfaction. For in-house use, there are more CRM benefits than can be easily listed that will transform how you do business online and the return on your investment.

What Makes Cloud CRM Worth It?

If you are choosing to use free CRM software, what kind of investment are you now talking about? The answer to that is simple – time. Even free CRM software requires training and implementation time, plus maintenance time. What makes using any type of cloud CRM worth it are the changes is will produce in your productivity and organization, plus the way it can boost your customer satisfaction ratings. From providing customer portals so they can manage their shipping and returns, to allowing your staff to interact across the entire operations process – you will save time and money, explains a blog by Cyber Speed.

Making Sure You Know What You Want

You will only save that time and money if you know what you are really looking for in CRM benefits. Not all of the cloud CRM software has the same purpose. While they all share similar features some will be more geared towards social media networks while others will emphasize accounting and tracking operations. Free or not, you need to make sure you have a list of what you want in your cloud CRM benefits before you begin reviewing software.

Is Free Ecommerce CRM Software Worth It?

Understand The New Definition Of Free

Before you get too excited when you see a list of highly rated free CRM software you should know that the definition of “free” has evolved over the years. There is now free, freemium and premium pricing to choose from. It is the freemium designation that causes the most confusion. A free cloud CRM program may list all the CRM benefits you need and want only to deliver half of them upon payment. Those are called freemium features. You pay a small additional amount to gain access to them although the base program is free. Make sure you read the reviews and comments carefully to understand which features you have to pay for, it isn’t always made clear in the marketing copy or terms and conditions of the cloud CRM software.

Can Free Really Provide You With All The Benefits Of Paid?

Yes, thanks to the open source code movement there are many different kinds of software programs and suites that are free and provide all of the benefits of a premium package. CRM software is no different. If you are dealing with retail CRM or have an ecommerce store of any type using free cloud CRM can be the best way to grow your business without straining your budget. One thing you must be aware of is that free always means something has been given up. If you are choosing a free cloud CRM program that has all the benefits of the premium versions then you may have given up easy adoption features such as a GUI and training.

Free Still Means Working To Improve Adoption Rates

Just because something is free doesn’t mean your CRM adoption rates will come out of the gate at a high level. Some of the best freeware for CRM is published this way because they have dropped the intuitive interface and taken a bare bones approach. While this does allow them to deliver on CRM benefits and full features, it can cause problems with adoption rates. Training and adequate documentation are what is needed to make sure your adoption goes well. You also want to make sure is that the amount of allowed user accounts is slightly greater than the current number of users you have for the program. If you try to put too many people on the program can lag and crash, which in turn drops your CRM adoption rates. 

The Most Important Thing To Check For

The ability to increase the amount of users you have on an account is the most important feature to check to make sure your free CRM software provides. This is easy if you are using a free version of a premium account system. When you need more user access you can just upgrade your account to gain it, something that may not be included in the most basic ecommerce CRM software, explains a More Retro article. If you are using a free or freemium CRM program than you want to check and make sure that options are available. Some of them have unlimited user account potentials, you just have to host the cloud CRM software. That can work, but make sure you understand what it will do to your hosting cost if you have to allow for more storage. You also have to make sure that there is a way to adjust the user access levels in the program. This usually requires administration access to the core program so be sure that you have that in your free version. 

Finally, Make Sure The Company Is Here To Stay

The last thing you want to make sure of if you are considering using a free Ecommerce CRM Software program is whether or not the company is here to stay. There are many offerings available for download and some of them are from start-ups. Look towards the company’s plans for how they will continue to support and grow the program. If they don’t have a history you can review, look to the organization and how they are involved. This can become even more important if the company is also involved with any of the hosting. At the least, you want to make sure that your free program is going to be compatible with other programs so that should something happen and your free cloud CRM program no longer be supported you can easily move your data over to another system.

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