Customer Management Articles

5 Top-Rated CRM Apps for Retail – 2017

by Deeksha Malik
Published on 24 October 2017

If you're running a small retail business, it's a given that you want to increase sales and provide outstanding in-store and online customer experiences.

The big question is: How do you do that?

A recent research report says retail sales are expected to grow 33.3 percent from 20.8 trillion in 2015 to $27.7 trillion in 2020-making it even more important for retailers to deliver top-notch customer experiences to stand out from the crowd and stay ahead of the competition.

Using a dedicated customer relationship management (CRM) tool can help you address these challenges and more. After all, whatever type of retail business you're in, your relationship with your customers is what will determine your foot traffic, brand loyalty, and ultimately, your sales.

Here we'll look at five of the top-rated CRM apps small business retailers are using to better manage customer relationships and remain competitive. We'll see what real users like you have to say, and we'll also explain what types of businesses can get the most out of each app.

We've shortlisted these five CRM solutions after analyzing thousands of reviews from CRM buyers that are in the retail industry. We've also analyzed hundreds of conversations with retail CRM software buyers.

(Please note: The feedback given in each of the "Common user feedback trends" sections are the opinions of GetApp's reviewers, and do not represent the opinion of GetApp. Read more about our methodology at the bottom of this article.)

The top-rated CRM apps for retail are:

1. Salesforce Sales Cloud: All-in-one solution with advanced features

Salesforce Sales Cloud is a cloud-based CRM and sales automation app designed for retailers as well as sales, marketing, and service professionals.

The tool caters to businesses of all sizes, so it offers some advanced features, in addition to those available in a conventional CRM solution. The contact management feature gives you a 360-degree view of your customers, enabling you to easily access relevant data including key contacts, interactions, and activity history.

Using Salesforce's Advertising Studio from Marketing Cloud, you can carry out and manage marketing campaigns across multiple channels, including social media and mobile, from a single integrated platform. It also lets you and target shoppers with offers specific to their shopping history on their preferred channels, using predictive intelligence capabilities.

Salesforce's lead scoring feature gives sales teams a holistic view of all leads, making it easier to follow up with highest impact leads. Through its forecasting functions, businesses can plan and predict sales cycles as well as manage sales expectations.

Salesforce offers mobile apps for both Android and iOS.

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on GetApp from CRM users in the retail industry, here's an overview of the areas of Salesforce they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like

  • Seamless integrations: GetApp users like that Salesforce offers integrations with several third-party products and business apps.
  • Robust contact management: Users on GetApp remark positively that Salesforce allows its users to track all of a contact's information as well as their entire communication history. They also like the checkbox feature for identifying customers that are particularly difficult.
  • Highly customizable: In general, users say that Salesforce is flexible and easy to customize according to their needs.
  • Great technical support and knowledge base: Many users feel that Salesforce has a proactive and knowledgeable support team, which offers prompt resolutions to customer questions and issues. Some also find its knowledge base for self-service support helpful.
  • User-friendly and easily accessible: Many users mention that they find Salesforce to be intuitive and easy to access and navigate.

User recommended improvements

  • Basic reporting: Some users feel that Salesforce's reporting functionalities are fairly basic, with no option to multisort. Some also complain about outdated visuals in the reporting function.
  • Tedious search engine: According to some users, searching within the system is possible only using main keywords, and the results are not always specific to the chosen keywords.
  • Expensive for small businesses: Several reviewers say they find Salesforce to be costly, and some users mention that those who want to use other modules and customize the tool must pay extra to do so.

Who should consider Salesforce Sales Cloud?

Salesforce would work for retailers that want to keep everything on one platform. It could also be useful for those retailers that need to manage a sales team, track prospective leads, and carry out targeted marketing campaigns, as well as manage customers and contacts. At a higher price point with a robust features set, it would best serve large and growing companies.

Leads management view on Salesforce Sales Cloud (Source: GetApp)

2. Marketing 360: eCommerce and marketing with highly-rated customer support

Marketing 360 is a cloud-based marketing and website platform, which offers a CRM module, and is designed to suit business of all sizes.

Using Marketing 360 CRM, users can manage both sales leads and customers from a centralized location. This gives users the ability to view the entire lifetime of a customer, helping them design effective marketing campaigns and accurately calculate customer lifetime value. Users can also assign tasks and contacts to specific team members.

Marketing 360 CRM offers features that will help businesses run social media marketing campaigns, perform search engine optimization (SEO), and monitor marketing performance. The UXi website feature enables users to design branded web pages, and the Natural Listing Ads feature lets users manage organic search results by tracking keyword volume and ranking.

As a cloud-based platform, Marketing 360 can be accessed via any device connected to the internet, including laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on GetApp from CRM users in the retail industry, here's an overview of the areas of Marketing 360 CRM they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like

  • Easy to use: In general, users find Marketing 360 to be user-friendly and easily accessible.
  • Outstanding technical support and customer service: Many users report that the technical support team is very professional and knowledgeable about the product.

User recommended improvements

  • Difficult to learn initially: Some users find Marketing 360 to be a bit tough to learn and navigate when they first start using the platform.

Who should consider Marketing 360?

Marketing 360 is a good option for those exploring CRM tools for customer and contact management, who want to be able to manage their website and marketing campaigns in the same platform.

Desktop, tablet, and smartphone view of Marketing 360 (Source: GetApp)

3. Brightpearl: Omnichannel retail management with strong inventory and accounting

Brightpearl is a cloud-based platform designed to help users with CRM, point of sale (POS), accounting, inventory, and order management.

Brightpearl's retail CRM solution offers sales analysis and contact tagging features, so businesses can carry out targeted marketing campaigns toward loyal and lapsed customers. It automatically tracks order histories and the details of all customer interactions, regardless of channel.

Brightpearl CRM integrates help desk functionality with task management and email, with the goal of ensuring no message is missed or overlooked.

Its inventory management function helps retailers track and manage inventory centrally, and the retail and eCommerce accounting app lets retailers automatically create orders, process invoices, and manage financial transactions.

Brightpearl integrates with major eCommerce platforms and marketplaces such as Magento, Shopify, BigCommerce, Amazon, and eBay, helping users manage all facets of their retail business. These and other tools fall into Brightpearl's "gold" apps category, a group of third-party apps and extensions that Brightpearl supports.

Other key functionalities include supplier management, POS integration, and custom reporting.

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on GetApp from CRM users in the retail industry, here's an overview of the areas of Brightpearl CRM they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like

  • Automated accounting: In general, users like that the accounting integration eliminates the need for manual bookkeeping, since order entries, invoices, and payments are automatically added and updated.
  • Omnichannel support: Reviewers mention that they like the integration with Amazon and eBay through open APIs (application programming interfaces), which allows them to centrally manage an omnichannel business.
  • Centralized inventory management: Many users say that Brightpearl simplifies what could be a complex inventory management process, since it automatically readjusts stock levels across all channels as soon as a product is sold.
  • Intuitive and user-friendly: In general, users feel that Brightpearl is easy to use, versatile, and has an intuitive interface.
  • Strong technical support: The technical support team is reported by users to be proactive and willing to offer quick resolutions to customer queries. In general, users also like that there are regular updates and improvements to the tool, and they find the self-service support and tutorial videos to be helpful.

User recommended improvements

  • Expensive for small businesses: Some users feel that Brightpearl is a bit pricey for small businesses as compared to similar products on the market.

Who should consider Brightpearl?

Brightpearl is a good option for online retailers that are selling across multiple channels such as Amazon and eBay, as well as on their own websites, since it tracks stock across each channel in real time.

Inventory management view on Brightpearl (Source: GetApp)

We've found the following two products to be popular among buyers from the retail industry that use CRM functionalities. Though they offer CRM capabilities, these products are POS solutions at their core.

4. Epos Now: Affordable all-in-one POS solution for small retailers

Epos Now is cloud-based retail management software suitable for small to midsize retail shops. It's a POS solution that offers barcoding, allowing users to customize product information, and it automatically prints barcodes as soon new stock is added.

The platform's "pay-on-account" functionality stores the contact details of customers and allows users to assign credit limits. With Epos Now, customers can book online appointments, and the tool maintains a centralized customer database, so retailers can send invoices, grant credit, and collect valuable marketing information.

Epos Now integrates with payment processors including Mercury, PayPal, and Apple Pay, and it also offers the ability to accept payment via credit card, debit card, or even smartphone.

Its inventory management feature tracks and manages stock levels in real time, minimizing the risk of over or understocking. Reporting functionality allows businesses to gain insights into sales, inventory, and employee performance.

Epos Now offers native mobile apps for iOS and Android, which allow users to access all of its functionalities on the go.

Common user feedback trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on GetApp from CRM users in the retail industry, here's an overview of the areas of Epos Now they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like

  • Good inventory management: In general, users feel that Epos Now efficiently tracks trending products and low stock items, and they like that it allows them to run promotions for specific time frames.
  • Affordable price point: Many retail users feel they're receiving a good value for their money with Epos Now.
  • Strong technical support: Users feel that the customer and technical support staff at Epos Now is knowledgeable and quick to respond to queries.
  • User-friendly: In general, users find Epos Now easy to use with features that require only basic or no advanced technical knowledge.

User recommended improvements

  • Hardware shipment delays: Some users say they've experienced delays in delivery of Epos Now's hardware, such as iPad Air with printer, cash drawer, and Bluetooth scanner.
  • Unsatisfactory support in the U.S.: As Epos Now is U.K.-based and has recently started selling in the U.S., some users say that a few product features aren't yet available in the U.S. Some users also report issues related to technical support in the U.S.

Who should consider Epos Now?

If you're still using traditional cash registers, but you're looking for an inexpensive and easy-to-use POS solution that also offers CRM capabilities, Epos Now is worth a look. It's a good fit for small retail shops, salons, boutiques, wholesale stores, and eCommerce stores that need barcode scanners, booking systems, receipt printers, and more.

Account setting view in Epos Now (Source: GetApp)

5. ShopKeep: Powerful iPad POS system with inventory management tools

ShopKeep is an iPad-based POS system, mostly suitable for small and growing retailers, franchises, and quick-service restaurants.

ShopKeep comes with a register to track payments, allowing users to create and manage multiple registers as well as split, merge, or transfer payments between different accounts. Users can accept payment through various channels, including credit cards, EMV chip cards, and Apple Pay.

In addition, email receipts are available, meaning businesses can collect customer data and then run email marketing campaigns as well as generate and add gift cards and promo codes.

ShopKeep for retail is also outfitted with functionalities such as inventory management, reporting, and barcoding. Its inventory management feature tracks and manages inventory in real time, giving users a clear view of current stock levels.

The app notifies users about top-selling items as well as the least popular products in stock. Its in-depth reporting functionality gives users insights on sales as well as employee performance.Users can also track employee working hours for payroll.

Common User Feedback Trends

Based on analysis of user reviews on GetApp from CRM users in the retail industry, here is an overview of the areas of ShopKeep they like best, as well as those they feel could use improvement.

What users like

  • Solid inventory management: In general, retail users feel that it's easy to track and manage inventory through ShopKeep. They find it simple to add new items and alter old ones, and they like the notifications about top selling items and out-of-stock products.
  • Ability to charge decimal quantities: Many users like that ShopKeep allows items to be priced in decimal amounts; a feature they say isn't available with some other iPad POS systems.
  • Easy to install and user-friendly: In general, users feel that ShopKeep is easy to set up and use-both the equipment and the software.
  • Easy to set up product database: Many users say that the initial set up of the product database is easy and simple with ShopKeep.
  • Knowledgeable technical support staff: In general, users find the technical support team to be knowledgeable, often offering instant resolutions to support requests.
  • Cost effective: Many users point out that ShopKeep is inexpensive in contrast to other similar software products on the marketplace.

User recommended improvements

  • Basic reporting: Some users feel that the reports generated are basic in terms of size, style, color coding, and more. Some users have particularly highlighted the tax reporting feature, saying it needs improvement.
  • Improper functioning of wireless credit card reader: Some reviewers remark that the wireless version of ShopKeep's credit card reader doesn't always function properly.

Who should consider ShopKeep?

If you own a retail shop, fast food restaurant, or a casual dining establishment with a limited menu, and you're looking for a CRM with a powerful iPad-based POS and inventory management functionalities, ShopKeep might be the right match.

Desktop, tablet, and smartphone view of ShopKeep (Source: GetApp)

Next steps

This comparison is meant to help you make an informed decision as you choose a CRM for your retail business. If you want to dig deeper, here are some additional GetApp resources to help you with your CRM software selection:

  • Check out additional CRM tools for small retail business here
  • See a side-by-side comparison of the CRM for retail apps featured in this article on our comparison page
  • Use our CRM software scorecard to identify the most suitable apps for your company based on your pricing and feature requirements

Methodology

The solutions highlighted in this article are the CRM software systems for retail that have the highest average overall user rating from retailers at the time of writing. For this article, we evaluated 237 CRM software systems and a total of approximately 2,100 user reviews on GetApp's website, exclusively from users in the retail industry.

Here's an overview of our method for choosing this list of top-rated apps:

  • We analyzed reviews from users in retail industry and shortlisted those products that had 4+ out of five stars with a minimum of 20 user reviews.
  • From that list, we considered only those which are listed on GetApp.
  • The "common user feedback" sections include "what users like" and "user recommended improvements" for each product, based on feedback from users who left reviews.
  • The "who should consider this software" section is a summary of analysis conducted on the general comments from software users. This section highlights the most popular features of the software product and recommends who should consider buying that product and why.

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Apps mentioned in this article