SugarCRM in the Retail Industry


“Retail used to be about great customer service; now it is about great personal service”, says Dana Zingher of Enclothed, a personalize men’s clothing brand.

Retailing is the purest form of business on this planet. According to Fortune, this industry has the largest number of employees in its business cycle compared to any other industry. Millions of people buy products of their choice from retailers around the world, every day. This translates into billions of dollars’ worth of purchased items, equipment, and apparel being involved in the business cycles. Today, this industry is an extremely competitive one with hundreds of thousands of brands fighting over the position to become the top retailers in their specialized product of choice. For this purpose, the industry as a whole is gravitating towards providing a personalized customer experience with the help of Customer Relationship Management (CRM) tools.

Take the sports retail industry as an example. Like any other industry, it too has distinct necessities and requirements. In the US alone, the sports retail industry has $6 billion annual revenue with a 4.6% growth. It employs more than 100,000 people. These retailers sell licensed sports apparel, accessories and collectibles. Retailers have to acquire licenses and certifications from professional leagues for vending their sporting apparel, in deals which are usually worth millions of dollars, hence making it absolutely necessary to engage their customers and nurture loyalty in them. Now, broaden your vision and think of the total cash flow that takes place across all the retailers in the world. The result would be staggering.

For this reason, implementation of SugarCRM in the retail industry has become a necessity. SugarCRM for the retail industry provides a robust tool to retailers, helping them in relationship building, inventory and financial management, and providing end-customers with an incredible customer experience which directly boosts sales and revenues and provides a competitive edge to retailers in this sector.

Must-Have CRM Features for Retailers

Mobile Functionality

Today, retailers know that online purchasing has become much more sought after. Some vendors have given their customers the ease of buying via mobile applications and getting the required products delivered at the customers’ doorsteps. Others are using mobile applications for sending notifications to purchasers whenever an order is ready for an in-store pickup.

Online sales have boosted because of this increasing click and collect feature. SugarCRM in retail will allow retailers to better manage their orders and keep track of their customers in a much more efficient manner. Cloud-based SugarCRM will provide sales personnel with the capabilities of tracking customer activity, and timely updating order statements by using the SugarCRM mobile app or simply using a browser on their mobile phones and tablets.

Automated Marketing

Brand loyalty has undying connectivity with all retailers across the globe. Launching massive targeted email campaigns and keeping track of the indices of customer satisfaction is an additional quality of SugarCRM. With the help of Sugar, customers can be segmented and then each segment can be targeted with a different marketing message focused on the products that they might be interested in.

Sugar acts as a central hub for customer data. This paves the way for retailers to automate key business processes and to drive customer loyalty programs, cross-sell, upsell and carry out extensive event marketing.

Effective Sales Processing

The increasing conversion rate from Marketing Automation needs a powerful Sales tool. With the entire sales pipeline tracked in SugarCRM, the retail team can easily see if there are any renewals waiting or new opportunities in sight, within the existing customer base. Sales forecasts come in handy with the help of SugarCRM. Moreover, with Sugar, retailers can keep track of every customer touchpoint, including phone calls and emails to website pages and marketing campaigns. Customer requests and updates can be accessed via SugarCRM which gives the sales team an advantage of up-to-date customer information.

In short, with SugarCRM, the Salesteam can get a 360-degree view of the whole business and can use this data to boost sales effectively.

Database Intelligence

SugarCRM is on its way towards ascending to the status of being the most intelligent CRM that the market is offering. With SugarCRM being incorporated into retail outlets, sales teams can thoroughly view and analyze all the gathered customer data across all customer interaction points; including Google Apps, Social Media and other interactions. They can clearly view insights into the possibilities of closed deals won. With these insights, salespeople can identify whether they should focus on lead nurturing or move towards closing a ripe prospect.

Programmable new and improved databases, implemented by Sugar, may contain thousands of enriched contact information and preferences. This is indeed a rich resource that can be used to drive increased excitement, sales, and loyalty.

Enabled E-Commerce Ability and Inventory Management

Managing inventories and handling complex finances is a headache that every retailer wants to be relieved of. SugarCRM for retail is the perfect medication for this complication. SugarCRM is compatible with financial tools like QuickBooks and JBilling. These integrations will provide the users with a unitary access point to view the real­ time billing of the inventories and retail stores. Along with this, users are imparted with the capacity to process payments, issue refunds, manage subscriptions, and more, all from using serviceable third-party integrations within SugarCRM.

To put it simply, SugarCRM acts as a ‘front end’ where Sales has complete control over managing relationships. In addition to that, jBilling runs in the ‘back end’, generating invoices, and keeping SugarCRM up to date with all important billing information for the customer.

Why Retailers Choose SugarCRM: A Short Case Study

SugarCRM in the Retail Industry

Driven by the desire to pilot Marathon Sports into a brand new era of customer-focused marketing and management, the company decided to make a calculated commitment to initiate “Project CRM.” They decided to incorporate SugarCRM because the charges for API calls were minimal and the integrations with existing systems were amiable and straight-forward. Jaime Morillo, Marathon’s Chief Customer Officer said:

“We decided it would be a great time to get a better analysis of our customer base. That way we are creating brand-loyal customers.”

Jaime recognized that the move towards data-driven marketing would require the deployment of a modern SugarCRM platform. Sugar provided them with a customized platform that would juxtapose personal data, contact data, and purchase preference information for driving smarter and more targeted marketing campaigns. With data gathered into one repository, Sugar would help Marathon generate personalized offers, drive customer promotions, and trigger alerts and reports to keep the marketing, sales, financial forecasting and customer service informed about the customers and the business. Some of the integrations that Sugar used for this purpose were:

  • Joomla: For web pages & gamification
  • RetailPro: A Point Of Sale (POS) software
  • SAP HANA: Business Intelligence
  • Act-On: Marketing automation & social media analytics

Marathon plans to implement its customer strategy involving Sugar, next in Peru. After the successful campaign, Jaime Morillo said:

“We have great support for Sugar from our CEO, and we see Sugar as the backbone of our operational strategy, from Panama to Chile.”

The Bottom Line

The adaptability of SugarCRM features makes it the perfect fit for the exact needs of retailers. It provides a full-blown platform for sales and management agents, catering them in taking the best viable decisions and assisting them in creating truly extraordinary relationships with their existing and potential clients. For this reason, retail companies across the globe are shifting towards using Sugar’s capabilities and increasing their profitability by double-digit figures.

Rolustech is a SugarCRM Certified Developer & Partner Firm. We have helped more than 700 firms with various SugarCRM integrations and customization. Get in touch today for your FREE Business Analysis. We will be happy to assist you!