Every company, whether B2B or B2C, gets to a point where customer information must be organized and utilized to grow the business. Software that accomplishes this goal is generally referred to as a Customer Relationship Management (or CRM) service. Among the first players (and now the largest) to satisfy that need was Salesforce.com. They built an awesome product, originally created to help B2B sales organizations manage the pipeline of deals and sales prospects.
Over the years, Salesforce has built features and integrated acquisitions that have given the product breadth and created a broad CRM platform. So yes, you could adapt Salesforce for use in a B2C or retail environment. But that’s not what Salesforce was natively built to do. The functionality you need is largely buried, and a retailer will need to do a lot of customization to bring it out.
Compared to salesforce, Lumiary is a bit of a lone wolf – it’s different. And here are key reasons why:
- It was built natively for a retailer. period.
- Not only built for retail, it’s built for growing indie retail. It’s not built for J. Crew – it’s built for retailers who are starting to sell in multiple channels or confronting customer data that is scattered across too many systems to manage.
- It collects customer data for you; the user is never forced to enter data manually. This sounds simple, but consider this: Salesforce is built to handle custom data entries from a salesperson. Contrastingly, Lumiary connects to systems that interact with your customers and pulls information from those sources.
- It’s a small data service. Big data works for businesses that generate reams of data and augment it with intelligence from larger external data sets. Small data is all about segmenting customer info to help a retailer grow repeat purchase rates and find new customers. Even with a few hundred customers, a retailer can use customer data to greatly enhance its capabilities and grow sales.
- It connects to the marketing services retailers use. This is increasingly true. Lumiary started to help run retention marketing email campaigns targeted at existing customers. But there’s more to come: display ad networks, retargeting, social advertising platforms, and more…
We could go on, but that covers the high points. We may appear somewhat biased against Salesforce, so let me close with this. Salesforce is an amazing platform with a ton of features and a platform approach that enables most businesses to adapt it to their needs. However, we just don’t think indie retail falls into “most businesses.”