9 Shopify Customer Relationship Management Best Practices + Best CRM Software

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Have you ever stopped to think about just how important CRM is in an eCommerce business?

CRM (“customer relationship management”) involves managing the relationships between your business and your customers, and it’s arguably the single most important thing to master. Everything else flows downhill from this central discipline.

It’s not easy, and it’s certainly not simple, but thanks to modern CRM systems, much of the necessary tedium of CRM can be automated and streamlined so you can get back to delighting your customers and not drowning in a sea of customer data.

If you’re a Shopify user, you’re likely familiar with their built-in CRM system. It’s certainly serviceable — some may even say above average considering that Shopify isn’t actually a dedicated CRM system (like Salesforce, for example).

But when is it time to upgrade? When is it time to go beyond the basic functionality of the Shopify CRM into something more advanced?

Or perhaps you’re so overwhelmed with staying afloat, you’re not even sure how to use your CRM system, or why it’s even relevant.

In this post, we’ll answer all these questions and give you some key Shopify customer relationship management best practices.

You’ll come away better equipped to keep your customers satisfied and attract new business.

Let’s get started.

The benefits of using a CRM for Shopify

If you’ve never even clicked the little “Customers” button in the sidebar of your Shopify dashboard, this section is for you.

The following are some reasons why CRM is so beneficial for Shopify eCommerce sellers (and all businesses in general).

Many of the following can be accomplished with the built-in Shopify CRM or the platforms we’ll discuss later in this post.

Improved customer satisfaction and service

That’s the most important part of the business, right? A CRM tool can help you track customer interactions with your business and offer personalized customer service tailored to their needs.

Increased efficiency

Using a CRM tool can propel your business forward by automating repetitive tasks, such as setting up follow-up emails or keeping track of customer data. We’ll talk more about how Shopify has some really nifty built-in filters to help make this happen.

Better organization

A CRM allows shop owners to view customer data in one place, making it easier to segment customers and target them with specific offers.

Increased sales and better ROI

By having a better understanding of customer data and preferences, shop owners can craft messages that convert customers into loyal fans. This translates to increased sales and better ROI for your business.

Streamlined customer data management

Automated CRMs allow shop owners to decrease the amount of time and effort needed to manage customer data.

Better compliance

Some CRMs have compliance-related features, such as automated data deletion. This ensures that you are always in compliance with the GDPR or other privacy regulations, giving customers peace of mind.

Customer relationship management platforms also enhance your shoppers’ user experience in your store in the following ways:

Helps identify & segment potential shoppers

In-depth personalized experiences are crucial to eCommerce businesses, as 80% of shoppers are more likely to buy from a brand that offers it. CRM tools enable you to segment shoppers and target them with offers that they’re most likely to respond positively to.

Provides automated emails & personalized messages

Automated emails help build relationships with customers by enabling you to send timely, relevant product updates or special offers.

Personalized messages can be crafted based on customer data collected from the CRM, which can help improve conversion rates.

Allows you to automate product updates & offers

A CRM tool allows shop owners to schedule product updates and special offers at the right time, as well as craft personalized messages based on customer data.

This helps ensure that shoppers are always up-to-date with the latest products or offers.

Tracks where customers are in the buyer journey

Keeping track of where customers are in the buyer journey is crucial to ensure that they don’t drop off before making the purchase.

A CRM tool can help you track customer behavior to tweak your strategic responses. For example, you can send out timely, relevant messages that keep shoppers engaged in the buying process.

Shopify CRM best practices

The entire aim of CRM can be distilled into two things: building long-term relationships with your customers and giving them an exemplary customer service experience.

Here are some best practices to help you achieve that goal.

Note that these are general CRM best practices. Some can be accomplished through the built-in Shopify CRM and others may require more robust CRM solutions.

Automate repetitive workflows

Marketing automation can help you personalize your customers’ experiences and save time by automating repetitive workflows such as setting up follow-up emails, tracking data, or accomplishing some basic inventory management tasks.

Shopify Flow is a free add-on app for Shopify that enables merchants to streamline their online store operations by automating certain tasks.

With Shopify Flow, merchants can create automated workflows to trigger specific actions when an order is placed, such as updating inventory levels, sending order confirmation emails, or creating shipping labels.

In addition to streamlining order processing, Shopify Flow can also help automate inventory management by tracking and replenishing inventory levels based on certain triggers like low inventory levels or product returns.

However, Shopify Flow does lack the more advanced functionality of a dedicated inventory management or marketing automation platform. For simple, repeatable tasks, it’s a very handy tool to have in your tool chest.

Segment customers by multiple criteria

The more specifically you can speak to a particular type of customer, the more success you’ll have in giving them a great experience (or getting repeat business from them).

Thankfully, Shopify has some powerful segmentation tools that allow you to type in custom filters (or choose from a list of pre-built templates), generate a customer list, and then save that list as a segment.

Let’s say I wanted to save a particular segment of my top-tier loyal customers who have purchased more than three times or have spent over a certain threshold (for example, $200 USD).

Using Shopify’s built-in filter system, I can enter a simple formula and am immediately presented with that customer list, which I can then save as a segment with one click.

From here, I can send out special offers, create a loyalty program, or just shoot over a brief email showing my appreciation.

The possibilities are almost endless thanks to Shopify’s built-in list of filterable attributes.

However, there are some things (such as refunds, specific customer engagement metrics, and more) that cannot be filtered in the Shopify CRM.

That’s where you would need to leverage a more powerful dedicated CRM system.

Engage first-time customers

With the built-in Shopify CRM, you can create customized welcome emails that are automatically sent to first-time customers, thanking them for their purchases and offering them incentives to return for future purchases.

As any experienced eCommerce seller will tell you, retaining the business of a repeat customer is significantly less expensive than acquiring a new one.

Any little thing you can do to make that first buying experience great is worthwhile.

Convert abandoned checkouts

The latest research shows that, on average, 69.82% of shopping carts are abandoned in the eCommerce space. Margins in eCommerce are thin enough, yet most businesses are bleeding revenue from abandoned customers.

Shopify’s CRM allows you to set up abandoned cart recovery workflows that automatically send reminders to customers who have left items in their cart without completing the purchase.

These reminders can include discounts or other incentives to encourage customers to complete their purchases.

Target specific locations

With Shopify’s CRM, you can use customer data to segment customers based on geographic location, allowing you to create targeted marketing campaigns that are specific to customers in a certain region or city.

Re-engage inactive customers with high-value offers

You can create customized email campaigns that are automatically sent to customers who have not made a purchase in a specific period of time.

These campaigns can include high-value offers or incentives to encourage these customers to return and make a purchase.

Overall, the built-in Shopify CRM can help you engage and re-engage with customers in a personalized way, which can ultimately help drive more sales and improve customer loyalty.

Study and optimize lead acquisition channels

While the Shopify CRM is impressive in its own right – especially for a platform that doesn’t market itself as a CRM solution – power users will find the ceiling of its capabilities.

One of these limitations is revealed when it comes to figuring out lead acquisition channels. Let’s say you want to know where all your prospects are coming from so you can double down and devote your marketing resources to that particular avenue.

Well, until customers make a purchase, there’s no simple way of figuring that out in the built-in Shopify CRM.

You can rely on tools like Google Analytics which will help, but at that point, you’re going back and forth between two systems anyway.

This is where investing in a 3rd-party CRM or marketing automation platform is wise.

Analyze the impact of marketing campaigns and web content

Another limitation of Shopify’s CRM is the inability to get data around the efficacy of marketing campaigns or web content and how well they convert prospects.

In most sophisticated CRM solutions, you can plan out marketing campaigns and actually assign dollar values to their execution. Then, you can attribute new prospects to that marketing campaign and get a data-driven picture of your ROI.

These sorts of features and metrics simply aren’t possible with Shopify’s CRM, and may be worth looking elsewhere to expand your eCommerce technology stack.

Expanding your Shopify store with third-party CRM solutions

Alright, so let’s say you’ve reached that proverbial ceiling of what the Shopify CRM can offer.

You need more granular information on your customers, how they found you, and how they historically interact with your brand.

It’s time to expand your CRM horizons and invest in a third-party solution.

However, what exact information are you looking for, and how exactly do you want to maintain it?

These are some of the primary questions you must be able to answer before you can pick the right CRM for your organization.

Remember, the purpose of a CRM goes far beyond contact tracing. It should also maintain records of every interaction you have with prospects and clients. Ideally, these records will be easy to find and will have a logical flow.

To help you decide what CRM is right for you – and to also allow you to conclusively rule out some of your options – here are nine examples of top-notch CRM software.

1. HubSpot CRM

If you’re looking for a CRM that works best with custom product workflows, then look no further than HubSpot CRM software.

The popular CRM option can help you save time, increase your bottom line and make your sales and marketing processes more efficient.

What we like

  • Allows you to create multiple product workflows based on your customer’s specific actions. 
  • Provides a 1 million contact allocation for users. 
  • Includes a plan that’s feature rich to allow for bulk email sending, an in-app dialer, etc. 

What we aren’t crazy about

  • There is a relatively large price increase if you’d like to access one of the higher-tier plans.
  • There is a free plan, but it doesn’t offer any email campaign performance insights. 
  • The learning curve can be pretty steep.

Pricing info

  • Free – Unlimited users can access the free version of HubSpot CRM.
  • Starter – Begins at $45 (2 users)
  • Professional – Begins at $450 (5 users)
  • Enterprise – $1,200 (10 users) 

Add-on plans

  • CRM Suite – Begins at $45 per month. 
  • Additional User – Cost begins at $23 per month, per user. 

Please note that these figures provide a monthly breakdown of annual pricing. If you choose to pay on a month-by-month basis, there will be a fee increase.

HubSpot CRM Top Features: 

Lead and sales prospecting – You’ll be able to see exactly when a lead visits your website. Even better, it’s in real time.

This means you can quickly determine which visitors are truly engaged and let your sales team know which visitors to prioritize.

Email marketing – Want to send professional-looking emails to everyone on your clients and prospects list? This becomes a breeze with all the excellent email marketing tools that come with HubSpot CRM.

Live chat – Connect with your Shopify visitors in real time.

Task management – You can set up follow-up tasks to ensure that you take proper care of your clients and projects.

Shopify integration – By analyzing Shopify data (abandoned cart recovery, lifetime order value, and average order value), you’ll be able to assign your marketing efforts for each contact based on specific products.

Additionally, you can automatically sync orders, contacts, and products from Shopify to HubSpot CRM.

2. Zendesk Sell

Do you use omnichannel customer service communication? Zendesk Sell just might be for you, then!

What we like

  • Highly detailed customer profiles that include loyalty status, web activity, and purchase history. 
  • Gives you the ability to reach out to your customers via phone, email, and text.
  • Reporting tools and customer service analytics. 

What we aren’t crazy about

  • There isn’t a free-forever plan option. 
  • If you’d like to use the majority of the robust reporting tools, you’re going to need to upgrade to a higher-priced plan.
  • Those who can only afford the lowest priced plan won’t have access to task automation, lead scoring, bulk emailing, etc. 

Pricing info

  • Sell Team – $19
  • Sell Growth – $49
  • Sell Professional – $99
  • Sell Enterprise – $150 
  • Free Trial – 30 days 

Zendesk sell top features

Shopify for Zendesk Sell – Your sales reps will have access to all relevant Shopify customer details, including billing, orders, and shipping to minimize context switching.

Prospect list building – Create targeted lead lists using role, company size, and industry. Automate outreach using integrated communication tools.

Task automation – Assign tasks automatically by creating triggers based on the availability and expertise of each agent.

Lead scoring – Assign lead scoring formulas to quickly determine who is the most likely to convert into paying customers.

3. Salesforce Commerce Cloud

If you’re trying to manage multiple different stores on Shopify’s platform, you’re really going to need to use Salesforce Commerce Cloud.

And although the Salesforce CRM will always remain a separate entity from your eCommerce store, you can link them together with the tools in the Shopify app store.

What we like

  • Built-in tools are offered for customer service. 
  • Gives you the ability to sync multiple Shopify stores under one account. 
  • Offers a robust mobile app that allows you to do almost everything that the desktop version does. 

What we aren’t crazy about

  • There isn’t a free plan option. 
  • Salesforce works best for advanced users. 
  • Limited access to customer support. If you want premium support, you’re going to have to pay for it, and it’s not cheap. 

Pricing info

  • Essential – $25
  • Professional – $75
  • Enterprise – $150 
  • Unlimited – $300
  • Free Trial – Essential has a 14-day free trial, Professional has a 30-day free trial.


  • Sales Dialer – Begins at $5 per month, per user.
  • Social Intelligence – $25 per month, per user. 
  • Partner Relationship Management (PRM) – $10 per login, per month OR $25 per member, per month. 
  • Sales Cloud Einstein – Begins at $50 per user, per month. 
  • CPQ (Configure, Price, and Quote) – $75 per user, per month.  

Salesforce Commerce Cloud Top Features

Lightning App Builder – Use the Salesforce platform to build custom applications using a drag-and-drop interface and prebuilt templates.

Customer service features – Provides tools for servicing customers via live chat, email, social media, phone, and the self-service help center.

Deals and opportunities – Deal and opportunity management is easy with custom visualization options.

Shopify Made Easy – Each time a customer is created or updated across Shopify’s network, this Shopify-to-Salesforce connector will automatically create contacts, accounts, and orders.

Email auto sync – CRM and email data will automatically sync and create profiles.

4. SugarCRM

SugarCRM is expensive and complex. However, if you want your CRM to be among the most feature-rich available, it’s a great choice.

What we like

  • Offers fantastic development tools for customization. 
  • SugarCRM beats pretty much every other CRM software with its deep feature set. 
  • Dashlet reports are useful and easy to pull. 
  • Help desk and marketing platforms are tightly integrated with SugarCRM. 

What we aren’t crazy about

  • Expensive, especially if you choose one of the higher price tiers. 
  • Uses a stodgy, list-based UI.
  • SugarCRM is complex, and this means that new users will experience a significant learning curve. 

Pricing info

  • Sell – Begins at $49 per month, per user (three user minimum). 
  • Serve – Begins at $80 per month, per user (three user minimum).
  • Enterprise – Begins at $85 per month, per user (three user minimum). 
  • Market – Begins at $1,000 per month. Allows for up to 10,000 contacts. Additional contacts may be added, beginning at $150 per month.  

SugarCRM top features

Built on an open-source platform – This will allow you the freedom necessary to customize solutions.

Fantastic reporting options – Reports that go far beyond the competition, but your staff will have to learn how to run them as they’re not intuitive.

Opportunities and leads go further – You can switch between a tile view and the pipeline view. Drill down further and you’ll find a Google map of their location, along with a health indicator and the client’s contact information.

Dashlets provide quick mini-reports – Build a new dashboard to manage specific information.

5. Endear

Endear is a cloud-based and retail clienteling CRM system that offers a great deal for the price. You can extend the functionality of this CRM by using various integrations.

Endear works best for mid-size or enterprise retail companies that want an advanced CRM.

What we like

  • Extremely easy to use.
  • Integrations with Shopify, customer service, POS, marketing, and more.
  • Certified for Shopify stores and Shopify Plus stores.

What we aren’t crazy about

  • Not as feature-rich as others on the list. 
  • The data and reporting can be challenging to use.

Pricing info

  • Small Biz – Begins at $49 per month, per user, per month.
  • Growth – Begins at $144 per month, per user, per month.
  • Pro – Begins at $270 per month, per user, per month.

Top features

Integration with Shopify – Automatically syncs customer data, orders, item data, and more.

Clienteling capabilities – Segment customers based on purchase patterns, geography, age, and gender.

Unified customer data platform – Keep customer profiles and history unified across all channels.

Automated campaigns – These include abandoned cart recommendations, promotional offers, and order reminders.

Unlimited data sources – Endear can pull data from unlimited sources and integrate them with third-party solutions.

6. Agile CRM Software

Agile CRM is a comprehensive solution for businesses that’s best suited to SME businesses that require sales, marketing, and service automation and not just basic customer relationship management.

What we like

  • Agile CRM software has a free trial period and a free version.
  • The pricing structure is extremely competitive.
  • Contact management and marketing automation features
  • Tracking leads is easy with Agile CRM.

What we aren’t crazy about

  • The pricing structure can be a little hard to comprehend.
  • The user interface is a little clunky.
  • The mobile app is a bit limited.

Pricing info

  • Free – Begins at $0 per month, per user (ten user maximum).
  • Starter – Begins at $8.99 per month, per user
  • Regular – Begins at $29.99 per month, per user
  • Enterprise – Begins at $47.99 per month, per user

Top features

CRM analytics – Get an in-depth look into customer data, such as how customers interact with your business.

Unified platform – Manage contacts and customers, as well as marketing campaigns, sales processes, and customer service interactions.

Activity tracking – Keep track of customer activities, such as which web pages they visited and what emails they opened.

Marketing automation – Automate email marketing campaigns, segment customers based on criteria, and monitor customer engagement.

Integration with Shopify – Allows you to sync your data between Agile CRM and Shopify.

Campaign planning – Create and track campaigns across various channels.

7. Zoho CRM

Zoho CRM is an entry-level customer relationship management tool that can scale with your small eCommerce company’s growth.

The platform can manage your sales, marketing, and support in one place and was rated The Best CRM System of 2022 by CRM Watchlist, edging out tough competitors like Oracle and SAP.

What we like

  • A free plan that is popular among users.
  • The user interface is simple and easy to learn.
  • Affordable pricing and automation on all plans
  • Multiple integrations

What we aren’t crazy about

  • AI is featured only on premium plans
  • Custom fields are limited
  • No integrations available for free plan

Pricing info

  • Free – $0 per month, per user
  • Standard – $14 per user, billed annually
  • Professional – $23 per user, billed annually
  • Enterprise – $40 per user, billed annually
  • Ultimate – $52 per user, billed annually

Top features

Omnichannel communications – Reach customers through email, chat, social media, and more.

AI-driven insights – Get real-time customer data to boost sales.

Analytics & reporting – Generate detailed, customizable reports with real-time insights. Integration with Shopify – Allows you to sync your data between Zoho CRM and Shopify Mobile app – This dedicated mobile app lets you scan cards you receive from prospective customers. The app will instantly import the data to the Zoho CRM platform with their details filled out.

Collaboration tools – Create and assign tasks, track activities and collaborate with your team.

8. Pipedrive

What makes Pipedrive such a stand out as a CRM solution is that it also functions as an account-management tool. As such, it can assist your business with marketing and your entire sales process.

What we like

  • Paid plans that are very affordable.
  • Customizable, unlimited sales pipelines
  • Machine learning-powered sales assistant
  • Over 300 apps available
  • A lot of features for a good price

What we aren’t crazy about

  • No free forever plan
  • Most plans have limited custom reports and fields
  • Phone support only on highest tier

Pricing info

  • Essential – Begins at $14.90 per user, per month, billed annually
  • Advanced – Begins at $24.90 per user, per month, billed annually
  • Professional – Begins at $49.90 per user, per month, billed annually
  • Enterprise – Begins at $99 per user, per month, billed annually

Top features

Autofill contact info – Pipeline’s high-tier plans can auto-fill contact info from emails, ensuring your data is up to date all the time.

Workflow automation – Automate your sales process with Pipedrive’s workflow automation feature, which can help save you time.

Pipeline view – Let’s you see the entire sales process from start to finish and track deals.

Built-in telephony feature – Most plans include a built-in telephony feature that allows you to make calls directly from the platform.

Sales forecasting – You get in-depth sales forecasts and predictions in order to better plan your strategy.

Email marketing software – Connect your emails to Pipedrive and send personalized emails.

Integration with Shopify – Sync your data between Pipedrive and Shopify for seamless collaboration.

9. Insightly

Rounding out the list is Insightly, which focuses on three segments of eCommerce CRM: contact management, profiling of customers, and order delivery.

This CRM system tracks the contact’s interaction with your website and uses business intelligence tools to automate the details of customer profile creation.

Then, its segmenting and tagging abilities allow Shopify users to build lasting relationships for higher AOV and customer LTV.

What we like

  • Easy to use and intuitive layout; customization is simple also
  • Excellent customer support
  • Clean presentation

What we aren’t crazy about

  • No native tool to build forms
  • Some elements are a bit clunky
  • A lot of learning involved for data curves

Pricing info

  • Plus – Begins at $29 per user, billed monthly
  • Professional – Begins at $49 per user, billed monthly
  • Enterprise – Begins at $99 per user, billed monthly

Top features

Contact management – has contact and account management for customer relationships and lists.

Customization capabilities – You can customize Insightly with custom fields, layouts, advanced data filters, and more.

Marketing automation – Insightly automation helps with your email marketing and lead management by automating tasks.

Mobile and social – This CRM platform has social collaboration features and mobile user support to keep you connected on the go.

FAQs about Shopify and Shopify CRM

What is Shopify?

Shopify is an eCommerce platform that allows merchants to create an online store and sell their products or services.

It provides tools and features for inventory management, payment processing, shipping, marketing, and customer engagement.

What is Shopify CRM?

Shopify CRM is a customer relationship management system that is integrated with Shopify. It allows merchants to collect and analyze basic eCommerce analytics and customer data, segment customers, and personalize communication with them.

Does Shopify CRM come with every Shopify plan?

Yes, Shopify CRM is included with every Shopify plan, including the Basic Shopify, Shopify, and Advanced Shopify plans.

How does Shopify CRM help with customer segmentation?

Shopify CRM allows merchants to segment customers based on various criteria, such as purchase history, location, demographics, and behavior on the website.

This segmentation can be used to personalize communication and marketing efforts and improve engagement with customers.

How does Shopify CRM help with abandoned cart recovery?

Shopify CRM allows merchants to set up automated abandoned cart recovery workflows, which send reminders to customers who have left items in their cart without completing the purchase.

These reminders can include discounts or other incentives to encourage customers to complete their purchases.

Can Shopify be integrated with other apps and services?

Yes, Shopify can be integrated with other apps and services, such as eCommerce CRM solutions, email marketing tools, social media platforms, and analytics tools, to provide a more comprehensive view of customer interactions and behaviors.

Does Shopify provide customer support?

Yes, Shopify provides customer support through various channels, including live chat, email, and phone support.

They also provide a comprehensive Help Center and a community forum where merchants can find answers to common questions and connect with other Shopify users.

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We offer a comprehensive inventory management system that also seamlessly integrates with Shopify.

Get started today and sign up for a free demo of our software and get an in-depth look at how our eCommerce inventory management system can help you maximize the effectiveness of your Shopify CRM and keep your online store running smoothly.

Matt Kenyon

Matt Kenyon


Matt has been helping businesses succeed with exceptional content, lead gen, and B2B copywriting for the last decade. When he’s not typing words for humans (that Google loves), Matt can be found producing music, peeking at a horror flick between his fingers, or spending quality time with his wife and kids.