This content is reader-supported, which means if you click on some of our links that we may earn a commission.
There are more than 600 eCommerce CRM solutions on the market, so it’s easy to feel lost in it, especially if you’re new to this type of software and do not fully understand how it works.
This article will help you choose the best CRM system for your eCommerce business, depending on its budget, size, and workflow.
As you can see, we’ve already narrowed down options to top CRM companies – HubSpot and Salesforce – to deepen knowledge about their capabilities. Below you’ll find a comparison of their prominent features and reviews.
More than 150,000 companies around the world use Salesforce customer service. Adidas, Burberry, Canon, and Coca-Cola are among them.
The company generated more than $21 billion in annual revenue last year and has a 19.8% CRM market share.
It’s more than the next 4 competitors combined. This enterprise-level Software-as-a-Service (SaaS) competes with Oracle, SAP, Adobe, Microsoft, and a while ago, HubSpot.
HubSpot started to pay its way in 2004 by introducing inbound marketing – a methodology of building meaningful and lasting relationships with customers, which is still relevant.
As the business was scaling rapidly, the founders decided to shift from a spectrum of applications to a platform in 2014 by launching its free CRM.
Since then, the company was recognized by reviewers as №2 best CRM software right after Salesforce and has reached $1 billion in annual revenue. Today they have over 120,000 clients, including Casio, Suzuki, Atlassian, and SurveyMonkey.
The most important facets to look for in CRM are customization, integrations, automation capabilities, customer service, and reporting. We added to the list such factors as price and ease of use to give you the whole picture.
Are you seeking CRM services that are free forever? Then HubSpot is the best solution for you.
For $0, your subscription gives you up to 15 million non-marketing contacts and no storage date. You’ll also get access to live chat, landing pages, list segmentation, email marketing, and ad management. Note that emails, live chats, and landing pages you create will have HubSpot branding.
Suppose you want to remove the branding and increase the functionality of your CRM. In that case, you’ll have to pay monthly or annually. Prices start at $45 per month (billed at $540 per year, 2 users included). The higher number of contacts and users you pick, the more expensive the subscription is. The same goes for products.
The minimum cost for an enterprise plan is $5,000 (10 users included). With this plan, you can enable predictive lead scoring, behavioral event triggers, adaptive testing, and even synchronize your HubSpot CRM with Salesforce.
Salesforce plans are more diverse. There are 4 editions for small businesses, 4 for Sales and Service Cloud, as well as Platform Starter and Platform Plus solutions.
The entry-level price is $25. The most basic and least customizable version offers account, contact, lead management, email integration with Gmail or Outlook, and Salesforce mobile app. After that, costs increase as you add more options.
In the end, you’re looking at $300 per user per month with features like access to 110 custom objects, Lightning App Builder, AppExchange, Customizable Reports and Dashboards, 24/7 Support, and AI-based lead scoring.
Do not forget you’ll have to pay for Salesforce implementation. The sum can range from a few thousand dollars to hundreds of thousands for global corporations. And unlike HubSpot, Salesforce does not offer a free plan.
To sum up, both CRMs can become very expensive fast. That’s why it’s crucial to choose the right plan.
Defining what’s comfortable is subjective. What is intuitive for one person can puzzle or irritate another. However, Hubspot CRM is more user-friendly from HubSpot and Salesforce customers’ reviews.
Regarding ease of use, reviewers note that they’re satisfied with HubSpot management and automation capabilities.
Among the most common users’ problems are:
- Managing the marketing contacts
- Sorting tasks
- Email tracking
- Scheduling meetings
- Poor customization
In terms of functionality, Salesforce is far more comprehensive. But its complexity can become a pain to deal with. That is why many users complained that they require special technical knowledge to work with the platform.
Although Salesforce CRM is more difficult to work with, it did not significantly affect the scores. More than 11 thousand clients gave the platform a score of 4.2 out of 5.
The majority of reviewers are workers of mid-sized businesses (5,295) and enterprises (3,516), proving that Salesforce software is the best choice for bigger companies.
Salesforce is a fully customizable CRM. There are 2 types of changes you can bring into your CRM to meet your company’s needs: configuration and customization.
Salesforce configuration is less complicated and refers to developing applications in the Salesforce ecosystem without writing a line of code. It’s called declarative development.
You can enable an already given feature or module to function with declarative development. Below, we’ve shown how to add a prequalified checkbox on the contact object.
Similarly, you can customize any existing object to meet your needs. All the necessary tools are in the system.
Salesforce Customization shares the same goal. Though, the method differs. Customization involves programmatic development to add any feature that isn’t available as a part of the application.
Your team of developers can customize Salesforce using different tools. Some of them are delivered by Salesforce (Visualforce, Apex, Salesforce Object Query Language, Lightning components, Salesforce Connect), and Salesforce’s partners provide others.
Furthermore, if you’re B2C or B2B, consider customizing Salesforce Commerce Cloud (SFCC). It’s cloud-based and allows a company to build a fast site that will serve a large number of users simultaneously. SFCC is the best assistance for corporations like Nike, Adidas, Loreal, etc.
In addition, there are more than 400 ready-made integrations carried out by third-party players. It could be an order management system (OMS), payment processing service, and whatever else you want. That makes Salesforce the best CRM for big eCommerce businesses.
HubSpot also maintains a high level of customization. Its standard objects are pretty similar to standard objects in Salesforce. They represent various predefined data types such as Contacts, Companies, Products, and Deals. An object in each of these categories has special properties that you can use to gather information about a particular record.
HubSpot objects’ capabilities
|CRM Object||CRM views||Reports||Automation||Lists||Email personalization||Custom properties||crm_object usage|
However, you can create custom objects using Application Programming Interface (API) key authentication.
HubSpot CRM offers you custom properties, object pipelines, saved views, record sidebars, preview cards, etc. The platform even has an Open API for integrations but is not that customizable as Salesforce.
Such lack of customization opportunities usually becomes noticeable when your business grows, and your sales development processes become more complicated, so you want fewer features with more depth.
For example, if you need to create a customizable database of potential customers (prospects), HubSpot CRM falls short, and Salesforce is the better alternative.
A CRM integration connects third-party applications with your CRM software. Integrated CRM can increase productivity and efficiency by gathering all data in one place.
So, if you have CRM email integration, it maps all incoming messages to the respective contacts and inserts personal customer records into your email templates to personalize the message.
Moreover, email integration helps users create targeted campaigns for specific groups of contacts using their latest data. And all that goes without even leaving the system.
Among the most popular CRM integrations for eCommerce businesses are:
- eCommerce platform integrations (Shopify, Adobe Commerce)
- Email marketing software integrations (MailChimp, Privy, Front)
- Social media integrations (Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter)
- Virtual call center software integrations
- Account-based marketing (ABM) integrations (OrgChartHub, CaliberMind)
- Lead generation integrations (WordPress, Unbounce, SurveyMonkey)
- Advertising integrations (Facebook Ads, AdRoll, Instapage)
- Analytics and data integrations (Databox, Hotjar, Klipfolio)
- Customer Success integrations (Slack and Zendesk)
Both HubSpot and Salesforce play nice with other platforms. They join forces with other SaaS companies to provide an even better customer experience.
HubSpot has internally-supported integrations with Zoom, WordPress, SurveyMonkey, Zapier, Slack, Databox, Chrome, Google Calendar, CallHippo, and Wistia. Additional integrations are available on HubSpot App Marketplace. More than 900 companies have joined it and become HubSpot Connect partners.
HubSpot App Marketplace has something to offer you for every task you need to do.
Let’s say you want to use your email contacts to facilitate a funnel that encourages prospects to learn about your products. For that purpose, HubSpot allows you to integrate your website with Gmail or Outlook inbox to quickly transfer all the required data.
Or maybe you want to connect your Facebook Ads account to your CRM. In this case, you must confirm that you’re an account admin in Business Manager. The connected Facebook ad account allows you to manage all lead ad campaigns within HubSpot.
As you can see, HubSpot offers seamless integrations with all crucial eCommerce tools. It also provides an opportunity to build your own app and list it in the marketplace without any fee.
In addition to global visibility, you’ll get your app supported by HubSpot product and developer relations teams. They’re in contact 24/7 to help you with all your questions.
The Salesforce ecosystem incorporates thousands of products, components, pre-built templates, and consultant services. You can explore them in a cloud marketplace called AppExchange. It has apps for all departments, industries, and business use cases.
Because Salesforce CRM is so robust, you won’t need a lot of integrations. The most popular are G-Suite, Slack, Mailchimp, Zapier, and Quickbooks.
If you’re having a hard time searching for the right app for your business, Salesforce has published dozens of free guides for you. They’re divided by the company’s size, industry, department, and some of them are designed to solve a particular problem.
Moreover, there is plenty of books, news, tips, and reports on the platform to keep you aware of marketplace innovations and offers.
The chances that you’re already using some automation technologies for managing your store are high. And it’s no surprise. According to IBM, 61% of businesses globally are using automation software. 19% of companies plan to use it in the next 12 months.
Ecommerce automation uses technology (including CRM) to perform repetitive tasks and even some complex cases such as automated incident response without human interaction. It makes your online store easier to run and saves costs.
With Salesforce, you can use two automation tools: Flow Builder, which lets you build flows, and Process Builder, which enables you to edit existing processes. Additionally, you can use Apex when you need more functionality than is available in Flow Builder.
The whole procedure is fully customizable and requires an admin to execute it because there are many details you need to know to construct even the simplest chain. Below we’ve created a process that automatically manages high-value business opportunities.
Hubspot automation tools are a bit easier to implement. Particularly, marketing and sales automation stand out.
They allow you to create email templates, form sequences, track and schedule them, as well as rotate leads, create deals, tasks and engage with contacts at meetings, in a live chat, and during calls.
With a premier plan, you’ll get access to automated lead scoring, which is a game-changer for any eCommerce business.
For both HubSpot and Salesforce CRM, the level of support services is based on your subscription type.
Thus, with Salesforce support, you receive a standard package including access to online learning communities and the ability to fill the ticket online with a guaranteed two-day response time. Additionally, you can call a phone support team if your issue is critical (your business has stopped).
A premier package offers you a ticket to 24/7/365 phone support, online case submission, chat, a dedicated success manager, and a guaranteed one-hour response for business-stopping issues.
A signature mode allows you to receive help in 15 minutes for solving business-impacting issues + all mentioned above.
Besides, for products like the Sales and Service clouds, the company proposes plans that come with 24/7 phone support. It’s available in more than a dozen languages.
HubSpot support includes live chats, phone calls, emails, and ticket filling. However, all these options aren’t available for free users. You have to subscribe to a paid plan to receive help from a support team.
Please note that Hubspot phone support is currently available only in English. Other services are also provided in French, German, Japanese, Portuguese, and Spanish.
Both HubSpot and Salesforce are top CRM platforms with vibrant learning communities. They propose training for increasing users’ proficiency and knowledge. HubSpot focuses mainly on inbound lead generation, c
One of the biggest value-adds that eCommerce businesses get from CRM software is reporting and analytics.
A report, in general, is a list of records that meet the criteria you’ve defined in the report type. For example, you can create a report type that shows only job applications with an associated resume. Applications without resumes won’t show up.
In a similar vein, you can create reports for sales activities, pipelines, and forecasting.
CRM analytics (also known as customer analytics or customer journey analytics) interprets the historical and interactive data within your CRM to show you insights that will improve your business decisions and boost conversion rates.
Both HubSpot and Salesforce CRMs include built-in reporting software. They permit you to generate granular reports and dashboards on things like top sellers, lost opportunities, and so on.
Salesforce is a top CRM system for generating custom reports and full functionality across all platforms and devices (including mobile). The company offers more options than HubSpot for visualizing data on the dashboard (funnels, pie charts, odometers).
Plus, with a new analytics add-on, Tableau, you’ll be able to get a full view of how your customers interact with your store, giving you more actionable insights for improving sales.
HubSpot’s reports are limited to standard bar graphs, line graphs, and numerical counters. However, the premium reporting plan has more visualization options.
A flexible CRM that works for you
Boost your sales with automation. Don't get left behind.
Just like any business decision, choosing the right CRM for your eCommerce website hinges on your goals.
Salesforce is the best CRM for enterprises and stores looking for broad customization opportunities. Hubspot will be a good fit for businesses that wants a cost-effective tool and help with marketing efforts.
If you have read this CRM comparison and still aren’t sure that Salesforce or Hubspot meets your company’s needs, consider learning more about their competitors. There’s definitely a solution for your problems on the market. Good luck finding it.
Did you find this useful?
Like What You're Reading?
Sign up for Bottom Line to get the latest reviews and top software advice delivered right to your inbox.