Zoho Creator Record Templates make your custom apps even more personalized
When you think of Zoho, you undoubtedly think of a few different words or phrases. One of those is very likely “customizable.” When you use Zoho, you know you have allsorts of options for customizing all the apps in the suite. Following that tradition, Zoho has brought customization to record templates in Zoho Creator, so you can customize even more of your experience – or, in this case, your customers’ experience.
Custom Record Templates in Zoho Creator? What for?
Zoho Creator record templates behave pretty similarly to Zoho CRM custom inventory templates. Those custom templates allow you to customize what your customer sees when you send them an invoice, for example. You may track all sorts of information related to your invoice in the CRM – but, how that invoice appears to your customer is very much up to you. Place information exactly where you want it on your template with merge fields in Zoho Creator, just like you would on inventory templates in Zoho CRM.
But, wait. Why use Zoho Creator for this stuff at all?
It’s a common question: Zoho has so many different ways of doing nearly anything. Why use Zoho Creator to create these record templates when you could just use the CRM?
You’ll want to use Zoho Creator when you have particular business needs that standard Zoho apps won’t meet. Creator can be customized much more heavily than even very malleable Zoho apps, so the possibilities for your custom app are far greater. At the end of the day, you’ll likely store some data in the Zoho Creator app instead of a standard app like Zoho CRM. Zoho Creator record templates provide a way to act on the data in that system so you don’t have to transfer it to the CRM first.
Sound confusing? We hope not – but if so, just ask us and we can walk you through it.
Create all kinds of record templates
The possibilities are endless; here are just a few you could use in your own apps:
These templates will all be tied to different record types. For example, you may keep records in your Zoho Creator app called Estimates, Brochures, Certificates, or Newsletters. The templates you design will allow you to customize how each of these records look.
Starting is a cinch!
Creating your own Zoho Creator record templates or modifying pre-built templates is easy:
Navigate to your Creator app Settings menu and select Record Templates.
Click the New Template button, where you’ll choose between modifying a pre-designed record template, or creating a brand new template you can mark up as needed.
The drag-and-drop interface makes creating or editing record templates simple. And, if you’re somewhat code-savvy, you can even drop HTML into the templates. Then your record templates are ready to use.
Once you’ve created and distributed records as needed using the record templates, you or your customers can print or export individual records as PDFs (just like inventory templates or emails) using special Zoho Creator URLs.
The hits keep coming
With Zoho, the world really is your oyster – and this new feature in Zoho Creator reinforces that notion, making Creator an even more versatile platform on which to build custom applications. There’s a lot you can do with Zoho Creator; in fact, we’ve even built our own vertical software for field services and construction companies on it.
In a bind? Contact us!
Let us know if you need any help architecting your own custom app – or just need help with Zoho Creator record templates – and we’ll plan it all out with you. We can even build it for you if you so choose.
Using Zoho eCommerce Quoting to Increase Website Conversion Rates
Or, “How do you get more sales? I’ll let you know in a micro-moment.”
Get comfortable! This is a 10-15 minute read.
It’s no secret people are spending more time online than ever before. And, that number is only set to increase as the years go by. You’ve spent time and money researching the best way to position your brand so it’s accessible online – and you’ve spent an equal amount of time designing your website so it’s easy for customers to navigate. But today, customers are bombarded with so much content, it leads to a sort of paralysis if they don’t like something about their shopping experience – and this leads to abandoned shopping carts galore. As a Zoho user with an online webstore, how can you use Zoho eCommerce to help your case?
(Quickly, before we go too far down the rabbit hole: Zoho has recently pushed out an eCommerce app called Zoho Commerce. This post is not about that app! We may cover it later, but as the app is still fairly new, we’ll want to wait to give you something more substantial on it later. Instead, this post is about designing your company’s website – your customer’s experience – to increase conversion rates, all while using what Zoho already provides, and with a little additional help from us at ZBrains.)
As usual, I’m not going to simply present you with a concept and hope you understand it. It’s important to give a bit of background on the issues at hand before we dive into a solution. So, strap yourself in and let’s get started.
Just in case: What does a Zoho eCommerce Quoting Tool do for you?
When businesses sell products that are very complicated and customized, for which SKUs don’t exist, those businesses typically endure a pretty painful quoting process. Not painful as in difficult – more tedious and time-consuming. And, why isn’t it easy to just spit out a quote? Let me tell you just a few potential reasons:
Logic doesn’t exist to produce a quote on-the-fly. Instead, the info has to be emailed to someone, who then crunches the numbers themselves, puts the info onto a formal document, then sends it to the prospective customer manually.
Pictures of the item(s) in question don’t exist on the website because they’re custom products. Rather, the pictures have to be rendered individually and then sent back with the quote. Or, they can’t be rendered at all, so that part of the quote simply doesn’t exist.
Info about pricing is spread across departments. For that reason, a salesperson needs to consult someone in the production department to figure out how to assemble a quote.
And, I’m sure you can think of other reasons why the typical custom quoting process is slow and painful. That’s why CPQ software is becoming more and more popular!
Now, let’s put this idea of quoting software into the present day.
Think You Have a Captive Audience? Well, Not Anymore!
In the age of online shopping, capturing your attention is the name of the game. From big, colorful banners, to auto-emails, to push notifications, to “Wait! Before you go…!” all vying for your eyes, that much is perfectly clear. And, it seems if you don’t play your cards right, you could lose your customers’ attention as quickly as you garnered it.
See, customers browsing the web are poked with all kinds of stimuli as they look at your page. If you don’t provide it too, customers’ attention wanes and you’re left with an abandoned cart. These miniature stimulations of your audience as you lead them through your buying funnel have been dubbed “micro-moments.”
Just think: Every banner, picture placement, headline, review, and call to action on a well-designed site has been perfectly placed by a company to in effect read your mind and make you want to buy products or services, and make the most of all the micro-moments you spend on that company’s website. Don’t feel too self-conscious, now.
How does this all pertain to Zoho? And, to you as a business owner?
Of course, this isn’t a general business consulting website, and, while you may wish to go ham and optimize your entire website to delight all your customers, we aren’t so prepared to give you mountains of advice pertaining to all of that. But, we’re going to stick to one specific micro-moment you can manage. That’s your customer-facing quoting process.
Why Optimize your Zoho eCommerce Site for Quoting?
The short answer: Because you too can profit from “hacking” people’s subconscious minds and making them want to buy from you!
And, ZBrains offers a tool that can help you do that – just by having it available on your website. Enter the Zoho eCommerce integration for quoting. This tool helps you in three distinct ways.
#1. Takes advantage of people’s visual nature
If you sell a product that’s pretty customizable, you may want to consult your customer directly before they cut you a check. They’ll probably want to get to know you a bit, too, if they’re a new customer. That’s all pretty regular. But, people are already very visual creatures (why do you think Google prefers image- and video-rich pages over pages with just text?), and a study shows that the newest generation of consumers highly prefers buying visual content over any other kind of content.
Car companies already know this trick. Just think of when you visit the website of a car manufacturer: many of them offer detailed pictures of each model sold. The very best quoting engines even have ways to customize the look of the cars on the fly, so you can see exactly what your purchase would look like.
So, how do you get your website to do that?
You have an option in the Zoho eCommerce integration for quoting. We developed the Zoho quoting tool especially for situations just like this, where you offer a product with many possible customizations, and you want to give your customers a visual representation of what they’re buying.
Sure, you’ll still want to get to know them and confirm their purchase before they buy. Or, maybe they won’t click “Buy” at all, and will instead have a consulting call with you to iron out details. But regardless, letting your customers see the products they’re planning to buy beforehand will give them the confidence they need to complete the purchase, ultimately.
#2. Gives instant gratification – to your customers and to you
[caption id="attachment_3583" align="alignleft" width="400"] Okay, maybe not this instant. But close.[/caption]
Even the thought of younger people today wanting instant gratification may have turned into a meme at this point. But, that doesn’t make it any less true. And, the more people can find things easily using their handheld pocket computers that double as phones, the more that sentiment will prevail.
The very nature of your Zoho eCommerce site, when equipped with a powerful CPQ tool, will support that idea. Even without a visual aspect, letting your customer select all the various options they want for a particular product of yours – and then letting them see how each option affects the final price – carries so much more weight than a simple “Call us for a consultation.”
If you can express your pricing with business logic, why not express it in a Zoho CRM quoting app? And, following that, why not use a Zoho eCommerce integration to put that app directly onto your website, to feed back into the CRM? The Zoho CPQ tool does just that, giving both your customers and you the information you need to perform your next actions.
#3. It’s mobile-friendly
While conversions from traffic on a desktop computer still reign supreme, mobile traffic continues to grow and grow, year over year. We may be able to infer from this data that although the majority will ultimately make purchases on desktop computers, people might still give your products preliminary glances on their mobile devices–then return to their desktops to make official purchases. Eventually, we’ll reach a point where mobile buying confidence eclipses desktop buying confidence.
In that light, the Zoho eCommerce quoting app is already mobile-optimized by default. All we need to do at ZBrains is customize the tool for you based on your business processes. The tool will behave the same way on a mobile device as it does on a desktop computer. And, it will give your customers the same information, either way.
How about Zoho CRM quotes?
So, now we know what a Zoho eCommerce quoting solution can do for you, and why CPQ software in general is helpful. That’s one thing. But, a Zoho quoting tool that can connect to your website and connect to Zoho CRM? That’s even better. That’s why I think you’ll be pleased that you can use the aforementioned Zoho eCommerce tool inside Zoho CRM to create your Zoho CRM quotes.
I won’t go into a whole song and dance about this subject, as we’ve covered it in depth before. But, in case you aren’t familiar, creating quotes directly in your CRM with this quoting tool provides value in a few different ways:
Gives your salespeople the exact info they need to assemble a quote for customers themselves. That means no more shuffling around between departments to get proper quoting formulas, pictures of items, and the like.
Gives you an audit trail for quotes. When salespeople use their own spreadsheets to put quotes together, you don’t have any insight as to how or when they arrived at their numbers if there’s ever a problem. Putting quotes together in Zoho CRM gives you direct insight into your every salesperson’s quoting process.
Cuts down on licensing costs. You may have solved points 1 and 2 with an outside quoting system. But, keeping everything on Zoho helps the pocketbook like nothing else! Zoho Creator licensing costs, especially when combined with other Zoho licensing with the Zoho One package, tend to be quite inexpensive.
Integrates with Zoho Books. One of the very worst things about having separate software for quoting and finance is reconciling quotes with actual work orders or sales orders at the end of the day. By quoting through the CRM, quotes flow automatically into Zoho Books as estimates. And by the way, this same principle applies to Zoho eCommerce quotes.
When it comes to Zoho CRM eCommerce and Quotes, don’t be afraid
Diving into a mountain of statistics and reports and trying to relate that to building some kind of initiative for changing your quoting process isn’t always the easiest thing. And, maybe this exposé on eCommerce trends and quoting tools left you with even more questions than answers (though I certainly hope not).
If you’re looking for a helping hand to guide you through the chaos of setting up a quoting tool for your CRM system, our Zoho CRM consulting can help. If you need a Zoho eCommerce tool, something customer-facing, to help make their experience better, that’s perfect. And, if you need something for your salespeople to help them put quotes together for prospective clients, that’s also great. You can use the same tool to do both jobs! And, we can help you.
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