Best 7 CRM for Retail Businesses

Retail has never been more competitive, whether you’re based online or on the high street. Here are our top retail CRM systems to attract customers and drive profit in 2024.

Our Research

Our team of writers and researchers review CRM software by rating each product against the key features businesses care about: ease of use; value for money; the ability to scale, plus the depth of functionality and advanced options.
Written and reviewed by:
Helena Young is reader supported – we may earn a commission from our recommendations, at no extra cost to you and without impacting our editorial impartiality.

Running a shop brings a unique set of challenges for every owner, which means CRM in retail needs to be carefully matched to your business operations. It can be tempting to go for the cheapest CRM deal you see – or even choose a free CRM tool – but real value comes from getting the features you need most, at a price your business can afford.

Our expert team of researchers has been studying the market in-depth for the past half decade, so we can bring you an up-to-date analysis of the top retail CRM systems currently available.

Best CRM Software For The Retail Industry

  1. – best for selling through multiple channels to boost revenue streams
  2. HubSpot Free – best for sending buyers email discount offers on the latest trends
  3. Pipedrive – best for online retailers that sell through dropshipping
  4. Freshsales – best for high street sellers that trade in-person
  5. Zendesk – best for those selling high-ticket items
  6. Salesforce – best for large firms with massive product inventories to manage
  7. Zoho Bigin – best for side hustle retailers, such as Etsy sellers

Based on the most common priorities of small shop owners, we’ve reviewed the top seven CRM software brands for the retail industry to pick out their pros, cons, costs, and hidden fees.

Want the best CRM for your retail business? By the end of the below guide, you’ll be able to say what each system can bring to your firm, and make a confident decision about which one to invest in.

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Best for:

Omnichannel marketing

Best for:

Retail email marketing

Best for:


Best for:

High street retailers

Best for:

Appointment scheduling

Best for:


Best for:

Retail side hustles

Price per month (billed annually):
Price per month (billed annually):

Free Plan, or from £18 (flat rate)

Price per month (billed annually):
Price per month (billed annually):

Free plan, or £7 per user

Price per month (billed annually):
Price per month (billed annually):
Price per month (billed annually):

£5 per user

  • Huge range of CRM board templates
  • Message board for dashboard collaboration
  • Widgets available for bespoke metrics
  • Unlimited contacts and dashboards
  • Send 2,000 emails per month
  • 5 active contact lists for outreach
  • Thorough 12-step onboarding process
  • Chatbots, campaigns, and webforms
  • Unlimited contacts permitted
  • Communication, ecommerce, and accounting integrations
  • Allows unlimited custom fields
  • Freddy AI tool gives you insights ready-made
  • Communication, ecommerce, and accounting integrations
  • Big library of preset templates
  • Communication integration for team working
  • Fast-loading dashboard for large datasets
  • 2 million contact limit
  • Automatic data capture
  • Mobile access and administration
  • Salesforce Inbox
  • 10 user limit
  • 50,000 contact limit
  • Ecommerce integrations
  • Webforms
  • List segmentation

5GB per user


5 documents per user




2GB per user


2GB per user


10GB per organisation


1GB per organisation

crm pricing
Read More About CRM

This page is part of a larger series on CRM. Read more about the top CRM systems in our full guide:

Best CRM Software for Small Businesses best CRM for omnichannel marketing templates
monday sales CRM is an all-in-one platform that enables business owners and sales teams to manage all their CRM functions in one central location.
  • Free trial? Yes
  • Ecommerce integrations offered - rare for a CRM tool
  • Excellent customisation means you won't have to redesign your existing CRM process
Summary offers well-designed creative tools that make it an endlessly customisable CRM system, perfect for tailoring to clients’ needs. The app also uses a visually appealing traffic light system to help you track customers throughout the pipeline, and has over 200 dashboard templates, making it a particularly stylish tool to use.
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Pricing from: £10 per user, per month (billed annually)

According to Omnisend, ‘Omnichannel’ campaigns (involving three or more channels) receive an order rate that’s 494% higher than single-channel campaigns. is our top-rated CRM for small businesses. The brand has over 200 CRM templates, each of which can be used to optimise a different channel to boost your revenue streams.

These include the Social Media Calendar template, for planning campaigns, and the Social Media Metrics template, for monitoring engagement. There’s even a special Shopify template so you can develop your online Shopify store with’s planning tools.

You won’t be able to share social posts from as it doesn’t offer direct social media integration. That’s a pretty big drawback as we highlighted in our guide to the best alternatives to However, downloading the Zapier extension, a workflow management tool, should fill this gap.

Managing multiple campaign threads can be confusing. But thanks to the platform’s many customisation features, users will find it simple to edit anything. Tools include:

  • Custom fields
  • 200+ dashboard templates 
  • Full mobile CRM 
  • Document management 
  • Custom apps pricing

We recommend Basic for small business users. It permits unlimited users for just £10 per seat, and gives you access to all of the benefits mentioned above.

Here’s the cost breakdown for monday’s plans – though see our full monday pricing guide for how these scales:

  • Basic – £10 per seat, per month (annual billing, minimum 3 users)
  • Standard – £14 per seat, per month (annual billing)
  • Pro – £24 per seat, per month (annual billing)
  • Enterprise – bespoke pricing
crm pricing
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Try for free Try our top-rated retail CRM free for 14 days.

HubSpot Free: Best CRM for Retail Email Marketing

HubSpot email editor

An innovative marketing solution that's completely free.
  • Free trial? Yes
  • Intuitive user interface
  • Brilliant email marketing features that make it easy to attract new business
Summary Aimed at SMEs, HubSpot Free is an innovative CRM solution that offers lots of add-ons to supplement its core focus on email and marketing outreach. Because of this, it doesn't have as much feature depth as other products. However, advanced UX-focused tools like its live and historical data sync mean it's an intuitive and affordable CRM choice.
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Pricing from: free plan or £17 per month (flat rate)

Marketing tools are, without a doubt, HubSpot’s bread and butter. Users can get:

  • Bulk emails for automated marketing and outreach
  • Email analytics to see who’s engaging with your content
  • Contact list segmentation to record your customers’ details and send them personalised messaging

The HubSpot email design editor is also very sophisticated. Drag and drop functionality means you can edit every section – including adding videos and images – to design the perfect newsletter, welcome message, or promotional offer.

This focus on email marketing means if you’re a retailer with lots of new product launches, for example a cosmetics company, then HubSpot Free will be particularly useful.

HubSpot Free’s biggest drawback is that each email is watermarked. You’ll need to upgrade to HubSpot’s more advanced plan, HubSpot Marketing Hub, to apply your own branding.

HubSpot pricing

HubSpot is our most generous CRM platform for pricing. Its full-featured free platform permits an unlimited number of users – matching most premium options.

For paid-for tiers, you’ll have a choice between three business strategies, each with a Starter plan, as well as the free tier:

  • HubSpot Free – £0 per month
  • HubSpot Marketing Hub Starter Plan – £18 per user, per month
  • HubSpot Sales Hub Starter Plan – £18 per user, per month
  • HubSpot Service Hub Starter Plan – £18 per user, per month

Pipedrive: best CRM for dropshipping

Pipedrive dashboard

Functional CRM platform that's competitively priced.
  • Free trial 14-day
  • Price from £14 per user
  • Integrates with tons of third-party apps
  • Intuitive interface focuses on user experience
Summary We think Pipedrive stands out for its huge list of third-party add-ons and integrations – which makes this software a smart choice for small firms with lots of existing resources. The platform’s lowest-tiered plan costs £12.50 per user, per month, and gives you powerful features such as email integration, goal tracking, reporting, and forecasting.
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Pricing from: £14 per user, per month (billed annually)

Dropshipping is an extremely low-maintenance way of selling online. If you’re a small dropshipping business then you likely want an easy-to-manage sales system – and Pipedrive fits the bill.

We gave Pipedrive full marks for usability and integrations, thanks to its smartly-designed interface and huge army of over 300 third-party business apps.

The platform can be used in collaboration with other communication and ecommerce apps, including popular ecommerce website builder Shopify.

But it’s Pipedrive’s accounting tools we find the most useful. These extensions include Xero and Quickbooks, two huge finance software brands. Using them, you can monitor your inventory and track shipping costs easily – two obvious benefits for dropshipping firms.

We also found Pipedrive was exceptional for setting up an automated sales assistant using chatbots.

It took our users just 1 minute and 20 seconds to set up a chatbot using Pipedrive. Given the high risk of shipping delays involved in dropshipping, this is really useful for answering customer queries or concerns with minimal resources.

Pipedrive pricing

Costing £14 per user, per month for its lowest-priced tier, Pipedrive sits in the middle of the CRM cost spectrum.

Its tiers are nicely spaced in terms of cost, making it a good scalable option for businesses with growth plans.

  • Pipedrive Essential – £14 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Pipedrive Advanced – £29 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Pipedrive Professional – £49 per user, per month (billed annually)

Freshsales: best CRM for high street retailers

Freshsales Suite
Freshsales' huge list of features means you'll never be caught short when it comes to CRM.
  • Free trial? Yes
  • Brilliant customer support
  • Automated workflows make managing work easy
Summary Freshsales (formerly Freshworks CRM) organises your customer and sales processes into one easy-to-use platform – from sales and marketing to data management. It boasts a genuinely impressive list of features, including an advanced AI tool, and is unparalleled in terms of the number of capabilities.
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Pricing from: free plan or £7 per user, per month (billed annually)

Freshsales was one of our highest-scoring CRM systems for usability, which makes it an excellent choice for less tech-savvy retailers that are based offline. 

The platform is really useful for simplifying basic CRM admin tasks. For instance, contact management – it took just 6 minutes to input all of our mock customer data into Freshsales’ dashboard.

We think high street businesses that do a lot of networking at trade shows will get the most out of Freshsales.

That’s because, when you view a contact’s profile in Freshsales, you’ll see their recent activity along with any associated notes. You can use this information to effortlessly engage leads with personalised emails and special offers.

One of Freshsales’ more unique benefits is its smart automation feature called ‘Freddy AI’. Freddy gives each contact an automated lead score based on your data, to calculate whether they’re a lead worth pursuing.

Because it’s easy to use, Freshsales is also great for empowering all employees to take on basic sales management tasks. That’s another good way to save on resources.

Freshsales pricing

Costing £7 per user, per month (billed annually), Freshsales is competitively priced. However, one drawback with Freshsales is that you’ll need to invest in more expensive paid-for plans to avoid its feature limitations.

  • Freshsales Free – £0
  • Freshsales Growth – £7 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Freshsales Pro – £29 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Freshsales Enterprise – £49 per user, per month (billed annually)

Zendesk: best CRM for appointment bookings

Zendesk screenshot

Strong business support tools and high-performing features make Zendesk a good option for SMEs providing specialist services
  • Free trial 30-day
  • Price from £15 per month
  • Long list of integrations
  • Excellent analytics tools
  • Unparalleled support services
Summary Zendesk is a powerful name in the business software market and it has a fantastic array of integrations, spanning across a huge range of categories including analytics and reporting, e-commerce, email and social Media, IT and project management, and tons more. Perhaps Zendesk’s best known feature however, is its excellent support tools. New users at any payment tier can utilise a vast library of handy materials including onboarding and adoption resources, guided learning paths, and on-demand training courses.
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Pricing from: £19 per user, per month (billed annually)

Specialist, user-focussed retailers require a CRM software that’s going to focus most on scheduling appointments and organising calendars.

If you’re a jeweller selling engagement rings, or a curator selling high-ticket paintings, Zendesk Sell can nurture your customer relationships with lots of bespoke tools and time management features, including:

  • Calendar
  • Meeting scheduling
  • Meeting reminders
  • Integrated email
  • Integrated communication apps

You can view sales opportunities organised into different stages of a pipeline using Zendesk ‘deals’. Adding a new deal is simply a matter of completing a form with the relevant details.

To create an even more bespoke user journey, Zendesk also permits web forms. Web forms are hosted on your website and then filled in by the customer to enable tailored shopping experiences.

Zendesk Sell pricing

At £19 per user, per month, Zendesk Sell is a slightly pricier product than budget-friendly retail CRMs like

However, if you’re an experience-led retailer, you’ll need a premium CRM to offer truly premium customer service.

  • Zendesk Sell Team – £45 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Zendesk Sell Growth – £75 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Zendesk Sell Professional – £89 per user, per month (billed annually)

Salesforce: best CRM for reporting

Salesforce customer card

Best-suited to larger sales teams, Salesforce Essentials is a high-performing three-in-one CRM product - that comes at a high price.
  • Free trial? Yes
  • Hundreds of prebuilt charts and template options for a quick overview of your sales pipeline
  • Our highest-scoring CRM software for organisational tools and contact management
Summary Salesforce Essentials is like a box of neopolitan ice cream. It mixes three small versions of its main CRM products: Marketing, Sales, and Service into one tempting combo, offering SMEs an all-in-one customer management solution. Costing £20 per month, per user, it's not the most wallet-friendly option. But our expert researchers give it 3.8 out of 5 overall thanks to its impressive usability and long feature list.
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Pricing from: £20 per user, per month (billed annually)

Salesforce is designed for larger organisations. If your business is a startup or has fewer than 10 employees, Salesforce is not for you.

For those with bigger teams and large sales volumes, reporting is a key priority. You need to make sure data on things like stock levels, turnover, and inventory value is as accurate and up to date as possible.

These types of analytics are crucial for monitoring turnover and ensuring you never run out of products.

Very few retail CRMs do this job better than Salesforce Essential, the Salesforce small business plan. Salesforce has every type of reporting style under the sun, including:

  • Deal reports 
  • Activity reports 
  • Lead reports 
  • Custom reports 
  • Recurring revenue reports

If you’re based online, you can also gather email insights and track website visitors.

This means Salesforce users are able to know exactly how many people are using your service and what products they are most interested in.

Salesforce pricing

Salesforce paid-for plans start from £20 per user, per month. Out of the 11 platforms we reviewed, Salesforce receives our second-lowest score for pricing.

The platform’s target audience is more-established firms, so it doesn’t offer as good value for money as CRMs like HubSpot Free.

  • Salesforce Essential – £20 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Salesforce Professional – £64 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Salesforce Enterprise – £132 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Salesforce Unlimited – £264 per user, per month (billed annually)

Zoho Bigin: best CRM for retail side hustles

Zoho Bigin dashboard

Zoho Bigin
Bigin by Zoho CRM is a cheap and cheerful CRM solution that's designed to carry out basic CRM tasks.
  • Free trial? Yes
  • Price from £5 per user or free plan
  • Data extraction from Facebook and LinkedIn is effortless
  • Fantastic for beginners that are just starting out in CRM
Summary Bigin is a pipeline-centric CRM that is built and priced for small businesses. The platform's helps businesses move away from spreadsheets and allows them to get started with a CRM in under 30 minutes. As an incredibly easy-to-use system, it's great for getting started without any training. However, users should be wary that the system is not well-equipped for more advanced CRM functions.
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Pricing from: free plan or £5 per user, per month (billed annually)

According to research from The Accountancy Partnership, 21% of new businesses started in 2023 were side hustles.

If you’re running a retail side hustle – such as selling your own handmade goods on Etsy or at a local market stall – you need a low-budget, low-maintenance CRM system that can take care of CRM tasks while you are busy with your primary job.

With Zoho Bigin, Zoho’s small business-specialist CRM, you can set up workflow automations in three easy steps. These help you cut down on redundant daily work like adding new contacts, updating a deal’s progress, and sending welcome emails to all your new customers.

Zoho Bigin is also above-average at customisation – an area where fellow budget CRM, HubSpot, underperforms in comparison. That’s also why we made Bigin one of our top HubSpot alternatives for SMEs.

The platform doesn’t restrict you from using data from custom fields. You can use the chart builder to represent pretty much any data point.

Zoho Bigin pricing

At just £5 per user, per month, Zoho Bigin Express is the platform’s cheapest CRM plan. We think it’s a great deal for retail side hustles with generous allowances including:

  • 50,000 records
  • Three pipelines
  • 10 workflows
  • 10 custom fields

Beyond this tier, there are the following Zoho plans

  • Zoho CRM Standard – £12 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Zoho CRM Professional – £18 per user, per month (billed annually)
  • Zoho CRM Enterprise – £35 per user, per month (billed annually)

Why is having a CRM important for my retail business?

  • Attracting new customers and satisfying existing ones: Generating new leads for your business – along with ensuring customer loyalty – is crucial for driving revenue. Email marketing is a must for brand building and encouraging new clicks.
  • Taking an omnichannel sales approach: You want to create as many revenue streams as possible, both on and offline, so that customers from every possible source can purchase your product.
  • Creating a B2C support channel: Communication is fundamental for CRM, whether you’re dealing with a customer complaint or providing help and support. Publicising promotional offers and discounts is also an important way to increase sales.
  • Identifying new sales opportunities: CRMs can act as essential storage to keep customer information secure. Through their data analytics tools, you can also use retail CRMs to learn more about who your target audience is and how to reach them.

How do I choose the right CRM for my retail business?

Identifying the best CRM for retail is a difficult task. Luckily, thanks to our militant work to find the top CRM systems for small businesses, we’re experts on the subject, and know what factors you should consider.

1. Size of your business

Whether you’re an independent startup, an established business, or a small franchise will have an impact on your CRM choice.

For example, the latter requires managing multiple departments, so you’ll need a customisable CRM that can provide a range of presentation styles, like Independent retailers should focus on marketing and brand building. Here, HubSpot might be the better choice.

2. Budget

The current cost of living crisis has meant SMEs are more squeezed than ever. Finding a low-cost CRM system, like Zoho Bigin, is crucial if you don’t have a big IT budget to spend. For those with bigger budgets, premium offerings like Zendesk Sell will be able to grow alongside your business thanks to larger user allowances.

3. Product range

Small businesses with wide product ranges will have bigger sales volumes. If this is the case, you need a platform like Salesforce that can handle large inventories and offers smart reporting tools.

4. Trading location

If your business is based offline, such as a high street florist, you’ll need a system you can jump onto quickly and make changes to easily. Our top system for usability is Freshsales.

How we test CRM systems for UK small businesses

At Startups, it's important to us that the product recommendations we make to small UK businesses are useful, accurate, and based on thorough product testing.

We tested 13 CRM systems across seven main categories of investigation and 13 subcategories – all in all, we covered 84 areas of investigation. Next, we gave a ‘relevance weighting' to the final product category scores - this ensures the products' final ratings perfectly reflect the specific needs and requirements of Startups readers.

Our main testing categories for CRM systems are:

Features: the functionalities and capabilities provided by the CRM software, including contact management, lead and opportunity tracking, and task and activity management.

Help and Support: the assistance and resources available to users when they encounter issues or need guidance while using the CRM software.

Customisation: the ability to tailor the CRM software to suit the specific needs and processes of the organization, including customising fields, layouts, and workflows.

Scalability: the ability of the CRM software to accommodate the growth and changing needs of the organization, such as the capacity to handle a growing customer database.

Price: the cost associated with using the CRM software. It includes factors such as licensing fees and subscription plans.

Team Structure – Sales CRM: determining if a platform makes it easier to manage large sales teams, including team dashboards and team hierarchies.

Usability – Small Business CRM: assessing the simplicity of the interface, the ease of navigating through menus and options, and the overall user experience.

The Startups product testing process

The Startups product testing process diagram

Next steps for choosing a CRM for retail is our best CRM for customisation. Retailers selling on multiple channels will find the best fit for their unique needs.

  • HubSpot is our best pick for outstanding campaign tools
  • Pipedrive is excellent for dropshippers thanks to a huge range of integrations
  • Freshsales is our best retail CRM for high street retailers
  • Salesforce is our number one CRM in the retail industry for reporting
  • Zendesk Sell is the ideal CRM in retail for appointment scheduling
  • Zoho Bigin takes the crown as our top CRM for retail side hustles

When it comes to the CRM market, small businesses really are spoilt for choice. But if you’re feeling overwhelmed, then don’t worry – we’re here to help.

Our specialist team has designed a Startups-exclusive online tool that will give you quotes from the top CRM providers for SMEs. Simply tell us a bit about your business needs, and we’ll do the rest to find you the best deal available.

CRM for retail businesses FAQs
  • Is Pipedrive good for marketing?
    Pipedrive doesn’t score as well for marketing as it does for other areas. You’ll need to purchase its Lead-Booster add-on to be able to access more sophisticated marketing tools, like web forms.
  • How does CRM help retail?
    CRM for retail helps with attracting customers and brand building. These are key priorities for growing your business, and can be particularly challenging for retailers given how competitive the industry is.
  • Does Shopify have CRM?
    No. Instead, the best CRM systems integrate with ecommerce website builders, like Shopify, so you can analyse purchasing behaviours and drive sales for your online store. is reader-supported. If you make a purchase through the links on our site, we may earn a commission from the retailers of the products we have reviewed. This helps to provide free reviews for our readers. It has no additional cost to you, and never affects the editorial independence of our reviews.

Written by:
Helena Young
Helena is Lead Writer at Startups. As resident people and premises expert, she's an authority on topics such as business energy, office and coworking spaces, and project management software. With a background in PR and marketing, Helena also manages the Startups 100 Index and is passionate about giving early-stage startups a platform to boost their brands. From interviewing Wetherspoon's boss Tim Martin to spotting data-led working from home trends, her insight has been featured by major trade publications including the ICAEW, and news outlets like the BBC, ITV News, Daily Express, and HuffPost UK.

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