HubSpot recently unveiled custom objects, the latest innovative feature in their Enterprise level suite of business software. The digital marketing community and data nerds haven't stopped raving about it since. We've been going on and on about the options this opens up, how amazing it is for untraditional and niche businesses, and how much it will improve conversion rates.
The rest of the business community reacted a bit differently. Their response was more like, "Oh wow! That sounds great… But what is it?" So, we thought we should explain what custom objects are, how you can use a custom shipping object, and what all the fuss is about. That way, you can finally understand why this development is making digital marketers completely geek out over their analytics.
To properly explain what custom objects are, first, we should define what a standard object is. In HubSpot's CRM, objects are data categories used to group related properties. They fall into five subgroups: contacts, companies, deals, tickets, and products. Let's define each one.
Properties are where you add the actual data. So a contact is an object, but the contact's name is a property. Within each standard object is a relevant group of properties that apply to that object, so all their information is kept together in the CRM.
A HubSpot Custom Object is the same thing. But instead of needing to make your data fit within one of the five rather limited subgroups, you can tailor it to exactly match your needs. Many industries have data that doesn't work within any of the five available categories, so they had to use advanced features and try to work around the limits of the system. Not anymore.
Now you can store and track all your data in whatever way makes sense for your individual business. This new flexibility opens up a lot of options. To better understand all the amazing things that can be accomplished using custom objects, let's go over some examples.
There are tons of examples of great uses for custom objects, many of which are unique to a specific industry, business, or marketer. Our favorite example, though, is shipping. For e-commerce businesses, this is one of the most universal examples of something that would be useful to track but which doesn't easily conform to standard objects. Using custom objects allows for a tailored solution. Also, once you create a shipping custom object, there's a lot you can do with it. Let's get into some specifics.
If you created a custom object called shipping, the object would need to have properties to store your data. The things you'd record might include:
The best part is, they don't have to be universal. These are some of the most common data points to track. However, your company might have specific information types you'd like to add that aren't on this list. Maybe you want to include customer satisfaction ratings or the percentage of shipments delivered late, on time, and early for each carrier. It's completely customizable. Then, once you have your shipping custom object set up with your properties, you can really start to make the system work for you.
E-commerce involves numerous details and tasks that you need to track and complete. Many of them are tedious and repetitive, sucking up time and money. Anything that helps your business run more smoothly by ensuring your processes are easier, faster, or contain fewer steps is a huge win.
HubSpot custom objects provide numerous solutions, mainly centering around automation. In HubSpot, an automated process is called a workflow. Workflows are so helpful because they ensure the important things get done without you needing to spend time doing them. Let's dive deeper to explore the benefits.
There are many different workflow types and uses. You can implement workflows during every stage of the inbound flywheel. They can help your sales team be more efficient. They improve your customer support process and make your customer service team more productive. You can even use them to solve e-commerce headaches and so much more!
There's no way we could go over them all in this one article; there are too many options. Instead, we're going to pick ones that fit well within the shipping example that the majority of e-commerce businesses can relate to and go into greater depth on how they would work to illustrate the process and advantages.
Standard workflows are set up to begin a custom automated process each time a contact meets the requirements you set for that workflow, like a purchase or blog subscription. Sticking with our shipping custom object example, each time someone makes a purchase, it could automatically send out a purchase confirmation, supply their tracking number, and email them status updates and delivery notifications so that, at each step, they'd be informed. You can even add a customer experience survey.
They also work the opposite way. Instead of giving customers shipping updates, these tools can notify you and the carrier of relevant information. One prime example of this includes shipping exceptions. A large part of a good customer experience is timely delivery. Sometimes though, unexpected issues arise, like a shipping exception. With a shipping custom object used in workflows, you and the carrier can be notified so you can fix the issue quickly.
Another great way to use a shipping custom object to automate and streamline processes is to use an online shipping system like FreightDesk Online. This system uniquely allows e-commerce merchants to connect their stores and ship with postal, parcel, and LTL freight carriers, providing more options to streamline your business than others.
This integration can then automatically import all your order details from your e-commerce store, saving tons of time on data entry. If you utilize Eniture Technology apps for freight quotes, you can get even more details automatically written in your CRM. This can then fuel even more specific and powerful workflows!
Another great thing about HubSpot custom objects is that they allow you to track things you couldn't before. Going back to the shipping custom object, you can now track how many orders have been placed but not yet shipped, the shipping status of every order, and the number of shipments in a given time period. Once again, if there's something you want to track that's unique to your business, you can use custom objects to do it.
Hopefully, now that you've seen concrete examples of how HubSpot custom objects can customize your CRM, workflows, and analytics — especially when combined with other apps and integrations — you can better understand why this announcement was so exciting to some of us. This is a game-changer. There's no limit to the ways you can make them work for you. Use them wisely.
If you'd like to learn more about how Eniture Technology can help, feel free to contact us today!
Eniture Technology specializes in helping e-Commerce merchants grow by providing useful information, digital marketing services, off-the-shelf apps that solve common problems, and custom programming services. If you're interested in accelerating the growth of your online sales, please contact us. You might also enjoy this free information on the 10 reasons why you should be using HubSpot to grow your e-commerce business.
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