Customer database software helps businesses organize, manage, and track customer relationships. We looked at a variety of customer database software solutions and narrowed it down to the top six. We then compared and contrasted the price, features and customer support to learn which ones stood out and which is the best overall.
Top 6 Customer Database Software for 2018
|Freshsales||(Best overall) Businesses that want the best combination of features at an affordable price|
|Insightly||Organizations that want a database with built-in project management tools|
|Monday||Teams that want multiple ways to visualize data, including Kanban, charts, and calendar views|
|Airtable||Companies that want to organize data into customizable spreadsheets|
|Batchbook||Business that want database integration with email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Yesware, and Mailjet|
|Shopify||Entrepreneurs and store owners who want a database with built-in eCommerce tools.|
How We Evaluated Customer Database Software
Customer database software should include features to make data searchable, accessible, editable, and easy to import and export. It should also integrate with business apps as well as popular email marketing services for easy mass email campaigns. Customer database software should also be affordable, easy to use, and backed by reliable customer support.
Therefore, we evaluated customer database software on:
- Price: We evaluated each customer database software provider’s costs compared to the other products on our list
- Data searchable & accessible: We evaluated whether data in each customer database is easily searchable and accessible
- Customizability: We assessed the customization features of each solution
- Import & export data: We evaluated how easy it is to import and export data to and from the customer database
- Email integration: We looked at whether the customer database integrated with email platforms
- File storage: We assessed whether the provider offered file storage and, if so, how much space
- App integration: We evaluated the types of business app integration the product offers
- Ease of use: We evaluated how easy each solution was to set up and use
- Customer support: We looked at the customer support services each customer database software offered with their product
Based on our research, we recommend Freshsales for businesses that want the best overall combination of features at an affordable price. Here’s how the six customer databases we evaluated stack up when we compared them against each other for price, features, and customer support.
Best Overall Customer Database Software for Small Businesses: Freshsales
Freshsales, which ranks as our best CRM for small business, is also the best customer database software for its affordability, combination of features, and reliable customer service. Features include unlimited records, file storage, and app integration. Freshsales is a great choice for businesses consulting businesses and sales teams that want customer database software that grows with them.
Freshsales competitively priced paid tiers run from $12 to $49 per user, per month and include unlimited records, file storage, data import and export, and app integration. Higher tiers add email integration, standard, and custom reports. Freshsales also offers a forever-free option with unlimited records, data import and export, and app integration, but no file storage.
Freshsales Tiered Features
|Migration From Other CRMs|
Freshsales’ Sprout tier features unlimited records, data import and export, one-click data migration from other CRMs like Salesforce and Zoho. It also includes contact management tools for taking notes and logging customer calls and activity and integrates with business tools like Zapier and Google Apps. The free tier is good for businesses that want a no-frills customer database that will quickly migrate data from a CRM with a minimum of fuss.
Freshsales Sprout lacks the file storage, email integration, and reporting options of Freshsales’ paid tiers. It also doesn’t offer real-time collaboration tools like Airtable’s free plan. However, phone and email support are included with Freshsales’ free tier while Airtable’s free plan only includes email support.
Freshsales’ Blossom tier adds 1 GB of file storage per user and email integration via IMAP. It also includes standard lead and deal reports that can be further filtered by options like stage and source, owner, or territory for more granular information. The Blossom plan also adds a conversation view that adds email tracking into database notes. This tier is a good fit for small sales teams that want big-picture looks at contacts as well as the sales funnel.
This level lacks the custom reporting at the next tier. It’s also missing multiple project views and field customization options offered with similarly priced plans by other vendors. However, if those missing features aren’t deal breakers, this tier is one of the cheapest plans on our list.
Freshsales’ Garden tier bumps file storage to 2 GB per user. It also adds custom reports that allow users to modify the default standard reports or design new reports from scratch on accounts, opportunities, leads, and contacts. This tier is right for entrepreneurs and team managers that want deep sales insight to make strategic business decisions.
Freshsales’ Garden is missing the reports dashboard featured in the next level of this solution’s price plans. It’s also doesn’t include a tagging function for easy searching as offered by other customer database software providers. Pricing for this tier is similar to other mid-level plans on the market.
Freshsales’ Estate tier comes with 3 GB of file storage per user. It also features a customizable and shareable reports dashboard to allow users to view multiple reports on a single screen. The Sales dashboard offers an overview of win rates, amounts, sales trends, and forecasts; and the Lead dashboard display information in conversion trends, lead velocity and various key performance indicators. This level is good for teams that want a consolidated view of sales metrics.
This level doesn’t offer as much file storage space as other customer database software providers, so customers will want to consider how much individual users may need when making purchasing decisions. Pricing for this tier is competitive with other solutions with a similar set of features.
What Freshsales Is Missing
Beyond the custom reporting, Freshsales lacks the deep customization options like the ability to create custom objects to store data within the database and relate it to records. Businesses that want customer database software with that level of flexibility should check out Insightly.
What Users Think About Freshsales
Our readers give Freshsales high marks with a four-and-a-half out of five-star review. They say customer service is excellent, and the customizable lead scoring is great for determining an agent’s level of relationship with potential customers. However, some users report customizing the workflows can be complicated.
Where to Find Freshsales
Freshsales is a good fit for businesses that want affordable customer database software with great customer service and a solid set of features. The company offers a forever-free plan and a free, 30-day trial to check out its paid plans. Visit the Freshsales website today for details.
Best Customer Database Software for Built-in Project Management: Insightly
Insightly is customer database software combined with project management software for managing customers and sales leads. It features file storage, app integration, custom reports, and a Kanban view. Insightly is a good fit for consultants, business coaches, and entrepreneurs who want a customer database that also includes project management tools.
Insightly’s Plus plan is $29 per user, per month, which is equal to other first tier customer database plans. It features 10 GB of file storage, 100,000 record limit, and custom reports. The competitively priced Professional plan costs $49, for 100 GB of file storage, a 250,000 record limit, and custom charts.
Insightly Tiered Features
|Custom Charts and Graphs|
|Custom Object Creation|
The Insightly Plus tier includes 10 GB of cloud file storage, a Kanban view, and flexible relationship linking that maps customer relationships in less-restrictive, non-linear ways than other databases. It also includes 100,000 record limit, business app integration, and custom reports. This tier is best for sales teams that want to identify customer relationships and manage them within in a single customer database.
This tier doesn’t include custom graphs or charts offered in upper tiers. It also offers fewer views than other customer database solutions. However, this plan does come with more cloud storage than the basic plans of other providers on our list.
The Insightly Professional tier adds 100 GB of storage, a 250,000 record limit, and customizable charts and graphs that are shareable with other Insightly team members. This level also includes custom object creation to store any type of data within the database and relate it to records. This level is right for sales teams needing a database with project management features that can be customized to the user’s unique needs.
This tier features more record limit and storage space than other customer database software providers. However, some organizations may still find the caps limiting. Insightly offers an Enterprise tier with unlimited record and storage space as well as additional system customization options for businesses owners who want to work under the hood to design their own customer database system record-keeping system.
What Insightly Is Missing
Insightly doesn’t offer the ability to sort data into rows for users who prefer to visualize data in a spreadsheet format. Businesses looking for a customer database system with tools that rearrange records into spreadsheet-like tables should look at Airtable.
What Users Think About Insightly
Our reader reviews of Insightly are overall positive, with a four out of five-star rating. Customers say the user interface is well-designed and the product is a good value for the money. However, some users report the import feature sometimes doesn’t identify the correct field. For more reviews, visit our Insightly User Review Page.
Where to Find Insightly
Businesses that want a customer database system with built-in project management tools should give Insightly a try. The company offers a free, limited plan for two people, a free demo, and a 14-day trial period. Visit Insightly’s website for details.
Best Customer Database Software for Multiple Data View Options: Monday
Monday is customer database software with more than 20 custom modules for building personalized project boards. It features cloud storage, email integration, advanced search, and custom tags. Monday is a great solution for organizations that want a variety of ways to personalize and view records and projects grow and develop.
Monday’s customer database software costs range from $25 to $59 per month depending on the plan selected, placing it in line with the more robust customer database solutions we compared. All plans come with customizable columns for visual project management and 24/7 customer support.
Monday Tiered Features
|20+ Custom Modules|
Monday’s Basic tier includes 5 GB of cloud storage, a Kanban workflow view, and an activity log that tracks changes from the past week. This level also includes more than 20 custom modules, such as phone number, world clock, and an option to personalize individual project boards. The Basic tier is good for businesses that want multiple ways to display data within projects.
This level doesn’t include app integrations, email integration, or advanced search offered in Monday’s upper tiers. It also doesn’t feature custom reports like other first-level solutions. However, the activity log and 5 GB of cloud storage make it a good choice for partners and collaborative teams that work together on the same projects and want to make sure they always have access to the most current customer data and files.
Monday’s Standard tier adds 50 GB of storage, an activity log, advanced search, and email integrations. It also adds timeline, calendar, and map views. Monday’s Standard plan also features integration with a variety of business apps, including Slack for turning messages into tasks, Trello for working simultaneously on Trello and Monday boards, and Google calendar for syncing Monday boards with user calendars.
This level doesn’t include custom tags or private boards offered in the next tier. It also doesn’t feature the collaborative tools offered by other customer database software solutions. However, it’s competitively priced and offers more viewing options at this price point than other products on the market, making it a good fit for teams that want a variety of ways to view projects.
Monday’s Pro tier adds unlimited cloud storage, a chart view, custom tags, and private boards. This tier is a good fit for larger teams that need greater storage space and want the space to create private project boards. Monday also offers an Enterprise tier level from $118 per month that includes all the features of the Basic, Standard, and Pro tiers.
While this level doesn’t include advanced customization options or spreadsheet views like other solutions, this level does provide unlimited cloud storage, which can be a costly additional expense. This level is among the higher priced plans on our list, but some organizations may find its multiple views and columns worth the cost.
What Monday Is Missing
Monday doesn’t offer ecommerce tools for inventory tracking and management. Retailers and shop owners looking for customer database software with those capabilities may want to check out Shopify.
What Users Think About Monday
Online reviews of Monday are positive overall. Users say the platform is easy to use and that the customer service team is friendly and responsive. Customers also report that Monday handles complex projects smoothly. However, some users say the projects are sometimes slow to load on the website.
Where to Find Monday
Businesses that want customer database software with a variety of ways to sort and view customer data should take a look at Monday. The company offers a free trial with no credit card required. Visit Monday’s website for details.
Best Customer Database Software for Organizing Data by Spreadsheet: Airtable
Airtable is customer database software with the flexibility of a spreadsheet. It features revision and snapshot history, real-time collaboration tools, app integrations, and batch record updating. Airtable is right for businesses that want to organize records into spreadsheet-like grids for new ways to interpret data.
Airtable offers three tiers with unlimited databases. The permanently free plan includes 1,200 rows per database and 2 GB of file attachment space. The Plus plan for $10 per user, per month, includes 5,000 rows and 5 GB of space. The Pro for $20 includes 50,000 rows and 20 GB of space.
Airtable Tiered Features
|Rows Per Database|
|Attachment Space per Database|
|Revision & Snapshot History|
|Multiple Project Views|
|Batch Record Updating|
|Record List View|
Airtable’s forever-free plan includes unlimited databases with 1,200 rows per database and 2 GB of attachment space per database. It also includes two weeks of revision and snapshot history that allow users to restore a database to a previous state, multiple project views and real-time collaboration tools. This tier is right for very small teams that want just the essentials of a budget customer database software package with built-in spreadsheet views.
This tier lacks the larger storage capacity of the paid plans as well as the app integrations and contact importing tools of Airtable’s highest level. It also lacks the one-click migration feature offered in the free plan of other solutions. However, Airtable’s free plan is the only provider on our list to offer a spreadsheet-like view.
Airtable Plus level includes 5,000 rows per database, 5 GB of attachment space per database, and the revision and snapshot history is bumped up to six months. This tier is right for creative agencies and consultants who work on shorter-term projects and don’t need to depend on long revision histories.
This level is missing the app integrations, contact importing, and batch record updating found at the Airtable’s highest level plan. It also doesn’t offer email integration featured by many other customer database software packages. However, this plan is competitively priced and on par with other solutions in this price range.
Airtable Pro tier includes 50,000 rows per database and 20 GB of attachment space per database, and a revision and snapshot history of one year. This level also offers access to Blocks, a feature that lets users add additional functions to individual databases like app integrations, contact importing, batch record updating, and a record list view. This tier is designed for businesses that want a solution that’s customizable by team or project.
The Pro level’s customizable Blocks allow users to add features that come standard in other solutions, but at a higher price. Some business owners may prefer to select and add their own options to save a few dollars with Airtable.
What Airtable Is Missing
Airtable lacks one-click import from other CRMs and a data import and export feature, which could slow down companies moving to Airtable from an existing customer database. Businesses looking for tools that make it easy to make the switch to a new system should check out Insightly.
What Users Think About Airtable
Online reviews of Airtable are positive with customers emphasizing that it’s very user-friendly, with a responsive customer support team. Users also appreciate mistakes are easy to undo so learning the system is easy. However, some customers report the free tier’s features are so limited that it can be a struggle to implement in a useful way fully.
Where to Find Airtable
Organizations that want customer database software that’s flexible enough to function as a spreadsheet as well should look at Airtable. The company offers a forever-free plan and a 14-day trial of its paid plans. Visit Airtable’s website for details.
Best Customer Database Software for Email Marketing: Batchbook
Batchbook is customer database software that integrates with email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Yesware, and Mailjet. It features unlimited records, drag-and-drop contact importing, and importing from other apps. Batchbook is a great choice for marketers and sales teams that want a database that ties neatly into popular mass email marketing tools.
Batchbook offers two price plans and both include unlimited records. The competitively priced Essential plan for $19.95 per user, per month, includes email marketing integrations, customizable fields, and importing from other apps. The robustly priced $39.95 Advanced plan adds Gmail integration and task automation.
Batchbook Tiered Features
|Email Marketing Integrations|
|Drag & Drop Contact Importing|
|Importing From Other Apps|
Batchbook’s Essential plan includes unlimited records, drag and drop contact importing, customizable fields, and importing from other apps. It also features integrations with email marketing tools like Mailchimp, Yesware, and Mailjet. This is a good choice for sales and marketing teams that want a customer database that integrates with their email campaign tools.
This tier is missing the Gmail integration and task automation features offered by Batchbook’s upper level. While other customer database providers integrate with email campaign apps, few feature the range of options Batchbook offers.
Batchbook’s Advanced plan adds Gmail integration to allow users to send emails with their Gmail address from inside Batchbook. It also includes a task automation feature that triggers pre-selected actions for records, contacts, emails, and more. This level is a good fit for teams that want to save time and increase productivity by automating recurring or repetitive tasks.
This tier is light on features like advanced search and multiple views, something other providers at this price point offer. However, those solutions don’t offer task automation so that business owners will want to prioritize which features they want most if this is their budget range.
What Batchbook Is Missing
Batchbook is missing cloud storage for files and attachments, something many customer database software providers offer. Companies who require this as a feature should take a look at Insightly or Freshsales as the best options.
What Users Think About Batchbook
Online reviews of Batchbook are generally good overall. Users like how easy it is to track the progress of transactions and monitor pipelines. Customers also say Batchbook is highly customizable. However, some users report the learning curve is steep. For more reviews, visit our Batchbook User Review page.
Where to Find Batchbook
Businesses that want customer database software that integrates well with email campaign tools like MailChimp and Yesware should consider Batchbook. Sign up for a 14-day free trial or contact a sales agent to learn more. Visit Batchbook’s website for details.
Best Customer Database Software for eCommerce: Basic Shopify
Basic Shopify is an ecommerce and customer database solution for in-person and online sales. It offers inventory management, import/export tools, and customer profiles. It’s the right choice for individuals or small online businesses who want a customer database to help manage end-to-end sales.
Basic Shopify is $29 per month and includes an online store for selling unlimited products. It features inventory management, file storage, import/export tools, and customer profiles. Basic Shopify’s pricing is in line with other customer database solutions on our list and the only one that offers built-in ecommerce tools.
Basic Shopify Features
Basic Shopify offers a combination of ecommerce and customer database tools for running a store and managing shopper information all in one place. Features include customer management tools, reports, and unlimited file storage.
New customers are automatically added to Basic Shopify’s database when they place an order. Like most customer database software, users can also import and export CSV files of customer lists. Customer profiles may be edited individually or in bulk, sorted into lists and groups, and filtered by money spent, account status, number of orders, and more.
Basic Shopify features a number of reports accessible via the Overview dashboard that displays a high-level view of your performance data. Individual reports include an Acquisition Report with information on website visitor traffic and a finances report with data about taxes, payments, and total sales. Basic Shopify also includes reports on the behavior of your customers and the effectiveness of your marketing campaigns.
Unlimited File Storage
Basic Shopify includes unlimited file storage, which is important for retailers that need a lot of storage space for product photos. However, it’s also a bonus for store owners who want to store other types of files like invoices, customer documentation, and employee paperwork without worrying about additional charges or fees.
What Basic Shopify Is Missing
Basic Shopify doesn’t offer any type of email integration offered by other customer database software providers, nor is it a full-featured CRM like Freshsales. Business owners that want a solution that ties into their existing email platform should check out Freshsales or Insightly.
What Users Think About Shopify
Our readers give the entire line of Shopify products good reviews with a four out of five-star rating. Users praise the platform for its ease of use and its range of ecommerce tools that make setting up a store quick and easy. However, some customers report you’ll need to know some HTML if you want to make more than basic changes in the backend of the system. For more reviews, visit our Shopify User Review page.
Where to Find Shopify
Entrepreneurs and small business owners that want customer database software with built-in ecommerce tools should check out Shopify. The company offers a 14-day free trial with no credit card required. Visit Shopify’s website for details.
The Bottom Line
Customer database software is used by businesses of all types and sizes to organize, track, and manage customer relationships. Features like one-click data migration and batch editing make it easy to set up and maintain customer information, while tools like email integration are helpful for sending out mass email campaigns.
Businesses that want an affordable customer database with a great selection of features and that is backed by excellent customer support should take a look at Freshsales. The company offers a permanently free plan as well as a free, 30-day trial to check out its paid plans. Visit Freshsales website today for details.