Marketing automation can be an extremely powerful tool, particularly for B2C e-commerce marketers that have to create a highly personalized experience for hundreds of thousands of customers a month. E-commerce marketing automation software can track end-to-end ROI for all of your marketing efforts in a single platform. The benefits of marketing automation for e-commerce website are increasing over time through innovation and research.
Here are some of the tasks e-commerce marketing automation can accomplish:
- Manage multiple email campaigns, integration with your CRM and shopping cart tool
- Nurture people who have been to your website and shown interest in your products
- Capture relevant and recent data from online forms to gather quality leads
- Categorize or score website traffic based on visitor activity on your website
- Target specific demographics based on email interaction
- Integrate sales and marketing efforts
- Develop a list of prospect profiles, identifying the best leads
- Segment inbound leads into lists and dynamically update current data
This helps convert leads to customers and turn existing customers into brand loyalists. Well-executed marketing automation strategies commonly generate significant new revenue for companies and provide a high return on investment.
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Why Is E-commerce Marketing Automation A Boon?
Marketo defines marketing automation as “technology that allows companies to streamline, automate, and measure marketing tasks and workflows so they can increase operational efficiency and grow revenue faster.” Using marketing automation can notably increase a web store’s conversion and improve the customer experience.
Simply put, marketing automation uses software to automate certain actions, like sending targeted email sequences, segmenting lists, showing personalized ads and even posting on social media. Being able to automate static tasks allows employees to focus on more important areas of your business. Keep in mind, however, that a marketing automation tool shouldn’t replace your marketing team or agency. There is no software that will magically generate leads or write your emails and social media updates.
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Instead, marketing automation helps your marketing team generate more sales by automating simple tasks that would otherwise take up their whole day. For example, if Amazon did everything manually, they would need a much bigger marketing team. With marketing automation, they can handle all of the marketing work required to grow an already large business with much fewer employees.
Automated messages work especially well in upselling and cross-selling but offer a lot of other possibilities as well. In practice, automated messages work with triggers. A trigger launches an automated message or message chain when a predetermined event or function takes place.
Here are 7 ways on how to take advantage of e-commerce marketing automation tools to increase sales on online commerce websites.
1. Welcome Messages
Trigger: Email subscribers
Gather web store newsletter subscribers actively, and thank them for joining the email list with an automated message. Growing your email list is essential to market your web store effectively, so it should be invested in. Welcome a newly registered web store customer with an appealing graphic newsletter. Maybe you can also offer a discount code for future purchases or present your new fall products.
2. Cycle-based automation
Trigger: Sales cycle/passed time
If a customer has joined the email list but hasn’t purchased anything within a certain time, this means that the interest for buying products online is clearly there but purchases haven’t been made for some reason. You can define your trigger as a certain time frame that has passed between registering and not making a purchase. Approach the customer with an automated message. You can, for example, give a discount code or a special offer to overcome purchase barriers.
3. Shopping Cart Reminder
Trigger: Abandoned Shopping Cart
The idea behind a shopping cart reminder is to send a reminder notification and possibly an incentive for those customers that abandon their shopping cart. The first message has to be sent as soon as possible after the abandonment when the memory trace is still fresh. Marketing automation offers a resource-saving way to set real-time reminders.
4. Content-based automation
Trigger: Clicks, browsing history, and site behavior
Has the customer has opened the newsletter and looked at the specifications of a certain product or a certain product category? If yes, then you can speed up the sales process with targeted content. Also sometimes when a particular product is out of stock in a and can’t be ordered, offer the customer a possibility to subscribe an automatic reminder when the desired product is back in stock.
5. Content-based automation, upselling and cross-selling
Trigger: Purchase History
Content-oriented automated messages that are based on purchase history include user tips, instructions and recommendations for additional services. For example if the customer buys shoes. Use e-commerce marketing automation to recommend compatible products, like a shoe brush or thermal insoles. A typical change interval for shoes is 6-12 months – after this time you can recommend new shoes to replace the old ones.
6. Thank You Messages
Send an email to thank your customers a couple weeks after they’ve purchased something. E-commerce Marketing Automation is especially valuable when combined with product reviews. If product reviews are not used in your online store, but the store saves the traffic source, you can direct the customer to review the product at a separate site. A product review can be boosted by promising a discount with the next order if the customer writes a review.
7. Loyalty-based automation
Trigger: Purchase history
Reward your most loyal and best customers: grant special benefits for a certain amount of purchases. Wake up passive customers who have bought once but have been passive after that. It is important to test and monitor closely which type of campaigns work and which actions “win back” customers. If a bonus is accumulated from purchases, it is good to remind the customer of the remaining bonus points or loyal customer points.
Marketing automation can be launched with individual messages or message chains that are developed little by little as knowledge increases. Having an agile tool to work with makes it easy to create new messages and drip campaigns. Monitoring the results and testing are essential – every store has their own unique customer base with their own marketing practices.
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How to choose the best e-commerce marketing automation software
The wide range of features available make it hard for retailers to know which specific features would benefit them the most, and know they need help with their business problems and want guidance to become more successful.
Some of the features to look for in an e-commerce marketing automation software that can help retailers become more successful include:
- Consumer Engagement: Lead scoring and other engagement features provide insight into the lead’s interests, engagement levels, and likeliness to buy.
- Connect and Identification: You can sync purchase, product, and customer data from multiple e-commerce solutions from social media.
- Analyzation Features: The data you capture is useful to finding out what your big ticket items are, who your big customers are, who your most frequent shoppers are, and more.
- Personalized Communication: This means no more cold calling or mass emails to people uninterested in certain products or services. You can send tailored email campaigns to customers showing exactly what they are interested in and spend your marketing dollars where they count.
- ROI Analysis: You can create reports that will help you understand your success rates during a certain time frame and analyze a customer lifetime value and the average order value.
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- Sales Cycle Features: By using marketing automation, you can send relevant content to your leads and cut down the buying cycle.
- Behavioral tracking: Installing tracking codes on your website allows you to capture buyers’ preferences based on the pages they visited on your website.
- Segmenting Buyers: Once you know which pages or products a buyer is interested in you can segment buyers based on their interests.
- Campaign tracking and reporting: Track where your revenue is coming from in real time. Measure (in real time) ROI and sales from organic search, PPC, email campaigns, social media, banner ads, and referrals.
- Pricing: Prices for a solid e-Commerce marketing automation system vary from a few hundred dollars to several thousand or more per month.
Top 5 E-commerce Marketing Automation Softwares
Image Source: Klaviyo
Klaviyo is an email platform that integrates more fully with your e-commerce site than your typical autoresponder. The ultimate goal of Klaviyo is to give you the ability to make more money from sending fewer emails. To do this, it gives your customers highly personalized emails that feel more like a one-on-one conversation, as opposed to a mass blast to the entirety of your list.
Image Source: Windsor Circle
Windsor Circle is a MAS that focuses primarily on customer retention. It also gives you plenty of opportunities to attract new customers – primarily by tracking unknown users and treating them like customers you just don’t know that much about yet. By giving you as much information as possible about your customer base, you can tailor your strategy to give them as positive an experience – and make them keep coming back.
3. SILVER POP
Image Source: SilverPop
Silverpop is conceptually similar to Remarkety, except that instead of personalizing email messages, Silverpop allows you to personalize every page that your customers see. This feature, called “dynamic content,” means that you don’t have to guess what to show your customers when they visit your site. Instead, what items that have been specifically chosen for them. This is as close as you can come to having an experienced salesperson guiding your customers every step of the way.
Image Source: VibeTrace
VibeTrace focuses more on customer segmentation so that you can be sure you’re sending the right message to the right people. You can personalize email campaigns, product displays, and even well-timed discounts and coupons. Similarly, you can follow up with cart abandonment emails, recommendations based on past purchases, and messages designed to help them get the most out of their product experience.
Image Source: Remarkety
Rather than having to craft broad messages that don’t really target any of your customers, in particular, Remarkety allows you to craft newsletters and automated emails that are sent to specific customers based on their buying habits. You can instantly email them upsells and cross-sells based on the items they’ve already purchased, follow up on abandoned cart items, and give them truly personalized recommendations based on what they’ve already proven to be interested in.
Our Recommendation: SMARTMAIL
Image Source: SmartMail
SmartMail is a “done for you” email marketing solution that helps eCommerce companies send highly personalized email campaigns. They design high converting, responsive email templates for your brand that are fully optimized for all devices & email clients to save you time and money. You can view open rates, click-thru rates, conversions, revenue generated, and more in SmartMail’s intuitive campaign manager.
E-commerce opens up a lot of great points of engagement and marketing automation allows you to really capitalize on them. Instead of the standard confirmation emails, you are able to cross-sell and upsell in very strategic ways, which can result in increased sales volumes.
E-commerce can benefit from marketing automation in multiple ways. While some marketing automation solutions on the market aren’t specifically tailored to all e-commerce businesses, the common automation features are useful for saving time and money in the long run.
Marketing automation is about of constantly making a procedure of whatever you can, and using tools to help you along. The important thing is to always keep the big picture in mind. What are your goals? What are your targets? What are you trying to achieve? If you’re clear about that, you can always look for ways and tools to extract yourself from the process and save time.