If you're like the vast majority of eCommerce businesses out there, chances are you have already implemented marketing automation to connect with your patrons. In fact, according to the State of Marketing Automation Survey Report, nearly 75% of marketers employed some kind of automated tools in their business strategies.
You can send out engaging content effortlessly by having an email marketing platform, SMS platform, popup software, and more tools to schedule automatic messages at your disposal.
But that’s not all.
eCommerce businesses are taking automation a step further and implementing automated shopping cart abandonment emails, personalized product recommendations, and more to ensure their customers have the best experience possible.
In this guide, we'll discuss the different aspects of automated marketing and how it can help your business succeed. Let's dive in.
What is eCommerce marketing automation?
eCommerce marketing automation is the process of automating mundane and repetitive tasks that are required for successful online retail. Automation can be used to personalize customer interactions, segment audiences, send out automated emails, track customer activities, and more.
eCommerce automation allows you to save time while still delivering excellent customer service. Furthermore, automation allows businesses to give customers the best experience possible by personalizing their interactions.
Pros and cons of eCommerce marketing automation
- Higher time to value: eCommerce marketing automation can free up a considerable amount of time and energy for your marketers, customer relationship management (CRM) managers, and merchandisers so they can focus on more relevant tasks that need "the human touch."
- Minimizes reliance on IT department: Automation can be implemented on its own, meaning less reliance on IT resources for day-to-day operations.
- Increased efficiency: With automation, you can reach more customers in a shorter amount of time with fewer resources.
- Easier segmentation of customers based on preferences and past behavior: Automation allows you to target distinct audiences and deliver more relevant messages.
- Higher engagement: Automation allows you to build relationships with customers by personalizing messages and providing a more customized experience.
- Time-consuming: Automation requires a well-thought-out strategy with clear goals and tasks and can require a significant amount of time to implement, configure and maintain.
- Manual intervention required: Automated processes may still need some manual input or oversight to make sure they are working properly.
- High cost: Depending on the complexity of the automation needed, the cost could be high as it requires different tools to set up.
- Doesn't fix process inefficiencies: Automation is only as successful as the processes you have in place. If there are underlying process issues, automation won't fix them and could in fact make them worse.
- Can lead to messaging fatigue: Automation can be a great tool, but if it's used too much or without variation, customers may become tired of the same messages and ignore them.
What are the different types of eCommerce marketing automation?
Marketing automation comes in many forms. Here are some of the most common types.
Email automation enables you to send automated emails based on customer preferences and behaviors.
- Welcome series
- Reminder and follow-up emails
- Abandoned cart
- Reengagement/win back
Mobile automation allows businesses to send automated messages via text or other mobile platforms.
- Promotional/announcement messages
- Personalized offers
- Order status updates
- Customer service messages
Web automation allows businesses to track customer behavior on their website and deliver personalized experiences.
- Dynamic content/product recommendations
- Targeted offers/promotions
- A/B testing
- Real-time personalization
How to use eCommerce marketing automation
To maximize sales, enhance customer satisfaction and experience, and generate maximum revenue, marketing automation in eCommerce is the way to go. Here are some examples that will ignite your next campaign.
Welcome new customers or subscribers via email or SMS
When a person opts into your email and SMS list or makes their first purchase, send them an automated welcome message that includes a personalized discount code. This will help build loyalty and make the customer feel special.
Win back lost sales with abandoned cart SMS
The abandoned cart rate for mobile is 85.6%. That means that out of every 100 customers that add a product to their cart, only 14.4 will actually buy it. If customers abandon their carts, send them a personalized text to entice them back. This will help recapture lost sales opportunities and increase customer engagement.
Send personalized product recommendations via email
Use personalization to take your eCommerce marketing automation efforts to the next level by sending customers product recommendations based on their past purchases or browsing history. This will help you provide a more tailored and customized user experience.
Reengagement of inactive customers
If a customer has been inactive for a period of time, send them an automated message to draw them back in. This could include special offers, discounts or other incentives that will make the customer feel valued and appreciated.
Collect customer feedback and reviews
Collecting customer feedback is essential for understanding their experience with your brand. Automate this process by prompting customers to leave reviews or fill out surveys after they’ve made a purchase. This will help you gain valuable insights into what works and doesn’t work in terms of customer satisfaction.
Establish your brand across multiple channels
Using marketing automation, you can establish a presence across multiple channels by sending personalized messages and offers across both mobile and web platforms. This will help boost customer engagement while keeping your brand top of mind. For example, you could re-target shoppers who’ve engaged with your email with a targeted ad on social media. This is a great example from Blenders!
Reward loyal customers
Send loyal customers an automated email after they’ve made a certain number of purchases. This could include special discounts or free shipping offers that will further promote customer loyalty and encourage them to keep coming back. Customer retention is key to long-term eCommerce business success.
How to create a strategy for eCommerce marketing automation
Creating a successful eCommerce marketing automation strategy requires careful planning and execution. Here are some tips for getting started:
Step 1: Define goals
Before you start creating your strategy, it’s essential to set clear, measurable goals. This will help keep you focused on the end goal and allow you to track progress. Your goals can vary — including increasing revenue and improving customer satisfaction or acquisition rates.
Step 2: Identify target audience
Once you’ve identified your goals, it’s time to identify who you’re targeting and why. This will help you create an effective strategy that resonates with the right people. You can break them down into segments based on demographics, interests, and behaviors.
Step 3: Map out customer journey & channels
What channels will you use for marketing automation? This could include email, SMS, web, or mobile. Each channel has its own unique advantages, so pick the ones that best suit your goals and target audience. You’ll also want to map out the customer journey so you can create automated campaigns that target customers at each stage. Review your eCommerce product launch strategy to ensure it matches up with your automation strategy.
Step 4: Determine metrics & KPIs
You’ll want to set metrics and key performance indicators (KPIs) that will help you measure success. This could include open rates, click-through rates, or revenue generated from each campaign.
Step 5: Choose the right tools
Finally, you’ll want to choose the right tools for your eCommerce marketing automation. Marketing automation software could include a CRM, email service provider, or other automation platforms. Make sure to do your research so you can pick the best option for your needs.
What are the best tools for eCommerce marketing automation?
Using tools is essential for successful eCommerce marketing automation. Here's a breakdown of some of the best marketing automation tools.
Sendlane is an all-in-one automation platform that lets you create personalized marketing campaigns and segment customers based on their behaviors.
It also offers unified email & SMS features, live chat support available 24/7/365, and real-time data at your fingertips. With Sendlane, you can engage with your customers are the perfect moment, design unique journeys for each customer, and bring back customers with automated retargeting.
Mailchimp is an email marketing platform that makes it easy to create automated campaigns, segment customers, and track your performance. It also has powerful analytics tools so you can monitor your progress in real-time.
Drip marketing automation empowers you to easily set up revenue-boosting email workflows that run themselves. With automated workflows and customizable schedules, you can quickly create campaigns that convert. It also allows you to segment customers based on their behaviors and interests, so you can send more relevant messages.
Campaign Monitor is an email marketing platform for small businesses. It helps you create automated campaigns, personalize content, and track performance. You can also use it to design templates, segment customers, and measure ROI.
How to start eCommerce marketing automation
When you're ready to get started with your eCommerce marketing automation efforts, Sendlane will help you take your campaigns to the next level. With complete email & SMS automation tools and analytics, you can easily create personalized journeys for each customer. You'll be able to segment customers based on their behaviors, interests, and demographics. Plus, you'll be able to optimize campaigns in real time with advanced multi-variate testing features.
The best way to being with eCommerce marketing automation is by creating a clear plan for your eCommerce business goals and objectives. Once you have this, you can begin researching different automation tools that will work best for your business. With the right marketing automation tool, you'll be able to easily set up automated email campaigns and track their success.
No matter what your eCommerce marketing automation needs are, Sendlane can help. With powerful tools and analytics, you can quickly launch campaigns that engage with customers at the perfect moment through multiple marketing channels. Start your automation journey today with a 14-day free trial!