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The Ecommerce Marketing Automation Guide For Retailers

Overseeing the affairs of an eCommerce business can be overwhelming because there's always a never-ending list of tasks demanding your attention. This is true, especially when you consider the marketing side of things. 

eCommerce marketing is both time, labor, and resource-intensive. And if you’re like any of the 72% of entrepreneurs who feel weighed down by the sheer amount of workload that’s eating into their time and disrupting their work-life balance, then you should consider eCommerce marketing automation. 

We’ve prepared this guide to help you learn more about marketing automation in eCommerce and why you can’t afford to miss out on the juicy benefits it promises for your retail business. You can also read our tutorial on how to plan and implement an eCommerce automation solution from scratch.

What is Ecommerce Marketing Automation?

eCommerce marketing automation simply means using software to handle important but time-consuming marketing-related tasks in your retail business. 

Imagine having one employee on your team whose job is to handle all repetitive tasks, nothing else. When you deploy software to handle marketing automation for your online store, that's exactly what you get. Using marketing software can be likened to hiring the perfect employee that you can train, rely on, improve, and trust to never get bored taking care of those monotonous tasks. 

Your software will work around the clock with high-level productivity and efficiency. When deployed right, your marketing software can do things like:

  • Give automated recommendations to shoppers based on interest
  • Send out custom emails to buyers
  • Customize store offerings
  • Suggest new promotions and products intelligently
  • Remind shoppers to complete their shopping

How Does Marketing Automation Software Work?

Various automation solutions come with different features designed to automate specific aspects of your marketing activities. But one similarity between these different tools is that they work using a trigger-action model. 

Say, for instance, you are looking to automate your email marketing, using automation can allow you to come up with a range of emails to be sent out only when specific conditions are met within a given time. These streams of emails have specific triggers that depend on the action or inaction of the prospect. You can also set or customize emails to be triggered based on other factors such as the frequency of purchase, location, gender, etc. Some of these triggers are: 

  • Completing a purchase
  • Adding a product to their wishlist
  • Abandon the cart for a defined length of time
  • Subscribe to receive emails

How Can I Deploy Marketing Automation in eCommerce?

There are diverse ways to use automation in eCommerce marketing which, when used right, promises endless potential. You’ll start to see results such as higher ROI, an increase in conversions, and an enhanced customer experience. 

Some effective ways to use eCommerce marketing automation include:

  • Collect shoppers' contact details
  • Reduce abandoned carts
  • Onboard new customers
  • Reactivate dormant customers
  • Get feedback from customers
  • Create an omnichannel experience
  • Make email marketing more appealing
  • Reward customer loyalty

Collect shoppers’ contact details

Attracting new contacts and growing your customer list is necessary if you are always creating high-quality products and content that you feel will benefit your audience. Of course, they wouldn’t want to miss out, so you can employ eCommerce marketing software to ask your customers for their information in exchange for valuable information regularly. 

Customers who get through checkout can also automatically get added to your email list if you set up your marketing automation software to extract their data. Keep in mind that the info you get from the profiles that your customers create can expose you to promising opportunities based on customer behavior that you can take advantage of. 

Reduce abandoned carts, increase conversions

eCommerce marketing automation offers a great solution to the problem of abandoned carts, which has become a persistent challenge for most retailers today. Statistics show that a variety of reasons will cause 7 buyers to abandon their carts out of every 10 shoppers. 

By using marketing automation in eCommerce, you can water down the bad effects of cart abandonment. How so? Regularly check up on such shoppers by sending automated follow-up emails reminding them to come back and complete their shopping. Make sure you’re using the right call to action, message, and subject line. You might also throw in discounts here and there. That could be all it takes to bring a customer back and get them swiping their cards. 

Onboard new customers

Getting a welcome message from a website immediately after signing up, followed by a series of other emails, is now considered standard procedure. Customers expect it. You can use these automated workflows to add a customer to your email list, help them get through checkout, or inform them a bit more about your brand and its values. 

You could even take it up a notch by offering these new customers discounts and promotions via email that’ll get them clicking through to your website in a hurry. But it shouldn’t end there because there's more you can do with email stream automation. Use these welcome emails to offer assistance or send information that helps customers get the best out of any products they already purchased on your eCommerce website. What better way to elevate the experience and convert them into loyal customers?

Reactivate dormant customers

Some customers will create accounts on your online store and set up their profiles, but then become inactive for a long stretch. This is not much different than the cart abandonment issue. There are also cases where some customers kept buying from time to time but then stopped buying entirely. 

Rather than let go of such customers, you can deploy an eCommerce marketing automation platform to help you win them back. A good idea would be to create custom email workflows that get sent out after a specified period of inactivity. With automated emails, you’ll be saving a lot of time. And there’s a chance that those messages will reawaken their interest, especially if you offer promotions and discount codes.

Get feedback from customers

Social proof is one way to bring credibility to your online store. We've seen research that shows that retailers can get more sales if their shoppers post reviews and ratings after they shop. To that effect, you can deploy eCommerce marketing automation software to help you collect feedback from buyers after purchase. In this case, you’ll be using email automation to request a review from the customer after several days have elapsed. 

Create an omnichannel experience

Customers show an interest in learning more about a product or buying it when they land on your eCommerce store and begin to browse through your product collection. If that happens, such customers automatically qualify to be called LEADS. 

But what happens if such customers leave without buying? Well, you can connect with them via other touchpoints such as social media platforms. Using ads, these leads can show you that they are qualified when they click through to hop back on your website and keep surfing. This is where you then deploy marketing automation software to collect their details and then nurture them using newsletters. 

Make email marketing more appealing

When looking to engage your prospects, refining your emails using rich media can increase your click-through rate by up to 42%. Sending out emails with exciting product photos makes it easier to upsell and cross-sell. 

Thankfully, eCommerce marketing automation tools can take care of everything so long as you’ve got the product blocks set up. Using this kind of marketing automation in eCommerce, you will send out important product info, including price, specs, and benefits, along with product photos to create an irresistible offer. 

Reward customer loyalty

Today shoppers have a variety of choices. With the eCommerce industry becoming more competitive by the day, shoppers won’t think twice about exiting your online store and buying from your competitor for trivial reasons. One way to keep your customers loyal to your brand is by acknowledging and rewarding their loyalty. 

Since eCommerce automation platforms can log customer data, you have a solid database on which to nurture long-term relationships with these buyers. Customer loyalty is the vehicle that guarantees you nonstop sales because loyal customers will think of you first whenever they need to replenish a product or try out a new one. They’ll even get their friends to shop from your store. 

The best way to compensate these customers is by setting up a loyalty program where they can enjoy freebies, BOGO, flat discounts, etc. 

Why Use eCommerce Marketing Automation?

Marketing automation in eCommerce has lots of associated benefits for online retailers. Aside from saving you and your team valuable time and resources, 4 key reasons to use eCommerce marketing automation include:

  • Better customer insights
  • Increased lead generation
  • Superior customer service
  • Higher return on investment

Better customer insights

Having more knowledge about your customers is necessary because that's how you can customize their experience and make it personalized. eCommerce marketing automation helps you achieve that by capturing vital info about your customers such as their location, shopping history & patterns, birthday, preferences, etc., so you can utilize them. 

To show how important such customer insights are, birthday marketing emails have click, revenue generation, and transaction rates as high as 179%, 342%, and 481% respectively when compared with regular newsletters. Get to know your customers and you’ll get them to buy more from you. Marketing automation helps you build that connection with ease. 

Increased lead generation

If you would like to improve the quantity and quality of your leads, then it’s time to take marketing automation in eCommerce seriously. Using automation software in your customer outreach campaigns can attract more shoppers and increase your conversion rate by up to 77%, as reported by 80% of marketers. 

This is a solid process that fuels itself. While eCommerce marketing automation takes care of the leads and funnels them into a database of loyal customers, these leads then become advocates for your brand. Such loyal customers will then help you attract more leads through word of mouth and referrals. 

Superior Customer Service

The revenues in the experience. If you serve customers in a way that delights them, they’ll be happy to give you their money every time. eCommerce marketing automation software can help to refine how you serve customers by attending to their queries swiftly and resolving them. From pre-purchase to post-purchase, automation tools can help to handle issues and tickets even in your absence, making it a great way to reduce the pressure of handling WISMO calls on your team. 

Chatbots, for example, can be configured to provide a personalized experience to customers at the earliest stage in their journey. These bots can help you scale dynamically by taking care of repetitive customer service tasks. 

Higher return on investment

Because it has a multifaceted approach, eCommerce marketing automation will help boost your topline sales, guaranteeing you increased ROI. The beauty of automated marketing lies in how it allows online stores to automate customer service and lead capture. Why allocate a large number of your staff to handle these repetitive tasks when you can save on salaries and other human resource expenses by getting a dedicated automation platform to do the job?

In the end, you’ll start to see an uptick in your bottom line as you continue to automate relevant aspects of your eCommerce marketing. The many benefits gained will then translate to more profits among other financial gains. 

Start Using Marketing Automation

This guide has provided valuable insights on why using eCommerce marketing automation in your retail business can propel your brand and enhance scalability. Here’s yet another insightful guide that exposes you to the 6 key areas to leverage eCommerce automation software

And if you’re keen on creating a richly-enhanced end-to-end customer experience for your shoppers, then explore our plug-and-play eCommerce delivery software built to eliminate uncertainties around shipping and delivery.

Akhilesh Srivastava

Author: Akhilesh Srivastava
Founder and CEO of FenixCommerce

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