eCommerce Marketing Automation: Types, Benefits, & How It Works
Wondering how to provide successful marketing and custom experiences for your eCommerce business? Read on to learn about eCommerce marketing automation.
Whether you are just opening your first eCommerce store or are well-established and looking to grow, you are likely aware of the immense tasks involved in running a successful eCommerce business. One of the most monumental and often most intimidating aspects of eCommerce business development is marketing. Without marketing, your target audience may not be able to find your business, and once they do, they may forget or move on to the competition. Marketing is essential to business health, and marketing automation is crucial to eCommerce success. With customers shifting to a more digital ecosystem, businesses must step up and provide marketing and customer experiences that support ideal digital experiences. But it’s not easy – eCommerce marketing automation involves the coordination and execution of data and processes across multiple channels. In this guide, we closely examine marketing automation for eCommerce and cover the types, benefits, and working principles.
What is eCommerce Marketing Automation?
eCommerce marketing automation consists of all the activities involved in supporting eCommerce customer experiences and growing revenue through those channels – both before, during, and after the checkout process. Many of these activities are repetitive and involve complex, data-driven workflows conducted at scale. By switching the labor from human employees to automation software, you streamline processes and free up employees to focus on high-value tasks that require a human touch.
Types of Marketing Automation for eCommerce
There are a few different ways to automate eCommerce marketing. Some of these approaches improve the customer experience, while others simplify workflows, and many do both and more. Let’s look at a few approaches to marketing automation for eCommerce.
1. Email Marketing
Although there are many avenues for automating marketing, email marketing is number one on our list because marketers still cite it as the number one channel for retaining customers. Email marketing automation includes segmenting and targeting customers by purchase history, online behavior, and ERP and CRM system data. You can also trigger email campaigns based on if/then style behavioral triggers – i.e., by purchasing a bike but not a helmet. Additional examples of automated email marketing include:
- Cross-sell and upsell campaigns of related or recommended products
- Customer loyalty emails
- Limited time offers
- Inspiring or helpful content
2. Abandoned Shopping Cart Campaigns
Around 10% of lost revenue from abandoned carts can be recaptured, and gently nudging customers to complete the purchase can benefit both parties involved. An abandoned shopping cart campaign involves sending automated, personalized email marketing to engage the potential customer. After a website visitor walks away from their shopping cart, automate your workflow, so they receive a friendly reminder about the product in their cart. Enhance the relevance of the emails with automatically generated product suggestions and related content to entice the customer to return to the website and complete the purchase.
3. Loyalty Programs
B2B industries largely replicate the benefits of B2C eCommerce – particularly around loyalty programs and online promotions. After all, loyalty programs are an easy way to offer better prices to customers in the form of earned discounts, which simultaneously boosts your sales because it necessitates more ordering. You can streamline point collection and redemption systems, tiers and perk systems, and responsive product discounts based on set amounts and other criteria through automation.
4. Website Personalization and Optimization
Web content personalization and optimization ensure your target audience discovers your brand and understands its relevance. As there are many layers to attend to, automation is key. First and foremost, your eCommerce site must be SEO-optimized for inbound marketing and maximum visibility. Create engaging content to maximize SEO and bring in new customers, i.e., blogs, tutorials, and guides. Make sure your landing pages are compelling and designed to collect leads passively. When it comes to personalization, automate changes in rows or web pages based on a visitor’s history, i.e., seeing a promotion for a product related to a purchase they made in the past. Additionally, build cross-sell and upsell opportunities into customer experience, i.e., related products, recommendations, or discounts offered in context with what the user is doing.
5. Data Management
Thanks to its digital nature, opening an eCommerce sales channel provides access to new, valuable data for understanding customers and personalizing experiences, i.e., website behavior, purchase history, and contact information, all blended with demographic and customer data in your ERP or CRM. Be sure to choose an eCommerce platform that can integrate with your ERP and CRM customer data to leverage blended data and truly personalize experiences at scale.
Benefits of eCommerce Marketing Automation
Marketing automation for eCommerce provides many benefits to businesses and customers. Here are seven advantages you can expect from successfully implementing eCommerce marketing automation.
1. Personalize experiences at scale
When done right, eCommerce personalization is wildly successful, but it can be challenging to achieve at scale. Through automation, you can easily leverage data on customer identifiers, demographics, behaviors, preferences, interests, and motivations to connect more directly and deeply with your audience. With a rich understanding of your customers and data gathered through automation workflows, you can effortlessly create personalized offers.
2. Do more with less
Automation reduces the need for manual data entry, input, and analysis and streamlines repetitive workflows. This allows your company to redirect resources to high-value areas and stretch resources further across tasks.
3. Reduce poor customer experiences
There are many reasons why customers may have poor experiences with a brand. Thankfully eCommerce marketing automation helps companies reduce poor customer experiences by streamlining repetitive tasks that were previously exposed to the risk of human errors and freeing up employees to dedicate more time to high-value tasks of customer service and support.
4. Improve conversions
eCommerce marketing automation expands the opportunities for connecting with customers via positive touchpoints through their buying journey. It also allows for easy automation of abandoned cart emails sweetened with discounts or special offers that entice customers to return and complete a purchase.
5. Grow order value and order volumes
Many marketing strategies focus on acquiring new customers, which has distinct advantages but is not the only way to drive business growth. eCommerce marketing automation can also drive business growth by allowing you to quickly identify high-performing products, segment your customer base, and analyze price changes to increase the Average Order Value (AOV).
6. Expand reach to new customers and markets
With marketing automation for eCommerce, you can automatically welcome potential customers and distribute your marketing outreach further than before. For example, eCommerce marketing automation enables you to introduce your brand with automatically generated welcome emails and include special discounts or gifts for first-time customers.
7. Retain customers, and stay ahead of the competition
Do not forget about customers, even if they may have forgotten about your brand. eCommerce marketing automation allows you to retain clientele by re-engaging inactive customers with friendly reminders or subtle win-back emails that can increase customer lifetime value (CLTV).
How eCommerce Marketing Automation Works
eCommerce marketing automation is a process that requires structure and data to operate successfully. It’s crucial to choose a platform that integrates with your ERP, CRM, or third-party marketing automation platform so that blended data can be used to segment audiences, automate processes, and personalize experiences.
Your marketing automation system needs access to multiple data points to narrow your audience and provide highly-relevant promotions, content, and more. Hyper-focusing on your audience allows you to personalize at scale by using variables like First Name, Last Name, Company Name, Product Name, and more within your email marketing.
To understand what marketing approaches work best with your customers, A/B test your web pages, emails, multichannel experiences, and other marketing activities. Conduct two different small-scale campaigns and compare the performance of each endeavor side by side. Use the data insights to direct your marketing strategy and proceed with the approach that leads to the best results.
It may seem overwhelming to contemplate setting up all these automated marketing workflows, especially because many marketing solutions need more visibility and criteria with extensive integration and complex finagling. However, DynamicWeb offers a solution. As part of our mission to simplify eCommerce for businesses across the globe, DynamicWeb includes built-in marketing automation capabilities. These features allow marketers to segment users easily and automate marketing with detailed eCommerce and online data combined with customer data found in ERP and CRM.
DynamicWeb is a world-leading provider of CMS, eCommerce, PIM and Marketing solutions for mid/large and enterprise sized companies. With more than 20+ years in business and more than 12,000 websites developed, we have the experience and the software necessary to create powerful eCommerce solutions.
To optimize your marketing automation for eCommerce, contact us today.