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Nine marketing automation strategies to win the war for ecommerce

30-second summary

  • To build better customer relationships and synchronize all marketing channels, you need a workflow as smooth as marketing automation.
  •  75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history
  • One of the biggest ecommerce pain points is to handle all the stock efficiently and organize your marketing chores accordingly. There are a lot of inventory-related tasks that can be automated for the greater good.
  • Email personalization and segmentation can be done on the basis of user behavior, products liked, previous purchase history, engagement with the brand, spending habits, and more.
  • A staggering average of 69% of online carts is being abandoned by users and almost seven out of ten checkouts remain incomplete. The statistic proves that ecommerce shopping cart abandonment is an inevitable phenomenon.
  • Marketing automation strategies that can do good for your ecommerce business.

Driving consistent ecommerce sales on your online store is a tough nut to crack and curating content with respect to the changing customer behavior can be challenging.

Online retailers and store owners need to adapt according to their customer’s needs.

Estimating what a customer wants to see can be misleading. Solid insights must replace mere estimations in order to drive in results.

The way we use detailed insights and consumer data determines the success of our online business.

One way to excel at ecommerce is to use marketing automation software which will automate all your repetitive daily chores and reduce the risk of human errors.

To build better customer relationships and synchronize all marketing channels, you need a workflow as smooth as marketing automation.

Throughout this article, we will go through the best practices for ecommerce marketing automation which will help increase your store sales, expand the client base, enhance customer retention and be more profitable.

1. A personalized experience for every shopper

Personalization has always been known as the king for engagement. The more you personalize the content for your audience, the more they will engage with it. The same applies to online shoppers.

Someone who visits your store must feel valued and appreciated. They should be greeted with content they are interested in.

But how can we achieve that?

Analyzing past consumer behavior and purchases can come in handy. If we already know how a customer interacted with us the last time he/she visited our store, we should use this data to good effect.

With marketing automation, we can tag customers according to their shopping behavior and use this to serve them better the next time.

Did you know that 75% of consumers are more likely to buy from a retailer that recognizes them by name, recommends options based on past purchases, or knows their purchase history?

Tools like Yusp and Episerver use machine learning with an information filtering system to show ideal product recommendations to every website visitor and take personalization to the next level.

With personalization being such a critical factor in increasing profit rates for companies, automation makes things a bit easier.

We can also tag our loyal customers to send them special offers and welcome emails. When all this is automated, this makes a lot of sense to improve conversions and profits.

2. Managing your inventory

One of the biggest ecommerce pain points is to handle all the stock efficiently and organize your marketing chores accordingly.

There are a lot of inventory-related tasks that can be automated for the greater good. Some of them are listed below:

  • Tagging products automatically to segment them into different groups and bundles.
  • Sending out alerts whenever some product is low in stock. You may simultaneously re-order those products to ensure a minimum stock.
  • Automatically publishing new products to your store and your social media channels.
  • Unpublishing products which are out of stock and then republishing them when available. 
  • Modifying the look of your e-store for seasonal promotions via theme changes.
  • Scheduling pre-defined changes in product prices during sales and promotions.
  • Notifying marketing teams about when to promote specific products and when to stop promotions

Just the trivial thought of the above tasks being automated saves you time. Your marketing automation software can be customized according to your needs so that the above-listed tasks are taken care of.

Once you have the power of automation, you will have ample time to concentrate on higher-value work.

Not only does automation save you time but it also opens up new areas for generating revenue. Efficient inventory management is a huge boost for any online retailer and when it is automated, things tend to improve big time.

Here is an example case study of Freediving Planet, a freediving school in Asia, which utilized Zoho CRM’s inventory management application to organize their customers, organize their stock and invoices, and also keep track of all their accounting.

The company used multiple spreadsheets to record and update a single transaction which took a lot of time and also made the task a tedious one.

3. Email campaigns with proper segmentation

Understanding the buyer’s journey and offering products which suit your customers is very likely to help your business. Ecommerce retailers have to understand this and segment audiences for better marketing and engagement.

Automating email personalization is one of the keys to boosting your ecommerce conversions.

Segmentation can be done on the basis of user behavior, products liked, previous purchase history, engagement with the brand, spending habits, and more. It allows better personalization of email campaigns which drives engagement.

Including a welcome email campaign to start off things is a great idea. Be it, new customers or subscribers, it sets the tone right for the rest of the customer journey. Dynamic content in emails with product recommendations, updates, and resources is a great strategy to embrace.

Sending your prospects content in which they have already shown interest can be fruitful.

With marketing automation at your service, segmenting customers is very easy and effective. We can create some content for each segment we have and user engagement will follow. We just need to be smart enough to develop good content that resonates well with the segment’s audience.

According to Campaign Monitor, marketers who used segmented campaigns noted as much as a 760% increase in revenue.

The statistic may be mind-boggling but it lays enough emphasis on the significance of segmented email campaigns. Ecommerce store owners need to harness the power of email segmentation and use it to good effect.

4. Avoiding high-risk orders

This one may be quite underrated but is a hefty advantage for ecommerce retailers. Wasting time on potential fraudulent orders is not advisable at all.

Every once in a while, businesses have to combat the issue of high-risk orders which can result in undeserving and unnecessary chargeback amounts. If we somehow are able to identify such purchases, we can save a lot of our time and money.

So can marketing automation help us here?

Yeah, that’s right. A “definite” yes.

How?

With ecommerce automation software, you can easily separate fraudulent orders and tag them for a full moderation. This can be achieved by passing the order details through a complete account check, IP address verification, previous strikes, etc.

Customer-service teams can be informed about such orders via automated push notifications so that they do not process the same.

You may configure your marketing automation software as per your needs and it will save you a lot of time.

5. Converting abandoned shopping carts

“A staggering average of 69% of online carts is being abandoned by users and almost seven out of ten checkouts remain incomplete.”

The above statistic proves that ecommerce shopping cart abandonment is an inevitable phenomenon. It’s true that it cannot be completely eradicated but there is surely something that can be done to make up for it.

Sending out personalized automated emails for an abandoned shopping cart can help boost up revenue. Everyone knows that, right?

You can create a whole sequence for sending out abandoned cart emails. Say you have set up a sequence for emailing all users who have abandoned their shopping cart and not completed the purchase within an hour. The sequence may be modified and extended as per your requirements.

As an ecommerce store owner, your goal should be identifying the main causes of cart abandonment on your store.

Source: Baymard Institute

When you know the causes of cart abandonment from your shoppers, you can use the data in two ways:

Firstly, you will be able to point out the weakest link in your business setup. You can work to improve on that. Secondly, you can offer special compensatory offers and solutions to your customers to increase conversions.

Here are some abandoned cart recovery facts to encourage you:

  • About 45% of emails sent to follow up on an abandoned cart are opened by consumers.
  • 21% of the opened follow-up emails are clicked on.
  • 50% of individuals that receive abandoned cart emails click on the “purchase” CTA.

Marketing automation simplifies things dramatically. You just need to feed the criteria(when to send the emails) and content assets to your marketing automation software. All emails will be sent accordingly and automatically.

6. Effective communication between teams

If there is one thing that can halt your growth and progress as a team, it is the communication gap. The communication gap should be avoided at all costs. Businesses must ensure that teams collaborate with each other efficiently, assisting each other whenever required.

Customer data is only useful when teams can distribute it amongst them and that too at the correct time.

Some example tasks which require good team collaboration:

  1. Notifying marketing and advertising teams whenever a new product is published/updated or some product is unpublished
  2. Contacting the customer service teams in case of fraudulent orders
  3. Tagging loyal and high-value customers to follow up later
  4. Stop advertising out-of-stock products and reordering the same from the merchants

The list could go on and on but the fact that remains unchanged is the need for information transmission from one team to another.

With marketing automation software, all the departments in your company remain on the same page and have a better understanding of your leads and customers. Your sales and support team may need user data with your marketing department to close a deal.

Marketing automation syncs team communication in real-time. This permits the accessibility of all consumer data to every team in your company.

Different departments can use this data differently to serve the customers better. Automated marketing software makes it easy for teams to stay connected and deliver better.

7. Promotions and sales

Every ecommerce store should take advantage of running seasonal sales and promotions. It is a proven fact that people love discounts. Online stores should increase user engagement by offering lucrative discounts on events, festivals and public holidays.

Taking special care of your loyal customers during holidays is fundamental.

This somehow pays off in the future. People actually get used to discounts and sometimes they remember your brand name by some great promotional sale that you run on your online store.

Here are some key findings from a RetailMeNot survey in April 2018 on how discounts and coupons impact the online purchasing decisions of buyers:

  • 67% of consumers have made a purchase they weren’t originally planning to make solely based on finding a coupon or discount.
  • Four in five consumers feel encouraged to make a first-time purchase with a brand that is new to them if they found an offer.
  • 69% of millennials say they cannot complete a purchase without first searching for a deal or offer.

Cutting down individual product prices manually can become a tedious task and takes a lot of time. Managing discounts on specific products can become hectic.

Automating all these tasks will mean the world to you and make you smarter. You can create rules and configure your marketing automation software to perform certain tasks in the way you want.

In this case, you would want to feed the criteria for the discounts and create a workflow. After this, automation will take over and save you a lot of time.

8. Special attention to loyal customers

Customers who buy more and repeatedly from you should be treated differently as compared to others. It’s obvious that these customers have a high CLV(customer lifetime value) and sellers should extract the maximum from them.

Giving loyal customers some extra discounts and offers will convert them into brand advocates and evangelists. Be it some concession in shipping costs or a kind of token gift, those loyal customers must feel valued and taken care of.

This may seem like a small point but believe me, this can drive in a lot of revenue and user engagement for your business.

Marketing automation software allows you to automatically tag and segment such customers.

You may set some rules and threshold for shoppers to become an exclusive member. Apart from giving some extra perks, you can also send automated emails to such customers about new product launches, updates, deals, etc.

The way you treat loyal customers will determine your success as a business in the long run.

9. Competitor analysis

Be it any field of work and any marketing or sales strategy, analyzing your competitors’ approach should always be included. There will always be people in your business niche who are better or worse than you. You need to study both cases.

If something is working for some competitors, they must be doing something right and if some competitor is failing miserably, there have to be reasons for it. If you can keep track of your competitors, you can go a long way.

Your competitors must be using marketing automation for ecommerce. You just have to analyze, extract and implement.

You should look for answers on questions like:

  • How is marketing automation working for them? How do they use it?
  • How often do they send promotional emails?
  • How do they use marketing automation for customer service?

With insights on marketing automation from your competitors, you will have a clear picture of how things are gonna work out for you. You may also come across some new use of marketing automation which you could not explore yourselves.

Over to you

Marketing automation has great power and it’s high time ecommerce businesses start harnessing this power. Marketing automation provides you the luxury of time, the time which you can spend on higher-value work and strategic planning.

The efficiency of automated work is very high as machines are less prone to error. Every business craves for such a high work efficiency and the opulence of time. Automation is an ecommerce best practice with lots of potential.

Implementing the above marketing automation strategies for your ecommerce business may just do the trick for you. You may already be using some of them and it is time to welcome the rest of them.

There is good reason to automate your online business and reap good results.

“The first rule of any technology used in a business is that automation applied to an efficient operation will magnify the efficiency. The second is that automation applied to an inefficient operation will magnify the inefficiency.”

– Bill Gates

Which strategies are you working on? Feel free to share your ecommerce strategies and challenges in the comments.

The post Nine marketing automation strategies to win the war for ecommerce appeared first on ClickZ.

Reblogged 9 months ago from www.clickz.com

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