10 Powerful Ecommerce Marketing Automation Strategies to Drive Sales on Autopilot
eCommerce marketing automation has the power to transform your business.
Seriously, you already know a robust eCommerce marketing strategy is essential for your success, but are you also leveraging the power of automation to its fullest potential?
With the constant evolution of technology and ever-increasing consumer expectations, staying ahead of the game is more important than ever.
That's where automation comes in - turning mundane chores into a breeze, supercharging campaigns, and ensuring a seamless customer experience across all channels. All while giving you the most bang for your marketing buck.
In this article, we'll dive into the world of automation and explore how it can elevate your eCommerce marketing automation game. We’ll also explore the ways you can implement automation and discuss the benefits it can bring to your eCommerce business.
Let’s dive into how to use automation to reach your eCommerce business goals faster.
What is Ecommerce Marketing Automation?
eCommerce marketing automation helps you, or your marketing team, replace manual, repetitive tasks with software, tools, or integrations that can automate those workflows or processes.
These workflows can serve multiple purposes within the overall marketing strategy, including automated social media management, retargeting to potential customers who visited an ad, sending a nurture email sequence to people who join your email list, trying to win back lost repeat customers, offering a discount to someone who abandoned a cart, and much more.
In all, eCommerce marketing automation allows you to free up time, provide a more personalized experience to customers and ultimately, make more sales.
Ecommerce Marketing Automation: Use a Multichannel Approach
To keep up with your competitors, it's crucial to reach potential customers across multiple channels. Although today’s consumers are bombarded with information from all angles, a well-orchestrated multichannel strategy can help you cut through the noise and capture their attention.
To achieve a successful multichannel lead generation strategy, it's essential to understand the importance of each channel and how they work together to create a cohesive customer journey. From social media to email marketing, each channel serves a unique purpose and requires a tailored approach to maximize its potential.
However, managing and optimizing marketing efforts across multiple channels can be daunting. But with automation tools acting as your secret weapon, you can easily create and manage campaigns across various channels, including email, social media, and text messages.
This multi-pronged approach will reap far more benefits than just focusing on a single channel. Multi-channel marketing typically requires lots of resources, but with automation to help you, you can be everywhere at once - even if you’re a small business.
The Benefits of Ecommerce Marketing Automation
As we said earlier, marketing automation is the key to unlocking the full potential of your multichannel strategy. When you automate your eCommerce marketing, you'll find it easier to create a seamless eCommerce customer experience from start to finish.
By leveraging automation, you can streamline your efforts, reduce manual labor, and ensure a consistent message is delivered to your audience, no matter where they are on the customer journey.
Here are a few best practices that apply to every aspect of your eCommerce marketing automation game-plan.
1. Get up close and personal
One of the key benefits of a well-orchestrated multichannel lead generation strategy is the ability to reach your target audience where they’re most active, whether on social media, email, or messaging apps.
With the ability to track and analyze data from various touchpoints, you can make informed decisions and adjust your approach to maximizing your return on investment (ROI) and driving growth within your marketing strategy.
This level of precision and efficiency can help you stay ahead of the competition and drive more sales for your eCommerce business.
2. Always be on time
Automation allows you to optimize your campaigns in real-time, ensuring you deliver the right message at the right time. For example, if a customer has just purchased a product, you can send them an automated email thanking them for their purchase and cross-selling them discounted complementary products.
Doing this on a sale-by-sale basis would mean you’d spend all day sending emails to customers. However with automations you can set-up your campaign once, and reap the benefits of timely email marketing without lifting a finger.
3. Cut out human error
Automation can help you streamline your marketing efforts by reducing the risk of human error and ensuring your business delivers a consistent message across all channels.
For instance, automated marketing software can schedule social media posts in advance, ensuring your posts are published on the correct day and at the right time — avoiding any potential ‘oops’ moments of sharing a campaign discount code too early… or even, shock horror, too late.
This automated schedule not only saves you from those inevitable headaches of having to do damage control, but it also increases the effectiveness of your campaigns, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates and increased revenue.
4. Save buckets of time
Automation helps you save time and resources, plus it's accurate and efficient when set up correctly. It also handles tedious tasks so your team can concentrate on more strategic tasks.
Here, you can use data insights and machine learning algorithms to create custom campaigns that target specific customer segments, track customer behavior, and adjust your approach automatically. For example, email automation tools can trigger welcome email sequences to new customers and send out offer reminders to former customers who haven’t engaged with your business in some time.
This automation allows you to increase your leads without compromising on quality or speed, widening your marketing reach and boosting your sales team’s odds of success with minimum time and effort.
5. A better customer experience
Automation lets you set up workflows that fire off cross-channel actions based on specific customer behaviors, like sending a follow-up email after a cart is abandoned or sending a personalized offer to someone who has shown interest in a product.
This strategy whittles down the time and resources needed to help you offer your customers a more individualized experience. Through personalization and attention to detail, you can build stronger relationships with your customers and increase their loyalty to your brand.
And that loyalty can pay off for you big time down the road as it compounds, and your most loyal customers not only purchase from you consistently but also become active evangelists of your brand in their communities.
eCommerce Marketing Automation Starts with Data
Data is the lifeblood of your eCommerce marketing automation strategy, so it's essential to have a solid understanding of data management and organization — after all, these are crucial components of any successful marketing strategy.
Collecting and interpreting data is essential to eCommerce marketing automation because it helps you determine where to allocate resources, and to determine which automation processes are driving a return on the investment. With better understanding of what the data is telling you, it’s easier to know where to double-down, and also to know which elements of your automated systems need testing to see if there’s long-term viability for their use.
When you have a clear picture of what the data is telling you from an automation perspective it’s much easier to glean insights which apply to your marketing plan as a whole.
Outside of automation, collecting, storing, and analyzing customer data will give your team valuable insights into customers' behavior, preferences, and needs. This information can create targeted campaigns that resonate with your audience and drive conversions.
Data management involves collecting, storing, and organizing data to make it easily accessible. This process includes identifying the data types most relevant to your business, establishing data collection methods, and implementing data storage and retrieval systems.
Organizing data is equally important, as it allows you to make sense of the information you've collected and use it to inform your marketing decisions. This organizational method involves categorizing data into relevant groups or segmenting data by geographies, creating data hierarchies, and establishing data sharing and collaboration protocols.
Effective data management and organization are essential for creating a data-driven marketing strategy that delivers results. By leveraging the power of data, you can gain a competitive edge, improve customer engagement, and drive business growth.
Automation Can Help You Manage and Analyze Large Customer Data Sets
Automation can transform how you handle data, allowing you to easily collect and analyze vast amounts of information. By automating data management and analysis, you can save time and resources while ensuring accuracy and consistency in your data.
Here are a few practical examples of how you can implement automation in your data processes:
- Automating data entry and cleaning processes: To effectively use data, accuracy is key; otherwise, you'll end up with poor results. Automating processes to verify your incoming customer data can help you maintain clean records.
- Using machine learning algorithms: Setting up a machine learning model can help you identify patterns and insights within your data and predict future outcomes based on historical data.
- Generating regular reports and visualizations: Automating the periodic generation of reports and visualizations can ensure you always have the most up-to-date information to keep up with your business priorities and marketing decisions.
Ultimately, eCommerce marketing automation enables you to unlock the full potential of your data and use it to drive business growth and success. With automation in your corner, you can make better-informed decisions and develop highly efficient marketing campaigns tailored to your target audience.
10 Powerful eCommerce Automation Strategies to Try
Now that we've discussed what automation is, the benefits of automation and the role of data in marketing automation, let's shift our focus to another crucial aspect of customer retention: encouraging repeat business.
While acquiring new customers is important, keeping your existing ones is equally important. It’s well-known that repeat customers are more profitable and cost less to keep happy than the resources it takes to acquire new ones.
So, how can you encourage your distant customers to return for more?
1. Automatically personalize your thank you pages
Personalized thank you pages are one of the best ways to show your appreciation for new (and returning) customers and make them feel valued. When you do, you build an instant connection which naturally increases the likelihood of return and repeat purchases.
In addition to providing a personalized touch, thank you pages can also be effectively leveraged for cross-selling and upselling - something we’ll cover next.
Personalized thank you pages also offer a great place to collect customer feedback which can help you improve your offerings and provide social proof to boost conversions.
2. Automated upselling and cross-selling
Automated upselling and cross-selling are key strategies to drive incremental revenue growth for any ecommerce store. By suggesting premium add-on items or additional relevant products, customers are actively encouraged to add to the amount they’re spending on each transaction.
One of the best ways to do this is with automated one-click upsells. You set-up your offer once, and then for every sale you make (that meets your conditions) you can offer personalized additional products between the checkout and thank you pages. Because customers don’t have to re-enter their payment details, these automated offers convert like crazy.
Aside from revenue growth, customers feel like they’re enjoying a more personalized shopping experience and feel “understood” when you offer them products that are naturally complementary to the products they’re purchasing, which naturally boosts their satisfaction.
Satisfied customers are both more willing to do their own product discovery - checking out your store more thoroughly to see what else they may have an interest in - and be open to the additional products that you recommend as time goes on. When you see how customers react to these recommendations, it’s easier in the future to adapt your product mix and marketing approaches to what you learn.
3. Use automation to recommend ‘You may also like…’
Recommending “you may also like” products through automation in your store is a great way to boost conversion rates because of the overall improvement in your customer’s shopping experience. When you don’t offer these products, you’re making an assumption that your customer isn’t looking to buy more than one product and isn’t interested in complimentary products to their primary purchase.
When you show that you understand what they’re searching for, your customers are more likely to add more items to their carts, leading to a higher spend per transaction and also increasing your store’s overall Average Order Value (AOV).
The “You May Also Like” feature also plays a huge role in product discovery. By presenting customers with items they might not have previously thought about you can actively foster customer loyalty.
4. Create an automated loyalty program
Provide an example of an ecommerce store’s loyalty program and say what you like you about it - try to give a key takeaway for merchants
The North Face’s XPLR Pass is one of our favorite examples of a well-constructed eCommerce loyalty program. This particular loyalty program leans in on personalization to craft unique personal experiences for pass members.
Customers can earn points through purchases, but also through attending events, downloading the North Face app, using reusable bags in-store, and through other avenues. XPLR Pass holders can use their points in a variety of ways including on discounted purchases, but also on personalized travel packages that match their hobbies, etc. This is a great example of brand extension through loyalty packages.
Loyalty programs can be a great way to get customers to keep coming back, whether through point systems, exclusive discounts, or personalized perks.
A great loyalty program provides your customers with a sense of exclusivity and appreciation, fostering a deeper connection with them and increasing their loyalty to your brand - a win-win for you and your customers.
Automate your loyalty program to make sure customers get their rewards quickly. For example, send out rewards automatically when customers reach certain milestones, like spending a certain amount of money or making a certain number of purchases.
5. Automate your customer service
Another way to use automation to enhance the customer experience is by providing exceptional customer service. Customers who feel valued and heard are likely to return and recommend your business to others.
One way to achieve this is by implementing a chatbot on your website or social media platforms. A chatbot can provide quick and efficient automated responses to customer inquiries, freeing your team to focus on more complex issues.
We’ve seen several examples of ecommerce stores effectively using chatbots to increase engagement with their content and develop conversations with customers, but H&M is doing it as well - or better - than anyone else.
H&M’s bot acts as a virtual stylist offering personalized style recommendations for each user that interacts with it. Typically, that includes asking users which of two outfit possibilities they like the best (after having them answer a set of questions), to then provide additional personalized recommendations based on their answer. These personalized outfits are provided to the user along with a special price and opportunity to purchase.
You can only imagine the amount of data H&M has surfaced from this bot and how it’s helped them to research trends, and the outfit combinations which have the greatest appeal to people visiting their website, as well as repeat purchasers who engage with them through other outlets.
To optimize the customer journey, streamline your data collection efforts on your customers’ behavior and preferences, allowing you to tailor your offerings to their needs. By prioritizing the customer experience, you can build a loyal customer base and drive long-term growth for your business.
6. Automate your cart recovery
An abandoned cart email sequence usually consists of a series of automated emails sent at strategic intervals to persuade customers to complete their purchases. This sequence is an extremely valuable part of any ecommerce email marketing strategy.
Here’s a breakdown of what a typical sequence can look like:
- Email #1 - Cart reminder: This is sent within the first few hours (typically 1-3) after the customer has abandoned a cart. This email is intended as a friendly reminder. It includes the details of the products left in the cart, a photo of the product, and a call to action (CTA) that leads them back to the cart.
- Email #2 - Incentive offer: If the first email doesn’t lead to a conversion, a 2nd email is sent within 24 hours. It includes an incentive like a discount code, free shipping, or free gift to encourage the customer to complete the purchase.
- Email #3 - Urgency or scarcity: If the customer still hasn’t made a purchase you should send a third email within 48-72 hours. This email is intended to create a sense of urgency or scarcity, such as notifying the customer that the item is in limited stock or that you will soon empty their cart. The goal is to motivate the customer to act fast and complete the purchase.
- Email #4 - Request for feedback: If the previous emails don’t result in a conversion a fourth email can be sent to ask the customer for feedback. The aim of this email isn’t necessarily to push the sale, but to understand why the customer abandoned their cart, so you can improve the process in the future.
Even if abandoned cart sequences don’t lead to as many conversions as you’d like in the short term, they provide a wealth of information about what your customers want and how you can adapt your ecommerce marketing automation strategy to that going forward.
7. Capture more revenue with dynamic pricing
Dynamic pricing, also known as demand pricing or time-based pricing, is where businesses set flexible prices for products or services based on current market demands. This strategy leverages AI and big data analytics to take into account various factors such as supply and demand, competitor pricing, customer purchase patterns and seasonal trends, among others.
Dynamic pricing significantly boosts ecommerce profitability by adjusting prices according to demand and competition to help stores optimize their revenue. High demand or low competition situations can be more easily exploited through the use of dynamic pricing to help increase profits. On the flipside, during low demand/high competition periods, reduced prices help to stimulate sales and better manage inventory. By monitoring and reacting to your competitors’ pricing, you can remain attractive to your potential customers who are more price-conscious, helping with conversion rates.
Above all else, dynamic pricing helps with data-driven decision-making, ensuring that your brand always is making intelligent pricing decisions which are driven by data, not hunches.
8. Personalize your marketing with audience segmentation
Audience segmentation in ecommerce helps you grab some quick wins by enhancing the efficiency of your ecommerce marketing automation and customer engagement. Segmentation improves your targeting, as you can tailor messaging based on shared characteristics within each segment. This helps with engagement and delivers a higher return on investment due to the overall relevance to the targeted audience.
Personalization is another key advantage. By providing customers with personalized experiences through segmentation, such as custom recommendations or tailored offers, you can significantly boost your sales. This personal touch, rooted in understanding customer behavior and preferences, can lead to immediate results.
Efficient resource allocation is also possible with audience segmentation. Identifying which segments are most profitable or have higher lifetime value helps to prioritize your ecommerce marketing automation efforts which can improve returns while also decreasing churn.
Lastly, segmentation enhances the success of product launches or promotions by identifying and engaging the most relevant audience segments. While these strategies can provide some quick wins, they also help to lay the foundation for long-term success and provide a positive feedback loop that can help you with future business decisions.
9. Using SMS as a ecommerce marketing automation tool
Automated SMS marketing is a highly effective way to increase customer engagement and conversion levels because it leverages immediacy and personalization. Text messages have a high open rate, anywhere from 90-99%, making it almost certain that your message will be seen by the recipient.
Therefore, SMS is an incredibly powerful channel for real-time marketing campaigns like flash sales, discounts, or stock updates - each of which plays on urgency and time sensitivity.
By leveraging customer data, you can use SMS to send personalized offers, product recommendations, or restock alerts based on your customer’s individual purchasing habits. Additionally, automated SMS significantly streamlines the customer service process. For instance, sending automated confirmations, shipping updates, or responses to common inquiries can boost customer satisfaction and free up resources for more complex customer service tasks.
10. Automated AI-augmented visual search
AI-augmented visual search has emerged as an impactful strategy for ecommerce stores, offering your customers an innovative and interactive way to find and discover new products. Leveraging AI tech, customers can upload images and find similar or related products in the store’s existing inventory.
This visual approach caters to the growing trend of discovery-based shopping, where customers may not necessarily have a specific product in mind, but their browsing is guided by certain visual aesthetics or personal tastes.
By enabling customers to search using images instead of text-based queries, you can reduce friction and make shopping more intuitive for your customers.
Visual search is also an incredibly powerful tool to help you surface complementary products based on visual input, increasing the likelihood of a multiple-product purchase.
Use eCommerce Marketing Automation to Make More Sales Today!
And there you have it! We've explored the ins and outs of using automation to supercharge your eCommerce marketing, touched on multichannel lead generation strategies, delved into the world of data management, and even navigated the tricky terrain of disposable email addresses.
Ultimately, a successful multichannel lead generation strategy requires you to deeply understand each channel and how they can work together to create a seamless customer journey for your prospects and customer base. With automation, you can unlock the full potential of your data and use it to drive your business' growth and success.
Now that you're armed with these powerful insights, it's time to put these strategies into practice and watch your business soar. A little automation magic can go a long way in streamlining your eCommerce marketing processes and boosting your bottom line.