According to LianaTech, 86.1% of marketing professionals are familiar with the concept of marketing automation. However, only a fraction of this number can effectively use the tools to achieve maximum results. Reports from Ascend show that only 20% of companies are utilizing these tools to their full potential.
Your eCommerce store will only thrive when you can fully use the right marketing automation software to build seamless workflows. Otherwise, you may end up paying for something that won’t profit you.
This article covers various strategies you can employ to help you grow your online store. It also features just the right tools you need for building powerful automation workflows.
What is eCommerce Marketing Automation?
eCommerce marketing automation simply means using well-built tools, systems, applications, and software to automate manual tasks, enhance your business workflows, and grow your online store.
Building an eCommerce store involves so many manual and time-consuming activities like generating leads, engaging your customers, sending emails, closing deals, tracking contacts, and so on.
Without proper automation, these manual and repetitive tasks can consume time and increase the chances of human errors. Also, it can distract your team from carrying out more important tasks, leading to low productivity and inefficiency.
Some customers who come to purchase products from your online store can easily leave if they find it uninteresting and difficult to navigate.
A study by Forrester reveals that 45% of US online adults will abandon their online purchase if they can’t find a quick answer to their question. So, using automated workflows to run your marketing and sales processes can increase your conversions and drive more sales.
For example, customers who land on your pages and submit their details can receive welcome emails to keep them engaged. Afterward, you can build the relationship further by sending personalized and targeted email sequences.
Moreover, you can also send offers and promotions, and when your customers finally make purchases, you can send ‘Thank you‘ or feedback emails.
With proper segmentation and targeting, you can upsell or cross-sell other products to your customers. From here, the cycle repeats for a new set of buyers.
Benefits of eCommerce Marketing Automation
A well-built marketing automation system can boost your conversions, eliminate redundancies, and increase your ROI over time. According to a survey conducted by Marketo, Marketing automation can increase your sales leads by 80% and decrease cost per lead by 33%.
Here are four reasons why you should automate your online marketing processes.
1. Improves engagement
A report by SALES Manago reveals that marketing automation drives 173% higher open rates for newsletters and sales mailings. You can send timely and triggered emails to your customers based on the actions they take. Also, you can set up automated workflows that send different emails to different buyers according to their preferences and interests.
For example, there would be several email sequences for customers who opened your emails, those who clicked on links, others who purchased products, and some who never opened the emails. These triggered emails improve your personalization and help you build better customer experiences.
2. Helps build stronger relationships
A well-built engagement system can improve your customer relationship and overall experience. By sending valuable content and personalized offers to your customers, you’re gradually imprinting your brand on their minds – this will transform an unknown buyer into a loyal customer.
Moreover, marketing automation systems can improve your customer experience by helping you automate customer support, simplify conflict resolution, and provide help on autopilot.
With a well-built ticketing system, you can track, manage, and resolve less complex issues automatically. You can, as well, build a knowledge base, community forum, or help center to provide useful resources and guides to customers who may get confused or lost.
3. Enhances multichannel tracking
Several automation platforms enable eCommerce marketing activities across multiple touchpoints. This will help you identify major platforms where you can easily find your customers.
Consequently, you can optimize your marketing processes to capture more leads across these major channels and touchpoints. This can increase your engagement rate and provide better customer experiences.
4. Provides accurate reporting and insights
eCommerce marketers who use well-built automation systems can easily track and monitor their performance over time accurately, as opposed to using manual methods. According to Micro Strategy, 60% of companies around the world use data and analysis to drive processes cost-efficiently.
These automation platforms can ‘reveal’ visual reports of your activities so far, giving you a visual representation of your activities. This will help you spot loopholes in your performance and allow you to improve. You can also predict your progress with the available data and useful recommendations.
The marketing automation tool collects data and insights that enable you to craft better strategies.
Strategies for Building Powerful Automation Workflows
Your online store may not thrive if you try to carry out all activities manually. Also, poor automation workflow is as good as no automation – they all have negative effects on your brand. Knowing the right and important strategies for your eCommerce store will simplify your business processes and help you grow faster.
These strategies include:
- Triggered emails
- Dynamic content
- Segmentation and personalization
- Using chatbots
- Lead scoring
- Automated landing pages
- Cross-selling and upselling
1. Send out triggered emails
Triggered emails are automated emails sent based on pre-defined events, actions, or user behavior. According to Ascend, 65% of marketers automate their marketing efforts, making emails the most frequently automated marketing channel.
Moreover, Litmus, in 2021, reported that 82% of marketers use automation to create triggered emails.
Since these emails are based on customer behavior and interaction, you can send targeted and well-tailored messages for several purposes on autopilot.
For example, if a customer purchases a product from your online store, you can send a “Thank You” email to keep them engaged. This will give room for additional purchases in the future.
You can use trigger automation for the following:
a. Cart Abandonment Emails
These are emails you send to customers when they leave their carts, reminding them of the intended purchase. A study conducted by Moosend shows that 50% of people who click on cart abandonment emails finish their purchase.
While crafting cart abandonment emails, you can, as well, offer a discount or special product to sustain their interest and speed up sales.
b. Welcome Emails
These emails are sent whenever a customer signs up or subscribes to your newsletter. It also contains valuable content that will help your audience know more about your brand, as well as, the products or services you sell.
c. Transactional Emails
These are important emails you send when customers place orders on your online store. They include relevant information such as confirmation of payment, receipt, and other delivery information. A “Thank you” email also follows this upon successful delivery.
These emails keep your customers up to date on how they can access their newly purchased products. Well-crafted and timely emails can lead to more purchases as it gives your customers improved shopping experiences.
d. Lead Nurturing Emails
After welcoming your leads, one of the ways to engage and keep them updated is by sharing helpful content about your brand, promoting new and existing products, and upselling to old customers. You can use this strategy to turn cold leads into warm and hot leads.
Other triggered email sequences include emails for:
e. Updating old prices
f. Subscription renewals
g. Onboarding new customers
h. Re-engagement to win back old or inactive customers
I. Customer feedback, review, or surveys
2. Build dynamic, personalized content
eCommerce marketing automation platforms have unique features designed to help you craft valuable and targeted content for your customers based on their preferences, demographic data, search queries, or shopping activities.
This gives your customers personalized experiences as they get to see targeted messages that meet their needs at every given stage.
For example, a customer who purchases a bicycle from your online store can receive more personalized and dynamic content and offers around related products, like bicycle pumps, guides, etc.
3. Segment deeply to personalize well
A good eCommerce marketing automation system has unique capabilities that let you send personalized messages well-suited for different audiences based on demographic data, actions, behavior, and interactions with your platforms.
Segmentation entails putting your customers in different categories and sending tailored email sequences to suit their preferences. For example, new prospects get welcome emails while existing customers may get helpful tips or upsell and cross-sells. Old or inactive customers, on the other hand, could be re-engaged with special offers and discounts to sustain their interests.
4. Use chatbots
Reports show that business leaders who used chatbots increased their sales by 67%. Chatbots help you drive engagement and generate more leads by building automated workflows for surveys, polls, conflict resolution, deal closing, and customer support.
Well-built chatbots work round the clock and they help you engage with your customers, providing tailored and personalized conversations based on pre-set triggers and actions.
Moreover, adding a chatbot to your eCommerce store will enable you to collect real-time data from site visitors.
5. Get good at lead scoring
All leads are not equal – while some are ready to buy, others may take a longer route. Based on pre-defined triggers, events, and actions, you can increase your marketing efforts by focusing on leads that are ready to buy.
Sending the same emails to all your leads may not be an effective strategy for increased conversions, Some prospects may decide to be dormant for a long time, making you spend your resources on leads that won’t convert – you can use a different email sequence for these cold leads to keep them engaged until they’re ready to buy.
Well-built marketing automation platforms can identify sales-ready leads by tracking, labeling, and scoring them based on their actions and interests. This will help you assign quality leads to your sales teams for more efficient conversions.
6. Automate and optimize your landing pages
Automating and optimizing your landing pages can enhance your conversions, as your customers will receive more personalized and targeted offers that suit their interests.
With proper segmentation, you can build several landing pages to target specific sets of audiences.
As they interact on your site, the automation software collects their browsing data and uses it to deliver personalized experiences. For example, if a user is looking for men’s wear, you can promote offers around other related products like accessories, deodorants, etc.
7. Focus on cross-selling and upselling
Cross-selling simply entails promoting and selling related or complimentary products to existing customers. For example, you can cross-sell a headset to a customer who purchased a smartphone, tablet, or laptop.
Upselling, on the other hand, means promoting higher offers to existing customers with similar but low-end products. For example, you can upsell the latest version of a laptop to a laptop user. The new product may come at a higher price but with more advanced features.
Statistics from a HubSpot Blog survey show that 72% of salespeople who upsell and 75% of those who cross-sell say it drives up to 30% of their revenue. Automating this process for new and existing customers can compel them to add more useful and well-suited items to their carts because they would always see related and enticing products whenever they make a purchase.
7 Powerful Marketing Automation Tools for Your eCommerce Store
The tools you can use to automate your eCommerce marketing activities should be well-suited to meet your business needs. Certain factors like pricing, ease of use, target audience, capabilities, and even limitations should be considered before paying for a plan.
Some platforms have free plans to help you navigate through the system to see if it’s the perfect fit for your business. Among the various automation software, here are seven platforms with unique features to help you grow your eCommerce store.
Klaviyo is a powerful marketing automation system designed to help eCommerce store owners deliver better customer experiences. It combines both email and SMS functionalities to help you connect with your customers in the right place and at the right time.
Moreover, it has customizable built-in automation that works well with your segmented list to deliver more personalized experiences.
Klaviyo has benchmarks and predictive analytics which enable you to determine the performance of your online store and give you helpful recommendations for improvement. The seamless integrations with other top marketing tools enable you to have complete ownership of your customer data all in one place.
- Free – $0
- Email – $45/mo for up to 1,500 contacts
- Email and SMS – $60/mo for up to 1,500 contacts
Drip is a special marketing automation software well-built to help eCommerce marketers create exciting shopping experiences for buyers. It was designed to collect and organize your customer data in a single dashboard for easy tracking and monitoring. The features will help you segment your customers according to their preferences, interests, actions, and behavior.
Drip is an easy-to-use platform with pre-built email templates that help you carry out seamless and targeted email campaigns. Some other features include forms and pop-ups, insights and reporting, smart A/B testing, segmentation, etc.
- 2,500 contacts – $59/mo
- 5,000 contacts – $89/mo
- 7,500 contacts – $124/mo
- 10,000 contacts – $154/mo
HubSpot provides tailored tools and services to help you simplify your eCommerce marketing activities. The all-in-one CRM solution grants you access to customer data and activities. Also, you can use direct attribution reporting to track your revenue over time.
HubSpot’s live chat functionality lets you connect with your website visitors and customers. Other features include landing pages, targeted ad campaigns, upsell campaigns, etc.
- Free – $0
- Starter – $50/mo (paid monthly) and $45/mo (paid yearly)
- Professional – $890/mo (paid monthly) and $800/mo (paid yearly)
- Enterprise – $3,600/mo (paid yearly)
EngageBay is also an all-in-one CRM solution for sales, marketing, and support teams. It also has powerful eCommerce features tailored to meet your marketing needs and grow your online store.
The platform helps you simplify your sales process by sending automated and instant transactional emails like newsletters, sign-ups, order confirmation, details and receipts, order status, tracking, etc. Other features include list-building tools, A/B testing, a drag-and-drop editor, abandoned cart recovery, etc.
- Free – $0
- Basic – $14.99/mo (paid monthly), $13.79/mo (paid yearly), and $12.74/mo (paid biennially)
- Growth – $49.99/mo (paid monthly), $45.99/mo (paid yearly), and $42.45/mo (paid biennially)
- Pro – $99.99/mo (paid monthly), $91.99/mo (paid yearly), and $84.99/mo (paid biennially)
This is a powerful eCommerce marketing automation tool that helps you engage your customers with email and SMS campaigns. Using fully customizable and built-in templates, you can give your shoppers dynamic and personalized experiences.
Also, Omnisend can help you drive sales on autopilot with pre-built automation workflows that cover the entire buyer’s journey from signing up to purchasing a product and coming back for additional purchases.
Like every other marketing automation tool, you can connect Omnisend to other eCommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, WooComerce, Wix, etc.
- Free (email) – $0/mo for up to 250 contacts
- Standard (email) – $20/mo for up to 1,000 contacts
- Pro (email + SMS) – $59/mo for up to 1,000 contacts
Sender is a tool that lets you keep in touch with your customers by creating and sending beautiful emails from a library of pre-built templates. You can also create your customized design with no coding required. Sender is great for carrying out targeted email campaigns to help you connect and engage with your customers.
Sender also has a custom HTML editor that allows you to create completely custom emails tailored to meet your brand’s needs. Other features that help improve your eCommerce marketing activities include landing pages and forms, smart automation workflows, insights and reporting, etc.
- Free – $0
- Standard – $10/mo (paid monthly) and $8.33/mo (paid yearly)
- Professional – $35/mo (paid monthly) and $29.7/mo (paid yearly)
- Enterprise – (custom pricing, contact sales)
Like Sender, Sendinblue is also an eCommerce marketing software that has more tailored features that enables you to carry out successful email marketing campaigns.
The tracking feature lets you see the best-performing campaigns. This can help you monitor and track your progress, as well as, determine your ROI. In addition to generating leads via email campaigns, Sendinblue also allows you to engage with existing customers through transactional and abandoned cart emails.
You can easily integrate Sendinblue with other eCommerce platforms like Magento, Prestashop, BigCommerce, Shopify, etc.
- Free – $0
- Starter – $25/mo (paid monthly) and $22/mo (paid yearly)
- Business – $65/mo (paid monthly) and $58/mo (paid yearly)
- Enterprise – $1,000/mo (contact sales)
ActiveCampaign is a powerful automation platform that provides unique features that can help you attract more customers and grow your eCommerce store. The automation workflows cover your customers’ entire journey from acquisition to retention.
The pre-built templates allow for easy customization, personalization, and segmentation. ActiveCamaign also provides other useful capabilities such as dynamic content, tracking and attribution, forms, sales pipeline, etc.
- Lite – $39/mo (paid monthly) and $29/mo (paid yearly)
- Plus – $70/mo (paid monthly) and $49/mo (paid yearly)
- Professional – $187/mo (paid monthly) and $149/mo (paid yearly)
- Enterprise – (custom pricing, contacts)
A tool may have excellent features for other marketing activities but if it doesn’t meet your business needs, it can affect your growth. To get the most out of your automation software, you need to understand your business needs, goals, budget, size, etc. – this will enable you to pick the right software with well-suited capabilities.
Sender and ActiveCampaign are more focused on email marketing, so they’re great options if you are looking to carry out massive email marketing campaigns alone.
If your eCommerce store needs a super affordable marketing automation suite, you can sign up for free on EngageBay, the all-in-one CRM solution for marketing, sales, and support teams.