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What Is Ecommerce Marketing Automation And How Can It Improve Your Business Strategy?

The average marketer spends a whopping 16 hours per week performing routine tasks, making it difficult to find time for more important activities. If you’d rather have your marketing team focus on attracting new customers, ecommerce marketing automation may be the answer.

We put together this list of automation tips to help you free up your staff for more important things. A good marketing automation platform can help you reduce labor costs, save time, and create effective campaigns, making it a wise investment.

Types of Ecommerce Marketing Automations

Marketing automation refers to any type of software that performs routine tasks. Although humans have to set up the software and provide input for each task, they don’t have to monitor the software while it’s performing a routine activity. As a result, automation saves time.

1. Email marketing automation

Some marketers spend a significant portion of their time on email campaigns. List segmentation, copywriting, email design, and other tasks are important, but they’re also time-consuming. Email marketing software tools can automate the most routine aspects of email campaigns, giving marketing professionals more time for other activities.

2. Automated workflows

Automation is also helpful for reducing the amount of time spent on routine workflows. Think about how much time it typically takes to schedule an appointment. You have to call or email the other person, wait for them to tell you when they’re available, and then try to find a date that works for both of you. It’s even more difficult when the meeting includes more than two people.

Now think about how much easier it would be if you had a tool to manage scheduling for you. Automation software handles routine tasks based on rules set up by business owners and their employees, increasing efficiency and minimizing frustration.

3. Customer analytics

Ecommerce platforms make it easy to collect data from customers, but there’s no point in having that data if you do nothing with it. Customer analytics tools make it easier to turn raw data into useful information, helping you make better decisions.

For example, marketing analytics software can help you assess the customer experience, calculate your conversion rate, determine how many people on your email list open your messages, and much more.

4. Creating and maintaining landing pages

A landing page is a page that visitors "land" on when they follow a link to your website. Landing pages should be a key component of your marketing strategy, especially if you rely on SEO for revenue. With marketing automation tools, it’s simple to create and maintain landing pages that have been optimized for relevant keywords.

Benefits of Marketing Automation Software for Ecommerce

Adopting marketing automation software has many benefits for ecommerce businesses. Many of those benefits center on time savings, but you can also use this type of software to increase revenue and optimize the customer experience.

1. Reduces human error

If you had to send thousands of welcome emails by hand, there’s a good chance you’d make a few errors. Marketing automation reduces the amount of manual data entry required to complete a task, preventing costly mistakes.

2. Increased average order value

Your customer relationship management (CRM) process provides a goldmine of data that can be used to identify opportunities for increasing average order value. For example, you may be able to identify new cross-sell opportunities, prompting customers to order more items than usual.

3. Better customer insights

Omnichannel marketing is essential for success in the ecommerce world. Whether you’re using social media or sending direct mail, you need to understand your customers. Automation tools can help you gain insight into their wants and needs, helping you make more sales.

4. Saves time and increases efficiency

Time savings are one of the biggest benefits of using marketing automation software. The amount of time saved depends on which tools you use and how many people you have using them, but you can expect each employee to save at least a few hours per week. Salesforce reports that customers using its marketing cloud engagement tools save 20 to 40 hours per month.

Automate Your Online Store’s Ecommerce Marketing Campaigns

Marketing automation tools have many applications, but they’re most helpful for ensuring that your digital marketing efforts drive sales and build brand loyalty. Here are just a few ways to use automation tools to grow your business.

1. Welcome potential customers

When a new customer places an order or signs up for your email list, it’s important to welcome them right away. Automation tools send welcome emails 24/7, leaving you free to work on other things.

2. Re-engage inactive customers

If you haven’t heard from a customer in a while, sending an email or SMS is a good way to bring them back to your site. Automation tools can send emails or SMS messages based on rules defined by your team.

3. Follow up with customers with abandoned cart emails

Don’t you just hate it when someone puts $500 worth of items in your online shopping cart and then never completes the order? With marketing automation tools, you can easily follow up with shoppers who abandoned their carts, prompting them to complete the transaction.

4. Offer personalized promotions

Once you have more than a handful of customers, it’s more difficult to offer personalized promotions. Automation tools make it easy to set up drip campaigns that are personalized based on each recipient’s history with your company.

How to Choose the Right Ecommerce Marketing Automation for Your Business?

Before you invest in automation tools, take the time to figure out what features you need. It’s easier to find the right solution if you follow these steps.

1. Determine your business needs

If you have just a few employees, you may not require a tool that costs thousands of dollars. Think about how many people will be using the software, what functionality you need the tool to have, and what you hope to accomplish by investing in automation.

2. Do an initial search on software and reviews

Use your favorite search engine to find software with the functions you need. Then check out several review sites, such as Trustpilot and Google, to determine if most users are happy with their purchase.

3. Book a demo and try the software

If possible, don’t buy any automation tools until you have a chance to try them. You may need to download a free trial or book a demo with the company. Try as many of the features as possible to figure out if the software has the functionality you require.

What to Look for in Ecommerce Marketing Automation Software

To help you narrow down your options, we put together this list of criteria for choosing an automation tool.

1. User interface is easy to follow

Whether you’re doing A/B testing or analyzing customer data, the user interface needs to be intuitive. An easy-to-use interface reduces the amount of time it takes to implement the software and get employees to use it regularly.

2. Native integrations and unique features

Find out what makes the tool different from all the other tools on the market. Does it have email templates? Drag-and-drop design tools? Chatbots to help you provide better customer service?

3. Customer support

The right automation solution should also come with real-time support from the developer. If you need help setting up the software or using one of its features, you shouldn’t have to wait several days for answers.

4. Set-up and onboarding

For best results, go with a company that provides a smooth set-up and onboarding experience. The vendor should provide assistance with implementation and employee training to ensure that you get as many benefits as possible out of your new automation tool.

Best Ecommerce Marketing Automation Software

If you’re looking to automate some of your most time-consuming marketing functions, here’s what we recommend.

  • MailChimp: We chose MailChimp as one of the best online marketing tools due to its robust features. Best of all, it’s free to get started.
  • Salesforce: Salesforce is one of the most popular marketing software packages available. It combines CRM capabilities with tools to help you automate many aspects of your business.
  • Drip: Drip makes it easy to set up automation rules, follow up on abandoned carts, and give your customers a warm welcome. This ecommerce marketing automation tool also has 100+ integrations available to increase productivity.
  • HubSpot: This marketing software combines CRM functionality with tools to help you reach your inbound marketing goals.

Make Your Ecommerce Business More Efficient

You can’t put your entire marketing strategy on autopilot, but you can use software to handle many routine tasks. 

To learn more about how marketing automation tools can benefit your business, sign up for our newsletter or read one of our how-to guides.

By Francois Marchand

I’m Francois Marchand, content strategist and editor. I've worked in marketing, journalism, and communications for 20 years. I've been in charge of creating and managing content at Postmedia, Vancouver Film School, and Unbounce. I love helping business leaders, content creators, and marketers of all stripes grow their skillsets and knowledge base to stay ahead of the competition.

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