A Complete Guide to Marketing Automation for e-Commerce

Marketing automation attempts to address the issues that customers face during the buying process. Learn how you can level up your automation game

A Complete Guide to Marketing Automation for e-Commerce

500% higher conversions for personalized automatic campaigns compared to mass campaigns.

223% high CTR for newsletter and sales mailings.

5.45% abandoned carts recovered compared to industry average of 1.6 percent.

That’s the power of e-Commerce marketing automation!

Marketing automation software are continuously expanding its capabilities to fit the changing consumer needs. It predicts user behavior, segments it and allows brands to create personalized and targeted campaigns that help in conversion.

Table of Contents

What is e-Commerce Marketing Automation?

e-Commerce marketing automation can be defined as the usage of a tool to automate repetitive marketing activities across different communication channels. However, marketing automation is not just about setting up automated tasks. Modern automation tools predicts consumer behavior, understands what the customer wants and delivers exactly what they are looking for. This allow marketers to improve ROI and ensure efficiency in daily business operations.

How does Automation help e-Commerce?

Whether its helping your shoppers discover products or sending confirmation alerts, marketing automation seems to always be at your beck and call. Sometimes a customer’s uncertainty about buying a product can be dispelled by showcasing how other customers are loving the product. Sometimes tailor made recommendations are just what you customer needs to finally complete checkout. Ecommerce marketing automation helps in four key areas. They are:

#1. Profiling


Every user has different taste, preferences and behavior. Instead of fitting every user into one template, it is wiser for brands to identify similarities and segment them to further personalize the shopper’s experience. Marketing automation enables a brand to collect data and information when a user visits an ecommerce store. Hence, profiling is an excellent way to create a 360 degree behavioral profile based on user’s interaction with your website and brand. These can include

✅Website or mobile activity
✅Category/ page visits
✅Items added to cart
✅Emails opened
✅Offline and online purchases

#2. Personalization

Modern consumers expect personalized shopping experiences. In fact, 75% of consumers will be more likely to purchase from someone whose offerings are personalized according to individual preferences. It is crucial that the audience are segmented to ensure relevance and this will ultimately have a greater chance of conversion. You can personalize campaign delivery time, message content across channels, website content ads etc.

#3. Omnichannel

Integrating all touchpoints and communication channels is an integral part of sustaining a business. In fact, customers interacting with campaigns using three or more channels spent 13% more on average per order than those interacting with just one channel. In order to devise an effective omnichannel experience, it is essential to view it from the customer’s point of view. For instance, imagine a customer receives a push notification on his phone that the shoes he’s been eyeing are on sale. He clicked on the notification and added them to the cart but decided to purchase it later. He logs in to your website after work, returns to his cart and makes a purchase. Once its done he immediately receives a confirmation email about his latest purchase. After a couple of days, he receives his parcel and a thank you note is delivered to his email. He opens the email and finds a review form and some product recommendations that he might like. The customer browses the recommendations and decides to purchase a jeans that compliments the shoes. This connected experience can only be delivered with an effective marketing automation tool that understands timing and relevance.

Once you integrate your communication channels you can see an excellent improvement on total sales, average order value, average order size, frequency of purchase and conversion rate.

#4. Recommendations

Product suggestions are one of the most basic ways to level up your average order value. However, just suggesting any product will not help with your AOV. Recommendations must be made tactfully and strategically to incentivize the customer to click the “shop now” button. The greatest chance of a shopper buying from your recommendation list is when its relevant. In fact, visits where the shopper clicked a recommendation comprise just 7% of total site traffic but make up 24% of orders and 26% of revenue (salesforce). With the changing needs of consumers, they will leave your site if they find irrelevant products and offerings. e-Commerce marketing automation makes it easier for marketers to improve the customer experience and ease the buying process by suggesting products that are relevant to the visitor.

Recommendations can be made based on the features/products browsed, products previously purchased, category/product selection etc. The artificial intelligence automatically can create user profiles and display products that are relevant to the buyer. You can use intelligent product recommendations to:

✅Recover abandoned carts
✅Cross selling and upselling campaigns
✅Win back campaigns
✅Product retargeting campaigns

How to use Marketing Automation to Increase AOV and Retention?

Most brands don't consider the 80:20 rule which dictates that 80% of revenue must come from 20% of customers. And using the 80:20 rule not only allow brands to foster customer loyalty but also helps cut down marketing costs. A great way to increase your AOV and retention is to spend your ad dollars on retargeting returning visitors. However, in order to retarget visitors, marketers must make marketing automation their best friend. Whether its incentivizing customers to re-subscribe or send confirmation on their latest purchase, a marketing automation tool has the solution to it all. Here are some ways you can use marketing automation to increase your revenue and retention rates:

Attract New Customers

When customers are browsing your content/products, it poses a conversion opportunity. However, if you wish to acquire new customers you need to give them a reason to share their contact information. There are several ways to do this:

✅Use pop ups to offer discount coupons if they sign up
✅Add lead magnets to offer helpful content or free consultations
✅Use live chats to ask for contact information

However, it must be kept in mind that your prospective customers must receive some value once they sign up. In fact, the higher the perceived value, the more likely they are to interact with your business.

Recover Abandon Carts

e-Commerce brands lose out on almost $18 billion revenue annually due to abandoned carts. So how do you leverage automation to turn abandoned carts into opportunities to drive revenue?

Lets take an example. A customer lands on your Facebook ad that redirects to your WhatsApp. Once he lands, he gets a pop up to sign up on WhatsApp to get a 10% off on his purchase. He signs up with his phone number and receives a confirmation on WhatsApp. He browsed the product category and added 3 pants to his cart. Then they dropped off. You can send cart abandonment alerts on WhatsApp to remind the customer about the products left in his cart. If he engages with the alert, your AI bot can further converse with the customer to understand his concern. You can also further incentivize the customer with a 10% off and a limited period offer to give the final nudge to complete the purchase.

Win Back Users with Targeted WhatsApp Campaigns

Reviving dormant customers can be interesting when you do it right. Haven’t seen your favorite customers shop with you in a while - use targeted WhatsApp marketing campaigns. You can set triggered campaigns for customers who haven't shopped for “X” number of days.

You can send a friendly note on how much you miss them and you’d love to show your new collections. If the customer interacts with your message, send them recommendations based on what they previously purchased. If they don’t interact with the message, you can further incentivize them to browse and shop by offering discount coupons or offers tailor made for the customer.  To get the attention of your customers at regular intervals you can also set up a sequence of win back WhatsApp promotional messages.

Segmentation to Increase Conversions

Segmentation can help you increase conversions since it aligns with what the customer already wants. You can segment your audience based on common factors such as locations, interests, minimum purchase value and devise campaigns based on them. Once your audience is segmented, your marketing automation software can help deliver the right message to the right people.

Automate Checkouts

Customers are more likely to abandon their carts, if the checkout process is too complicated. Hence, using automation, users can pre fill their details and can be redirected to their preferred payment options to ease the checkout process. You can also use communication channels like WhatsApp to directly send payment links to process transactions on the go.

Reward Loyal Customers

Happy customers are more likely to shop more. In order to turn these happy customers into loyal ones, it is crucial for brands to create a tactful strategy that reward them for shopping with your brand. You can use automation to segment high paying customers or customers with high shopping frequency and devise campaigns for customers that are more likely to shop. Marketing automation helps you to bridge the gap between first time shoppers into repeat customers. You can automate messages such as offering a discount code on their next purchase to get them to come back to your store. Hence, a carefully crafted sequence of automation can help you incentivize customers to keep purchasing from your store and ultimately build loyalty in the long run.

Drive Meaningful Conversations

Conversations is the key to building great relationships. Hence, leveraging conversational commerce is a great way to have meaningful conversations with your customers. Whether its helping customers discover products or processing transactions, AI chatbots are excellent in automating these conversations. You can also use chatbots to deliver a personalized experience since AI chatbots are able to pull customer data and converse with customers based on their user profile.

Conclusion

Marketing automation attempts to address the issues that customers face during the buying process. The key to building relationships with customers is to be able to provide specific customer with personalized offers through the right communication channels at the right time. Its impossible to make customers buy at your store again by mailing them two days after their last purchase. It is crucial to identify your customers and strategize marketing communication for each audience segment to deliver exceptional experiences that convert. Ready to win at customer retention? Book your demo today

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If you are a brand that’s just getting started with WhatsApp Business API, then this article is for you.
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