Automating your marketing actions can be a powerful way to expand the reach of your message and really take the legwork out of your eCommerce activities. Today, there are a wide selection of tools and software designed specifically to help achieve this.
Every year, eCommerce continues to gain popularity among consumers, with figures from Statista highlighting a 11.6% year-on-year expansion of the market across the US in 2023 to reach $565,696 million. It is a burgeoning market space and one that brands will want to make the most of in the years to come.
As a result, here we offer 8 top automation hacks to support your marketing materials in performing to their best and to help give your eCommerce a boost.
How marketing automation is powering ecommerce
The growing influence and significance of marketing automation is being felt across various industries and sectors, including ecommerce.
Research shows that more than half (51%) of companies currently use automated marketing tools, while nearly six out of ten B2B firms (58%) have plans to adopt this software in the foreseeable future.
Global spend on marketing automation is set to grow at an annual rate of 14%, passing the $25 billion mark by 2023.
As far as the benefits are concerned, more than three-quarters of organizations using these technologies see increased leads (80%) or higher conversion rates (77%).
For ecommerce brands, the potential advantages of automated marketing can be substantial and wide-ranging.
If, for instance, one of your most important objectives right now is to improve the quality of your leads and optimize conversion rates, automation can help you achieve it. More than nine out of ten (92%) users of automated marketing systems have said their main goal is to improve their pipeline of qualified leads. Customer retention (81%) and better lead nurturing (66%) are other common aims.
Marketing software offers a range of functions that can help you achieve these goals, such as automated lead scoring, which can identify your most promising prospects by examining profile attributes and behaviors of potential customers.
Furthermore, automation can improve your performance in key areas that are proving increasingly crucial in the modern retail industry, like personalization and targeting.
Today's demanding customers expect the communications they receive from brands to be effectively personalized - which means more than simply addressing the recipient by name. Automated technologies can take a lot of the legwork out of this process by analyzing the past actions and preferences of individuals and incorporating this data into your marketing.
1. Send personalized emails to anonymous visitors
By making use of smart marketing automation software that draws on information provided by external email database providers, organizations are able to put a name to the actions of anonymous visitors to their website.
Visitors might scan a few pages of your site and leave without giving their personal data. In the past, these would have been lost leads, but now due to the large data footprint that we all leave online, companies which make use of this information can get a jump on their competition.
2. Tailor ads based on offline behavior
Organizations keen to maximize their marketing efforts can now integrate their own marketing systems with the offline behavior of their target consumers by drawing on information like the use of discount codes that are specific to certain places or by the use of loyalty cards.
The whole process can now be fully automated to link individual user activities with the ads that they receive, meaning a more targeted marketing campaign that is tailored to a person's specific interests can be at the marketer's disposal. It's a process that companies like Facebook have been offering to brands for several years.
3. Adjust discount offers based on engagement
Depending on how often a person logs in to your website or engages with one of your advertisements, automated systems can now be used to offer different levels of discount to consumers.
If, for example, a user had searched for a company's product in the past, but not gone through with a full purchase, automated systems can now be set up to send a marketing-qualified email to that user with a suitable discount that may subsequently tempt them to buy.
4. Reach out to less engaged customers
Practices like lead scoring to optimize your conversion rates and bring in new business are vital, of course, but it's just as important to look after your existing customers. After all, bringing in new customers is about six times more expensive than selling to existing ones.
Marketing automation can help you gain maximum benefit from your current customer base by identifying people who have bought from you before but have since become less engaged. Programmed workflows can help you reach out to these contacts and reinvigorate their interest in your brand.
5. Build customer behavior profiles
Big data analysis is one of the great buzz phrases in marketing of recent years, but in reality all this means is the analysis of large data sets to derive patterns that can benefit the organization.
Now, with the wealth of data that is at the disposal of eCommerce providers regarding their consumers - such as location information, product purchase histories, means of engagement (mobile, desktop, etc.) and times of activity - this information combined can help to tailor marketing activities to an individual's habits and requirements, leading to more personalized marketing in future.
6. Never ask for duplicate information
Automated tracking of consumer data within your systems can ensure that individuals who provide you with personal information are never asked for the same details twice.
This may seem like a small thing, but organizations that focus on maximizing the user experience and not inundating their target audience with requests for personal information are seen to be more trusted and this, in turn, can help to drive eCommerce sales.
7. Segment your contact lists
Contact list segmentation is essential from a personalization and engagement perspective, because it helps to ensure your emails and other communications are being sent to the right people. Getting this wrong puts you at risk of alienating and eventually losing your customers.
Marketing software allows you to take a fully-automated approach to list segmentation, dividing existing or prospective customers into groups based on their purchase behavior or communications with you.
8. Deliver your emails at the most suitable time
Companies must understand that consumers have busy lives. As a result, it is important to tailor your marketing activities to the times when individuals are most likely to react positively to receiving them. This can be hard to do when your systems aren't automated, however, as having someone manually send out tweets or time a push on emails to target specific users is simply not feasible.
By analyzing the times of day when individual users log in to your site and automating your marketing materials to be sent around these times, companies can achieve open and click-through rates that are up to 200% higher than their non-timed counterparts.
Overall, businesses that recognize the power of automation to make their lives easier and to deliver a more customer-focused and personal marketing message will be the ones to excel in the increasingly competitive world of eCommerce in the future.