Even with all of your efforts to promote your physical store, you still need to engage in ecommerce marketing. Your ecommerce store will likely see some benefits from marketing efforts directed at in-person shoppers, but that won’t be enough to see the results you want.
Simply put, having an ecommerce marketing strategy helps ensure that your ecommerce store performs well. This can expand your customer base, especially if you are a small, local store that ships across the country or even just the region. After all, then people don’t have to be within a short drive of your brick-and-mortar store to become clients.
What is ecommerce marketing?
As the name implies, ecommerce marketing refers to your advertising efforts that aim to boost sales or drive traffic to your online store.
There are numerous potential strategies for ecommerce marketing, and most of them tend to be digital marketing channels. You can create digital content, pay for display ads, use SEO, run email marketing campaigns, and more.
The following are some of the most popular and effective types of ecommerce marketing:
- Social media management and marketing
- Influencer marketing
- Content marketing
- Email marketing
- SMS marketing
- Search engine marketing
- Affiliate marketing
- Local marketing
- Google ads such as display ads and PPC
You will notice that many of those marketing automation methods overlap with those you use for your physical store. That is excellent news for you, as it means you can target two purposes with the same advertising. That being said, it is also smart to target your ecommerce stores and brick-and-mortar stores separately to appeal to all potential customers.
Balancing ecommerce marketing and marketing for a physical location
As mentioned, it is crucial to find a balance between marketing for your ecommerce business and your physical location. You can frequently advertise both at the same time. One example would be texting loyalty club members a coupon code that they can use online or in-store as part of your marketing automation. Or you could send an email newsletter with directions to your store and a link to your online store.
Balancing your marketing strategies lets you encourage customers to shop in-person or online, depending on their preference.
But there will also be times when you want to create campaigns exclusive to one or the other. A classic example would be if one of your flash sales is only offered online, you wouldn’t advertise it on channels for in-store shoppers and vice versa.
Of course, your sales team can also create campaigns on your ecommerce site that will bring more customers to your store and vice versa. Even something as simple as including a link to your store’s direction or phone number in your marketing emails can produce results. Or, including your website on your receipts can lead to new customers visiting your landing pages.
What about ecommerce marketing automation software?
Now that you are clear on what ecommerce marketing is, what about software for ecommerce marketing automation? A marketing automation platform is a software that lets you automate various aspects of your marketing initiatives. You will use it for repetitive tasks that we currently have the technology to automate. The best ecommerce marketing automation tools will offer a range of functions.
For example, you can automate sending bulk SMS messages about promotions or cart abandonment emails. Learn more about this in our SMS marketing guide or include it in your automated email marketing strategy.
Before you take a closer look at how to use marketing automation platforms for ecommerce, take a closer look at some of the benefits you will experience from this automation.
Better customer insights
The ecommerce marketing software that automates your ecommerce marketing will also provide important insights for you. You can expect useful reporting that helps you identify customer preferences and other information that can affect your strategy. Use that information to gain repeat customers and boost your customer lifetime value. After all, it is much easier to get customer data on ecommerce platforms than to gauge the customer experience in-store.
Increased average order value (AOV)
It is very common for ecommerce marketing automation to lead to increases in your order value. After all, cross-selling and upselling make up about 10 to 30% of overall ecommerce revenue. You can automate how you cross-sell or upsell with the right ecommerce platform.
You also see an increase in average order value and overall revenue thanks to other efforts, such as personalized ads on social media and automated cart abandonment emails. The ability to automatically send follow-up emails as part of your lead management also increases your revenue. Of course, this type of automated marketing campaign also helps with customer retention.
Reduce human error
Human error is always a risk, as everyone will occasionally make mistakes. There is an even higher risk of human error with repetitive tasks, as people completing them may be tempted to “tune out” and pay less attention.
By contrast, marketing automation for e-commerce eliminates this risk, as the computer will handle the repetitive tasks.
Save time and increase efficiency
Anytime you use automation for a process, one of your primary goals or expectations should be to increase efficiency and save time. This is undoubtedly the case for ecommerce marketing automation, including both SMS and email marketing automation.
To start, automated workflows will streamline many of your processes. Remember that the program will perform repetitive tasks, such as generating reports, designing workflows, and filling in data. It can also prevent the need for other manual tasks, such as sending messages, thanks to tools like an automated welcome email series.
On top of that, you can also easily create and maintain landing pages with this type of marketing automation.
Of course, an added benefit of improved efficiency is that you will reduce your labor costs. Or you can just let your team focus on more critical tasks.
Ecommerce marketing automation also helps with scalability, making it easier for your ecommerce businesses to grow. After all, you won’t have to worry about manually sending emails to an increasing number of customers. The only difference will be the number of emails your marketing automation systems send.
Improve customer engagement and satisfaction
Most ecommerce marketing automation systems also make it easy to personalize your marketing. For example, you may be able to insert a customer’s name or recent purchase into a template. This personalization improves customer experiences. That, in turn, boosts engagement and the likelihood that they will become a loyal customer and refer your ecommerce companies.
Six ideas on how to use ecommerce marketing automation
There are plenty of ways to use ecommerce marketing automation, but consider the following to get you started.
Use dynamic content to engage customers
Dynamic content means that website images and the content will adapt depending on your customers’ behavior.
This helps you increase conversions while reducing the bounce rate by offering website visitors the most relevant content possible. It also improves personalization.
A classic example of this type of ecommerce marketing automation is websites with a section of “recommended products” based on past visits or purchase history.
Use chatbots for customer service
You likely don’t have the resources to have a dedicated customer support line as a local business. But ecommerce marketing automation lets you take advantage of chatbots to fill the gap. You can help customers 24/7 and generate leads as part of your marketing automation with chatbots.
With improvements in technology, there are now features like Podium’s Webchat that uses marketing automation while delivering the same human feel you expect from a one-on-one conversation. This level of chatbot is still only found on the best marketing automation software, and providing a more human-like experience tends to improve customer loyalty.
Reward loyal customers with special discounts and offers
When your customers are loyal and feel appreciated, they will buy more. You can further increase their lifetime value by sending special deals and offers to your loyal customers. This works for SMS messaging and email strategies, assuming your marketing automation software supports them.
It becomes easy to set up who will receive these special offers with the proper marketing automation workflows. Or you could keep this marketing campaign simple and just send the offers to members of your loyalty programs.
Recover revenue with abandoned cart emails and automation
Whether you choose to use email or SMS, ecommerce marketing automation is an excellent tool to recover abandoned cart emails. This is crucial because 70% of online shoppers abandon their carts.
There are numerous potential reasons for cart abandonment, from high costs to poor internet connection to not offering the preferred payment method. But automating texts or other messages with your marketing automation software lets you win back customers for many of them. Offer a discount code as part of these automated campaigns for even better results.
Use segmentation to make more sales
As mentioned earlier, customers will be more satisfied when your ecommerce business marketing includes a higher level of personalization. Segmentation helps with this to some extent. It lets you separate your customers based on interests, engagement level, profession, average order value, or nearly anything else. You essentially use segmentation to create targeted lists.
The bottom line is that segmentation ensures that you send customers the most relevant offers and information without bombarding them with too many messages.
Automate reviews on your website
As you work on your ecommerce marketing automation, don’t forget about your online reputation. Think about what someone may do before buying from you if they haven’t heard from you. They will likely look at reviews as part of their customer acquisition journey. This makes reviews crucial, especially for local ecommerce businesses that may not be as well-known online.
The best platforms, such as Podium, offer marketing automation tools to help you build more reviews. This takes the stress out of gathering those reviews while giving you the benefits of them.
Incorporating ecommerce marketing automation will save your business time and improve your revenue. You will find improvements to customer satisfaction and gain valuable insights. With the right marketing automation software, you can boost your review rate, use chatbots, and automate certain emails or SMS messages to glean the benefits of this automation.