Get More Done by Doing Less with an eCommerce Marketing Automation Platform
All-in-one marketing automation platforms are a good fit for eCommerce businesses, which are planning to increase sales and attract more customers to their online store. In particular, 64% of the surveyed eCommerce companies name higher sales among the results of marketing automation and 37% – an increase in the number of eCommerce store visitors. Getting these benefits seems achievable with either leading marketing automation platforms, like Salesforce Marketing Cloud, or a wide variety of less widespread alternative solutions present on the CRM market. To help eCommerce businesses navigate the market and make an informed choice, we present the following checklist.
Must-have features of marketing automation software for eCommerce
Feature-rich solutions for marketing automation entail impressive benefits and similarly notable expenses. That’s why, when considering a marketing automation solution, eCommerce companies don’t need to purchase all the features available but choose those resonating with their business needs most (e.g., features for email and mobile marketing or social media marketing). From our experience, the following features of marketing automation platforms are most in-demand:
- It is easily integrated with an eCommerce platform.
Integrating a marketing automation platform with an eCommerce platform allows retailers with a large customer base to use customers’ personal and online behavior data to make marketing activities better targeted and more personalized. Such integration brings benefits like improved sales, upselling, and cross-selling opportunities. Thus, when choosing a marketing automation platform, eCommerce retailers must consider how easy it can be integrated with their eCommerce platform, whether the marketing automation platform is heavily dependent on partner integrations and API connectors.
- It automates customer segmentation.
To make marketing activities relevant to particular groups of customers, a marketing automation platform should perform criteria-based customer segmentation. An adequately segmented customer base with a view to customers’ age, gender, location, and other criteria allows marketing teams to personalize email and website content and adjust marketing activities (like digital advertising) to different customer segments. Customer segmentation leads to higher email open and click-through rates, better upselling and cross-selling, and an increased number of repeat customers.
- It automates email marketing.
To facilitate the daily work of eCommerce marketing teams, which includes sending tons of emails, a marketing automation platform should have features for email automation. Such features help hit two main targets: easy creation of visually appealing emails and keeping track of the results of email marketing campaigns. These goals are achieved with customizable email templates and email analytics accordingly.
- It embraces social media marketing.
To attract new customers and successfully interact with current ones via social media, like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter, eCommerce businesses should choose a marketing automation platform that embraces social media marketing. Features for social media marketing allow creating appealing content (e.g., announcements of new products and services) for the company’s followers on social networks, automate social media advertising, promote marketing campaigns, or monitor company mentions in social media. If a customer shares their feedback on social media, marketing teams can use this information to adjust their product/service positioning in social media.
- It automates mobile marketing.
Since 87% of consumers shop through their mobile devices, a marketing automation platform needs to have features for mobile marketing. Provided that your customers are adequately segmented, mobile marketing is your way to engage your customers via targeted texts and push-notifications. This mainly works well for omnichannel retailers. For example, they can use the geofencing functionality to send location-based mobile notifications and prompt their online customers to offline shopping.
- It automates customer communication scenarios.
To help eCommerce businesses successfully manage various customer communication channels, a marketing automation platform should allow creating automated customer communication scenarios. The tools that make such automation possible allow mapping out a customer communication path for different customer segments, like new shoppers or cart abandoners. For example, a cart abandoner may receive a reminder in a day after they abandoned the cart, push notification in 3 days, and an email with a discount code a week after the purchase wasn’t completed.
As you see, a marketing automation platform for eCommerce should be able to deliver targeted messages via different channels and personalize the customer journey by making customer communication efficient, relevant, and responsive. It helps eCommerce businesses make customers more engaged and satisfied with their shopping experience, which ultimately results in higher sales.