If your online e-commerce businesses’ retention rate has been dropping off late, you may be considering changing your marketing strategy. This may seem like the logical thing to do with a profound shift in consumer buying habits in the post-pandemic environment. However, what if your strategy is sound, but there are gaps in the customer data? To get insights into customer behavior, you need real-time data across multiple channels. Otherwise, there is a risk of alienating customers.
According to a study by Infogroup, 53% of marketers plan to increase the use of real-time data in their campaigns. The biggest advantage e-commerce businesses can get from this is creating personalized content for different segments of customers. For example, a post-purchase confirmation email with a 10% discount coupon will likely improve repeat sales. The truth is that collecting real-time data can take a lot of time, a luxury that small e-commerce entrepreneurs rarely have. This is where marketing automation can deliver great results.
Billion-dollar e-commerce giants like Amazon have led the way in using marketing automation in the e-commerce industry. For example, its concept of ‘people-based marketing’ uses insights across multiple touchpoints, including page views, purchase history, and email clicks.
This gives the company incredible insights into buyer behavior, allowing it to maintain customer loyalty at over 90% throughout the pandemic.
There is no reason why small e-commerce stores can’t get similar results from marketing automation.
What is Marketing Automation?
Automation has become a buzzword in the e-commerce industry today. There is perhaps an automation tool for practically every business process, and so is the case with marketing. Automating repetitive and time-consuming activities such as social media and email marketing can boost your team’s productivity. Besides, its insights can also help you align your marketing activities with sales and customer service teams.
Here are a few more reasons why investing in marketing automation is vital from the customer loyalty point of view:
Personalized offers and discounts
If you are looking to attract past customers, you need to make use of their purchase history to create relevant offers. Fine-tune your marketing messages’ timing and frequency to increase the probability of attracting them to your store once again. When it comes to email marketing, you can create specific email campaigns for different customer groups, for example, first-time buyers, repeat customers, or old customers.
That may seem like a lot of work for a small team of employees. However, email automation tools can help you get a lot done in very little time. The latest tools let you simply import your contacts, segment your customers, and set up offer/discount emails triggered based on specific user actions, for example, after the first purchase.
They also automatically capture customer activity on your website and use it to create customer profiles. In turn, this lets you A/B test and compare the conversion rates for various ads, landing pages, and email copies.
Optimize loyalty programs
Research shows that 20% of customers often contribute up to 80% of revenues for brands. Keeping big spenders engaged is thus one of the biggest priorities for e-commerce companies too. Marketing automation tools come with advanced reporting functions that let you track Average Order Value (AOV) and Customer Lifetime Value CLV) and get a realistic estimate of ROI you’re your loyalty program. It also enables you to change your rewards structure in case the cost of running the program is higher than expected.
Running a loyalty program can be time-consuming. There is also the question of customer experience. To increase enrolment, you need to make it easier for customers to sign-up and earn rewards. Marketing automation can help you streamline the process of sending VIP upgrade offers and SMS or email reminders for existing customers to reactivate their memberships.
Many e-commerce businesses are replacing plastic rewards cards with mobile wallet-linked cards or ‘mcards’ that allow you to digitize the process of points allotment and redemption.
Marketing automation can save you precious time when it comes to reducing customer churn. Each year, companies in the US lose $136.8 billion because of the inability to respond effectively to customer reviews or complaints. Thankfully, marketing automation tools help you respond contextually to different types of customer feedback based on Artificial Intelligence (AI) technology.
This not only improves response time but can also turn around a lost customer and bring him back into the fold. For example, sending a survey link right after purchase can help you gauge your marketing campaigns’ effectiveness. In case a satisfied customer has a few kind words to say, you can share such testimonials with your audience on social media.
Superior customer experience
Marketing automation is more essential than ever in the digital era. Customers often use multiple devices to check out products, read reviews and finally make a purchase. Even if they have bought from your store before, it may be impossible for brands to build a complete picture of the customer journey without automated tools.
Automation can help you develop targeted product descriptions and content such as how-to articles and explainer videos.
Besides, automation tools also help you identify common problems faced by multiple customers and take action before it is too late.
Marketing automation needs to work in tandem with customer service to provide you with the best possible returns. It often is a question of needs versus wants as small e-commerce stores may not always have the resources or a clear strategy for building/optimizing their customer support operations.
Helplama specializes in helping e-commerce teams – both big and small – to clarify their customer service priorities and deliver consistent service to their customers. Our flexible plans are light on the wallet and free from the baggage of long-term contracts.
Plus, you are fully covered by our Zero-Risk Guarantee in case things do not work out between us. Why wait? Contact us today for more information.