This guest post was written by Louise Blosfelds-Hayes, content writer and social media marketer at Carts Guru. Carts Guru is the advanced marketing automation tool helping e-merchants optimize and synchronize every aspect of their online marketing strategy into one intuitive solution. We offer multichannel campaigns, in-depth audience segmentation and real-time data analysis, all in one place to streamline the entire marketing process while increasing your profits.
Imagine getting to work on Monday morning only to find that some over-eager employee has already completed all the boring, time-consuming jobs you’d been putting off. And has done them all perfectly. This is essentially what you get when you switch to marketing automation.
Automated marketing is all about saving e-merchants time and effort while optimizing your overall marketing strategy. By automating boring, time-intensive tasks, your employees are able to focus on gratifying creative projects while ensuring that these monotonous jobs are performed correctly. When done properly, making the switch to automated marketing all but guarantees that eCommerce businesses will increase their ROI, revenue and overall growth while boosting the job-satisfaction of staff.
The benefits of marketing automation can be divided into two main categories: the benefits for your eCommerce store, and the benefits that will be passed on to your consumers.
Benefits for your eCommerce Store
Optimize your overall marketing efforts
Regardless of size, industry or location, every eCommerce business should be striving to improve efficiency and effectiveness wherever possible. Utilizing a marketing automation tool is a key way to achieve this. E-businesses have been shown to experience a 14.5% increase in sales productivity while decreasing overall marketing costs by 12.2% when they make the switch to automation.
This increase in sales productivity is thanks to the increased availability of data, which results in an overall improvement in online marketing efforts, allowing eCommerce businesses to find their ideal audience wherever they are and target them with relevant messaging in the most effective way.
eCommerce businesses will benefit from a decrease in marketing costs thanks to optimizing the use of employees’ working hours. Without repetitive, mundane tasks taking up so much of their time, your marketing and sales teams will now be able to focus on more creative and enjoyable tasks. And as an added bonus, by using their skills for tasks that truly need them, your employees will experience greater satisfaction from their work, which will, in turn, lead to higher levels of staff retention.
For example, businesses could easily automate a task such as lead assignment and follow-up. With a marketing automation software in place, employees don’t have to spend their time following up every single lead and can instead use their interpersonal skills to nurture bigger, more promising leads in a real way. This brings eCommerce businesses not only a larger quantity of leads but also higher quality leads. Now that’s a win-win!
Save precious time
Yes, the initial set-up of an automated marketing campaign takes time, maybe a couple of hours one afternoon. However, it doesn’t even compare to the time and money that your eCommerce business will save in the long term. Once an automated marketing campaign is fully up-and-running, your business could be sending out thousands of personalized marketing messages every day, on auto-pilot, while you sleep.
Automated marketing also makes it easier for you to organize the marketing efforts for your eCommerce businesses far into the future, preparing and scheduling campaigns well ahead of time. We all know the eCommerce industry is notoriously fast-paced – for e-merchants, saving any amount of time can be hugely beneficial.
By embracing marketing automation, the amount of time you save will be drastic, allowing you to direct your energy and efforts towards important tasks that really need your attention. Or get in a well deserved afternoon nap, it’s entirely up to you.
Analyze data to convert more leads
One of the key benefits for e-merchants when automating your marketing efforts is the increased availability of data. Data is automatically accumulated about every aspect of your campaign. By analyzing this data, businesses are able to learn what’s working and what isn’t and use this information to guide their overall marketing strategy.
An important aspect for e-merchants to analyze is the journey of prospective customers. For example, marketing automation software like Carts Guru allows e-merchants to view each step of a customer’s journey, so that they can determine which strategies are working and pinpoint the exact points along the journey where leads tend to drop off.
Knowing exactly what is working within your company and what’s not is hugely beneficial for e-merchants, as it means that all your employees are accountable for the success or failure of their own work. Through analysis of this readily available data, decision-makers in the company can ensure that efforts are focused on areas of the company that need the most improvement, while leaving the successful departments to keep doing what they’re doing.
Gain and retain customers with personalization
One of the most effective ways for e-merchants to utilize this data is to personalize your marketing efforts. With marketing automation, you’re able to segment your audience and send relevant, personalized messages to individuals (rather than general spam to a huge group). This in itself is a great step towards gaining and retaining customers.
With automated steps already in place, e-businesses can target website visitors with follow-ups, upsells and cross-sells without any extra effort, giving visitors the time and attention they may need to become a customer.
Studies have found that 50% of leads that businesses generate are qualified but not ready to make a purchase right away. Therefore, they need to be nurtured. Using the manual approach, properly nurturing every one of these potential customers is close to impossible, especially if you have a large contact base. With the help of a marketing automation tools, you can send follow-up Facebook Messages, abandoned cart emails, and sales alert text messages automatically, helping you convert all of these unsure customers without any extra effort.
With marketing automation, you’ll be able to study your customers along their purchasing journey, track their behavior, and respond in the most effective way. This process requires you to visualize the whole customer journey from start to finish and build your marketing strategy around that, bringing the focus back to the customer (where it should always be).
Nurturing prospects through personalization means that the right content gets to the right customer at the right time. Using marketing automation to nurture prospects sees a 451% increase in qualified leads, with these leads making purchases 47% larger than non-nurtured leads. It is such an important process, as not only will you see an increase in immediate sales, but the nurturing process will also result in an increase in the lifetime value of the acquired customers.
Benefits for your Customers
Receive personalized content
There’s no better way to annoy your customers than by sending them generic widespread messaging. Studies have shown that 71% of consumers are actively frustrated when their online shopping experience is impersonal. In today’s eCommerce market, customers have grown to expect a level of personalization and customer service, even when shopping online.
With marketing automation, you can ensure that your customers only receive highly personalized messaging that is of genuine interest to them. And this ‘highly personalized’ messaging goes far beyond just addressing the customer by name. Customers have come to expect brands to know not just their name, but where they’re from, their age, their purchasing history, even their likes and dislikes.
Giving this kind of attention to your customers pays off – 75% of customers are more likely to buy from a retailer who not only recognizes them by name but also knows their past purchasing history and recommends products accordingly.
Keep it relevant
Another key piece of information you need to know about your customers is where they spend their time online. With this information you’re able to reach your customers on the channel they prefer to interact with and avoid spamming them, sending messages to inboxes they rarely check. Knowing your customer’s preferred form of communication ensures that content is opened and read quickly.
Content can’t just be relevant at the time it’s sent, particularly if it’s something time-sensitive like a flash sale campaign. It needs to be opened quickly so that it’s still relevant by the time it’s actually read. Contacting your customers on their preferred channel is the most effective way to achieve this.
With a lack of content relevancy resulting in an 83% lower engagement rate, ensuring that you message the right person, over the right channel, with the right content is paramount for any eCommerce marketer.