Running an eCommerce business is a job with colossal responsibilities. Especially in the current scenario where there is massive competition from both domestic and international brands, you can’t expect to stand out without adapting to modern trends and strategic eCommerce solutions.
E-Commerce Automation is one such strategy. Even as a one-man army, you can’t manage everything about your business manually. Even if you could, you would always find yourself lagging behind your rivals on one or the other grounds.
Therefore, if not all then at least certain aspects of your operation deserve automation to keep things seamless and competitive, especially, when your business grows big with time. In this article, we are going to enlist five such marketing automation ecommerce hacks that you can implement in your business and win conversions much better than your competitors.
Benefits of eCommerce automation for entrepreneurs
Automation might seem like a deep word that demands hefty investments in AI and expensive custom developments. However, automation is not always about expensive solutions. Whether you are operating in the inventory model or multivendor marketplacemodel,you can adopt various small and inexpensive automation strategies to streamline an array of complex tasks with simple clicks of buttons:
- You can reduce human errors from repetitive tasks
- You can streamline your business for expansion
- You can save a lot of time, money, and effort
- You can increase your overall productivity
E-Commerce automation hacks for your business
Be advised that automation and benefits of eCommerce automation are not limited to your back-end processes alone. You can enhance your eCommerce marketing strategy, shipping infrastructure, conversion optimization strategies, and many more things with simple automation.
1. Automating your welcome notes
Greeting your new customers with a warm note seems like a trivia. However, not many entrepreneurs realize that this could be the first step towards acquiring a loyal customer and building trust in your business. It looks like nothing, but surprisingly, only 75% online stores greet their new customer and newly registered users with a welcome note. It’s because sending welcome notes is a repetitive task and requires manual labor traditionally.
Did you know that welcome emails receive 400% better engagements than any other kind of email you would be sending to your prospects at any time? It’s time you automate your welcome notes and use the opportunity to gain happy customers, promote your business, and build trust factors. You can automate your email notes with simple SMTP settings from the back-end of any decent eCommerce platform you are using. Here is a screenshot from the Magento back-end interface where you can set up your email SMTP with simple steps.
All other popular eCommerce platforms have a similar setting that you can use to automate your emails. In fact, many of these platforms also have the option to streamline different welcome email templates either. If not present, you can always install a custom module, plugin, or extension to get this feature; they are not expensive.
What’s more interesting is you can add yet another channel to this automation with web push notifications as well. Besides welcome email, you can also start sending welcome push notifications to your customers and new users. The best part is push notification does not require any personal details of the customers or users. With a simple click on the ‘Allow’ button of a push notifications subscription dialog box, users agree to receive push notifications from your website.
Once allowed, you can send any number of push notifications to such users at any time you wish too. Remember this tool, as we will discuss further in this article about how you can automate many other things with push notifications.
2. Automating your drip campaigns
Once you sort your welcome campaign with email and push notifications, it’s time to order your permanent communication channel with your customers in the long run. Drip campaigns are all about streamlining a seamless conversion funnel for your website that encourages a newly joined user to finally become a customer and keep coming back. We are talking about restructuring your conversion funnel with small automation.
The same email and push automation tools we used for step one can also help you create smart drip campaigns. You can set up different email, push, and even SMS templates to keep in touch with the prospects in different stages. Here is an example:
- Day 1: Send a welcome note
- Day 2: Send an exclusive offer for the new users. You can also club this with a welcome note.
- Day 8: If converted, send yet another offer or an update about new stock, other product recommendations, etc. However, if not converted, send a gentle reminder with some FOMO elements, such as limited time.
- Days 15: It’s time to engage with customers by being useful. You can send tips, links to shopping guides, or anything that doesn’t sound like a sales pitch. You can also ask them to follow you on social media, participate in polls or contests.
- Day 20: Send new offers and deals based on their past purchase history. Encourage them to shop more.
Get started with drip email, push, and SMS campaigns. Some examples of email, SMS, and push automation tools you can use for creating drip campaigns are MailChimp, HubSpot, Twilio, iZooto, etc.
3. Automating your social media FOMO campaigns
Social media is the best place to create FOMO among your prospects. This is the place where they remain updated of your new stocks, new offers, and about what everyone else is buying these days. In simple words, you can use your customers to encourage others to purchase by simple FOMO automation via social media.
Encourage your customers to follow you on social media, tag you in their posts, and share your offers and deals. You can use some motivation factors like exclusive discounts or entry into an exclusive membership plan and events. When others will see these people engaging with your business, they would also develop an interest in knowing what’s going on. You can use different social marketing tools to automate this entire process. For example:
- A tool to schedule your social media posts
- A tool to track social media mentions about your brand
- A tool to fetch your social media feeds on your website
- Social media Ads re-targeting tools and services
Examples of the tools you can use are CoSchedule, Hubspot, FOMO, Buffer, BuzzSumo, Hootsuite, etc.
4. Automating your referral and affiliate marketing programs
Referral and affiliate marketing have become an eminent part of any eCommerce marketing strategy these days. Whether you run a small online store or a giant multivendor marketplace, you need these two components to entice your prospects.
By giving some benefits to both referrers and referred users, you can expect to gain quick popularity; thanks to the strong influence of word of mouth marketing on online shoppers these days. Users can reoffer other users to join your store or purchase a product and gain exclusive discount coupons, or affiliate commissions.
Luckily, many eCommerce platforms have inbuilt systems for discount coupon management, affiliate marketing, and referral programs. However, those who lack these features have the option to install certain modules and extensions to acquire these features.
For example, you can search on Google about Magento affiliate marketing extensions, PrestaShop referral program modules, WooCommerce discount coupon add-on, or for any other platform you use. There are also standalone solutions in the market that you can integrate using their provided APIs, such as ReferralCandy, RewardStream, etc.
5. Automating your abandoned cart recovery
It’s now a fact that small web stores as well as massive multivendor marketplace.
sites can’t avoid the cart abandonments. You can reduce them up to an extent using some UX optimization strategies, but some of the abandonments are just eminent. Therefore, you shouldn’t stop optimizing your store but also create an abandoned cart recovery strategy in parallel.
One such strategy is creating automated email and push campaigns to send gentle reminders to the users who abandon your shopping carts. There are two ways to create such campaigns, and you must use both for better results:
Email: You can use a shopping cart recovery module or extension in your eCommerce platform for tracking the abandoned carts. Such tools are capable of capturing the email address of the users who add products in their carts but don’t complete the purchase. The module will create a separate email list of these users in your database, which you can integrate with your email marketing tool to create an email drip campaign.
Push notification: There are push notification tools and services in the market that possess inbuilt abandoned cart tracking systems. You can program these tools to track such users and send automated push notifications using set templates. You can create a drip campaign and set different push templates that the tools will use accordingly at different stages of the cart recovery campaign.
In either of the cases, you have to create some templates and tweak some settings to design your campaign. You can program the tools to use certain coupon codes, the timing of the reminder, frequency of the messages, and segment users based on different behaviors. Strategic utilization of a mix of these tools can automate your abandoned cart recovery and help you win back your conversions without manual labor. If you want to stay competitive in the market, that’s the kind of eCommerce automation you should aim for today.
There is no shortage of ways to acquire useful eCommerce automation for your business. Let’s not forget about the AI chatbots. Although they are expensive, but have proven to be one of the biggest automation tools in not just eCommerce but every other domain. Besides, there are tools to automate certain pop-ups on your site either. You can trigger exit intent pop-ups, newsletter subscription pop-ups, stock alert pop-ups, and many more.
In short, AI chatbots and virtual assistants maybe the ultimate automation solutions for the entire business process automation, but they are not accessible to small ventures easily. However, that doesn’t mean you can’t automate your eCommerce marketing strategy and many other aspects without spending a fortune. There are ways to do it, and we saw that in this article.