In this blog, long-time friend and sponsor of the Marketing Association, Engaging Partners share their advice on how to optimise the performance of your online store using an approach they've coined - Marketing-driven ecommerce.
Perhaps your ecommerce solution isn’t performing like you thought it would. You've got a good offering, a nice looking site and your team spend hours uploading inventory and managing customer enquiries. Perhaps you’re wondering… was this worth the investment? Have we done it right?
Well here’s the secret - no ecommerce store can reach its full potential without the help of marketing automation. Even a thriving ecommerce store could dramatically improve sales with the right automation applied.
And, what's more, both B2C and B2B businesses can benefit from marketing-driven e-commerce. Here’s what you need to know to help you go from just-barely-surviving to thriving.
First things first - what is marketing-driven ecommerce? Simply, it’s all about using marketing automation technology to enhance your customers' experience as they shop online. Marketing automation can lift your store performance from mediocre to finally wiping-its face by creating long-term, repeat revenue streams.
There are a number of ways to implement marketing automation into your online store. For example, you can set up a chatbot or live chat to ask your customers if they need help making decisions while shopping. For B2B businesses, this can be extremely effective, particularly if your product offering is broad or complex. You can also set up automated email campaigns to prompt customers to return to their shopping cart based on key triggers - abandoned cart, abandoned wish list, time since last store visit, predicted time for repurchasing an item, repeat orders and so on.
In short, marketing automation allows you to supplement your ecommerce store with intelligent ways to be more helpful to your customers.
Next, let’s look at your marketing automation technology options. Choosing the right integrated ecommerce technology stack will help you sync your systems and create a seamless experience for your customers.
Here’s a handy checklist of fundamental features you should be looking for when shopping around for marketing automation software to support your online store:
Ability to integrate: First, check that the marketing automation software can hook up with your e-commerce platforms via a native integration, otherwise things can get complicated (and expensive).
A one-stop-shop CRM: Customer relationship management (CRM) technology acts as your eyes and ears to online customers, and is the key to managing all of your customer relationships and interactions.
Reporting and analytics tools: To help you uncover insights and buying patterns from the customer data that you’ve collected via the CRM, your marketing automation software should include built-in reporting and analytics tools.
Multiple automation functionalities and AI: The best marketing automation software will make use of artificial intelligence as well as traditional automation functions like automated emails, chatbots and live chat.
Marketing automation does a lot of the heavy lifting, but it won’t do all of the work for you. You'll need to look at the data to understand and solve for your customers’ problems and use these insights to fine-tune your automation opportunities and communications.
How do you do this? Start by developing detailed profiles of your customers - list their goals, pain points and triggers, and map out their purchase journeys. Then you'll have a blueprint for the important touchpoints and the precise language that you can build into your automated messages.
For example, you can use the persona insights and purchase journey knowledge you have on each customer to adapt your chatbot logic or live chat script. Because you understand their goals and pain points, you can adapt your messages to really connect with each customer, building trust and loyalty.
It’s personal touches like these that make a massive difference to the experience your customers have with your brand.
If you need a hand getting started, or want to talk more about marketing-driven ecommerce, get in touch with the Engaging Partners team today and start getting more from your online store investment.
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