14 min.

Ecommerce Marketing Automation (20 Strategies to Apply Now!)

Online shopping is incredibly fast, and consumer behavior can be unpredictable and change rapidly.

This is exactly why marketing automation in ecommerce plays a very important role in effectively managing these dynamics.

To greatly increase your efficiency, we go over 20 distinct ecommerce marketing automation strategies in this post, including inventory management, customer support, personalized marketing, and more.

A cover image with the title 'Ecommerce Marketing Automation (20 Strategies to Apply Now!)'

What is Ecommerce Marketing Automation?

In ecommerce, marketing automation is all about using specialized software to automate and personalize marketing actions and operational processes.

This includes sending targeted marketing messages to customers and prospects at specific points in their journey, and running marketing campaigns based on certain triggers or criteria. 

Unlike traditional marketing automation, which usually focuses on potential customers, ecommerce marketing automation covers the entire customer journey - from the first interaction to post-purchase engagement. This is super important because ecommerce transactions happen online, with potential customers all over the place and shopping at different times.

Marketing automation makes it easy to engage with customers in a consistent, timely, and personalized way with minimal manual effort. 

Key areas of ecommerce marketing automation cover email marketing and personalizing website content, showing ads to bring back visitors, managing inventory, handling returns and refunds, renewing subscriptions, and many more - all to create a seamless shopping experience. 

20 Ecommerce Marketing Automation Strategies for Better Online Store Performance

Automating marketing tasks in ecommerce can significantly streamline your operations and enhance your efficiency. 

Here's a list of ecommerce marketing tasks you can automate & 20 proven strategies you can implement for better online store performance!

Strategy 1: Automated Smart Popups

You can set up popups that appear when users are about to leave the website, spend a certain amount of time on a page, or engage with specific content. You can personalize these popups with special offers, discounts, or content based on the user's browsing history or interests.

For example; Art of Play trigger the popup when a user is about to leave the site. In this way, you increase user engagement without manual tracking while also significantly increasing the efficiency of b2c lead generation strategies by ensuring that each interaction is optimally timed for maximum impact.

Art of Play triggered popup when a user is about to leave the site

Also, you can connect popup forms directly to your CRM or email marketing software to capture lead data and initiate nurturing campaigns automatically.

Strategy 2: Automated Welcome Emails

This is one of the simplest yet most impactful strategies you can use. Send an automated welcome email when someone subscribes to your newsletter or makes an account on your site.

For example, Like Blame, you can automate this type of welcome email for your ecommerce business, ensuring that each new subscriber receives a personalized welcome immediately after signing up, saving time and maintaining a consistent brand message.

Bleame's welcome email example to automate ecommerce

🌟Bonus: If you have a Shopify store, you can automatically collect leads with Popupsmart and then send automated welcome emails to those leads. You can create Shopify-based email automations to connect one of the automatic emails on the right in the picture to any of your popups.

Shopify-based email automations to connect one of the automatic emails on the right in the picture to any of your popups.

Strategy 3: Automated Cart Abandonment Emails

Cart abandonment is a common issue in the ecommerce industry, where customers add items to their cart but leave before completing their purchase. An automated cart abandonment email can remind customers of the items left behind and entice them back to complete their purchase.

For example, Food52 has automated the process of winning back customers by automating the cart abandonment email, which it sends to its customers with the subject line "Oooh, good choice! We set it aside for you."

Food52 automated process of winning back customers by automating the cart abandonment email.

🌟 Bonus: If you own a shopify store, take a look at this content: Shopify Cart Abandonment Emails: How to Set Up & Edit (with Examples)

Strategy 4: Automated Post-Purchase Follow-Ups

After a visitor has purchased and received their product, an automated email asking for a review can generate helpful customer feedback and enhance your site's credibility.

Also, post-purchase emails with recommendations for related products can encourage additional sales. 

Implementing post-purchase strategies like these is a crucial part of ecommerce marketing automation, aiding in nurturing ongoing customer relationships, gathering valuable feedback, and driving repeat business.

🌟 Bonus: Do you need a subject line to request a review? Here you go: 50+ Best Email Subject Lines for Review Requests

Strategy 5: Scheduled Posts In Advance on Social

Planning and scheduling social media posts in advance is super important for staying connected with your audience. 

Tools like Buffer, Hootsuite, or Sprout Social make it easy to plan posts for weeks or even months ahead on platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, and LinkedIn. 

Even without paid tools, you can timetable your posts. On your Facebook page, use the scheduling option when creating a post. For Twitter, use the free platform TweetDeck to schedule tweets. Instagram posts can be scheduled through Facebook Creator Studio, and LinkedIn lets you set up posts for future release directly from your business page.

Strategy 6: Automated Responses on Social

Social media platforms like Facebook allow you to set up automated responses to comments and messages

This can be used to let customers know that their inquiry has been received and they will get a response soon.

Strategy 7: Customer Relationship Management (CRM) for Segmentation

CRM tools have features that can automatically organize your customers into different segments based on their purchasing behavior, preferences, or demographic information.

Automated segmentation allows you to understand your customers better and target them more effectively.

Strategy 8: Dynamic Ads

Above, I gave an example of the pop-up that opens when I add a product to the cart on Art of Play's site and exit the page. I just came across an ad on Instagram. 

This strategy is really good at re-engaging and converting those who initially didn't complete their purchase.

Here is an example of dynamic ads from Art of Play:

Here is an example of dynamic ads from Art of Play

Strategy 9: Automated Bid Management for PPC Campaigns

It's about allowing a machine-learning program to decide how much you should pay for a Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisement based on your budget and goals.

This strategy is quite beneficial because it can quickly adjust your bids (how much you pay) based on various factors. These factors might include the time of the day, the location of the user, or the type of device they are using.

For example, if you use Google Ads, there are tools within that service that adjust your bids automatically to get you the most clicks or conversions for your budget.

Although using this strategy can save you a lot of work, monitoring your campaigns to ensure they're doing well and providing the desired results is still important.

Strategy 10: Automatically Updated Inventory Level

Updating inventory levels for your ecommerce store automatically is an effective way to manage stock and prevent overselling. 

This strategy can be implemented through ecommerce platforms like Shopify, BigCommerce, or WooCommerce, which have built-in inventory management systems to automate this process. 

🌟 Bonus: Also, if you are a Shopify store owner, you can automate your inventory by choosing an app that suits you from this "15 Shopify Inventory Management Apps of 2024 & Comparison" content.

Strategy 11: Automated Discounts Based on Inventory Levels or Scheduled Promotions

Promotions and discounts are powerful strategies to drive sales. Automating these based on inventory levels or predefined sales periods can help to balance demand, move inventory, and increase revenue.

If you've got overstock of a particular item, set up automatic promotions or discounts for these products to encourage sales and free up warehouse space.

For predefined sales periods, like Black Friday or end-of-season sales, schedule promotions in advance. You can set start and end dates for these promotions, and they will run automatically.

Strategy 12: AI Chatbots to Handle Initial Customer Inquiries 

AI chatbots can respond instantly to customer inquiries on your website, improving customer service efficiency and availability. Several are available, including popular ones like LiveChatAI, ManyChat, or Chatfuel. You can set up the AI chatbot with answers to common questions, direct it to helpful resources, or set up a process for customers to contact a human representative if needed.

For example, in the image below you see LiveChatAI's ecommerce use case.

AI Chatbot LiveChatAI's ecommerce use case.

Strategy 13: Automated Ticketing Systems

Ticketing systems make customer service management more organized and efficient. When a customer request comes in, the system automatically categorizes it and sends it to the correct team or team member.

You can choose from Zendesk, Freshdesk, or HappyFox and customize categories and ticket routing according to your needs. For example, you can categorize by type of problem, product group, or urgency.

Strategy 14: Automated Points Accumulation and Rewards Redemption

Implementing a loyalty program where customers can automatically gain points and redeem rewards can significantly increase customer engagement and loyalty.

There are specific tools you can integrate with your websites, like Shopify's "Loyalty, Rewards & Referrals," Magento's "Reward Points," or standalone platforms like LoyaltyLion or Yotpo.

For example, in the image below, Press's point rules could be effective because they offer a variety of ways to earn rewards, which can cater to different customer behaviors. Customers might earn points by purchasing and engaging with the brand on social media or referring friends.

Shopify store Press's loyalty program page

🌟 Bonus: If you have a Shopify store, I recommend you to read this tool comparison content, which we have examined in detail, along with how to use them: 12 Best Shopify Loyalty Apps of 2024: How to Choose & Setup 

Strategy 15: Automated Birthday or Anniversary Emails

Sending automated emails to celebrate a customer's birthday or the anniversary of their joining your shop can make them feel valued and encourage repeat business.

Set up an automated email sequence using email marketing software like MailChimp, Klaviyo, or Sendinblue. The software will automatically send an email to the customer on their birthday or sign-up anniversary.

For example, Dr Pepper's strategy to engage customers on special days or events, like its unique monthly celebration, can be effective. They offer tailored suggestions on enjoying their product, from morning routines to social media engagement. 

Dr Pepper's strategy to engage customers on special days or events, like its unique monthly celebration.

Strategy 16: Automated Emails Asking for Feedback After a Purchase

Collecting customer feedback after a purchase can provide valuable insights for your ecommerce business.  You can automate this process with emails asking for feedback after the customer has received their product. Define how long after a purchase the request email should be sent. This should consider shipping times, as generally, it's best to wait until you're confident the customer has received their order.

Strategy 17: Integrated Customer Reviews on Product Pages

Showing customer reviews on your product pages can help increase your credibility and drive conversions. 

Automating this process saves you time and ensures reviews are updated in real time. You can install a review management tool. Depending on your ecommerce platform, apps or plugins such as Yotpo, Bazaarvoice, or Reviews.io may be available to streamline this process.

Strategy 18: Automated Order Confirmation Emails and Shipping Notifications

Once a customer places an order, you can send them an immediate confirmation email. This assures them their order is being processed. Step it up by automating shipping updates. A notification goes out to the customer as soon as the purchase is shipped. This keeps your customer informed and content while saving you time and effort.

For example, you can send your customers automated order confirmation emails similar to what Haoma does. 

automated order confirmation email from Haoma

Strategy 19: Integration with Logistics Providers to Update Tracking Information Automatically

Real-time tracking is important to customers. You can manage this by integrating our ecommerce platform with the systems used by shipping partners. 

When a package passes through the logistics chain, the tracking information gets updated and returned to the customer. 

This level of automation reduces customer anxiety about order status and lessens the load on customer service teams by reducing shipping-related queries.

Strategy 20: Automated Returns Processing

You can use services like Returnly or Aftership that support automated returns. These allow customers to initiate a return through your website easily. 

You must customize the return workflow to match your specific policies, such as which products are eligible for returns and how long the return window is. 

Once it’s all setup, the system should automatically update your inventory whenever a return is processed.

By automating these ecommerce tasks, you can focus more on strategic aspects of your business while maintaining consistent, effective marketing practices. Each area has various tools and software designed to make automation easy and efficient.

Benefits of Ecommerce Marketing Automation: Why Should You Use?

Ecommerce marketing automation is about handling repetitive marketing tasks so that online businesses can operate more efficiently and provide customers with a personalized shopping experience.

It's helpful to segment customers based on their interests and preferences and create content that truly appeals to them.

This can make customers feel more engaged and loyal, ultimately increasing sales!

Based on Ascend2's 2023 marketing automation report, here are the top reasons marketers use ecommerce marketing automation:

  • Streamlining marketing and sales efforts: 35% of marketers automate to make marketing and sales more coordinated and efficient.
  • Improving customer engagement: 34% use automation to better engage with customers.
  • Improving customer experience: 34% also aim to enhance their customers' overall shopping and interaction experience.
  • Minimizing manual tasks: 30% adopt automation to reduce the number of manual tasks, saving time and effort.
  • Increasing number of leads captured: 28% implement automation to capture more potential customers.
  • Optimizing workflows: 25% use automation tools to make workflows smoother and more effective.
  • Improving lead quality: 24% focus on automation to improve the quality of the leads they generate.
  • Integrating/centralizing data: 21% automate to integrate better and centralize their data.
  • Improving marketing attribution: 17% use automation to better understand which marketing efforts work.
  • Improving multi-channel touch: 10% implement automation to enhance interactions across different marketing channels.

What are the Best Ecommerce Marketing Automation Tools?

There are numerous beneficial ecommerce marketing automation tools available. Here are some of the best:

  • Popupsmart: A key tool for automating lead generation. It allows e-commerce businesses to create customized popups, aimed at converting visitors into leads or customers triggered by specific user behaviors on the site.
  • HubSpot: Comprehensive platform for automating various marketing actions, including email marketing, customer segmentation, lead management, and data analytics. It streamlines marketing efforts, helps nurture leads, and enhances the marketing-sales alignment.
  • Mailchimp & Klaviyo: Specific for ecommerce email marketing automation, they facilitate building customer lists, launching targeted email campaigns, automating order confirmations or abandoned cart reminders, and analyzing campaign performance.
  • Shopify: This platform is not only an ecommerce store builder but also offers automation features for inventory management, discounts or sales promotions, SEO, and basic email marketing tasks.
  • Hootsuite & Buffer: As social media automation tools, they allow businesses to schedule posts across various platforms, automatically respond to DMs or comments, and generate analytics reports to measure the performance of social media campaigns.
  • Google Ads: Helpful for ecommerce businesses running PPC ad campaigns. Google Ads provides automated bidding strategies, optimizing ad placements, and adapts to real-time conversion trends for more efficient ad spending.
  • LiveChatAI: An AI chatbot tool that swiftly handles customer inquiries, automating replies to FAQs and guiding users towards valuable resources.
  • Zendesk & Freshdesk: For customer service automation, they offer features such as automated ticketing systems, that categorize and direct customer inquiries appropriately. This enables e-commerce businesses to respond timely and efficiently to customer concerns.
  • LoyaltyLion or Yotpo: These platforms support automated loyalty programs. They track customer points, send automated notifications about rewards, and encourage customers to make repeat purchases, boosting customer retention rates.

Final Thoughts & Insights for Ecommerce Marketing Automation

The ecommerce marketing automation strategies we've explored underline the importance of personalization, efficiency, and engagement. From harnessing AI technology to automate customer interactions and emails to leveraging dynamic ads and customized loyalty programs, these strategies help to create a personalized and seamless shopping experience.

Moreover, automated systems reduce the margin of manual error and ensure more accurate tracking, whether it's customer segmentation, inventory management, or real-time shipping updates. The ability to collect customer preferences, behaviors, and other data also allows you to refine your marketing strategies further.

However, it's crucial to understand that the extent and methods of automation would differ based on each business's unique requirements and capacities. 

The right balance ensures that the human touch in customer communication isn't lost; that is a key aspect of building customer relationships.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is the Most Important for Marketing Automation in Ecommerce?

The most important thing about marketing automation in e-commerce is understanding what your customers want and when they want it. Here's how it works:

  1. Personalize: Make customers feel special by showing them products they might like based on what they've bought or looked at before.
  2. Timing: If customers leave items in their shopping cart without buying, send them a friendly reminder email. If they haven't visited your store in a while, email them to say miss them.
  3. Keep It Smooth: Make sure customers have a straightforward and enjoyable shopping experience from start to finish.
  4. Learn from Data: Look at customer data to see what's popular. Use this information to make your marketing better.

2. Can Ecommerce Marketing Tasks Be Automated?

Yes, most ecommerce tasks can be automated, from lead generation to customer retention. This includes email marketing, customer segmentation, inventory and sales promotions management, customer service, order processing and shipping tracking, reviews and feedback collection, and much more. 

The aim is to automate repetitive or time-consuming tasks, allowing you and your team to focus more on strategy and growth.

3. What is an Example of Ecommerce Marketing Automation?

A common example of ecommerce automation is an email marketing campaign. When a customer signs up for your newsletter or makes a purchase, an automated system can send them a welcome or thank you email respectively. 

If they add items to their online shopping cart but leave the site without completing the purchase, an automated email can be sent reminding them of their abandoned cart.

These actions occur automatically according to predefined triggers, reducing manual effort and helping to maintain ongoing engagement with your customers.

Further Reading