Automation is an essential part of eCommerce marketing that helps teams reduce manual tasks, work more efficiently, and maximize their marketing spend.
However, automation is also challenging for lots of companies, as many aspects of marketing can potentially be automated, including:
The problem is that very few tools can automate all of these processes. As a result, companies often get stuck trying to integrate disconnected systems while essential details—like actually building the right automation strategies—slip through the cracks.
But with the right marketing automation software, you can build and automate campaigns across all channels you’re using and personalize them to each customer’s behaviors, interests, and preferred touchpoints.
In this guide, we’ll discuss everything you need to know about eCommerce marketing automation, including:
The Benefits of eCommerce Marketing Automation
8 proven eCommerce marketing automation strategies (with real-life examples)
6 best eCommerce marketing automation tools (& how to choose the right one)
We’ll also use Insider—our platform for creating individualized, cross-channel customer experiences—to show how you can implement key automation strategies for your business.
Insider can help you build and automate consistent, personalized journeys across all touchpoints customers have with your brand—from your website and mobile app to channels like email, SMS, and WhatsApp. Visit our website or schedule a demo with our team to learn more.
Automating different aspects of your eCommerce marketing comes with five BIG benefits:
Additionally, marketing automation can be beneficial for cross-team collaboration. For example, a good automation strategy can help marketing and sales teams stay on the same page regarding the quality and pipeline stage of each lead.
In this section, we’ll break down the best automation strategies you can use to streamline operations and improve key metrics like conversion rates, average order value (AOV), and customer acquisition costs (CAC).
You’ll also see examples of how our clients used many of these strategies and the results they saw after implementing them.
Automated welcome email sequences (sometimes called lead nurture campaigns) are a classic eCommerce marketing strategy.
The goal is simple—getting email subscribers to make their first purchase as quickly and cheaply as possible.
While you can create the same onboarding flow for all subscribers, personalizing the onboarding to each user segment can yield much better results. For example, you can:
For instance, Remix used a three-step automated email flow to onboard and nurture leads.
First, if new subscribers didn’t make a purchase one week after registering, Remix sent an email prompting them to save their preferred search filters.
Then, after a few days, a second email was triggered, showcasing a list of brands available on the site and how to mark one as a favorite. The final email contained useful details about combining orders and saving money on shipping.
This campaign resulted in a 104% jump in first purchases compared to the previous quarter.
Cart abandonment campaigns are another eCommerce classic.
Again, the concept is simple—you take a segment of users who added an item to their carts without completing their purchase and remind them to do so. You can even add discounts and limited-time offers to induce action.
These automated reminders can be sent on various channels. For example, some of the channels Insider offers natively are:
Sending price drop and inventory alerts is a great way to engage:
For example, you can easily set up Insider to send an email, SMS, WhatsApp message, or Web Push notification to your subscriber list base when your best-selling items are back in stock.
Or, you can narrow down your audience with our AI-powered predictive segments and price drop alerts only to customers with a high discount affinity.
That way, you’re showing discounts only to the people most likely to engage with them, instead of wasting them on users who would’ve bought a product anyway.
Retargeting is showing ads to users who have visited your site, mobile app, or social media profiles.
These ads are typically shown on social media apps like Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok, on Google search, or on Google’s Display Network.
While powerful, digital ads can get expensive, so it’s crucial to make the most out of your retargeting efforts.
That’s why Insider lets you use our predictive audiences (which we showed in the previous section) for more precise ad targeting.
In fact, Monster Notebook used this strategy to improve the results of their Google Display retargeting ads.
First, they combined our predictive ad audiences with data from the Google ads they were running. Then, they integrated these audiences into 10 ad groups and targeted them using two remarketing lists. Over the 13-month period in which Monster Notebook used this strategy, they saw a:
For years, eCommerce brands have used chatbots as a 24/7 customer service channel and on-site conversion tool. And today’s advances in AI and natural language processing have increased the power of chatbots even more.
For example, many chatbots can answer typical questions like “Where’s my order?” or “What are your shipping options?” instantly, without requiring a live agent to intervene. They can also recognize more complex queries and direct users to pre-set flows to resolve their issues.
Here are a few chatbot automation ideas that can help you improve product discovery and increase your site’s conversion rate:
You can easily implement these and many other chatbot automation tactics with a solution like MindBehind.
The higher your conversion rates, the more you’re making out of the budget spent to bring visitors to the site. That’s why boosting conversion rates is essential for maximizing your marketing budget and improving profit margins.
One of the best ways to optimize your conversions is by automatically personalizing your store’s content, messaging, and product recommendations to each visitor’s behaviors and interests.
For example, Insider’s personalization engine lets you:
For more details on this topic, check out our guide to maximizing revenue with website personalization.
Early churn is among the biggest issues for eCommerce businesses today. That’s why having a way to detect which customers are about to churn and automatically engage them in time is essential for improving revenue and LTV.
Insider helps you do this with our Recency, Frequency, and Monetary value (RFM) segmentation.
First, RMF detects users who were active in the past but have recently reduced their browsing and transaction frequency. Then, our platform shows you where these drop-offs in activity occur and lets you create automated re-engagement campaigns.
Here are two examples of companies that used this strategy to re-engage dormant customers and prevent churn:
This final strategy is more complex to implement. However, when done currently, it can transform your customers’ experience into a consistent, individualized journey across all touchpoints with your brand.
Architect lets you create and automate cross-channel customer journeys, A/B test different paths in them, and analyze their results.
For example, say you have a user segment with an affinity for discounts and an interest in certain categories and price ranges. You can have Insider send them personalized emails three hours after they browsed your online store without buying.
If that doesn’t work, you can follow up with SMS or WhatsApp messages containing dynamic product recommendations and a discount code. Finally, you can instruct Insider to wait until there’s a price reduction and re-engage them on the channel most likely to help you reach your goals (thanks to our AI-powered next-best channel predictions).
In fact, many of the companies we looked at earlier used Architect to implement their automated workflows:
For a more detailed example, you can check out our case study with fashion brand NA-KD. They used Insider to deliver personalized experiences to customers across email, SMS, and web push, resulting in a 25% increase in LTV and 72x return on investment (ROI) over the first 12 months.
As you can tell, successful marketing automation relies heavily on software. At the same time, there are many versatile solutions for automating different aspects of your eCommerce marketing, including:
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to choosing the right tool (or set of tools) for you. That’s why we’ll start this section by discussing the three factors you need to evaluate when comparing the different options.
Outside of common-sense considerations like budget and business needs, there are three essential factors to consider when comparing marketing automation tools for your eCommerce store:
Before we dive into the best automation solutions, two quick notes:
Insider brings together the most extensive personalization capabilities for established channels like on-site and email, as well as emerging ones like WhatsApp, RCS, Facebook Messenger, and SMS.
As we showed throughout this guide, Insider offers many ways to automate marketing messages, content, and recommendations across all channels you’re using. In fact, our cross-platform automation tool is essential for many of our eCommerce customers:
“Insider’s journey orchestration solution, Architect, has been a boon for us as it has enabled us to scale up our cross-channel marketing strategy by leaps and bounds. Through Architect, we were able to create orchestrated journeys across channels like web push, email, and SMS and integrate that with our existing mobile app communication. Architect’s AI-powered Next Best Channel capability has been super critical in taking our engagement game up further because it suggests the ideal channel to communicate with our customers.”
Additionally, Insider’s combination of broad channel support, personalization functionalities, and cross-channel automation features lets you save time, effort, and resources by:
Besides the automation use cases we explored earlier, Insider can also help you:
Finally, Insider’s extensive template library and experienced support team will help you implement the right automation strategies for your business as fast as possible.
For an in-depth look at how Insider works, book a live demo with our team.
Omnisend is an eCommerce automation platform for email, SMS, and web push. Marketing teams use it to run synchronized SMS and email marketing campaigns, as well as retarget customers with web push notifications and social media ads (via the audience sync feature). Besides these core capabilities, Omnisend also has a popup and form builder.
Klaviyo is a marketing platform that helps teams create and automate email and SMS marketing campaigns. It has features for creating customer profiles and segmenting users based on preset or custom properties and attributes. Some of its other campaign management features include send-time optimization and a drag-and-drop builder.
Drip is an eCommerce marketing automation platform for creating email and on-site campaigns. It has a drag-and-drop editor for building automated emails and omnichannel campaigns, although those have to be set up via integrations with other tools. Drip also offers dynamic segmentation features for organizing email lists and sending targeted messages.
ActiveCampaign is a unique entry to this list, as it combines features for both marketing and sales teams. The platform offers standard email marketing automation capabilities, like autoresponders, scheduling, and transactional emails. At the same time, it also has a CRM and a lead-scoring feature for sales teams.
Mailchimp is one of the pioneering email marketing tools for small businesses. The company was acquired by Intuit in 2021, but the email marketing product still exists today. Besides the standard email features, Mailchimp offers AI-powered copy suggestions and a customer journey builder for setting up automated workflows.
Insider can help you create and automate personalized, cross-channel campaigns across all customer touchpoints—from your website and mobile app to channels like email, SMS, WhatsApp, Facebook Messenger, and more.
Our enterprise marketing platform can also:
Lastly, our easy channel integrations, experienced customer support team, and extensive templates will help you implement the right automation strategies and start improving revenue, AOV, and LTV as fast as possible.
eCommerce marketing automation is a system of tools automating marketing tasks for online retailers. It includes email campaigns, customer segmentation, personalized recommendations, and cart recovery. This enhances efficiency and delivers tailored shopping experiences to boost sales.
Start with customer segmentation for targeted messaging. Automate email campaigns, product recommendations, and cart recovery. Analyze campaign performance and automate social media posts. Collect feedback and implement retention strategies for lasting customer relationships.
I am passionate about helping retailers and brands to acquire, understand, retain, reward and grow their customer base in e-commerce, hospitality, retail and service sectors. Working with CX and digital marketing strategies. Currently working with the worlds first integrated GMP - Growth Management Platform to manage all customer touch points with an AI powered unified data layer, creating a true single customer view.