7 Marketing Automation Ideas for Your eCommerce Site

How many visitors land on your site every day? A thousand? A few hundred thousand?

With an average conversion rate of an eCommerce site of 2.3%, you inevitably lose 97.7% of visitors. But you don’t have to.

By setting up simple marketing automation processes, you can increase conversion rates without having to spend a lot of time on manual tasks.

Automation tools are key to making your eCommerce strategies run smoother.

It's difficult to provide personalized offers to every customer in real time or convince each one with the perfect incentive for purchase. But, an automated workflow can help you do just that.

By engaging with visitors at the right times, you can significantly grow your conversion rates.

Want to set up marketing automation workflows and make the most out of each site visit?

We have a few ideas to share with you:

1. Build chatbot flows
2. Use pop-ups to reduce cart abandonment
3. Customize your visitor experiences
4. Display personalized recommendations
5. Retarget site visitors with personalized offers
6. Segment buyers automatically
7. Set up automated email sequences

Don't forget to also catch our concluding thoughts on whether automation really hurts personalization.

What’s eCommerce marketing automation?

It’s exactly what it sounds like.

Marketing automation is the use of software to handle tracking, customer communications, marketing campaigns, and other repetitive tasks.

In eCommerce, marketing automation not only helps to save the time of your teams but also allows you to deliver highly personalized customer experiences.

The simplest eCommerce marketing automation example in action is when a user receives a series of emails with discounted special offers on categories they’ve been browsing recently.

Examples of marketing automation and personalization

89% of U.S. marketers say website personalization has resulted in revenue growth for their companies.

Contrary to popular opinion, personalization goes hand in hand with automation.

While you may not be aware of every single action taken by each visitor on your website, your customer relationship management (CRM) software does. Provided that you have established the appropriate workflow.

With AI-powered tools, you can optimize your site to deliver an exceptional customer experience and stop losing prospects.

That being said, setting up automation workflows isn’t easy even if you use top-notch technology. It requires a clear understanding of your challenges, goals, customer behaviour, and the buyer’s journey.

  • What prevents you from driving more sales?
  • At which point do site visitors leave most often?
  • What do you want to achieve with a specific automation workflow? (define a specific goal, like increasing the average cart value by 15%)
  • How could you achieve that? (e.g. ‘We could offer complementary products at checkout)
  • What might prevent your prospects from buying from you?
  • When do customers typically return for more products?

These questions give you a better idea of the automation that your site is missing. When you answer them, you can move on to embracing marketing automation.

7 Marketing automation ideas from lead generation to customer engagement

In the following section, we’re covering ideas for automation that can be triggered by actions that your visitors take on your eCommerce site.

1. Build chatbot flows 🤖

First and foremost, chatbots.

More than 60% of customers say they’d rather turn to self-service tools, such as sites, apps, and chatbots, to get answers to their simple inquiries.

Implementing an AI-powered chatbot should be your first step towards providing a seamless experience for potential customers across different channels.

Here are the most effective use cases for chatbot automation: 

  • Fast support during the customer's research stage
  • Lead generation
  • Managing orders and sending shipping updates.

And here's how you can translate these into reality:

  • Connect your chatbot with your CRM platform
  • Make FAQs easily accessible within the chat screen
  • Make sure your chatbot is always online
  • Set up an automated message requesting the prospect’s email address before the conversation starts
  • Set up your AI chatbot to remember previous interactions with customers
  • Map out conversations
  • Define triggers for complementary or alternative product recommendations
  • Define triggers for sending relevant discounts
  • Define triggers for inviting live agents

The most important thing to keep in mind when setting up automation flows is that your chatbot isn’t almighty.

An effective eCommerce site is built on a bunch of automated workflows.

2. Use pop-ups to reduce shopping cart abandonment 📲

Out of 100 people who have added something to their cart, 70 will leave your site without making a purchase.

Meanwhile, the average conversion rate of a high-performing popup is 9.28%. Sometimes, this number reaches 50%.

By displaying the right popup to a prospect who’s about to leave your site, you can increase your revenues without taking any extra effort.

Yes, popups can be irritating. If you display one to a person who has just landed on your site, it can lead to a poor user experience.

However, when an exit popup appears at the right moment on the right page, it might be just the right action to make that person convert.

Adding a cart abandonment popup on your site is another simple but effective automation that every eCommerce marketer should set up. 

The trickiest part of creating this popup is identifying the right moment for displaying it. Most commonly, marketers go for exit-intent popups – banners that appear when a user moves a mouse outside the upper page boundary.

3. Create customized experiences for website visitors 💎

Ideally, your site should respond to visitors’ behaviour.

Showing recently viewed products to visitors not only improves their experience on the website but also increases the average order value.

Once a visitor lands on a website, a plugin or your eCommerce platform’s functionality should start remembering the products they’re browsing and show them in the recently viewed product section.

You can display recently viewed products in the form of a widget placed at the bottom of the page or as a separate page.

4. Display personalized recommendations on the website ⭐️

Did you know that consumers spend 40% more time shopping when they receive personalized recommendations?

With today’s technology, you can design personalized customer journeys right on your site.

Recommending products visitors might be interested in based on their behaviour can help improve their shopping experience drastically.

Displaying personalized recommendations is also an effective way to cross-sell or upsell customers.

You can’t have a real salesperson following each customer’s journey on your eCommerce site. But you can set up a chatbot or the ‘You may also like’ section (or both!) to reach prospects with unique product recommendations while they’re exploring products on your site.

Automated product recommendations can be powered by:

  • The user demographics, like location, gender, age, etc.
  • The user’s purchase history
  • The user’s browsing history

Regardless of which data you choose to build your personalization strategy on, your eCommerce CMS system should allow you to automate this process easily.

5. Retarget site visitors with personalized offers

When the on-site customer experience is taken care of, it’s time to expand automation flows to external channels.

If you run paid advertising campaigns, setting up a retargeting pixel is a must. Whatever advertising channel you use – be it Google Adwords or any alternative solution retargeting is most likely to be a part of its functionality. 

When you install your chosen platform’s pixel on your site, you can specify the criteria that will power your future retargeting campaigns.

For instance, you can choose to track customers who are interested in specific product categories and reach them with discounts on products within these categories. 

Retargeting not only increases ad engagement rates but also boosts the site’s conversion rates. Users who visit a website after clicking on a retargeting ad are 70% more likely to convert compared to those who haven’t been retargeted.

6. Segment buyers automatically

When a person makes a purchase, their customer journey doesn’t end.

Now, you can use automation to turn buyers into loyal customers and increase repeat purchases.

How is it possible? Start with automated customer segmentation.

First of all, the lead capture form each customer fills in when making a purchase should request information that can serve as criteria for segmentation.

For instance, along with requesting shipping addresses and contact details, it’s good to ask for the reason a customer buys the product (is it a gift?). 

Next, connect the form to your CRM platform and define how you want to use the data you receive from your customers. Is it the order value that can be the main criteria for grouping customers? Is it the location? Is it the type of product? 

When you define the segmentation criteria, your CRM tool will automatically separate your customers into groups, which will allow you to target them with personalized campaigns in the future.

7. Set up automated email sequences

Finally, when automated flows have helped you to convert and group your customers, you can strengthen your relationship with personalized email sequences.

Inside your CRM platform, create different email automation flows that will be sent out to customers in different segments. Here are some of the most effective automated email sequence ideas:

  • Welcome new leads and customers with personalized offers;
  • Reward repeat customers with discounts;
  • Follow up with customers to learn about their experience with the products they’ve purchased recently;
  • Send out product recommendations based on the recent browsing history;
  • Follow up with customers who haven’t bought from you for some time;
  • Reach products who have abandoned the cart, etc.

Automated email marketing sequences can work literally for any objective. You just need to understand your buyer’s journey and make sure your customer segmentation works properly.

Does automation really hurt personalization?

Ecommerce marketing automation is a powerful tool for driving first-time purchases, keeping customers engaged, and encouraging repeat purchases.

Of course, it wouldn’t be possible if it didn’t improve personalization.

Using AI in eCommerce can help you with this and hence significantly enhance the customer experience.

Whether it's AI chatbots, timely popups, or automated email marketing – all these solutions allow you to create a personalized experience for your online customers.

To enjoy the benefits of marketing automation, put your customer experience first when designing a new flow.

Learn how you can personalize the customer experience and make it easier with marketing automation by booking a demo with us today.

*This article is a guest post written by Adelina Karpenkova, a content marketer at Joinative,