Powering ecommerce success with the best tech stack

dotmailer recently gathered at the inaugural Shopify Plus meetup in New York City for an evening of fun, networking and education on this very topic. We brought together some big minds and bright ideas from retailers Minbie, dormify and Campus Protein to touch on firsthand lessons learned when negotiating contracts, getting the most out of your partner/vendor support teams, and learning about best-of-breed Shopify Plus technology partners (including Nosto, Addressy and TVPage).

The panel theme ‘Picking Your Ideal Tech Stack’ was moderated by Ben Staveley, dotmailer’s VP of Operations. One of the common pain points shared by the merchants was that they all have relatively small teams that need to wear a lot of hats. They offered some valuable tips that businesses of all sizes should consider when evaluating a technology solution.

When evaluating partners and their technology solutions, Russell Saks, CEO & Founder, Campus Protein, said:

The product needs to be one that is fairly intuitive. Before we actually schedule a demo it needs to be something that we are highly considering. Time is valuable and what typically follows is a lot of sales calls. We also evaluate what kind of extra customization we can add to an out-of-the-box piece of software. This allows us to have a better fit for our business and also gives us a competitive advantage. You have to remember everyone has the same access to the software that you do so it’s really how you utilize and fit it into your business that will truly give you that edge.

Our VP of Operations, Ben Staveley

Nicole Gardner, Chief Operating Officer, dormify suggested:

As partners evolve, others become irrelevant. We are always watching this so we are not wasting time/money as a company on non-performers. Look not just at what the tool does, but what is planned, how quickly the vendor/partner is releasing new features, and how often they have in the past. We expect everyone to be regularly releasing new features – in this day and age, an aggressive roadmap is essential.

 

According to Torquhil Anderson, Co Founder, Minbie:

There is always the temptation to gravitate towards the shiny new thing. Avoid this by applying a framework to rank which tools will actually move the needle most for your business. Once you have made your decision, don’t deliberate, just get in there and get your hands dirty. It’s only through testing the platform that you will truly see whether it adds value to your business.

To summarize the evening, merchants are looking to evaluate solutions that deliver the best ROI and those that continue to evolve as the needs of their eCommerce businesses evolve. For more information, check out why merchants are moving to Shopify Plus.

Not just education, we also said fun, right? Some refreshing Tipsy Scoop ice cream was a welcome treat on this hot summer night shared by many of our friends, partners and colleagues. We look forward to the next outing!

The post Powering ecommerce success with the best tech stack appeared first on The Marketing Automation Blog.

Reblogged 1 month ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Email marketing for ecommerce

As a marketer you know the importance of data. Without it you don’t know who your customer is, how to target them and, even worse, you don’t know how your activity is performing.

When you sell online your ecommerce platform collects a lot of data. Your chosen platform knows who your customers are, where they live and what they buy. It also knows about all your products.

Wouldn’t it be great to use all that data in your email marketing, without having to get a team of developers to do all the work to integrate the platforms? Wouldn’t it be amazing if you could do it all yourself, and have the data flowing in minutes?

Well today might be your lucky day.

Introducing Commerce Flow

We’ve built our new Commerce Flow platform to make it easy for retailers to get data from their online store into dotmailer. By using Commerce Flow your customer, subscriber, product and order data will be made available in your dotmailer account without the need to bribe your developers to get the work done.
Once that data is in dotmailer you can use it to target your customer with laser-precision; personalise emails, easily showcase your products and power automation in record time.

The platform is currently compatible with Shopify Plus, Shopify and BigCommerce, but we’re not stopping there. Soon Commerce Flow will be compatible with over 50% of the world’s online stores, with additional support for WooCommerce and Shopware.

We look after the tough stuff

A welcome email is one of the most important emails for a new customer. Use our drag and drop Program Builder to design a welcome program, and you can use Commerce Flow to automatically enrol every new subscriber. You’ll be able to easily visualize the customer journey and engage every new contact without lifting a finger.

Set-up is super easy, and once it’s done you won’t have to worry about it again. Choose the data fields you want to sync and enjoy automatic targeting for both new customers and checkout abandoners.

“But I use Magento”

As a Premier Technology Partner of Magento, our integration with Magento 1 and 2 offers an even deeper connection. dotmailer for Magento gives you advanced data sync, along with detailed sync reports and single sign on. Plus, if you ever have a problem, our team of experts are on hand to help 24 hours a day, five days a week.

Drive your business with smarter targeting

Having seamless access to your ecommerce data allows better targeting on a mass scale. Score points for personalization and deliver relevant messages by using order history and customer information to create highly focused content for every contact.

Whether you’re using Commerce Flow or our Magento integration, our ecommerce partnerships allow you to better drive store revenue with your email marketing.

If you want to use Commerce Flow, we can help you get started. If you’re using Shopify, Shopify Plus or BigCommerce, you can get going today. If you’re using another platform, let us know.

The post Email marketing for ecommerce appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 3 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

5 ecommerce automation programs that make email an essential marketing channel for retailers

Customer relationships are like any relationship – you need to put in the effort to make them work.  After the initial excitement of meeting, it’s important to keep letting them know you care and are there for them.

This is tricky enough in a 1 to 1 relationship.  When you, a retailer, have hundreds, thousands or possibly even millions of relationships to maintain, it’s impossible to do so manually, so use the tools available to you to take out the heavy lifting without letting engagement suffer.

Luckily, using customer data – their actions or inaction – you can send messages to your base tailored to where they are in their relationship with you, not where you are in your marketing plan.

Event triggered marketing and automation is highly effective way of keeping the love alive, while saving you time and money that you can reinvest in moving your business forward.

Here are 5 simple programs that will help your relationship tick over…

Thank you for subscribing

The first email any retailer should send their customers is, very simply, a thank you.

We’ve all seen stories and statistics on inbox overcrowding, so, if a customer has given you their email address you should recognize this is a privilege and thank them at the point of sign up.

You can extend this ‘thank you’ and send a short, automated welcome series, and use this opportunity to get to know each other better.  Retailers can use this opportunity to educate your new subscriber on the full range of your products, and in turn, invite your customer to provide further data and preferences on your site.

Automated Thank you or Welcome programs, when used effectively, help build brand engagement, trust and set expectations for a positive buyer seller relationship from the start.

Abandon cart

The people over at the Baymard Institute have compiled a survey review of the various reports available on online shopping behavior, and have concluded the average number of people abandoning their shopping cart is just over 69%.  This is a huge amount of potential lost revenue.

Reasons for customers abandoning vary.  They need either more time, more money, or more option to compare so make sure to send a timely reminder that you’re still there when they’re ready to purchase.

Depending on your product, the consideration cycle will range from 30 minutes to 30 days.  Use the insight you have available to target customers with an automated reminder message before they’re enticed away by your competitors. Around 63% of baskets are recoverable – find out more here.

New Information

If, like most retailers, you want optimum brand engagement through having your customers to engage with you across several online avenues then, there should be channel specific benefits to them doing so.

The same is true with email, and retailers can effectively make their beloved customers feel they are getting value from subscribing by automating worthwhile information for them.

Providing that you can get the product feeds into your email platform, you can send customers notifications on new stock, price drops or reviews to keep them engaged during the sale cycle.  Keeping them up to date on what matters most to them is a great way to show you that you really care.

It’s your birthday

As with any good relationship you’re trying to nurture, anniversaries are important.

You can choose what anniversary you want to acknowledge based on what makes sense for your business – sign up date, purchase date (high ticket items),or a customer’s actual birthday.  Using the date provided you can send a short personalized message to commemorate the date and given them a voucher, upgrade or other incentive you see fit.

This personalized touch of surprise and delight creates a deeper relationship and is a quick win to keeping your customers happy.

We miss you

If it looks like your customer is losing interest, you don’t have to let them walk away.

Convincing them to stay is easier when they’re still with you than once they’ve unsubscribed.  If a loyal customer has stopped buying from you then treat this like anyone else you’re trying to win over.  Make the effort to get in touch, help them feel special, remind them why you’re good for them, and if needs be, maybe give them a little incentive to come back to you.

Done well, the act of recognizing the relationship isn’t what it was will reignite the feeling that were once there, and if not, then, you tried and you know it’s over.

 

The Golden rule is that if you’ve got the data, you can automate the message. Start simple and scale, it’ll make all the difference to your relationships.

The post 5 ecommerce automation programs that make email an essential marketing channel for retailers appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 5 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

5 ecommerce content hacks that give you a competitive edge

In fact, it feels like the same thing happens every time you launch a promotion. Every holiday. Every deal. Every product. The big retailers can just drop price to win more customers. And then they throw on free shipping to sweeten the deal.

You can’t follow that race to the bottom. But you also can’t keep losing customers to larger competitors. It’s frustrating. Your business offers so much more than price. That’s where your expertise and great content marketing comes in…

Non-product content is your competitive edge

The Content Marketing Institute found that conversion rates for businesses that use content marketing strategies are nearly six times higher than their competitors’. If that wasn’t enough, content marketing leaders experience 7.8 times more site traffic than non-leaders.

You need to go beyond product descriptions and manufacturer specifications to get that type of performance. Blogs, how-to videos, customer stories, and social proof are excellent ways you can provide value, increase loyalty, and stand out from the competition.

You may already be producing some or all of those types of content. You may even be seeing some results. That’s great!

Now you need to take it to the next level to win against the mega stores. Here are five ecommerce content hacks that can give you a competitive edge. Better yet, these tips are easy to execute and are proven to get results.

1. End every email with a “P.S.”

Here’s a simple tactic to upgrade your next email campaign. Add a “P.S.” after the signature or call-to-action of your email.

A P.S. at the end of your email says “Psst. There’s even more good stuff.” The P.S. is the perfect place to stop selling and start sharing your valuable stories and cool how-to information. Doing so will drive more traffic to your site.

You can link to relevant how-to and tutorial videos. Show the joy of an existing customer unboxing the product. Or give away valuable examples of the product in action, like look books, recipes, or wish lists.

2. Make your search box a rich experience

The search box for your online store should be more than a place where shoppers type in some keywords and hope for the best. You want to speed up their search by presenting suggested keywords as they type.

You can make your search box even more productive when you show relevant non-product content in search suggestions. That’s rich search autocomplete that shoppers love.

 

Adore Beauty has always loved to show beautiful product images to attract shoppers. But they needed more. They created a winning strategy by displaying targeted shopping guides in their autocomplete.

For example, start typing “lipstick,” and you are presented with The Ultimate Guide to Lip Care, and articles on The Best Lip Care Options for Men (… how did they know? J) and The Best Natural Lip Products for Everyone. Now, more than 30% of the site’s revenue comes from the 10% of Adore Beauty shoppers who use site search.

3. Display non-product content in search results

If non-product content works as shoppers type into the search box, then do the same thing in search results. The search results page is ideal for building excitement for the products your shoppers are looking to buy. Customers are more likely to buy if they can get information before they get to the product page.

For instance, Andersen Windows serves up product search results with support information and technical documents. Customers see the spec sheets, installation guides, and how-to videos so that they can better choose the right product for them.

No need to surf around to get that helpful info. It’s right there. Andersen Windows has just shortened the path to purchase.

4. Repackage existing content into episodes

It is time to begin to release your own, episode-based content. A YouTube series, Instagram stories, or a podcast are much more than producing visual or audio content. It’s a story. And everyone loves a good story.

You may be familiar with Gary Vaynerchuk and how he started with Wine Library TV. He talked passionately about great wines and labeled each video with a number. He produced over 1000 episodes. That helped transform his family’s local wine store into a massive online business.

Episodes have two advantages. First, you can simply repackage the stories, tutorials, and examples that you already have into a series. So it’s easy on you to produce.

Second, your audience grows accustomed to the style of information you’ll be providing. You build expectation for what’s next. That makes you stick out in their memories.

Your audience loyalty goes way up with episodic content. As a result, open rates for promotional emails go up, traffic is perpetually increasing, and repeat customers keep buying again and again.

5. Turn FAQs into sales

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) pages are notoriously dull. They usually don’t change often either. Yet you field great questions from customers every single day.

Don’t be afraid to display questions that customers actually have and in their language. That’s the best way to help customers make a choice faster. Answer the questions in a creative way. Your responses help engage your customers, demonstrate your knowledge, and show your brand’s personality.

Plus, customer questions can also fuel ideas for other content across all your site and marketing channels. Try these:

  • Create shopping guides for product categories or sub-categories
  • Dive deep into product-specific questions on the product pages
  • Publish a themed playlist on your YouTube channel
  • Go live with a Q&A session on Facebook Live, Instagram or Snapchat

REI is one retailer that makes great use of FAQs. The outdoor retailer fields actual questions from its customers and turns them into expert advice videos on its REI Find Out YouTube channel. The effort positions the brand as an authority. And shoppers are more likely to buy.

These five content hacks are simple to execute. You already have the knowledge. You love your customers. Just show it in the most impactful locations of your website and communications.

As a result, your customers will love you back. They’ll purchase from you and not just go price shopping at the mega retailers.

 

This guest post was created by Bob Angus from SLI Systems.

The post 5 ecommerce content hacks that give you a competitive edge appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 8 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Opportunities to improve your ecommerce site search experience

Opportunities to improve your ecommerce site search experience

 

The way we use the internet, including on ecommerce stores, is changing rapidly. More and more of us are choosing to shop online using our tablets and smartphones, rather than desktop computers. This, coupled with a gradual moving away from category-based menu systems, is bringing search into the spotlight, as consumers demand a quick and easy way to find exactly what they are looking for when shopping online. This is even more applicable on mobile devices.

As a result, growing numbers of retailers are starting to realise the potential that a strong, feature-rich search solution has for their business, and are exploring ways in which their own search offering can be overhauled to provide a better customer experience. In this article, we look at some of the ways that ecommerce site search can be improved, in order to bring it up to date with the latest developments in search technology and best practice.

1.   Implement an NLP-based search tool

Natural language processing (NLP) and machine learning are taking the ecommerce world by storm, shaking up various functions of an online store, including search, product recommendations and merchandising. More advanced, enterprise-level search solutions, like Klevu, use NLP to understand more about the query, in order to match results more accurately.

In search, natural language processing is used to understand more about the query, allowing the technology to answer what are essentially more complex asks. An example of a query that NLP would help with could be “salmon coloured backpack with a front pocket” – in this instance, Klevu would extract the data and use NLP to understand the key variables in the query and match to the terms that are used in catalog.

This context-driven, meaning-based approach of NLP means that search results are finally relevant to the customer’s search phrase. Clearly, the more accurate that search results become, the more likely the customer is to find what they want and actually make a purchase. The benefits go way beyond that initial purchase though, as a happy customer quickly becomes a loyal customer, returning again and again to a site that they feel really understands them as an individual.

Promote the use of your search function

From what we’ve seen with our clients, the use of on-site search has risen in recent years (generally around 10% – 25% of all users, depending on the prominence of the search box and the nature of the store), due in part to the growth in mobile internet usage. Despite this and the reports available in web analytics platforms (which generally show an uplift in search-led user journeys), it’s surprising to see that many online retailers are not positioning their search box more prominently – especially given that many of the market-leading merchants position search as a primary navigation option (eBay, AO.com, John Lewis, Amazon).

A prominent, bold search box that is clearly defined and easy to find could make a considerable difference for many retailers, helping users to find their desired product(s) quicker. Using language that encourages users to search, such as “search by product name, code, category or type” rather than a tiny magnifying glass icon, could also make a big impact. This is important on desktop, but far more so on mobile, as finding products via categories can be laboursome and increase the time to purchase considerably.

Include content search in results

When a visitor uses the search function on an ecommerce site, they could be at any stage in their purchasing journey. Some will be ready to commit to a purchase, others will be at the start of their journey, and could be looking for information about the product or about the store they are visiting. Including content pages in site search results can improve the customer experience for these early-stage customers, by giving them the information they are asking for. A search for ‘delivery’ or ‘returns’ should show the store’s delivery and returns pages, rather than some random products that somehow happen to have a keyword match, or no results at all.

Similarly, showing size guides, detailed specifications, product reviews, blog content and even buying guides could really help convert that information-hungry potential customer. Content search is not common on ecommerce stores currently, but it’s something that is gaining traction, as search tools become richer and more customer-focussed.

Use a good auto-suggest / predictive search

When a customer searches on an ecommerce store, they are generally trying to find something quickly. By adding ‘as-you-type’ product and category suggestions into the store’s search function, you are able to speed up that search dramatically. If the search is powered by an NLP-driven solution, product and category suggestions are likely to be accurate and highly relevant and can serve results that aren’t purely based on the keywords being used.

People inevitably make typing mistakes, or are unfamiliar with the spelling of brand names or products. Auto-suggest can kick in to present likely results after just three or four characters are typed into the search box. This reduces the potential for errors and speeds up access to results, with the end result being that the customer moves closer to a successful purchase transaction.

Implement a rich search interface

Using auto-suggest is just one part of a trend towards speeding up the search experience. Introducing a richer ‘quick results’ interface for search is another way that results can be presented more efficiently and faster to the customer. These panels will typically show thumbnails of the first few results, along with a link to view all results.

However, progressive retailers are also including links to relevant categories, content links, and even faceted search options in their dropdowns. This approach in a lot of cases takes the entire search process into the drop-down panel, removing or reducing the need for the traditional search results page. Redsgear.com, an outdoor gear specialist, has a great example of a rich search dropdown that also features infinite scroll to show all results.

Merchandise your results

Assuming an NLP-driven engine has been adopted to power search results for a site, the next step is to merchandise those results, to drive the maximum volume of sales. Search merchandising is made up of a number of component parts, but the key one for the more advanced merchants is around weighting the results.

A key requirement, especially for merchants with larger product catalogs, is the ability to weight key products, attributes and categories to ensure that the best products for the user and the business are being served. An example of this could be a fashion retailer weighting their top-selling products and also boosting a ‘summer’ attribute when they’re going into the new season, meaning their summer products will be promoted for their chosen queries.
One of the key features of Klevu is its self-learning technology, which adds a layer of boosting based on how users interact with results. As an example, if lots of users are clicking through and purchasing a specific product, this will be displayed higher for the relevant queries. The key drivers for this are purchases, ‘add to carts’ and clicks, which can make a big difference to the relevance and quality of results, particularly for longer-tail queries.

Improve zero results page

For stores using traditional keyword-driven search tools, the zero results page is an all-too-familiar occurrence and, be it far less, it still exists when using the most advanced technologies. Rather than simply stating ‘No results found’ or even suggesting that the customer has somehow made a mistake, a better approach is to try to salvage something from the situation and encourage the user to continue their journey.

We generally recommend that merchants display links to the most popular results and even a product recommendations block.

Analyse search data to improve product listings

We’ve focused so far on design and functional changes that can improve the search experience for online shoppers. One other key opportunity is in the area of search reporting and analytics. By examining site search statistics on a regular basis, it should be possible to make significant, material improvements to a store’s product catalog.

Identifying repeat searches that have a low conversion rate, despite there being an obvious set of products that should be converting for those phrases, could allow retailers to address issues in the product listings for those items. Products may have weak listings that could be improved, links to size guides might be added, or the product in question may have inventory errors that need to be corrected, which are preventing customers from buying those items. Analysing the poor performers in this way should provide trading opportunities for the store, and should also improve the customer experience over the long term, as they find it easier to locate the items they are looking for.
We’ll be doing a follow-up post around understanding the value of search in the coming months.

For ecommerce stores, it can be hard to reach decisions on how and where to invest in third party systems, for maximum ROI. Looking at on-site search, however, could actually prove to be one of the most beneficial strategic decisions that a retailer could make, and could potentially generate substantial long-term improvements, by way of increased conversion rates, order values and repeat transactions, as well as optimised user journeys.

The post was written by Paul Rogers, who works for Klevu. Klevu is a leading eCommerce search solution, which offers a wide range of advanced features for mid-level and enterprise-level online retailers, including natural language processing, self-learning capabilities, advanced merchandising & boosting rules and in-depth reporting. Klevu can be used alongside any eCommerce platform and they have direct, plug-and-play solutions for Magento 1, Magento 2 and Shopify.

The post Opportunities to improve your ecommerce site search experience appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 9 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Ecommerce email marketing – Best practices to triple your sales

Unlike the one-to-many communication model used across social media platforms, blogs and advertisements, ecommerce email marketing works on a simple, one-to-one basis. If you perfect your email campaigns, you’re almost guaranteed to boost sales, improve customer loyalty and build your ecommerce brand image within no time.

Whether it’s a monthly update, a welcome email or an upcoming sale notification, these tips will put your business ahead of the curve.

Keep it personal

Emails are a direct form of marketing communication, so you’ll want to keep your messages light and personal. And it all starts with the greeting. Sending out countless detached, irrelevant emails isn’t going to get you or your business very far; customers like to feel as though you’ve carefully crafted an email specifically for them.

Something as simple as adding the customer’s name in the greeting is a good start. Consumers would much rather open an email to read something like, “Good morning, Karen!” instead of a general mass greeting. With the right email marketing provider, a simple automated personalization tool can make this task easy.

Another way to keep your emails personal, yet professional, is to add dynamic content. Dynamic content is content that changes based on the preference or the demographics of your customers, which allows your business to target individual subscribers. Adding dynamic content to your emails could be as easy as switching the image that is displayed for your male subscribers versus your female subscribers.

Make it clear as to who you are

Once you’ve selected a personal greeting, let your customers know who you are. The more information you provide, the less likely your email will be tossed into the spam pile.

Every person wants to know the following three things when they receive an email:

  • Who is writing to me?
  • Why are they writing to me?
  • What to do they want me to do?

You want to make sure the “who” part is answered almost immediately upon opening, as this is the basis for legitimizing the rest of the email.

Grab their attention

Think about the subject line before shooting off an email with something generic. It should be engaging and interesting enough for the receiver to open the email. Remember, your email is competing against several other “unread” messages sitting in their inbox, so why should they open yours? The subject line is the first thing readers see – think of it as a first impression.

Keep it short and sweet

Keeping your emails concise is crucial. While you may be tempted to cram in as much information as possible, do refrain. Follow these three rules: make your email:

  • Exclusive – let your readers know they’ve received this email because they’re special. For example, let them know they are the “first to know” about your newest products or offer them an “exclusive discount.”
  • Urgent – try and make the proposition a limited-time offer.
  • Simple – don’t crowd the email with too many visuals or information. Stick to one or two calls-to-action and one or two key messages.

Remember: People want to know who you are, why you are contacting them, and what you want them to do, all within a few sentences or paragraphs.

Double and triple check everything you send out

Sending an email with broken links or out-of-date information sends the wrong message. Be sure to check your links and proofread your copy before it’s sent out.

In addition, redundant coding and an excessive use of links, text, and images are practices that should be avoided. If you’re unsure about your emails’ link or image-to-text ratio, try running your email through a spam checker before sending it out.

A top email marketing platform includes spam check and preview tools so your email not only appears at its best, but also reaches its intended audience. These checks also ensure everyone in your team (or appropriate stakeholders) can review before you hit send.

When done right, the direct and personalized nature of email marketing means you’re likely to see a boost in online sales. By following these tips, you’re setting yourself up for a successful marketing campaign.

The post Ecommerce email marketing – Best practices to triple your sales appeared first on The Email Marketing Blog.

Reblogged 11 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

Five reasons why email is THE core channel for “on-the-go” customers of an e-commerce business

People say that email – a channel with a history spanning five decades – is dead. But I don’t buy it. According to Forrester, approximately 122,500,453,020 emails are sent every hour.

Here are five reasons why email is the core channel for your everyday consumer:

  1. Effectively reflects your brand image
  2. Cheap & drives conversions
  3. Dynamic (i.e. personalization & segmentation)
  4. Consistent, coordinated and deliverable
  5. Very measurable for marketers

Email is very much alive, and has in fact undergone years of evolution into the channel that the consumer wants it to be. Nowadays, for a marketing channel to prove valuable to business strategy, it needs to provide the flexibility and adaptability that the hyper-connected consumer desires. Email is a blank canvas for the marketer – it’s a cost-effective channel to reach prospects & customers, with an on-brand message that drives ROI through dynamic campaigns that keep people engaged. As long as you use email intelligently (i.e. you have the data and tech in place) and employ an on-brand strategy, this channel could prove an essential component in the success of your e-commerce business, whether B2B or B2C. These case studies on workwear provider Alexandra and British homeware brand Cabbages and Roses provide the perfect illustration.

If you’re looking to up your email marketing automation game, these campaigns will give you a jump-start:

Abandon Cart email – “We’re ready when you are.”

Triggering emails on the back of abandoned baskets is a great way to drive revenue and increase conversion. Having insight data in your email marketing platform allows you to store behavioral information on your subscribers in order to drive intelligent and engaging interactions, ultimately leading to conversion. For example, a customer might log onto your website via desktop, browse, and add products to their cart. Then, for some reason they may close their browser. Rather than this information being lost, it can be pushed into your email platform, stored, and then utilized to send the customer an email with their basket details and a CTA for checkout. Email is therefore the perfect tool to recuperate the abandoned customer journey.

Post-purchase email – “We’ve missed you, have you missed us?”

Triggering emails on the back of a customer’s purchase information is something every online retailer should be doing; it’s integral to the e-commerce handbook. Segmenting customers based on recency, frequency and monetary value (RFM model) is a great way to target your audience because it will subsequently drive ROI. For example, rather than sending generic offers on shoes to your entire database, you might want to send a particular segment a 10% discount offer on a high-value pair of stilettos, because this segment has an average lifetime value (ALV) of over £2,000 and they have bought more than 1 pair of stilettos in the past year. They also haven’t purchased for 3 months, hence the offer. This segment is more likely to action over the rest of the database. Sending highly personalized messages through dynamic content will have a greater chance of increasing key metrics, such as click-through-rates (CTRs) and conversions.

At the end of the day, it’s the simple measures that prove essential – segmenting, targeting and personalization drives value right to the top of your customer’s inbox (if your deliverability is top notch, that is).

To see eight other key programs you should be sending to grow your e-commerce business, pick up your free copy of our best practice guide.

Reblogged 11 months ago from blog.dotmailer.com

8 reasons why your ecommerce business needs marketing automation

Here are eight solid reasons your ecommerce business needs marketing automation:

  1.      Easier to personalize marketing campaigns

Consumers want to see and hear things that are personal to them, especially in a world where they’re faced with increased noise and distractions. By being able to ask questions and collect more data, and make offers that are specific to that customer and their purchase history, you’ll have a better chance of gaining repeat business. With dynamic content and email marketing automation, these steps are accomplished without actually having to personalize each email individually; instead, it just requires an initial setup with a top marketing automation platform.

  1.      Easier customer targeting across multiple channels

These days there are so many channels across which you can market, with email, social media and SMS providing just a few examples. One of the best things about this variety is that your multichannel strategy can be devised so that you reach out to the right people, at the right times and in the right places. However, taking this job on manually can prove inefficient and time-consuming. Marketing automation enables you to send targeted marketing across all channels, reaching your intended audience when and where it suits them.

  1.      Improved lead generation and conversion

While repeat business is always important, generating new leads and turning those leads into new customers is just as critical. When your business obtains a new lead, it’s wise that you connect with them immediately. Running manual lead engagement means that often, some potentials will inevitably slip through the cracks.

You can set up your marketing automation program to target all leads that come in and connect with each one in a way that matters to them. All lead engagements will be tracked and can be further targeted as they interact with your communications.

  1.      Better opportunity for cross-selling and upselling

One of the key tactics to increase sales and drive repeat business has always been upselling and cross-selling. Ensuring customers know about upgrades or accessories that go with the product they purchased can be a quick win.

With marketing automation, you can use customers’ order data to send personalized emails that let them know about additional products that are relevant to them. For example, if you were selling a pair of suede shoes you might want to recommend a suede protector spray. This will increase the average order value and lifetime value of your customers, and ideally keep them coming back for more.

Marketing automation saves time, enables scalability and drives up incremental revenue

  1.      Management of cart abandonment

Cart abandonment has become an epidemic in the world of ecommerce, with consumers abandoning a whopping 68% of carts. Marketing automation can help by allowing you to send out triggered abandonment emails.

You can target a customer who has abandoned their cart and send them an email after it’s remained neglected for a specified amount of time. When crafting the email, it should not only remind someone that they have items in their cart, but also encourage them to complete their transaction.

  1.      Improved post-transaction marketing

Marketing to the customer who has already purchased your product is as important as marketing to potential customers. The idea behind post-purchase marketing is to provide incentive for repeat business, and marketing automation makes this easy to do. You can promote products that are related to what the customer just bought, you can personalize the email to better relate to their purchase behaviour, and provide personal replenishment or loyalty discounts.

  1.      Improved analytics

Investing in email marketing automation means better analytics. Every aspect of your marketing campaign can be tracked and reported on, as the majority of marketing automation platforms can be integrated with analytics platforms, such as Google Analytics. Every aspect of a marketing campaign can be broken down so you can analyze the data and see where you’re doing well and where you need to optimize.

  1.      It’s a time-saver

This might be one of the greatest benefits to marketing automation. In reality, you have probably experienced the realization that manual marketing communications can become a major time-suck. With automation tools, your time can be better used searching out new products, developing new services, or devoted to some other aspect of your ecommerce business strategy. Simply put, when your marketing communications are automated, you will not only decrease your workload, but also have a stronger, more efficient, and completely optimized marketing campaign.

If you’d like to find out how you can go about introducing email marketing automation to your business, download our free ‘Making time to save time’ guide. Alternatively, check out our ‘Find the right marketing automation tactics for you’ document, which includes inspiration and real-life success stories.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com

The Magento Xcelerate program: A positive sum game

As an open source ecommerce platform, Magento is flexible and accessible for developers to work with and as a result, an active community of developers emerged on online forums and at offline meetups all over the world. Many of these were happily plugging away independently of Magento until the split from eBay in early 2015.

Free from the reins of eBay, Magento has decisively been reaching out to, promoting and rewarding the individuals, agencies and technology providers that make up its ecosystem. Last February they announced the Magento Masters Program, empowering the top platform advocates, frequent forum contributors and the innovative solution implementers. Then at April‘s Magento Imagine conference (the largest yet) the theme emerged as ‘We are Magento”, in celebration of the community.

The new Xcelerate Technology Partner Program focuses not on individuals but on business partnerships formed with the technology companies that offer tools for Magento merchants to implement.

 Sharing ideas, opportunities and successes:

This is the Xcelerate Program tagline, which acts as a sort of mission statement to get the technology partners involved moving with regards to continuously considering Magento in their own technology roadmap and jointly communicating successes and learnings from working on implementations with merchants.

“In turn, the program offers members the tools to get moving, through events, resources and contacts. Our goal is to enable you to be an integral part of the Magento ecosystem” Jon Carmody, Head of Technology Partners

The program in practice:

The new program is accompanied by the new Marketplace from which the extensions can be purchased and downloaded. The program splits the extensions into 3 partnership levels:

Registered Partners – these are technology extensions that the new Magento Marketplace team test for code quality. Extensions must now pass this initial level to be eligible for the Marketplace. With each merchant having on average 15 extensions for their site, this is a win for merchants when it comes to extension trustworthiness.

Select Partners – extensions can enter this second tier if the technology falls into one of the strategic categories identified by Magento and if they pass an in-depth technical review. These will be marked as being ‘Select’ in the Marketplace.

Premier Partners – this level is by invitation only, chosen as providing crucial technology to Magento merchants (such as payments, marketing, tax software). The Magento team’s Extension Quality Program looks at coding structure, performance, scalability, security and compatibility but influence in the Community is also a consideration. dotmailer is proud to be the first Premier Technology Partner in the marketing space for Magento.

All in all, the latest move from Magento in illuminating its ecosystem should be positive for all; the merchants who can now choose from a vetted list of extensions and know when to expect tight integration, the technology partners building extensions now with clearer merchant needs/extension gaps in mind and guidance from Magento, and of course the solution implementers recommending the best extension for the merchant now knowing it will be maintained.

Reblogged 1 year ago from blog.dotmailer.com