Whether you are new in the world of eCommerce or you are already successfully running your online business, there is one thing you MUST be or become familiar with.
It is the process that makes your daily tasks run faster, easier and in the most effective way.
We are talking about task automation and automatic synchronization.
Many experienced marketers have already recognized the importance of automation and widely apply it in order to improve their businesses. For the others who haven’t faced all the benefits of automation yet, here is what it is really about.
In this text, we are going to explain to you how automation works in both: digital marketing and eCommerce organization. We will also present to you some of the best tools for this process.
Before we give you one or more of many definitions that technically describes this process, let’s face the real-life situations you may deal with.
Your eCommerce business is developing. You want to present your products or services on as many social media and selling platforms. That’s what digital marketing deals with. The first thing you need to do is to write appropriate content in order to present your products or services in the best possible way. On the other hand you have to run other segments of your eCommerce like updating stock, prices, shipping, and taking care of the situation with your products, clients and orders.
In the beginning that could be interesting and inspiring. But by the time it becomes too demanding and time-consuming.
With the growth of the number of your customers, your duties are increasing as well. It is quite understandable that you want to establish or maintain a close, solid and personalized relationship with all of your current or potential clients.
It’s essential to your business!
More and more writing and time-consuming tasks. But it is only marketing. If we add to this the tasks regarding monitoring the situation with your products and orders, the situation becomes even more messy.
At some point, you realize that you are literally cluttered with rewriting ad contents, product descriptions, and different lists of clients, prices, etc. All that leaves you no or a little time for improving and developing your business.
This isn’t what you imagined in the beginning, right?
The most logical question you can ask is: Can this be somehow easier? The answer is YES. And this is the moment when marketing and eCommerce automation enters the scene.
Let’s start with marketing automation.
According to all mentioned above, you can consider marketing automation your magic wound that will make most of your problems disappear. Before we explain to you how to apply it, let’s first define the process.
One of the simplest, but most appropriate definitions of marketing automation is the one we found on Techopedia:
“Marketing automation is the use of software and Web-based services to execute, manage, and automate marketing tasks and processes. It replaces manual and repetitive marketing processes with purpose-built software and applications geared toward performance.”
Once we defined it, let’s find out how we can use marketing automation and what the best tools for this process are.
Before we present you some of the best marketing automation tools, here are the cases when marketing automation is not only recommendable, but also inevitable to use.
It is well known that capturing the leads and taking them through your purchase funnel, are the main goals of every marketer. It is the core of the complex workflow that digital marketing deals with.
Advertising and good communication with clients are two key points in the world of digital marketing. Both of them widely use emails like one of the best possible ways to be in touch with the audience and customers on a daily basis.
Furthermore, one of the best strategies included in the newest eCommerce trends is to establish a personalized relationship with each of your leads or subscribers. And once again we are coming back to sending emails.
So, we will start with them. We suppose that you get more and more leads and subscribers from various sources. It means that your mailing lists grow. But not all of your customers have the same interests, needs or demands. They can also be interested in different products or services.
Their motivation can considerably vary as well. Some of them want the newest products immediately and others are waiting for sales or special offers. But one thing they all have in common, they want to be special for you. They want to feel like your product or service is created just for them.
How to manage that?
Actually, you can make your clients feel unique. The best way to this is by sending them personalized messages created according to their specific needs. However, even if it were possible to write to each of them, it would take you a lot of time. You can even try if you have up to 100 clients, but with more of that, it is simply impossible.
Here automation comes in.
Automation enables you to segment your email list automatically by given criteria. Additionally, your customers can be categorized and placed into groups created considering their specific characteristics like common behavior, interests, and demographic details. Once you automatically put them in the appropriate group, you can send different, personalized content according to their interests or needs.
Furthermore, every group of clients can be informed only about upcoming events or new products that suit them. Instead of writing hundreds or thousands of emails, you can write just as many as you need according to the number of groups. This sounds like a great solution that saves you really a lot of time and money of course.
Even though mailing has huge and utmost importance marketing, it is far from being the only task that can be automated. Every task included in the process of digital marketing can be automated as well.
Social media marketing, advertising or scheduling an event together with live chatting, text-messaging, monitoring, and scoring can be performed in a much easier way by using appropriate software. We can also add website visitor tracking, campaign segmentation, and analytics to this long list.
The possibilities are really endless. Your needs and creativity are the only limits.
Through explaining the benefits of digital marketing automation you have probably realized the importance of the automation itself. But, let’s widen a picture a little bit.
As we mentioned above marketing is very important, but just one niche of a more complex eCommerce system.
Running eCommerce includes more or less the same tasks and duties as when you are managing your business in the “real world”. We will name only some: taking evidence of your products or services, setting the delivery time, shipping, pricing, payments and so on.
Moreover, as your eCommerce grows, the scope of your tasks and demands increases. That requires new applications, new tools, and more data settings.
You have already found out that each of them demands a lot of manual repetitive tasks. So can they be performed in an easier, faster and more productive way? The answer is YES. They can be automatized as well.
If we want to explain eCommerce automation is a few words, we can say that it is any software or tool that automates most common workflow tasks.
So let’s focus on the scope of assignments we need to operate in a more efficient way, or in other words to automate.
They include inventory management like input of new products and their publishing to your store, social media, apps and sales platforms at the same time. Or customer service like scheduling the sales and promotions, price adjustment, un-publishing out-of-stock products, and applying special delivery and shipping terms according to customer”s location.
To this long list of tasks that can be automatized, we can add lead generation, strategy, decision making, and internal communication.
Long story short, we can automate almost every process in eCommerce workflow. But as it grows you will probably need more applications to operate together. In other words, you need to integrate them.
Integrations are essential for automation process.
They enable you to exchange different types of data from one application to another and monitor their changes in real-time.
For example, you can export or import your contacts, lists of products or customers from different sources like eCommerce stores, selling or social media platforms, and CRM.
Furthermore, our unique SyncSpider tool enables you to integrate all segments of your eCommerce and automate your tasks
Bearing all the above mentioned in mind, finally, we come to the point when you should choose the automation tool that best suits your business. But that is not that easy. There are many factors that make an influence on your decision.
Some of them are size, type, and growth rate of your business. Defining that is a huge first step. But, before you make your final choice you must answer several crucial questions.
First of all, you must be clear what the most important features and integrations are to you. The next thing to consider your budget for implementing software and ongoing costs. And last but not the least how easy to use that software is.
Here is the list of some of the best marketing and eCommerce automation tools we recommend:
ActiveCampaign is an excellent tool for small business. It is mostly focused on marketing automation and email marketing. It has a very well designed and intuitive user interface.
Another strong point of this tool is flexible marketing automation functionality together with one of the best deliverability on the market.
It is easy to use which makes this tool an excellent choice for beginners. Pricing is also very affordable, especially for small business at it starts at only $9 per month.
On the other hand, ActiveCampaign has no native integrations, even though they have market place with more than 300 applications and extensions. Because of that, they have to use another tool for integration like SyncSpider and that requires additional ongoing costs.
Another excellent and affordable marketing automation tool is MooSend. It is recommendable for businesses of all sizes. It provides a great number of tools for building and maintaining strong customer relationships.
Prices are an extra quality of MooSend. It is absolutely FREE for businesses with up to 1,000 subscribers. The monthly plan starts at $10 a month for 1,000 to 2,000 subscribers.
The intuitive user interface is simple to navigate and appropriate for the beginners. It is really easy to create a marketing campaign with this tool because it provides you with more than 40 different templates.
You can get automatized subscriber welcome emails, abandoned cart reminders, as well as leads scoring.
Reporting is also included in this tool so you can see the real-time changes in every campaign.
The main fault of this tool that there are only a few native third-party integrations so you need to use another tool for that. As in the previous case, SyncSpider helps you to integrate your MooSend with more than 100 applications and platforms.
When we are talking about marketing automation tools we can’t skip MailChimp. This full-service marketing platform is a good choice for all kinds of businesses. Besides standard marketing features, MailChimp provides you with features like CRM module and website builder.
It also offers you many native integrations with other tools and their number can be increased by using SyncSpider.
According to the prices, it is really affordable even for small businesses. The monthly plan is very flexible and it’s FREE for the businesses that are just getting started.
Whether we are talking about eCommerce automation tools, we would like to start with Shopify. It is a very popular eCommerce platform and much more than that.
Shopify helps you to make your own scalable online store with hundreds of built-in features and a lot of apps.
The best of all is that you need no tech skills to use it. You can create, publish and run your eCommerce business in a really easy way.
It is affordable for literally everyone no matter if you are a first-time seller or an experienced businessmen. It’s because their monthly plan starts with $29 and includes eCommerce website, blog, selling on many marketplaces and social media, abandoned cart recovery, and free SSL certificate among other things.
Even if you need some extra applications to be added, it is not a problem. SyncSpider integrates this great platform with more than 100 applications.
Magento is another extraordinary eCommerce software that helps you a lot. It offers one of the most extensive feature lists you can find.
Everything from marketing to customer segmentation is included. It is really an endless list.
All important segments are covered. Magento offers you the features for management of marketing, conversions, promotions, sites, catalogs, and orders. But it is only a part of their offer. You can also automate payments, checkouts, shipping, mobile commerce, private sales together with many other tasks.
On the other hand, we must underline that Magento is not that easy to use for beginners. You do need some experience with development and plan on working on the site. After all, it’s created for large and fast-growing businesses, so we hope you are among them.
Most of the mentioned tools can be connected with individual plugins or by using available integrations within them.
The only limitation there could be the number of Attributes or Entities (various info you need to send automatically or synchronize among your apps you can connect and transfer among your system.
Even if the chosen tool doesn’t provide your all wanted integrations, you can do it with SyncSpider tool. SyncSpider is the only tool that enables you to integrate through various channels.
We hope that we managed to explain to you the importance of digital marketing and eCommerce automation for your business. We also hope that you like and find useful the tools we have recommended.
Once you recognize all the benefits of using appropriate automation software, you will see your business growing with far less effort.
Your communication with clients, your marketing campaigns, as well as your everyday tasks become easier and more productive. Even if it seems that automation tools present extra costs for you, pretty soon you realize that they are worth every cent.
Chose wisely bearing in mind your needs and your budget.
Integrate, automate and watch how your business grows.