This is an article “Using The Power of Automation Fo Better eCommerce” by Marc Primo
No one can decide whether the present is the time for small and medium businesses to succeed or fail. Given the pandemic's devastating blows to the global economy, it's easy to assume all the difficulties if not for the many marketing and automation tools out there. Today, many eCommerce solutions don't take up too much cost and resources to keep SMEs in business. Regardless of your perspective on all things current, innovative solutions that streamline multiple work processes are benefitting more enterprises now more than ever.
More 'time' equals more 'money,' and many eCommerce companies know this, especially during these difficult times. When COVID-19 hit businesses badly, various startups started focusing on contactless business transactions that anyone could take advantage of with only a laptop or a mobile device. Not only did SMEs become more productive and efficient, but they also found more time on their hands for other tasks. All thanks to the power of automation.
When looking at how automation helps carry out eCommerce objectives, a couple of things come to mind. Modern technologies let users ensure proper data hygiene and filtering, the categorization of audiences, and strategic marketing campaigns with specific targets.
However, those are just the tip of the iceberg. If you want to get the full benefits of automation for your eCommerce business, here are some of the crucial factors you have to focus on to get started:
The basics of eCommerce automation
One study from last year projects an estimated $8.4 billion growth in global marketing automation in the next seven years. The reason behind this surge for most companies is how the latest cloud-based technologies solve the quagmire of repetitive and error-filled tasks. And having more efficient processes to perform marketing errands indeed save companies more time and money.
For eCommerce businesses unfamiliar with automation, choosing the right vendor that offers a range of services is not that easy. Since there is an ever-flourishing number of platforms that integrate multiple services for automation, it is essential to review and determine the best one that can give you the best return on investment.
Review the set of features
When reviewing such services, always place every platform's features on the top of your list. Remember, not all vendors specialize in a specific set of features, so make sure that you know your objectives before you shop around. For starters, find out if an automation vendor can help you with lead and customer relationship management (CRM), email marketing, search engine optimization, ad campaigns, analytics, real-time notifications, social media management, streamlining, and trigger marketing.
These may be a handful at first, but having ample knowledge of the basics of automation for eCommerce should be your starting point for every campaign. If your vendor says he can help with these facets, you can then ask them about integration.
Familiarize yourself with channel integration
Request a presentation on how they analyze data and interact with your available channels such as mobile platforms, apps, and websites. How can they make things easier in terms of managing your channels and fast-tracking their processes?
Expect them to answer along the lines of applying integration solutions via tools and platforms such as Shopify, WooCommerce, Magento, or Wix, which are some of the best eCommerce tools right now.
Ensure international marketing compliance
Last but not least, choose a service provider that can offer the best data security available at the best price range. Thanks to the 2018 General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), data security and privacy are a priority in Europe. If you're an international company that deals with European customers, make sure your vendor knows the laws that cover data security per territory and are compliant with them as well.
Choosing the right vendor for eCommerce
Small eCommerce businesses that are just starting to shift to automation do not necessarily need to shell out a significant portion of their budget right away. There are hundreds of marketing automation platforms out there that can help out without exhausting your company budget.
Of course, when you're just starting in eCommerce, you'd want to focus on lead generation and CRM, which starter plans from such vendors as Hubspot, Mailchimp, or Shopify can handle.
Hubspot's marketing tool for eCommerce offers great CRM and inbound marketing features that are comprehensive and inexpensive. Some tools are even free online, including solutions for data management, website performance, and company insights. Plus, you can easily integrate your Gmail suite for better communication and engagement strategies without breaking the bank.
Mailchimp, on the other hand, specializes in email marketing and provides free templates and features that can help you sell your products online and implement your marketing campaigns without a hitch. The platform also offers many resources on growing your business using their eCommerce tools via their website.
More recommended automation tools for eCommerce include the messaging and management mobile platform Kumulos, which is excellent for personalized marketing, in-app marketing, and several interactive triggered automations. Then there's also the ad management platform WASK where you can perform A/B testing on your ad sets for your social media accounts, use design templates, and benefit from its worry-free scheduler.
And who can dismiss Shopify when it comes to the most efficient eCommerce automation tools? The platform allows you to sell your stuff directly on your website, other eCommerce sites, or social media, while enjoying the freedom to scale your online marketplace. There are also over 3,000 available apps you can use within the platform.
However, Shopify is more appropriate for larger businesses with the budget or funding for its services, since there will be transactional fees, payments for additional apps, and monthly costs. But once you try it out, the ROI is undeniable.
Regardless of which automation tools you use for your eCommerce website, today's digital innovations help small to medium businesses level the playing field online – just when the going gets tough and more challenging by the day. The real challenge lies in how well you know what you need to accomplish to take your business to the next level.