21 Ecommerce Marketing Automation Tools and Tips

21 Ecommerce Marketing Automation Tools and Tips

Ecommerce marketing automation offers a ton of opportunity. 

You can save time on marketing while getting better results. Who doesn’t want that?

But there are a lot of challenges. 34% of marketers say that data integration is the largest barrier to implementing marketing automation, while 26% struggle with finding the right tech and 18% lack the appropriate skills and experience inhouse. 

Fortunately, actions that were once very technical to achieve are now relatively easy—due to software becoming both more capable and more user-friendly. 

In this guide, we walk you through the types of ecommerce marketing automation, offer our best tips for startups and brands, and showcase the top tools across a variety of marketing channels. 

Table of contents:

  • Types of ecommerce marketing automation
  • Tips for startups
  • Tips for brands
  • Best ecommerce marketing automation tools

What is ecommerce marketing automation?

Ecommerce marketing automation is the practice of automating emails, SMS messages, social media posts, website personalization, and product recommendations to improve timeliness and accuracy. The ultimate goal is increasing conversions while saving time. 

Marketers can also use automation for their internal projects. For example, a marketer might set an alert for when a certain quality metric dips below a benchmark. This way, they know to take action, find the issue, and fix it. 

Benefits of marketing automation (with stats)

These marketing automation statistics make it clear that, when done right, automation can save time and improve results.

  • Increased conversions - 77% of companies using marketing automation have experienced increased conversions as a result.
  • More upselling - 58% of marketers use automation for upselling and say that upselling is one of the top opportunities presented by automation software.
  • Better messaging - Automated emails are 133% more likely to send relevant messages, most likely because they feature real behavioral triggers.
  • Time savings - 74% of marketers say that the best benefit of marketing automation is saving time.

Main types of ecommerce marketing automation

There are a few different types of ecommerce marketing automation, and plenty more ways that ecom companies can automate activities outside of the field of marketing (such as customer service and inventory management).

The main types of marketing automation that ecom companies should implement are:

  1. Email and lifecycle marketing automation
  2. Real-time website personalization
  3. Product page creation, updates, and testing
  4. Quality benchmark alerts
  5. Social media scheduling and UGC curation

Below, we go into these in more detail and provide an example for each. 

Email and lifecycle marketing automation

An ecommerce marketing funnel takes website visitors from first glance to first purchase to repeat purchase. With email and lifecycle marketing tools, you can automate the various touchpoints. 

This can include:

  • Cart abandonment emails
  • Retargeting ads 
  • Reengagement emails
  • Next purchase coupons
  • Customer anniversary promotions
  • Refill reminder SMS messages

Example:

In this example from fast fashion retailer Fasion Nova, the abandoned cart email offers 25% off any purchase and shows what the shopper had in their cart. 

Real-time website personalization

Website personalization is another popular form of automation. This can include copy and design changes to a website page based on data known about that website visitor, as well as personalized product recommendations based on previous purchases or browsing history. 

Example:

In this example case study, Yves Rocher, a global cosmetics and beauty brand, experienced a 17.5X increase in clicks for a personalized product recommendation compared to a top-seller recommendation and an 11X increase in purchases. Bloomreach is an advanced enterprise solution for ecommerce website personalization. 

Product page creation, updates, and A/B testing

Managing an ecommerce website is no small task. The website must be accurate and well-optimized. Depending on the number of products, there could be hundreds or even thousands of pages. 

You can use a landing page creation and optimization tool to make it easy to launch pages at scale, update them, and test various creatives to increase conversions. 

Example:

In this example case study, backpack brand Fjällräven was able to use Optimizely to save hundreds of hours with their landing page and product information software. The brand uses the platform for page updates that are multi-market, multi-currency, and multi-language.

With Optimizely, the team can add new products and update product information across all of their markets in just a few clicks. 

Quality benchmark alerts

For an ecommerce company, a website issue can result in thousands of dollars in lost revenue every hour that the issue persists. This is why it’s so important for marketing teams to set up quality benchmark alerts. 

The company can use a tool like Hotjar or Mixpanel to measure quality metrics across the entire site. If a certain page or workflow has a lower-than-normal metric, then the team can go and QA that section of the site to discover and resolve the issue. 

Example:

For example, food brand Wyldsson was able to discover problem areas and dropoff points within the checkout workflow and user sign in process. By resolving these issues, they increased online sales by 30%. 

Social media scheduling and UGC curation

Within the massive real of social media, there are many different things that can be automated. Of course, brands can schedule their social media content in advance. But a less obvious example lies within UGC. Brands can automate their UGC discovery with branded hashtags, regions, and other filters. They can also automate the permissions requests. 

Example

Wool and the Gang, a company that offers crochet project kitts, used UGC and influencer marketing platform Pixlee to manage UGC moderation and permissions and then utilize those pieces of content across multiple channels. 

11 best ecommerce marketing automation tools

These ecommerce marketing platforms offer advanced automation features so you can run upselling, re-engagement, cart savings, and tons of other campaigns on autopilot. 

1. Omniconvert

Software type: Lifecycle automation, personalization, and A/B testing

Features: Omniconvert is a robust platform that covers a few different types of ecommerce marketing automation. 

Their core features are:

  • Website A/B testing
  • Experiment analytics
  • Exit-intent pop-ups
  • On-page website personalization
  • Custom attributes for determining personalization (visitor’s name, gender, lifetime value, etc.)
  • Real time visitor data for personalization (weather, geolocation, OS type, language, etc.)

Pricing: Plan costs are dependant on website views. You’ll pay $167 per month for up to 50,000 monthly visitors and $908 for up to 500,000 monthly visits. 

Reviews: 4.5 stars out of 72 reviews on G2

Best for: Medium to large ecommerce companies looking to consolidate their tech stack and utilize more advanced automation. 

Learn more at Omniconvert.com.

2. Givz

Software type: Automated customer donation incentives and cause marketing management. 

Features: With Givz, you can give to charity through your Shopify store while increasing your average order value through strategic donation incentives (if your AOV is $100, you might offer customers the ability to donate $10 for any purchase over $115). This is great for seasonal holiday giving as well as year-round donations. 

Top features include:

  • Customizable donation incentives (both flat rate and percentage)
  • Minimum purchase thresholds
  • Donation receipts sent to customer
  • Business documentation for tax purposes
  • Customer-led giving (customers choose the charity)
  • Donation analytics and trend insights
  • Ability to feature brand-aligned charities on giving page

Pricing: Givz offers three different plans: $19 per month, $99 per month, and $299 per month. Most businesses will need the $99 per month plan, which offers the ability to feature certain charities, run multiple incentives, and combine discount codes with giving (for example, “Save $10, give $10”).

Reviews: 5.0 stars out of 21 reviews on the Shopify app store

Best for: Ecommerce startups and large brands looking to stand out with purpose-driven marketing. 

Learn more at Givz.com.

3. Privy

Software type: Lifecycle automation, email marketing, SMS

Features: Privy can be used for various automated marketing campaigns, and the platform is designed exclusively for ecommerce. 

Their top features include:

  • Email newsletters
  • Cart abandonment emails
  • Customer winback emails
  • Welcome emails
  • Spin to win
  • Cross sell pop-ups
  • Free shipping bar
  • Broadcast text messages
  • Coupon codes for text opt-ins

Pricing: Privy offers a free plan that covers up to 100 mailable contacts. For up 3000 email contacts and 500 textable contacts, you’ll pay $45 per month. For higher needs, contact sales for a custom quote. 

Reviews: 4.6 stars out of 106 reviews on G2

Best for: Ecom startups and small businesses looking for an easy way to handle basic automations. 

4. Klaviyo

Software type: Lifecycle automation, email marketing, SMS

Features: Klaviyo is an email marketing and SMS platform that is popular among ecommerce brands of all sizes. 

Top features include:

  • Products viewed emails
  • Abadoned cart emails
  • Recommended best seller emails
  • Coupons and discounts
  • Shipment and order tracking
  • Welcome emails
  • Cross sell emails
  • Customer segmentation
  • SMS opt-ins
  • Price drop SMS
  • In-stock SMS

Pricing: On the free plan, you get up to 250 contacts and 500 email sends per month. For 10,000 contacts and 100,000 email sends per month, you’ll pay $150 monthly.

Reviews: 4.6 stars out of 708 reviews on G2

Best for: Ecommerce companies of any size looking for multichannel lifecycle automation. 

5. Bloomreach

Software type: Lifecycle automation, email marketing, SMS, website personalization, website A/B testing

Features: Bloomreach combines lifecycle marketing automation with personalization and website experiments in one place.

Here are the top features:

  • Email marketing
  • SMS marketing
  • Mobile app creation
  • Omnichannnel campaigns
  • Retargeting ads management
  • Website personalization
  • Website A/B testing and experiment analytics
  • Marketing insights
  • Site search
  • Product recommendations

Pricing: Bloomreach doesn’t publicly display their pricing, so you’ll need to get in touch with sales for a custom quote.

Reviews: 4.7 stars out of 373 reviews on G2

Best for: Large ecommerce companies looking to manage multiple types of automation under one roof. 

6. Mixpanel

Software type: Site analytics and quality benchmark alerts

Features: Mixpanel is a popular analytics platform for digital-first businesses like ecommerce, software, and mobile apps. 

Top features include:

  • Metric drop off alerts
  • Reports and dashboards
  • Data management
  • Data integrations
  • Customer segmentation

Pricing: For up to 30,000 visitors, you’ll pay $429 per month and for 100,000 visitors, you’ll pay $1,190 per month. 

Reviews: 4.5 stars out of 801 reviews on G2

Best for: Scaling and large ecom companies looking to boost revenue through website quality control. 

7. Optimizely

Software type: Product page creation, A/B testing, and personalization

Features: Optimizely is an enterprise-ready digital experience platform that ecommerce companies can use to manage their content and experiments.

Here are the core features:

  • Website personalization
  • Audience segmentation
  • Digital asset management
  • Product page templates
  • Website A/B testing
  • Visual editor and drag & drop
  • Pop-up boxes
  • Business integrations

Pricing: Optimizely doesn’t share their pricing on their site, so get in touch for a custom quote.

Reviews: 4.2 stars out of 309 reviews on G2

Best for: Large brands and marketplaces looking for advanced personalization and experiments management for use across multiple teams. 

8. Hotjar

Software type: Website analytics and quality benchmark alerts

Features: Hotjar is an ecommerce-centric website analytics platform that helps you identify and resolve quality issues.

Here are the core features:

  • Heatmaps to see how far visitors scroll down a page on average
  • Visitor sentiment on each page to benchmark experience
  • Live recordings of visitor sessions to discover issues
  • Visitor surveys
  • Multi-language support
  • Benchmark alerts

 

Pricing: Hotjar’s Business plan costs $79 per month for up to 500 daily sessions and $791 per month for up to 15,000 daily sessions. You can also get in touch with sales to inquire about the unlimited plan.

Reviews: 4.4 stars out of 255 reviews on G2.

Best for: Ecommerce companies looking to benchmark and monitor the visitor experience.

9. SellerCloud

Software type: Multichannel product page management and updates

Features: For most ecommerce brands, a sizeable portion of their sales doesn’t come from their DTC website, but from marketplaces like Amazon, Walmart, and others. With SellerCloud, you can manage not only your omnichannel inventory, but also their marketing on external marketplaces as well. 

The top features are:

  • Manage multichannel product listings
  • Automatically update product listings copy and creative
  • Create and manage product variations
  • Update promotional pricing across channels

Pricing: For 10,000 orders per month, you’ll pay $2500 monthly. If you have higher needs, get in touch for discounted pricing. 

Reviews: 4.2 stars out of 61 reviews on G2.

Best for: Ecommerce brands of any size wanting to streamline their operations across multiple marketplaces. 

10. Pixlee

Software type: UGC curation and influencer marketing management

Features: Pixlee is an advanced platform for managing UGC, reviews, and influencers with as much automation as possible. 

Top features:

  • Automatically discover UGC assets on all major social platforms
  • Source ratings and reviews
  • Discover and engage top influencers
  • Request permission for UGC usage
  • Utilize UGC across channels

Pricing: Pixlee doesn’t publish their plans, so contact sales for custom pricing. 

Reviews: 4.8 stars out of 72 reviews on G2.

Best for: Scaling or large brands wanting to speed up community-centric marketing.

11. Easyship

Software type: Branded shipping experience and customer LTV campaign automation

Features: Easyship is a post-purchase experience platform with various shipping integrations and features. It can be used to increase additional purchases by utilizing shipping communications for marketing purposes.

These are the relevant features for marketing automation:

  • Branded order tracking page 
  • Branded tracking emails
  • Coupons and recommended products for tracking pages and emails

Pricing: On the free plan, you can manage up to 100 shipments per month. Or, you’ll pay $29 per month to handle up to 500 shipments, or $49 per month to handle up to 2500 shipments. For additional needs, contact sales for custom pricing. 

Reviews: 4.0 stars out of 63 reviews on G2.

Best for: Ecommerce companies of any size looking to offer a great shipping experience and increase repeat purchases and average LTV.

5 ecom marketing automation tips for startups

What should ecommerce startups automate first?

Below, we’ve prioritized the simple automations you should have in place:

1. Trigger personalized abandon cart emails

69% of all online shopping carts get abandoned, but you can recover 10% of them (on average), by sending abandoned shopping cart emails. 

If you haven’t automated these emails yet, get on it. They can be such an easy win, especially when they are personalized to show the cart products in the emails.

2. Setup an ecommerce CRM

Your ecommerce CRM is basically the tool that you use for email and SMS marketing. You might choose Omniconvert, Privy, Kaviyo, or Bloomreach. 

Make sure to use one tool for managing both email and SMS, rather than a dedicated email tool and a dedicated SMS tool. This way, you can collect customer activity and engagement in one place. 

If you already have a CRM in place, your next step should be to start diving into the advanced customer segmentation features. Try testing unique messaging and promotions for various segments.

3. Monitor visitor sentiment and collect website feedback around the clock

Many ecommerce startups make the mistake of only collecting product and customer feedback when they send the occasional survey. But customers and website visitors have feedback 24/7. 

Use a tool that collects visitor sentiment and written feedback so you can discover issues before they cost you thousands of dollars in conversions. 

4. Launch and test website pop-ups 

Pop-ups can be a very effective way to convert visitors. Try creating exit intent pop-ups that offer something personalized. For example, if there’s something in the user’s cart, you might offer 20% off any purchase for the next 24 hours, but if they don’t have something in their cart, you might offer a 15% off coupon in exchange for their email address. 

5. Use your delivery tracking page to suggest the right next purchase

Another easy win for small ecommerce businesses is to automatically offer a coupon or suggest a recommended next purchase using the order tracking page. Use a tool like Easyship or Aftership to automate this. 

Here’s an example from Aftership, where a customer can get 25% off any gift card:

5 ecom marketing automation tips for brands

Established brands likely already have the above automations in place. 

Here are some advanced automations to tackle next:

1. Update product pages with a software that integrates with Amazon and other marketplaces

Get a solution in place for automatically managing your product pages across multiple online marketplaces.

This can save your team time while increasing revenue through having marketplace listings that are accurate and well-optimized with plenty of product details and images. 

2. Automatically SEO optimize your marketplace listings

It’s important to automate the SEO optimization of your marketplace listings as well. For many brands, their channel success depends largely on discoverability. 

After researching the best SEO keyphrases for your Amazon listings with a tool like MarketMuse, for example, you should automatically update your product names and descriptions with these keyphrases across not only Amazon but other marketplaces and your own DTC site as well. When automating their SEO keyphrases on various product pages, Yamaha Watercraft saw a 92% increase in website traffic

3. Run an in-depth website audit

Established brands already have many quality control processes in place. But it’s always wise to run quarterly audits that dive deeper than your standard monitoring. For example, you might send out a customer survey, watch more recorded visitor sessions than normal, or re-establish your quality benchmarks for various websites or important pages. 

You might also run several different tests of your shopping cart and checkout workflow using various devices, browsers, coupon codes, sign-in statuses, and more. 

4. Test different product recommendation strategies

Optimizely combines 100 different algorithms to predict what a customer will purchase next and include that as a recommended product on the page. 

Test using automation against another strategy. For example, you might try featuring products included in a photoshoot as recommended items.

Even though automation often wins, it’s important to still consider the user experience and what customers actually want to find.

Clothing company Bandier includes a “Shop The Look” section and a “Customers Also Viewed Section” to improve the UX of their site and boost multi-item sales.

5. Enlist customer loyalty data for more successful email marketing

Try using customer loyalty data for customer win back campaigns or LTV-boosting campaigns. By offering special deals for returning customers, you can increase the feeling of exclusivity, and hopefully conversions as well.

In this example from FromYouFlowers, the customer is offered an $11.76 loyalty credit towards their next purchase. 

The vast majority of successful ecom businesses are already engaging in some form of marketing automation. 

Take stock of your current processes, and consider which of the tools or tips above would have the biggest impact. Then, implement it and measure it.

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