More and more e-commerce companies are now turning to automation in their marketing, to optimise their processes, reduce spending, and acquire new customers more efficiently. This gives them an edge over competitors that do not adopt as readily such technologies. 

If marketing automation software is not yet part of your business toolbox or if you’re looking to upgrade your current systems, here’s a sneak peek into what to expect in marketing automation this year.

#1 Social Media Automation

Social media is perhaps the most used method for businesses to interact directly with consumers. More than just a vehicle to push out messages, social networks are also now used to generate sales, deliver customer service, and build up customer loyalty.

But between developing the content and tracking campaign results, this type of outreach can also be quite time-consuming. Enter social media automation. These new tools can potentially save up to 80% of time spent on tasks such as content scheduling, as well as free up more than six hours per week from social media management. 

If social media is a key part of your marketing, you can use software solutions like HubSpot, to automate the creation and publishing of content. You can even link social interactions across multiple accounts, to provide a more consistent experience across all of your platforms.

#2 Predictive Customer Lifetime Value

Brands that are able to deliver a highly engaging experience over a customer’s lifetime will have higher conversion and retention rates. However, depending on various factors, the returns to be generated will never be constant. 

So how then can you plan your marketing spending? Predictive customer lifetime value (CLV) analyses the total gains you can potentially derive from each of your individual users, by creating highly accurate profiles based on buyer attributes, behavioural data, and purchase history. Based on this CLV report, you can then find ways to optimise ad spending on specific market segments, according to their expected revenue.

#3 Retention Before Acquisition 

Marketers can argue for hours over what is better for business: retention or acquisition? However, 2020 might finally put an end to this debate once and for all, as automation puts more emphasis on customer retention. 

Besides the fact that it costs five times more to acquire new customers than to retain existing ones, there are two possible reasons for this shift in focus. First, customer experience is becoming more cross-functional, and personalisation through marketing automation will play a large part in the transition. 

Second, the numbers don’t lie. As more competing businesses target the same set of audiences, even a five percent increase in customer retention can increase profitability by up to 75%

#4 AI-Powered SEO and Content Marketing

Artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning are at the heart of marketing automation, but this year, we might observe such technologies taking on a new role.

In the area of search engine optimisation (SEO), AI has already seen applications in technical on-page analysis and content analysis. Here, software will crunch on big data and look for performance trends on specific Web pages, ad campaigns, or even the particular content used. AI can then optimise your e-commerce website according to those results, making it easier for search engines to crawl them. After all, nearly almost all search engine algorithms use AI, and so perhaps, only AI can match the level of processing and performance of another AI.

#5 Personalisation at Scale

E-commerce businesses can now utilise marketing automation technologies to personalise at scale and deliver highly customised experiences to their visitors without having to touch each individual case. 

Software can now reduce large market segments down to the individual level, each one receiving special treatment, based on their attributes. Going back to the HubSpot example, marketing automation tools will now allow you to create and automatically distribute messages that will resonate with each customer, as they will be based not only on past actions, but also on predicted behaviour.

#6 Automated Multi-Channel Integration

Never before has it been easier for brands to reach customers through different touch points – the same message delivered consistently and efficiently from a single dashboard on to an e-commerce website, social site, a physical point of sale system, and more.

For the retailer, this translates to a bigger pool of prospects and a greater chance to pull in quality leads. Consumers, on the other hand, have more chances to shop until they’re ready to buy from the channel that best suits them.

 

As competition intensifies between e-commerce companies, using marketing automation software is no longer a mere luxury. You need to be able to catch every opportunity to reach your customers, at a time and location that’s convenient for them, and only with technology will you be able to do that. Watch this space for the next installment of this two-part spotlight feature.

Let’s have a chat about what impact these six trends might have on your business and how you can leverage them to maximise your revenues.

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