Did you know that the best marketing software for your ecommerce store could and should work with the other tools you rely on? Or why it's important to have a dynamic people-centric ecommerce marketing tool instead of one based on static lists?
Choosing the right software isn't a decision that should be taken lightly, but it shouldn't keep you up at night, either. With so many options and resources available, this blog post will help you cut through the noise and choose the right ecommerce marketing platform for your business. Before we dive in, we’ll go over some of the fundamentals.
What is ecommerce marketing? According to our friends at Shopify, ecommerce marketing is the practice of using promotional tactics to drive traffic to your online store, converting that traffic into paying customers and retaining those customers post-purchase.
What are the benefits of ecommerce marketing? A holistic ecommerce marketing strategy is made up of marketing tactics both on and off your website. A sound marketing strategy can help you build brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and ultimately increase online sales.
Who can benefit from using an ecommerce marketing platform? Whether you’re a solopreneur wearing all the hats— a marketing team leader—or an individual contributor executing the day-to-day marketing strategy—an ecommerce marketing software will make your job easier. From campaign execution to strategy optimization to reporting, a good ecommerce marketing platform will be able to help you do it all while increasing your bottom line.
Whether you're using ecommerce marketing software that just isn't fitting the bill or your online shop just opened its digital doors, having the right marketing stack is key to growing your business. We put together this blog post with the essentials your ecommerce marketing software should come loaded with, no matter your size and no matter your industry.
Define Your Size and Fit
Before you start your search, consider your specific goals and needs. There’s no “one size fits all” and each business will have its own unique set of requirements.
What kind of platform will you enjoy using?
Which will save you the most time and headache?
Which software will get you the most ROI?
What features are the most important to you?
Like we mentioned, this decision shouldn’t be taken lightly, but it shouldn’t keep you up at night. Clearly defining your goals and needs early in the process will help you select the right tool, and achieve the best results for your business. For example, if you’re new at ecommerce marketing, you want to ensure that the platform you select has robust educational content and a solid customer support team. If you’ve been in the game for a while, and want to improve time to efficiency, you want to make sure that your platform has powerful and easy to use automation capabilities. Decide what’s most important to you, and go from there.
Once you’ve landed on solid goals and defined your needs, here are the essentials to consider when selecting the best ecommerce marketing software for your business.
Plays Nice With Your Ecommerce Platform
In an ideal world, all of your favorite tools would play nice and integrate together seamlessly. In reality, that’s rarely the case. Switching order management systems (OMS) is less than an ideal option for most folks, so do the research to make sure that your ecommerce marketing platform integrates with your ecommerce platform. Depending on your company’s size and dev resources, pay extra attention to the level of tech-savvy required to integrate and achieve your specific goals. For example, if you’re a Shopify store we wouldn’t recommend going with Mailchimp, because you need to use a third-party tool to integrate the two. That’s more time, money, and resources that come out of your pocket.
Seamless Data Migration
Part of selecting an ecommerce marketing platform that plays nice with your OMS is a seamless data migration experience. Your store data is precious gold, and it needs to be handled with care. It’s essential that your ecommerce marketing platform is able to sync the following data from your OMS:
Order/ purchase history
In order to create the best experiences for your customers—and gain the most insights from your store data–your ecommerce marketing platform should be able to bring over this data without breaking a sweat.
Static lists are a thing of the past. They’re time-consuming to build and maintain, resulting in disconnected customer data and reporting, and most importantly, they don’t help you make more money. Dynamic segments are smaller audiences queried from your main list that update automatically, in real-time— so if someone takes an action in your store that disqualifies them from being included in one of your segments they will automatically be removed from that segment. With dynamic segments, you don’t need to worry about sending irrelevant emails or targeting the wrong people with your campaigns. Dynamic segmentation works smarter, not harder to ensure that you’re speaking to the right audience. It’s also a huge time saver!
Revenue Reporting & Analytics
Every marketer knows how important it is to measure the results of their efforts. Finding a tool that makes email engagement and revenue reporting easy to understand, export, and learn from is crucial. At Drip, our dashboards were designed to help marketers understand exactly how much revenue and engagement you get from each email, campaign, and automation-over custom date ranges—so you can easily understand what’s working and repeat it and tweak what’s not working. You shouldn’t have to be a data wizard to gain valuable insights from your results, and at Drip, we make being data-driven easy.
Strategy Optimization & Recommendations
Optimization and recommendations go hand-in-hand with revenue and analytics, but the difference can be a game-changer for your business—and your bottom line. Your ecommerce marketing platform should allow you to optimize your marketing campaigns manually through reporting and analytics, and it should also allow you to optimize through A/B testing and specific strategy recommendations for your brand.
As a part of Drip’s onboarding process, we surface automation recommendations for your brand. These recommendations are surfaced based on the thousands of other ecommerce businesses we’ve helped succeed, and we also calculate just how much mulah your store could see if you implement them. Oh—and each automation is already built for you—so all you need to do is click to install and drop in your brand elements into the emails.
Advanced Automation Capabilities
The goal is for you to spend less time on mundane tasks like selecting email recipients and sending manual emails each week. Make sure that your ecommerce marketing platform has advanced, visual automation capabilities. Automating your marketing strategies is one of the best ways to get more out of your tools, and get precious time back for the fun creative stuff. A visual workflow builder is best so you can map out your customer journeys and see where people are at in the funnel. It’s also helpful so you can build journeys that are as custom, advanced, or as simple as you want.
Pricing That Allows You To Grow
It’s tempting to go with the cheapest option out there, but hear us out…
If your goal is to grow your business, it might be worth it to pay more upfront if you’ll make up for it down the line.
You get what you pay for.
Cheaper tools will be more basic, and not come with advanced automation capabilities or up to snuff integrations. You’ll spend a lot of time and energy just getting things to work, versus paying a little bit more for a tool that does most of the heavy lifting for you. If your goal is to grow your business, most ecommerce marketing platforms pricing is based on list size. It’s worth looking into what your monthly cost will be with your current list size, and what it will be down the line as you grow. You don’t want to select a basic, cheap tool now and have to switch in a year when your business is booming. Migrating platforms is a huge headache, and we firmly believe it’s better to plan for the long-term.
We all love email marketing, but there are so many other channels where you can reach your customers that shouldn’t be put on the back-burner! Facebook and Instagram allow you to select laser-specific audiences to target, and SMS and direct mail are great personal ways to show customers some love. Remember, ecommerce marketing involves marketing tactics both on and off your website.
This one is just fun. You’re going to be getting to know your ecommerce marketing tool super well once you get started–so why not seek one with a great user experience? From building emails to workflows to reporting and analytics, find a tool that’s delightful and easy to use. You can have the best tool on earth, but it’s useless if the interface is too complex to navigate. You shouldn’t have to piece a puzzle together to simply unlock the features you’re paying for.
At Drip, we take pride in our Dashboards, Email Builder, Workflow Builder, and People Profiles–they’re designed by humans for humans—making marketing your online store enjoyable every step of the way.
Crush Your Goals
Hunting for the perfect ecommerce marketing platform can feel daunting, but don’t fear— by defining your goals and needs at the outset, and keeping these essentials in mind you’ll be reaping the fruits of your labor in no time. Ultimately, there is no one-size-fits-all, and as long as the platform you choose enables you to build brand awareness, drive customer loyalty, and increase online sales you’re on the right track.