Industry Analyst & Strategist
Online sales are up 76% year over year, topping $73 billion in June. As the pandemic relegates people to their homes and out of brick-and-mortar stores, digital channels are flourishing. While that seems like great news for retailers that have a robust online presence, the fact is that retailers now face even more competition. People who once spent money at stores close to them are now shifting dollars online — where they can order from just about anywhere.
This double-edged sword can be a boon for retailers who have perfected digital marketing and are well-positioned to scoop up new business. The question is: how does a retailer create an excellent online customer experience that results in more sales?
One answer is ecommerce email marketing — the use of email to increase sales. It sounds simple enough, but it can be quite involved.
Most people check their inbox first thing in the morning and are inundated with emails from various retailers about sales, reminders, and special offers. What seems straightforward is actually backed by the art and science of ecommerce email marketing.
In its simplest terms, ecommerce email marketing is the art of building relationships. The science part is in how those relationships get built, which often consists of coupons, promotions, shopping cart reminders, and lead nurturing emails.
Ecommerce email marketing is about more than just blasting customers with marketing messages. Retailers must be adept at engaging with their audience at different touchpoints along the customer journey. That starts with having an effective website.
Among the top one million open source websites, more than one-third (37%) use WordPress, and nearly 5% use WooCommere Checkout. WooCommerce is a free WordPress plugin created by Automattic that enables the sale of goods and services directly from a business’s WordPress site. WooCommerce has become a popular solution because it allows users to customize both costs and functionality better than many other ecommerce platforms.
If your marketing initiatives are to be precise, it requires your overall online experience to be precise, too. WooCommerce users benefit from the ability to create a bespoke online store by adding features and functionality via official extensions available in the WooCommerce Marketplace.
The next step is engaging with customers who have visited your website and who show buying intent. This is where ecommerce email marketing comes in. With the right tools, you can send personalized, well-timed emails that help move visitors closer to a purchase.
Leveraging ecommerce email marketing can substantially increase conversion rates for an ecommerce business. There are dozens of different types of email campaigns that you can run, including the following:
Welcome emails are a great way to engage people and point them towards a purchase. In fact, subscribers read welcome emails 42% more than they do other promotional emails.
About 68% of online shopping carts are abandoned, but almost 30% of cart abandonment email clicks can recover a purchase. When people signal buying intent and then leave without purchasing the items in their basket, it’s a great opportunity to reach out and remind them about what they left behind.
Offering loyal customers special discount offers via email can be a great way to re-engage customers who already love your brand.
The key to running successful ecommerce email campaigns is to build a healthy list and to segment that list based on visitor interests, product purchases, and site actions. This can help you deliver hyper-personalized emails that turbocharge ROI. It also helps to have a solid ecommerce email marketing platform.
In 2020, there are about a million (okay, not literally) ecommerce email marketing tools, platforms, and services available. While going with the cheapest solution may seem enticing, the reality is that functionality matters. A great ecommerce email marketing solution will enable you to not only send personalized emails but will allow you to tap into insights and extend messaging into other channels as well. In the era of omnichannel, it’s important to reach customers wherever they prefer to be engaged, which may include email, SMS, social media, and more.
Recently we have seen some partnerships in order to boost solutions available. The developer of Jilt, SkyVerge was acquired by GoDaddy, and Jetpack has partnered with Constant Contact.
Omnisend is a unique example of a platform that seeks to do it all. The platform combines email marketing, SMS marketing, social media marketing, and marketing automation into one place.
It’s more important than ever to have a solid ecommerce marketing strategy that transcends single-channel marketing and aims to deliver personalized messages exactly when customers need them the most. My recommendation to be successful in that endeavor is to combine WooCommerce with Omnisend to deliver a streamlined, personalized customer experience that will make it nearly impossible for customers to turn down.