How to Select the Best Marketing Automation Platform to Drive Your Ecommerce Business
There are various marketing automation platforms to choose from. How do you know which one will be the best solution for your business? The features and tools may differ slightly. Often this may be confusing when deciding to dive into marketing automation tech.
Marketing automation software is used to schedule and automate marketing tasks. These may include collecting customer data, growing email list databases, sending emails, and driving your revenue growth. Though mostly used in creating the buying cycle in digital marketing, automation platforms also help your eCommerce business scale.
Automation platforms can help and benefit eCommerce companies in various ways when implemented effectively, such as:
- Reducing the cost of customer acquisition costs
- Increasing average order value (AOV) of consumers
- Enhanced conversion rates of abandoned cart automated emails
- Increasing conversion of short-time buyers into repeat, loyal customers
- Increasing the frequency of sales
What should you consider in a marketing automation platform for eCommerce business?
With thousands of automation software available, you may find it challenging to select the best one for your eCommerce business. The customer journey and sales cycle are different in eCommerce and other companies; some automation platforms may not feature tools that you may need to manage your customer lifecycle.
7 Factors to think about When Choosing the proper Marketing Automation System
- User interface
The first thing you need to consider is how user-friendly or challenging the marketing automation software interface is for your eCommerce marketing and sales activities. Many users may claim that they need an easy-to-use platform, but this is not always the case.
To examine whether the interfaces will be accessible for you or not, check out the platform or ask for a demo video from the vendor. When testing each platform, make sure you ask yourself the following:
- Does it feature clear and smooth navigation? You can experiment by creating an email or using the analytics to see if such simple tasks are difficult or easy to finish.
- Does the platform feature any contextual information? If the main titles are confusing to understand and do not feature any contextual information below as you hover over the title – then the platform may not be right.
- Did you have to navigate through multiple options to find a tool? If this is the case, then the software may hinder your efficiency.
You may need to invest some time to learn the platform after implementing or migrating to a new marketing automation platform. While running an eCommerce business, you may have specific priorities, such as launching multiple campaigns, completing online orders, to name a few. Ensure you have checked and tested all these activities that can be executed using the automation platform and how quickly you can perform those actions.
- Features & Native Integrations
Different marketing automation platforms feature various tools and functionalities. So you need to choose a platform that has the capabilities you need. Also, see if your existing marketing and sales tools can be integrated with the automation platform flawlessly. While comparing multiple platforms, we recommend you to ask vendors these following questions:
- Does the automation platform have the features you need? Ensure you have prepared a list of tools and features you need before starting the research and contacting the vendors.
- Can the automation system support your existing marketing and sales technologies? Seamless integration with existing tech tools will help you sync data across multiple platforms smoothly.
- Does the marketing automation platform feature an open API? An open API is essential if you want to create custom assets.
As an eCommerce business owner, you may have your online store on a specific platform. As this is often the case, it is essential to see that the platform is supported and integrated with the new marketing automation platform to automate lead nurturing campaigns and activities.
- Customer Support
When finding a replacement for your existing automation platform, you should also verify that you will get prompt customer support whenever you need to quickly resolve your unique issues.
Before investing in a new marketing automation platform, ask for technical support; make sure you ask these following questions to ensure the help you seek from the customer support team:
- What type of customer support service is available – is it through phone, email, or live chat?
- How fast and prompt will you receive a response from the customer support team? Many vendors provide 24/7 support, and sometimes, you may need to wait for a business day for an answer.
- If the customer support is not available, will you have access to many helpful resources for troubleshooting? Ensure you can use community forums or online documentation to fill the gap when customer support is not available.
If you do not have the time or resources to troubleshoot problems on your own, look for customer support when comparing different marketing automation platforms.
- Learning Resources
When investing in a marketing automation tool, online resources can help you get most of the new platform. Some automation platforms offer how-to videos, guides, and webinars to help you find out how to use it.
When selecting a platform, ask yourself:
- What resources are available, and will those teach you? Some resources can be quick video walkthroughs that can help you get started with the platform or a comprehensive learning module to earn certifications.
- How will you be able to access those resources? Most resources are usually free and accessible online.
- Are those help resources updated and relevant to your business requirement?
- Customer studies and reviews
Selecting an automation platform for your eCommerce business depends on your unique needs and goals to ensure you can make the most of it.
Look for case studies or video testimonials to see how and what existing customers say about the product. You can use various product review sites to see reviews and ratings on your shortlist platforms.
While researching for a marketing platform, find out:
- The number of people using the platform and the popularity of the system in your industry.
- Is the platform used by B2B, B2C, or eCommerce businesses? Some automation platforms catering to B2B companies may lack some eCommerce features you may need.
- What are other users saying about the platform? Start reading user reviews from review sites to get a more authentic view. You may also find in-depth video reviews on sites like YouTube, which can provide some useful insights.
Pricing structures may differ from platform to platform, but most software has a unique price structure based on contacts. When researching for pricing for platforms, consider:
- The bottom price of the platform and the number of contacts featured in the system. Since eCommerce companies have more extensive contact databases, make sure the platform supports your database’s number of contacts.
- How quickly can you scale with the software while your customer base grows? Use previous data to see how fast and at what rate your database grows – will the platform help you scale with the growing platform in the future?
- What benefits and toolsets impact pricing? Remember that certain features are often not available with some platforms.
Select a marketing automation platform of which the vendor is transparent about the pricing structure. Determine the value of the platform for your database and the feature set you need for your company.
- Configuration and Onboarding
Once you have invested in a new marketing automation platform, you need some assistance in configuring and running the platform. When researching the setup and onboarding process of the platforms, examine:
- If there are a setup and onboarding fee, and if there is, what proportion is it? Some platforms charge a fee which may range from hundreds to thousands for quick setup.
- Does the configuration method happen remotely, or will someone be physically there to guide you?
- Are you migrating from one system to another? In case you are, then seek extra support for all contact data transfer.
- Ecommerce businesses tend to possess more extensive databases that scale quickly, so see the platform will benefit you within the future.
The research process may seem like a daunting task. However, the more you conduct research, the more well-informed decision you can make for selecting the right marketing automation platform fit for your eCommerce business.
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