Every business is built on its customers.

Many e-commerce businesses struggle with establishing customer relationships that last. Majority of the shopping carts are abandoned. Many customers buy once and never return.

To improve conversions and customer retention, we need to communicate to customers in a way that is highly relevant to them.

In order to serve our customers this way we need to know them, with the help of data. And to really do all of that, we need to have a scalable way to:

Send the right messages to the 1) right people 2) at the right time.

This is where marketing automation enters the picture.

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E-commerce Use Cases of Marketing Automation

Marketing automation can have a drastic influence on your sales. Here are three concrete use cases of growing e-commerce sales with marketing automation.

1. How to tackle the shopping cart abandonment issue

This is a really common and well-recognized challenge with e-commerce stores. The customer clearly has a buying intent but something stopped her from buying.

Maybe the shipping cost was too high. Or maybe something distracted her.

You never know.

This is why it’s a really good idea to send her a series of emails, reminding her that she has items in her shopping cart to help her complete the purchase. To entice her to buy, you might even eventually offer her free shipping or a discount.

One case example of this is Envelopes.com, that managed to drop its cart abandonment rate by 40 per cent with a series of emails designed to drive the customer back into shopping.

Shopping bag

Serve the customer by reminding them of items in their shopping cart

2. Drive down product return rate and improve retention by educating the customer

Now, your customer has bought products from you for the first time.

You can educate her how to get most out of them, how to maintain them and what other products or services she could benefit from at this point.

This drives down returns, and builds trust and loyalty towards your business.

3. Improve retention and Customer Lifetime Value by waking up your sleeping customers

Usually most of your customers are inactive at any given time. They have bought only once or twice and you haven’t heard from them in months, or even years. This is an opportunity to activate your customers through relevant messaging.

For example, you can send offers that are related to the product range they were interested in the last time they bought.

You can also try a more generic and time-specific offer like “10 per cent off from your next purchase, valid for 24 hours”.

Help them remember you and become active customers once again.

Two more things you should consider

Firstly: one big misconception about marketing automation is that its costs are huge and the implementation projects are endless.

No. Marketing automation doesn’t have to be expensive and it can be implemented in a lean way, gradually. The biggest benefits always come from the improved processes, not the technological platform itself.

Today there are many useful platforms and tools at different price points.

Secondly, the most powerful thing about these examples is that these processes are automated – not one-off. While it’s obvious, its significance cannot be stressed enough. You don’t need your marketing staff to constantly launch new campaigns and write new messages. This makes marketing automation really cost-effective and scalable.

You can start marketing automation by experimenting with a single marketing automation tactic. Based on the results, make tweaks into the workflow and messages to sell even more. Once you’ve found the automation to be effective, leave the it running on the background to constantly produce new sales. Then make another automated workflow. This is what marketing automation is all about.


There are many effective marketing automation tactics that have successfully produced results for e-commerce businesses all over the world.

Marketing automation can help increase e-commerce sales with a multitude of ways, it helps:

  • turning visitors into customers,
  • increasing the life-time value of customers by up-selling and cross-selling,
  • increasing retention by reactivating customers,
  • building relationships and improving sales by nurturing customers every step of the way.

As you can see, the possibilities with marketing automation are endless.

Get started today, and improve your ecommerce business towards increasing sales.

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