Guide to ecommerce marketing automation platforms in 2024: 8 features to consider when upgrading software

Lizzie Davey
10min read
Ecommerce industry
30 April 2024
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Ecommerce marketing in 2024 can feel like the Wild West.

Getting your head around the latest tools and technologies can be a full-time job in itself while changing consumer habits means brands have to constantly assess and reassess their strategies. 

Customers expect relevant, timely communications and exclusive offers and discounts, and a higher level of personalisation is now the norm. Wrangling these alone can be tough, which is where ecommerce marketing automation software comes into play.

Powerful automation features and AI-assisted tech are helping brands deliver exceptional shopping experiences on time, every time. 

The benefits of automation and unifying your channels 

Imagine if you had to manually send a thank you email to every new customer—or worse, create personal journeys from scratch each time a shopper came to your online store. It would be a huge time-suck and, let’s face it, not a great use of your team’s skills. 

Automation lets you unify your core channels to create a seamless flow between emails, SMS, and push notifications. You can keep customers in the loop via their preferred channels and deliver timely messages to promote sales and nurture loyalty. 

There are plenty of benefits: 

  • Meet customer needs in the moment. Shoppers can’t find what they’re looking for? Out of a product they regularly purchase? Serve automated messages that meet these needs head-on by suggesting products or reminding shoppers to replenish an order. 
  • Stay front of mind. There are a lot of distractions that can pull attention away from your brand. Well-timed automated comms can remind shoppers about your brand and why they bought from you in the first place. 
  • Remove repetitive tasks from your to-do list. Free up your team’s time by automating repetitive activities, like welcome email sequences, answering FAQs, and delivering personalised information and advice. 
  • Win back past customers. Turn one-and-done shoppers into long-term fans with automated nurturing sequences and exclusive deals. 
  • Drive more sales. Keep the momentum going by delivering relevant product suggestions and discounts to increase average order value (AOV) and ensure customers choose you again and again. 
  • Create slick experiences. Unifying your communication channels makes you seem omnipresent and means you can deliver the right information on the right platforms at the right time. 

Ecommerce marketing automation software features to consider 

If you’re looking to improve your ecommerce marketing tech stack or are building it from scratch, here’s what to look for. 

1. Omnichannel opportunities

Software that prioritises one channel—like email or SMS—is great, but you can save a lot of time by choosing a platform that combines several channels in one. 

For example, instead of creating email workflows on one platform and your SMS strategy on another, choose a software where email, SMS, mobile, and social all work together in unison. 

Even better if the software can provide detailed insights into each channel’s performance. Klaviyo’s omnichannel attribution feature brings your core channels under one roof so you can accurately see which touchpoints are the most effective and which channels drive the most conversions. 

Having all your channels in one place—including data, content, and insights from each—means you can identify trends and see which channels work hardest for you. 

Liverpool-based brand Montirex uses Klaviyo to create multi-channel flows across email and SMS so it can engage with customers at every stage of the sales funnel. Detailed data shows which channels are used at each step so the brand can bring them together in a single flow. 

“Being able to manage both our SMS and email activity through a single platform has been a huge factor in the growth of these channels over the last six months,” says Leighton Kearns, Trading Manager at Montirex. “It allows us to make smarter segmentation decisions as we have more customer data to utilise.” 

2. Data-driven planning tools 

Nobody built a successful business on a hunch. Choose an ecommerce marketing automation software that’s equipped with predictive analytics so you can make data-backed decisions fuelled by your customers’ actions and purchasing behaviour. 

Wouldn’t it be great if you could predict a shopper’s next move and deliver the right content based on that move? With Klaviyo’s AI and auto-generated predictive analytics, you can—even at scale. 

The built-in learning tools examine customer behaviour to predict what will happen next, including their next order date, predicted lifetime value, spending potential, and churn risk. You can use this information to segment shoppers and send relevant communications. 

For example, if a customer’s next order date is on the horizon, you can send them a reminder to get ahead. Or, if they’re at risk of churn, you can win them back with an exclusive offer or a message packed full of positive reviews. 

Predictive analytics will also show which channels bring in customers that spend the most with you. Use this data to focus your efforts on the channels that serve you best. 

Beauty brand ICONIC uses Klaviyo’s predictive analytics to build intelligent flows and campaigns. Understanding which channels customers prefer and how shoppers interact with the brand’s website has helped ICONIC increase revenue by 42% in under a year. 

“Klaviyo’s advanced segmenting and clear analytics have allowed us the flexibility to target customers with market-specific content based on shopping behaviours,” says Kathleen Loftus, Global Digital Director at ICONIC London. “These crucial insights help us dramatically increase our email and SMS revenues.” 

3. Growth-centred and extensible

The more your business grows, the more complex your tech stack will become. Instead of swapping tools every few months to keep up with increasing demands, choose software that lets you plug in new technologies as and when the need arises. 

The easiest way to do this is via an API. Klaviyo’s flexible APIs let you build any custom integration within Klaviyo, regardless of the other platforms in your tech stack. 

For example, KaisaFit wanted to activate existing data from WooCommerce to separate leads into two cohorts. It did this by setting up an API trigger between Klaviyo and WooCommerce that notifies Klaviyo when someone starts or finishes a workout. This triggers an automated email tailored to the outcome—people who started but didn’t finish a workout received a different email than those who started and completed a workout. 

4. Compatible with your ecommerce platform 

The last thing you want to discover is that the ecommerce marketing automation software you’ve chosen and paid for doesn’t integrate with your existing ecommerce platform. 

Klaviyo integrates with all major ecommerce platforms, including: 

Integrations are a one-click affair and pull in real-time and historical data from your platform. This helps you understand your customers on a granular level and build campaigns and segments based on previous browsing behaviour. 

If you’re using a custom setup, Klaviyo’s APIs integrate with any platform. 

5. Collect and consolidate data across tools 

Most ecommerce brands are leaning on several tools at once—from shipping and logistics tools to customer success, point of sale, and loyalty tools. Each of these tools generates its own data and paints an isolated picture of the buying journey. Choose an ecommerce marketing automation software that consolidates data from all these different places in one central view. Klaviyo integrates with more than 350 ecommerce tools (far more, if you include its flexible APIs), which pulls data from each layer of your tech stack to build a 360-degree view of each customer. 

You can bring data in and out of Klaviyo where it’s centrally stored and organised ready to be used in automated workflows and segmenting. 

Toilet paper brand Who Gives A Crap relied on Klaviyo’s integrations to scale its personalisation efforts. It pulled in data from Recharge, Unbounce, Malomo, and more into one central place, resulting in a seamless experience and some great numbers. The brand’s email list grew by 640% in three years. 

“It’s about telling a more relevant story for customers utilising the data we collect, versus relying on data that’s own by a third party,” says Mike Altman, Director of Lifecycle Marketing and CRM at Who Gives A Crap. “Klaviyo helps us create a more holistic view of the customer so we can understand who they are, what’s important to them, and where they’re at in their journey.” 

Klaviyo’s customer data platform (CDP) makes it easy to store, manage, and analyse customer data at scale. 

When everything you need is in one place, you can:

  • Drive revenue and engagement with deeper personalisation.
  • Reduce the total cost of ownership by replacing multiple redundant tools with a single platform. 
  • Increase efficiency with faster access to data. 
  • Improve data accuracy by syncing and transforming real-time data at scale.  

6. Build advanced automations 

Welcome sequences, abandoned cart emails, and win-back workflows are just a few of the automated sequences you can—and should—use to connect with your customers. 

The best ecommerce marketing automation software has ample templates and customisable flows you can run with. But if you want to create highly-personalised experiences based on truly granular data, look for a tool that goes one step further. 

Look for software that combines standard automated workflows with deeper layers of data, such as: 

  • Welcome email sequences based on acquisition source.
  • Abandoned cart emails based on cart value.
  • Back-in-stock and price-drop alerts for VIPs.
  • Happy birthday messages with a personalised discount code. 
  • Win-back campaigns to customers who haven’t engaged with you for a certain timeframe.

Klaviyo uses key data points to automatically segment customers and send messages based on their unique situations. Behaviour-triggered email and SMS messages are dynamically personalised for each buyer, while the ability to segment in real-time means you can quickly connect with shoppers based on their browsing behaviour, cart value, or previous purchase history. 

British fashion brand Club L uses customer-first data in Klaviyo to send highly relevant messages to its customers. As well as sending well-timed incentives, it recommends outfits based on previously browsed collections and even the fabric colours customers prefer. 

But it’s the brand’s abandoned checkout flow that generates the most revenue. It sends irresistible time-limited offers to customers who have abandoned high-value carts, which convert at nearly 11%. The next-day automated reminder email converts a further 7%. 

“Having the ability to segment customers with personalised content in both campaigns and automations has been pivotal to enhancing the customer’s journey and growth of the channel,” says Steph Moorghen, Digital Marketing Director at Club L. 

7. Powerful reporting capabilities 

The ability to dive deep into platform-specific data is crucial for better understanding your customers and drilling down into your best-performing channels and strategies. 

Look for software that provides real-time performance metrics, multichannel attribution, and predictive analytics so you’re always two steps ahead. 

Klaviyo’s advanced reports feature tracks data in real-time, including email KPIs, customer behaviour, and omnichannel performance. You can use these insights to predict future actions and forecast customer activity on an individual level (without any extra effort on your part). This helps you build out super-specific segments and highly-personalised campaigns for each customer.  

Klaviyo’s reporting dashboard also lets you create custom report templates and explore personalised benchmarks that highlight what you should focus on next. 

8. Enable future growth 

The ecommerce marketing automation software you choose should effortlessly grow with you. As your sales and customer base increase, you want your tech stack to expand as well. 

As well as monitoring and measuring multi-channel performance and identifying opportunities to connect with customers, choose a tool that’s geared towards growth. Klaviyo’s ability to integrate with more than 350 ecommerce tools and its APIs that help you build your own experience makes it the perfect growth partner. 

The best part is, that the more you grow your customer base and understand individual customer needs, the easier it is to create highly-personalised experiences at scale. 

Run an ROI and cost-benefit analysis 

Price will play an important part in your decision. If you’re just starting your budget might be tight, or if you’re existing tech stack isn’t up to par, you might be willing to spend a bit more to get it to where you need it to be. 

Before you decide to make an ecommerce marketing investment, carry out an ROI and cost-benefit analysis to determine the potential returns of each tool. Price is one thing, but if software with a higher price tag can save you hours of work, it might be a better investment. Calculate the potential ROI of the software and map that against the investment. 

Consider the time and resources you’ll save too. AI takes repetitive tasks off your plate so you can focus on high-value activities, like responding to individual customer enquiries and building out a desirable product catalogue. 

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Lizzie Davey
Lizzie Davey
Lizzie Davey is a freelancer who specialises in helping technology companies tell compelling, engaging, and rich stories. She is proficient in SEO, thought leadership, email, and content strategy. Lizzie is based in Brighton.