Marketing automation is essential in e-commerce

Gears with Marketing Automation logo

Gears with Marketing Automation logo

Marketing automation Marketing automation is essential in e-commerce

Published on 17.05.2022 by Derya Kilic, Digital Commerce Consultant, Swiss Post.

Marketing automation has great potential in e-commerce. At first glance, the technology only seems to be a time saver, but it can do so much more.

E-commerce has enjoyed a real boom in recent years. Growth is also expected in the future, although it will be slower (Handelsverband, 2022). This is also due to the fact that the market is becoming increasingly competitive. In order to survive here, companies must develop advantages. For this reason alone, it is worth looking into marketing automation. Although its implementation is sometimes time-consuming, the potential is all the more attractive.

Successful companies rely more often on marketing automation

In a recently published study, the ZHAW School of Management and Law found that successful companies rely on marketing automation twice as much as less successful ones (ZHAW, 2022, in German). And when it comes to generating and qualifying new leads, as well as customer retention, successful companies use marketing automation four times more often.

One in four companies doesn’t use a marketing automation solution yet

However, the study also shows that one in four companies doesn’t use a marketing automation solution yet (ZHAW, 2021, in German). Although its advantages are obvious, “insufficient know-how”, “poor data quality” and the lack of priority were the most frequently cited obstacles to introducing marketing automation.

Focus on improving efficiency

One of the many advantages is the automation of recurring processes without neglecting personal communication with your customers. In e-commerce, for instance, reminder e-mails can be sent for abandoned shopping baskets. That’s because 70% of all visitors leave an online shop without buying anything (Sleeknote, 2021, in German).

Graphic reasons for canceling orders
Source: Swiss Post customer survey, 2021

Personalized communication without any extra effort

Using rules and templates, marketing automation can address a large number of customers personally. Examples include welcome e-mails with personalized messages, birthday greetings with attractive promotions or a “We miss you” campaign for customers who haven’t placed an order for a while. Depending on the product range, product and service experience, 50% of all customers only order once from an online shop.

Improved lead quality with simultaneous increase in sales

It’s no easy task to lead new contacts to a sale. Depending on the goal, elaborate and cost-intensive campaigns are often necessary. Marketing automation makes it possible to continuously qualify potential contacts into leads along the customer journey. These can include attractive discounts for a first order, or thematically suitable content linked to the corresponding products from the online shop. This approach is not only suitable for new contacts, but also for existing customers who can be sent exclusive content via marketing automation. The goal here is the constant increase in customer loyalty.

Achieving the goal through testing and learning

Marketing automation offers e-commerce companies a wide array of opportunities. It’s not surprising that the popularity of and demand for such solutions is increasing, because they provide benefits for companies and (new) customers alike. As there are now hundreds of marketing automation solutions on the market, it’s a good idea for SMEs to evaluate the tools first. Two to three solutions can first be tested on the basis of predefined criteria and requirements, lessons taken on board and the offers compared. Only then can implementation begin. Depending on the size of the company, it’s advisable not to start out with an enterprise solution, but to try out smaller ones. Many marketing automation companies, such as Sendinblue, Maatoo, Cleverreach and others, offer trial subscriptions, demos or free basic versions. This is the best way for companies to reach their goals through testing.


Derya Kilic, Digital Commerce Consultant at Swiss Post

She helps retailers to develop their digital maturity through strategic digitization advice and the development of solution concepts.

Portrait Derya Kilic

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