eCommerce is here to stay, and eCommerce integration will play a big role in its growth. According to Shopify, online sales in the US will reach $523 billion by 2020. That represents a huge share of all shopping activity, and experts expect those numbers will continue to grow.
In response, companies around the world are doing their best to create enjoyable, efficient, and profitable online shopping experiences. But crafting an effective eCommerce experience is often easier said than done. There are many questions to consider, such as: How do you woo first-time customers? How do you convert them to a repeat buyer? What happens when they need to return an item? If you don’t get each of these elements exactly right, you’ll lose out on business—and revenue.
Instead of approaching these as separate events, you can use eCommerce integrations and automations to guide the customer along a seamless customer journey. Integration and automation can help you sell more by personalizing your outreach, intelligently coaching customers towards repeat purchases, and wow-ing them with exceptional service.
eCommerce Integration #1: Enable targeted email campaigns in Marketo based on real data from Shopify
Targeted email marketing is one of the most powerful tools in any business’s eCommerce toolkit. In order to be effective, however, these emails need to be shaped by actual customer data such as purchase history, lifetime spend, and other preferences.
At many companies, this data lives in an eCommerce app like Shopify. Because marketing emails are usually sent using an app such as Marketo, there can be a big disconnect between what your eCommerce app knows about your customers and how your marketing team targets them.
To solve this problem, you can use a few simple eCommerce integrations to bridge the gap between your eCommerce app and your marketing app by mapping important purchase information to the right leads.
For example, WavHello—a startup that sells tech products for families—uses Shopify, Marketo, and Workato to infuse their email marketing outreach with real customer data. To do this, Workato (their iPaaS) first brings all customer information into Marketo from Shopify by creating leads and updating them accordingly.
At the same time, Workato also records every single purchase order as a custom object in Marketo. Transaction history, number of orders, lifetime spent, name, email, and much more can be updated seamlessly, automatically and without errors or duplicates in those custom objects which are tied to individual leads.
The result is a powerful sync between Shopify and Marketo that enables more targeted email campaigns and incredible marketing insights. Customers now receive highly relevant emails directly based on their past purchases, which has led to a massive increase in repeat purchases.
“I don’t know any backend code,” says Tara Humphries, Head of Digital Marketing at the company. “I realized other eCommerce integration options couldn’t give us what we needed. Workato had a simple interface that I could understand and use at my level of knowledge. Now we’re able to have a database of all our customers and map the customer journey, with no duplicates!”
If you don’t use a marketing hub app, don’t worry; you can create a similar workflow with a dedicated email marketing apps, like MailChimp, or CRMs like Infusionsoft. You can also use real-time events—like an abandoned shopping cart—to trigger these emails.
eCommerce Integration #2: Remove barriers to repeat purchases with intelligent reminders
Businesses rely on repeat customers to build a brand following and pave the way for steady growth. Personalized reminders and suggestions are a powerful tool for encouraging your customers to make additional purchases. But in order to be most effective, this outreach should be well-timed; nothing turns a customer off more quickly than an irrelevant email asking them to spend more money.
It might sound like a lot of work, but integration and automation can help you create perfectly timed, appropriately targeted marketing emails with no extra effort using information from your eCommerce app.
Edible Blooms, an Australian flower and gift retailer, is a great example of how this ecommerce integration works. The company realized that many customers send their products as gifts for events like birthdays or anniversaries. Because these are annual events, Edible Blooms knew that these purchases could be an important stream of recurring revenue.
To increase the likelihood of repeat purchases, Edible Blooms wanted to send an email to customers every year, right before the event they had made a purchase for the previous year occurred again.
To do this, they designed an automated workflow that connects Marketo with their eCommerce platform (Magento) and sends a reminder email ten days before the recurring event. Eight days later—2 days before the anniversary or birthday—the recipe sends a follow-up email.
Not only does this workflow allow Edible Blooms to nurture repeat business with targeted email campaigns, but it also allows them to growth-hack recurring events and customer loyalty. And it works: this event-based reminder workflow resulted in a 20% ROI in just a few short weeks!
eCommerce Integration #3: Make requesting and processing returns a breeze
For customers and sellers alike, returns are perhaps the most complex and frustrating aspect of eCommerce. After all, if a customer needs to return an item, they’re already unsatisfied. It can be a real challenge to turn the experience into a positive—but if you do, you’re more likely to win that customer’s loyalty.
In addition to your eCommerce platform, the process usually involves many steps that span several complex apps like NetSuite or ServiceNow—so keeping these apps connected can go a long way towards making it smoother for everyone involved.
A leading luxury bedding retailer, for example, uses eCommerce integration and automation to make sure that customers can easily request returns and exchanges.
Every step of the process is automated, starting with the initial order creation in NetSuite and ServiceNow. After a warehouse manager marks an order as fulfilled in NetSuite, the corresponding orders in Shopify and ServiceNow are automatically updated to reflect the order’s status. And to keep everyone in the loop, customers receive an email update about their order status from Shopify, while CS agents can see the order is fulfilled in ServiceNow.
When customers request a return—whether by phone or online—another automation creates a Return Authorization Request in NetSuite pending approval. This way, the support agent who is helping the customer can initiate the return directly from ServiceNow instead of switching apps. And when the returned goods arrive from the customer, the pending Return Authorization Request will already exist in NetSuite.
Once the company receives the returned goods, a manager can approve the return by clicking “Refund” in NetSuite. The approval triggers an update of the order case status in both ServiceNow and Shopify, letting both the customer and CS know that the request has been approved and a refund issued.
This workflow ensures a smooth process from the initial order all the way through refund, keeping customers happy and informed the entire time. Additionally, the process allows all parties to seamlessly move through the RMA process without experiencing manual work or the need to log into another app. That’s a huge plus when you’re trying to get customers the correct items as quickly as possible!
Boost Your eCommerce with Integration and Automation
Your customers expect great online shopping experiences—why give them anything less? eCommerce integration and automation doesn’t just help you deliver on your promise to make buying enjoyable; it allows you to leverage those experiences to grow your brand—and your revenue.