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Our eCommerce management plan

Pleasing your customers on an individual level with personalised endoresements

Delighting customers and delivering exceptional eCommerce experiences is more than just the aesthetics or functionality of your storefront; it's a holistic effort to relentlessly engage and enrich the customer experience on all fronts and in this post we'll go into the mechanics of how we manage the online journey for your existing and prospective customers with the use of email.

Yes, social and in-store joined up solutions and the use of product positioning with influencers or cross collaboration in other verticals is required in order to boost sales, however email is still hands down the most effective tool when it comes to cold, hard conversions and site sales.

There are many elements to consider inside email marketing with differing opinions, really it depends on works best for your customer base but at Aulter we can lay the foundations on what is essentially required as a must.

Aesthetics and layout (some retailers still opt for the mini site lookalike) is superficial, while relevant to have an attractive appeal with your emails, like social there are some best practises to consider, we have plans to curate and assess what's working for your brand that removes the incessant need or headache involved to allow you to focus on your product.

What email provider do I need to use?

Honestly, you can't go too wrong with any of the providers, they're very good at what they do and on the most part come with all the relevant features that are needed; it comes down to the size of customer base you have, what volume of emails you're sending out are converting (and whether you should send out more or less) and what triggers are relevant to your customer base.

We know the best practises for differing customer segments; if you're a kitchen wholesaler, you're not going to need to send out a constant stream of emails weekly unless you're cross selling lesser value goods or routine service upgrades. An automobile merchant? Might want to update subscribers on new arrivals into your lot, remind customers of your expertise and industry knowledge and what kinds of flexible deals you have available. A department store or Independent? There's a lot more to consider and remember, most pure play eCommerce merchants have dedicated teams for this field, it's why at Aulter we will always offer up a comprehensive plan to support or at very least offer some assistance in getting started.

Pricing can vary greatly between the key players, we recommend Mailchimp if you're getting started and have a subscriber base below 10,000, most plans allow for unlimited emails a month to each subscriber due to the incorporation of drip feeds, a facet we'll highlight further down this pos

Okay, if you've read this far you're maybe thinking, sounds pretty straight forward and I'm sure I (or your team) has the hours in the day to take this onboard and learn as you go with some tutorials. To get this into perspective, you're going to want somewhere between 10-20 blanket emails to go out each month if you're operating as a retailer with hundreds of product categories. You're then going to want around 10 follow up campaigns in place, then you're going to need a couple follow up alterations and that's before considering targeted drip campaigns based on personalisation (or triggered, goal based events) and all the relevant thanks for subscribing, your order has been shipped and promotional campaigns.

The average, mid-market retailer should really have roughly between 60-100 templates ready to go, armed with the right product files uploaded and stored, multi-variant testing on copy dependent on cohorts and this is before you begin analysis' on your grouped segments. Email services have historical reports on campaign performance but there's little in the way of being able to extract exact instances and this is perhaps advisable to duplicate inside a BI solution (not a spreadsheet, so limited and restrictive in a silo).

Anyone can throw together a basic banner email with some text copy but if putting real effort in with the adequate campaign relevance and photography, top professionals are still spending easily a full hour or more building each template (the cycle continually evolves too). You can take some short cuts and run identical or similar templates to save time (In some instances you should, to a degree) but be very careful with this, it doesn't serve the concept of testing conversion rates and it can become increasingly monotonous.

One of my personal, favourite retailers sends out the exact same design, style of content and copy with products that don't exactly correlate with my website browsing or purchasing history. Even after I stop opening these emails, I keep getting the same ones each day... this is a retailer with some 5M visits a month. Yet their email practise is sloppy and leaves a negative sentiment, don't fall into this trap and in order to avoid it without drowning inside email from day one, we can assist.

Where do we assist in campaign management?

Honestly, we'll be here all day if we list absolutely everything that's required in your campaign management, specifically email involved;

  • Open rate triggers
  • Click rate conversions
  • Template design and analysis
  • Segmenting and reporting
  • File management (digital assets)
  • Multi-variant testing and copy analysis
  • Seasonal edits, bestsellers, recommended 
  • Review discount codes
  • Order confirmations/Signups (product recommendations included)
  • Cart abandonment drip feeds
  • Wishlist drip feeds
  • Shipping notifications 
  • Dropped website interaction 
  • Alterations in product category viewing (Affluent to affordable, meat to veg)
  • Birthdays 
  • Promotional, offers, discounts, flash sales

The cycle doesn't end when your customer receives their goods either, every interaction is a chance for your brand to tailor and personalise the customer experience; there are further, prominent influencing factors to consider in your campaign management performance that are peripheral to email but are still connected.

There's also a lot of tips and tricks to consider to avoid potentially disastrous pitfalls, such as most email providers will 'clip' overly long emails, know what length of email is right for certain service providers such as Gmail and Live. Avoiding the dreaded spam box is another lethal, killer for your campaign, where does timing, repetitiveness and personalisation tie into this? And for the love of god don't immediately offer a discount when a cart is abandoned, customers pray on the weak.

If you'd like to discuss what can be addressed and the degree of assistance we can provide either as a standalone campaign plan or forged with our storefront build and curation then contact us to discover how we can better engage your existing customers and begin attracting new ones at an affordable cost.

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