Unlock Retail Growth With Ecommerce Marketing Automation

ShopifyPlus Blog Ecommerce Marketing Automation 3840x2160

In the early days of ecommerce, online marketing typically meant sending mass emails with generic content to large lists. But today’s shoppers expect more personalized and relevant messaging from their favorite online brands

Ecommerce marketing automation allows you to send tailored content that speaks to shoppers’ needs and interests for personalized shopping experiences. With insights like website visits, email interactions, social media activity, and more, you can engage leads more effectively, delivering the right message at the right moment. Here’s how to implement ecommerce marketing automation strategies to boost sales. 

Table of contents

What is ecommerce marketing automation?

Ecommerce marketing automation is the use of automated tools to streamline and measure marketing tasks and workflows in an online retail environment. 

The goal is to boost the efficiency of marketing campaigns and improve customer engagement through personalized communication to drive sales. Ecommerce marketing automation leverages data—such as customer demographics, purchase history, and behavioral data—to optimize customer interactions and make marketing efforts more relevant, timely, and effective.

Ecommerce marketing automation strategies

  • Email automation
  • Display ads retargeting
  • SMS marketing
  • Customer segmentation and personalization
  • Chatbot and AI integration

There are a variety of marketing automation strategies ecommerce businesses can use to reach and engage customers. Here are a few popular tactics for ecommerce marketing personalization:

Email automation

Email marketing automation involves creating automated email campaigns triggered by specific customer actions or behaviors. The goal is to deliver timely and relevant messages to keep your brand at the forefront of customers’ minds. 

To implement email automation, businesses use email marketing software to set up triggers based on customer interactions with their online store, such as browsing specific products or abandoning a shopping cart

For example, imagine that Apex Apparel is an ecommerce business specializing in outdoor clothing for wilderness exploration. It might use email automation to send personalized gear recommendations and weather-specific outfitting tips to customers who recently viewed jackets or boots on their site.

Display ads retargeting

Display ads retargeting works by tracking customers who have visited your website and displaying your ads on other platforms they visit later, such as Instagram Stories, YouTube, or Google Ads on other websites. 

Display ads retargeting keeps your brand visible to potential customers who’ve shown interest in your products, increasing the likelihood that they return to complete a purchase. Implementation requires integrating a marketing automation platform with your website to track visitors and manage retargeting ads. 

Apex Apparel might retarget customers who viewed its winter jackets with ads showing related products, like thermal layers or waterproof boots, on other websites they visit.

SMS marketing

SMS marketing involves sending text messages directly to your customers’s mobile phones. To implement SMS marketing, you need an ecommerce marketing automation software capable of managing and sending bulk SMS messages. The key is to get customers to opt in to receive texts and then send relevant and timely messages (while adhering to relevant anti-spam legislation and best practices). 

Apex Apparel could use SMS marketing to alert customers about flash sales on rain gear during the rainy season or send tips for maintaining outdoor gear after a purchase.

Customer segmentation and personalization

This marketing strategy employs detailed customer data analysis to divide your audience into specific segments based on factors like purchasing behavior, preferences, and historical interactions. 

A robust marketing automation tool can sift through the data to identify unique customer profiles and patterns. Through this customer segmentation, you can tailor marketing campaigns to address each group’s distinct needs and interests, heightening the impact of your marketing efforts.

Apex Apparel could segment its customers based on their favorite outdoor activities and send targeted emails with product suggestions, such as lightweight jackets for hikers or insulated coats for winter camping enthusiasts.

Chatbot and AI integration

Integrating chatbots and AI into your customer service processes can improve the customer experience by providing quick, automated responses to inquiries. These tools can assist with various customer queries and sales support, from giving product recommendations to tracking orders.

Businesses can execute this strategy by embedding AI-powered chatbots on critical pages of their website, programmed to interact with visitors, answer FAQs, and guide them through product selections or support issues. 

Apex Apparel could integrate a chatbot on its site that helps customers choose the right outerwear for specific outdoor conditions or activities, improving the shopping experience with tailored assistance.

Popular ecommerce marketing automation tools

  • Shopify Automations
  • Klaviyo
  • HubSpot
  • Gorgias
  • Campaign Monitor
  • ActiveCampaign
  • Drip

Marketing automation tools can impact how effectively an ecommerce business connects with its customers and drives sales. Here are some of the most popular ecommerce marketing automation tools, each with unique features and capabilities to streamline marketing efforts:

Shopify Automations

Shopify Automations empowers users to automate various operational tasks within their ecommerce store. By leveraging a user-friendly visual workflow builder, you can create custom automated workflows to handle previously manual tasks such as processing orders, managing inventory, and scheduling marketing campaigns and product launches. 

Key features:

  • Easy-to-use templates. Customers can experiment with user-friendly templates and create their own automated workflows.
  • Campaign customization. Shopify allows users to initiate marketing campaigns based on specific product tags like pre-orders or high-spend customer categories.
  • Checkout personalization. Shopify users can customize the checkout experience on their ecommerce stores, including options like gifts with purchase, BOGO deals, and specialized shipping rates.

Cost: Features depend on your Shopify plan and pricing


Klaviyo is a comprehensive marketing automation platform designed for data-driven growth for ecommerce businesses. Users can send personalized, targeted messages by centralizing data from multiple sources to create a complete customer view. Klaviyo automates workflows across multiple marketing channels including social media platforms and emails, allowing businesses to target customers based on their behavior and preferences.

Key features:

  • Data-driven personalization. Users can leverage customer data from various sources, including reviews, loyalty points, and in-store visits, to trigger, split, and personalize automations.
  • AI-enhanced automation. Klaviyo’s platform offers artificial intelligence capabilities to predict customer behavior and create relevant messaging.
  • Performance measurement. You can get data about how different customer segments are performing and on multi-touch attribution (which determines how different aspects of the customer journey impacted conversion) across email and SMS marketing channels.

Cost: The free plan is for up to 250 contacts. Pricing varies based on your business’s email and SMS contacts. 


HubSpot’s marketing automation software is designed to set marketing campaigns on autopilot by leveraging customer relationship management (CRM) software data to enhance marketing campaigns. 

Key features:

  • Automated campaign creation. Customers can use workflows and bot builders to create automated marketing campaigns.
  • Form automation. You can also automate routine tasks like form submissions, ensuring leads are nurtured and moved down the sales funnel.
  • Productivity enhancement. HubSpot’s automation software can automate tasks such as lead scoring, sending leads to sales, and managing data in bulk.

Cost: HubSpot’s marketing automation software is packaged with its Marketing Hub product offering. Pricing varies based on the size of your team. 


Gorgias Automate is an AI-powered tool for ecommerce support teams to improve customer service and raise agent productivity. It leverages artificial intelligence to provide accurate and instant answers, improving customer interaction, support quality and speed. With its focus on automating routine inquiries and streamlining customer communication, Gorgias Automate helps ecommerce businesses improve customer support experience and drive sales.

Key features:

  • Flows. Users can scale their support strategy with customizable and personalized automations, including interactive conversation scenarios, tailored guides, and recommendations. 
  • Article recommendations. The Georgias software uses AI to deliver instant answers from your help centers and articles in response to customer questions. 
  • Order management. You can streamline order-related inquiries by offering customer portals for real-time order status, refunds, cancellations, and issue reporting.

Cost: Gorgias Automate is a monthly add-on to its Basic, Pro, and Advanced plans. Pricing varies based on the monthly automated interactions your business creates. 

Campaign Monitor

Campaign Monitor is an email marketing automation platform that engages audiences to drive revenue growth. It’s designed for businesses seeking to improve customer relationships and marketing efficiency through automated email communications. Campaign Monitor allows businesses to run targeted email marketing campaigns, streamlining the process of reaching customers with tailored messaging.

Key features:

  • Targeted campaigns. Businesses using Campaign Monitor can send personalized offers like VIP specials and birthday greetings to cater to individual customer preferences and milestones.
  • Automated customer engagement. Users can boost customer engagement by creating automations to welcome new customers with tailored offers or send timely reminders for special offers.
  • Personalized recommendations. Campaign Monitor allows businesses to create offers based on past purchases to deliver a more personalized shopping experience.

Cost: Campaign Monitor has a Lite plan starting at $11 per month, an Essentials plan starting at $19 per month, and a Premier plan starting at $149 per month. However, pricing rises with the number of contacts your business has. 


ActiveCampaign’s marketing automation software automates various marketing activities, from email sequences to contact engagement tracking. The platform integrates different aspects of a business’s digital presence, including email marketing, social media, and digital advertising, for customer experience management.

Key features:

  • Comprehensive automation. Businesses can automate various tasks, including welcome email series, contact engagement tracking, and pulling information from various channels like social media and live chat.
  • Data-driven segmentation. Segment contacts and personalize messages across marketing campaigns.
  • Performance analytics. Users can analyze the effectiveness of their marketing campaigns using performance and custom reports to identify growth opportunities.

Cost: Active Campaign offers a 14-day free trial. The Lite plan starts at $29 per month, the Plus plan starts at $49 per month, and the Professional plan starts at $149 per month, all billed annually. Talk to sales about the Enterprise plan pricing. 


Drip offers an ecommerce marketing automation platform so you can run multichannel marketing strategies on autopilot to streamline daily marketing tasks and free up time for strategic brand development. 

The platform’s visual workflow builder is designed for ease of use, allowing automation of marketing campaigns across email, onsite, and social media channels. Drip’s focus on user-friendly automation tools and integration capabilities makes it an efficient solution for businesses looking to enhance their marketing strategies with minimal manual intervention.

Key features:

  • Workflow templates. Drip offers more than 20 workflow templates, simplifying the setup process and allowing for the migration of existing workflows, segments, and lists.
  • Ecommerce integrations. Businesses can integrate with ecommerce data sources like Shopify, WooCommerce, and LoyaltyLion.
  • Social retargeting. Users can also sync Facebook Custom Audiences with Drip segments, crafting channel-aligned marketing campaigns.

Cost: Drip offers a 14-day free trial. Pricing starts at $39 per month for up to 2,500 contacts. Contact a sales rep for pricing for more than 2,500 users. 

Ecommerce marketing automation FAQ

What is the main benefit of ecommerce marketing automation?

Ecommerce marketing automation allows you to streamline marketing tasks, personalize customer interactions, and improve your marketing campaigns’ overall efficiency and effectiveness.

Does Shopify have marketing automation?

Yes. Shopify Automations offers marketing automation capabilities, allowing you to create and manage automated marketing campaigns and customer interactions.

Does marketing automation really work?

Yes. Marketing automation has been proven effective, enabling more targeted, efficient, and personalized marketing efforts and increasing engagement and conversions.