Recommended Reading: Marketing Can Boost E-Commerce Revenue

Annual e-commerce survey shows companies benefit from range of marketing tools.
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Marketing automation is a key differentiator for high-performing e-commerce distributors. The tool is used twice as much by high-performing e-commerce distributors, proving its critical role in driving online sales, according to Dean Mueller and Jonathan Bein of Real Results Marketing in How Marketing Guides Performance, the second part of the sixth annual State of E-Commerce in Distribution.

"Email marketing is highly utilized and provides a good way to keep in touch with customers, but marketing automation could elevate those efforts," Mueller and Bein say. "Marketing automation begins where email marketing capabilities peak. This underutilized tool, when used properly, can provide highly relevant and behavior-based communication and can increase conversions."

Marketing automation is the process of automatically scheduling repetitive marketing tasks such as email, social media and other tools that drive people to your website.

For this year's survey, Real Results Marketing segmented distributors into three classifications based on e-commerce performance in terms of percent of total revenue. Twenty-three percent of distributor respondents fell into the high performer category because they moved to 10 percent-20 percent of e-commerce revenue within five years or they have greater than 20 percent of total revenue in the e-commerce channel.

This group relies much more heavily on marketing for their e-commerce than distributors in the moderate performer and underperformer categories, the survey results found. Increasing online revenue, and then moving into the high performer category, requires adopting a range of marketing vehicles, including the often underused marketing automation.

"Compressing the time from e-commerce launch to maturity is a goal for many distributors, but it does not just happen," Mueller and Bein say. "Building and launching a site does not automatically translate into success. That’s where strong and effective marketing comes in."

Read more about marketing's role in building a strong e-commerce presence in 2017 State of E-Commerce, part 2: How Marketing Guides Performance.

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