Providing an omnichannel experience with Magento and Episerver Campaign
In order to build an omnichannel commerce experience, retailers must always start with a powerful omnichannel platform to centralize and manage all data from both online and brick-and-mortar stores, as well as the operation of their warehouses. Magento is one of the most popular E-Commerce solutions and allows retailers to provide a consistent experience to consumers throughout all touch points. The platform includes powerful CMS capability for online stores, tracks and operates fulfillment, records consumer behaviors on websites as well as purchase history from points of sales (POS) and boasts many other features for omnichannel commerce. However, the cross-channel experience cannot be achieved by a single platform like Magento; retailers need a solution for omnichannel content to reach customers with appropriate messaging at the right time and right place. The more touch points retailers have, the more communication they need with customers to make sure both parties are on the same page. According to research by Marketing Week, 50% of consumers regularly use more than four touch points for their purchases and Zendesk states that 35% of customers expect to be contacted by the same customer service representative on whatever channel they choose. Therefore, omnichannel retailers need a combination between a powerful platform and a straightforward solution for mailing content in order to provide their customers with the true omnichannel experience.
In this article, we would like to introduce such an integration between Magento and Episerver Campaign. Episerver is a powerful platform for E-Commerce websites, with advantages in personalization and marketing automation, and Episerver Campaign is included in the Episerver ecosystem. However, the cost for a complete Episerver license can be daunting for smaller enterprises. Larger companies which need detailed customization options and complex integrations with other systems are more willing to pay the higher price for the extensive customizability and ease of use of Episerver. For retailers that instead choose to work with a free E-Commerce platform but still want to focus on multi-store management and customer loyalty development, Magento might be a more suitable solution. And by integrating it with Episerver Campaign, they are still able to utilize its powerful features in regards to personalization and marketing automation.
How Episerver Campaign works with Magento to build an omnichannel experience
Episerver Campaign works perfectly with both Magento 1 and Magento 2 and the integration transfers customer data between the two systems. That means that when registered customers change their information on the website or at a POS or the product information is changed, the data is synchronized to Episerver Campaign. Based on the customer profiles on Magento, which are collected after products are sold online and offline, after promotions are executed, etc, Episerver Campaign helps retailers follow up on these contacts with simple configurations.
Three main kinds of content delivery are powered by Episerver Campaign, cover the entire customer journey. They are one-shot-campaigns, omnichannel campaigns and marketing automation.
Regular campaigns such as monthly newsletters, birthday wishes or expiration date reminders can be created and easily activated using Smart Campaigns, a tool included in Episerver Campaign. Smart Campaigns supports sending email to recipients in multiple lists, sending printed materials via mail, sending SMS as well as fax messages and pushing notifications to Android or iOS devices.
Senders can evaluate the performance of email content with A/B testing and analyze the overall results of their campaigns.
Episerver Campaign also supports multi-channel notifications for order fulfillment by transaction email, SMS, fax, print and mobile push. Transaction emails would be sent automatically via an API call, for example sending an email when an order is placed on an online shop. Retailers can also send SMS or mobile notifications for appointments, PINs or delivery information directly to the customer’s mobile device, with personalized data fields and language options.
This feature is of significant importance for retailers who sell products globally, with multiple offline and online stores and complex operating processes for order fulfillment. For example, let’s imagine a customer visits the website of a global brand, signs up for an account, browses some products and then goes to the local store to try and make a purchase. They place an order and request the store to ship the item to their house instantly. Each step in the journey would be recorded by Magento and the platform would trigger Episerver Campaign to send notifications to the customer’s devices about her sign-up, order placement, payment completion, delivery status, etc. That’s how the customer knows for sure that their transaction is in progress and secured.
Personalization and marketing automation are some of the greatest strengths of the Episerver platform, so an Episerver Campaign integration would be the best solution for retailers that want to develop multi-step campaigns and deliver messaging based on events or actions taken – activated by Magento. Marketing automation with Episerver Campaign is straightforward with clear segmentation, and the messaging as well as the marketing plan can be constantly improved upon thanks to the information gathered during the live campaigns. The customer database, dubbed the Profile Store, is also dynamic and keeps updating its content according to the pre-setup segmentation.
Let’s take a look at some examples of how retailers can take advantage of Episerver Campaign’s marketing automation features:
Welcome mail: Making a good first impression with a welcome message to new subscribers is important. The usefulness of such a message is increased if it also includes suggestions about “products you may like” based on the customer’s user profile or pieces of content that they have read. Retailers can also send gifts, sweepstakes competitions or coupons, and customers would have the option to choose to get news updates weekly or monthly.
Trigger mails: Trigger campaigns automatically contact customers individually, following different events or actions taken. Audiences and triggers are predefined by the retailer. A trigger might be an interaction on the Magento website or an order order that’s placed at a point of sale. Trigger mailing is the best way to cross- and upsell or follow up on leads to encourage more purchases.
Customer care: Communicating with customers regularly and measuring their satisfaction is mandatory if retailers want to build a successful customer loyalty program. Marketing automation features in Episerver Campaign can work wonders on the Magento membership database and create personalized communications.
Build a successful omnichannel content system with marketing automation and personalization
According to the 2017 State of Personalization Report by Segment.com, 44% of customers are likely to become repeat buyers after having had a personalized shopping experience. Also, 32% of customers expect to receive relevant messages such as product suggestions or personalized deals within one hour of identifying themselves to a brand. These two numbers show the significant worth personalization and marketing automation have in providing a successful omnichannel experience. However, maintaining consistency in delivering content throughout all touch points can be a major headache for retailers. Email marketing tools are often not reliable, because, due to the lack of deep integration with omnichannel platforms, most of them are not compatible with the data structure of these platforms, even including popular choices like Magento. Therefore, after building an omnichannel commerce environment based on Magento and successfully managing and operating all business activities, retailers still need a campaign management platform, which is able to transfer data to and from Magento fluently to send dynamic messaging to dynamic audiences. That’s how retailers can achieve daily communication with their mass audiences while still providing individualized content.
Episerver Campaign has significant advantages in comparison with other popular platforms such as Marketo, Hubspot, etc. Firstly, Episerver Campaign can be fully integrated and run entirely on local company servers, making it more stable than other software-as-a-service or platform-as-a-service solutions. In addition, the platform provides a user-friendly back-end with straightforward UI design and can be customized to fit the requirements of specific retailers. Moreover, marketing automation features from Episerver Campaign are powered by AI technology, which can provide useful suggestions to the most appropriate audience based on the website’s database and user behaviors. And Episerver, as a major solution provider, can help retailers to successfully implement the technology with its professional partners for deployment and great customer support.
Interested in taking your Commerce site to the next level using Magento, Episerver or a combination of the two? Contact Niteco today and we'll show you how we can help you achieve your omnichannel goals.