Increase eCommerce Sales with Integrated MRP and Marketing Automation
eCommerce businesses looking to boost their sales, revenue, and profitability need look no further. We bring you two powerful tools – MRP systems and marketing automation – that can help you marginally drive conversions and increase ecommerce sales for your online business.
So let’s dive in and learn what MRP systems and automated marketing are, what sorts of valuable data and insights we can gain from each of them, and five powerful ways in which they can contribute to increasing sales revenue for your ecommerce business, including better product recommendation and bundling, cross-selling opportunities, and flexible pricing techniques.
What is an MRP system?
Material Requirements Planning, often known simply as MRP, is a computerised inventory management system that helps businesses plan and control stock levels and production activities in tandem.
For an operation as volatile as an ecommerce business, inventory management can be a real challenge. Thanks to MRP systems, businesses can better manage their inventory levels, cut down wastage, and avoid stock-related problems such as stockouts, overordering, and overproduction.
By streamlining inventory management processes, businesses can better meet customer needs, which can lead to increased efficiency, improved order fulfilment, slashed costs, and higher customer satisfaction scores. All these benefits eventually build up to higher sales figures for your online store.
What is marketing automation?
Marketing automation involves using specialised software to automate certain marketing activities and operations, such as email campaigns, social media advertising, and web activity tracking.
Automating repetitive marketing tasks can help your ecommerce business deliver highly personalised, tailored messages to your customers, allowing you to provide better service and support. It can enable you to drive engagement, develop customer loyalty, improve lead generation, reduce costs, and better target your audience.
By combining these two tools into your everyday processes, you can create an efficient and effective system to increase ecommerce sales, improve customer satisfaction, and, ultimately, grow your business. Let’s find out how.
5 ways to increase ecommerce sales with integrated MRP and marketing automation
We’ve successfully identified five key ways in which MRP systems and marketing automation can work side by side to help ecommerce businesses boost sales revenue. Let’s explore them one by one.
1. Personalised product recommendations
One of the biggest challenges for ecommerce businesses is figuring out how to turn a browsing customer into a confirmed sale. This is where personalised product recommendations come in.
Personalised recommendations are suggestions for products tailored to a customer’s specific interests and preferences, curated after carefully studying past patterns and behaviours.
With an MRP system, you can gather and analyse data about past purchases, browsing patterns, known preferences, demographic information, and satisfaction scores. Even something as small as a customer’s location can help find out which products are available in their area, helping you ensure that the products marketed to that particular customer are actually in stock in their nearest warehouse and ready for purchase. Working with MRP data will thus help you collect and present your customers with product recommendations that genuinely speak to them.
At the same time, marketing automation can be used to track important customer engagement data, such as which products they’ve been clicking on, what kind of products they have in their wishlist or cart, the amount of time website visitors or mobile shoppers have been spending on your ecommerce store, and much more. You can figure out which marketing strategies will speak to which customers and thus further refine the product recommendations made to them.
Personalised product recommendations not only help new customers find items they are most interested in but can also increase the likelihood of existing customers coming back for more. By using MRP and marketing automation to offer personalised product recommendations, you can create a more personalised and engaging shopping experience for your customers, increasing customer satisfaction and building loyalty.
2. Targeted promotions
While the underlying concept here is quite similar to that behind personalised recommendations, targeted promotions have more to do with the marketing aspect of business. And the end goal is the same – more sales. But how do we get there?
MRP data such as a customer’s demographics, past interests, and buying history can all be used to better understand them, leading to intelligent customer segmentation and more focused promotions, i.e., presenting in an appealing way specific products to specific people who would most likely be interested in buying them.
Marketing activities also help gather data that could be crucial for targeted promotions. This includes customer engagement data, such as email open rates, click-through rates, and conversions. You can even easily track customers’ activities and interactions across multiple promotional channels, such as email, social media, or your ecommerce website itself, to figure out what it is that they’re in search of. It can help identify different customers’ needs at different stages of the sales funnel and cater to them accordingly.
Furthermore, with marketing automation, you can automate the process of lead nurturing, a process that involves developing a lasting relationship with a potential customer over time, essentially prepping them for a confirmed sale down the road. By providing relevant content and especially targeted promotions to leads, businesses can build trust and increase the likelihood of a sale.
Automatic abandoned cart reminders are also a great way to reinforce a customer’s interest in products of their choice and can help give them that final push needed for conversion.
By smartly combining MRP and marketing data, you can create promotional campaigns that are most likely to resonate with certain customer segments or types and thus lead to more conversions.
3. Cross-selling and upselling
These two are powerful and often underexplored sales strategies that can help businesses boost their revenue manifold and inspire customer loyalty.
Cross-selling is when you suggest complementary or related products to customers based on their past purchases. For example, if a customer was interested enough to buy a pair of brown leather boots, there is a high chance that they would also consider buying brown shoe polish.
Upselling means offering an “upgraded” version of a product that a customer is thinking of buying. For example, if you notice a customer expressing interest in buying a small meal for $10, you instead could offer a medium meal for a seemingly small increase in price, e.g., $1175.
An integrated MRP system can provide useful information about your buyers’ choices based on old sales data and customer feedback and help narrow down some supplementary items for them. Plus, it can help identify customers who have recently bought products that will likely need replacing soon and suggest related products that can enhance their previous purchases. A well-integrated MRP system will also allow you to explore product relationships based on the extensive inventory data it houses, further helping make useful supplemental suggestions.
Marketing automation can also play a crucial role in cross-selling and upselling. Customer engagement data, such as browsing habits and click-through rates, obtained from automated marketing processes leads us back to personalised recommendations and targeted promotions. These can actively open up some brilliant cross-selling and upselling opportunities, and you can conduct further marketing activities such as automated email campaigns to confirm the sales.
4. Product bundling
When you offer a package, deal, or combination of two or more products for a price that beats the actual combined prices of the individual items, this practice is called product bundling. It is one of the easiest and fastest ways to increase ecommerce sales figures. On top of that, offering product bundles provides customers with a convenient shopping experience where they can buy more, faster, without having to browse extensively to find similar or related products.
MRP data is perfect for identifying products which have sold well together in the past and would thus be great when offered as a bundle. Where and how can you get this information? Extract data for past sales and study it to uncover close relationships between products that were bought by the same customer, perhaps even in the same transaction. You can then use this data to create new product bundles that have a high chance of becoming popular asks within your target audience.
Then comes the marketing phase, where you use automated marketing to promote these bundles to customers, such as through personalised email campaigns or paid ads. By analysing customers’ behaviours and data for past purchases, your marketing methods can further identify which customers are most likely to be interested in which bundles. Target these tailored promotions specifically to those with the highest likelihood of conversion. You can also offer further discounts or special promotions to encourage customers to make a purchase.
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5. Dynamic pricing
The concept of dynamic pricing focuses on making product prices flexible instead of having prices set in stone or “fixed”, depending on various factors. Pricing products dynamically directly can have a two-fold effect.
- Bumped-up prices can contribute to greater revenue and profits in terms of sales amounts.
- Slashed prices can lead to higher earnings in terms of the number or quantity of products sold.
Here’s how MRP systems and automated marketing can help in this process.
With an integrated MRP system, you can use critical data such as current inventory levels, latest changes in demand, and pricing history to adjust prices in real time. For example, if a product is in high demand and inventory levels are low, the system can automatically increase the price to maximise profits. Similarly, if a product is not selling well and has been on the shelf for an alarming long amount of time, the system can automatically lower the price to quickly increase ecommerce sales.
Similarly, marketing automation can play a critical role in dynamic pricing. You can use data on competitor prices, customer demand, and past sales data to optimise your prices. For example, if a competitor of yours lowers their prices, marketing automation can help you respond by slashing your prices to outdo them. This particular phenomenon is called competitive pricing.
Dynamic prices can also be based on individual customers’ personal preferences for certain products, which can further help you gain loyal customers in the long run. You can take the automation a step further by sending out immediate alerts about flash sales or limited-time discounts to your customers to create a sense of urgency and generate sales faster.
Another aspect of marketing automation you can take advantage of here is the fact that you can easily conduct A/B testing. If you are not sure how you should price a particular product, run a few test campaigns with different prices and see how customers respond to each campaign.
With MRP systems – specialist software built for the purpose of commercial inventory planning and management – and automated marketing processes, businesses such as yours can effectively increase ecommerce sales.
In some cases, these tools can work on their own, while in other cases, they can bring about better results when working together. Regardless, there are five ways they can help ecommerce businesses record higher sales: making personalised product recommendations, running targeted promotional campaigns, finding new cross-selling and upselling opportunities, offering new product bundles, and dynamically pricing products.