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Enhancing Customer Engagement through Marketing Automation
20th July 2018
Marketing automation in retail

Not long ago, the rapid expansion of e-commerce elicited many predictions of the end of the road for brick and mortar retail. One can sympathize with those miscalculations because, after all, convenience is an integral part of customer satisfaction. As it turns out, customers also like immersive, interactive and experiential engagement of the kind that only real life can provide. However, this doesn’t mean that brick and mortar retail is outside the purview of technology. On the contrary, marketing automation – as a means to enhance human interactions – is a powerful tool for both kinds of retail.

Savvy businesses – including several start-ups in the e-commerce domain – have realized the value of the in-store experience. It is not just a conservative or old school demographic that seeks out brick and mortar retail outlets, the preference – as one significant aspect of complex purchasing behaviors – is near universal. Nevertheless, e-commerce and online shopping has indeed habituated customers to personalized experiences and emotional connection, which can be hard to provide each customer in a real-world environment. It is in this context that marketing automation can step in to reconcile the strengths of seemingly contrary worlds.

Microsoft Dynamics 365, and the Engage 365 solution built on it, dramatically enhance customer engagement for retail businesses – by delivering the combined capacities of Microsoft Dynamics CRM, Microsoft Social Engagement, Power BI and Azure. The ability to track, report and interpret data points within Microsoft Dynamics 365 allows for very specific marketing segmentation, all accessible through a functional and intuitive dashboard. The program’s highly integrated and personalized communication, surveys and marketing initiatives – with synchronized delivery across multiple channels – greatly enhance the ability of retail outlets to create a connection with each individual client.

5 ways marketing automation can benefit retail businesses

It’s well understood that the emotional component of a purchasing decision is usually significant and never completely negligible. Retail businesses have always vied to create a connection with their target audiences, in order to best address this. With the changes in customer behaviour, several alternative avenues to make purchases through and the 24/7 convenience of being able to transact without ever having to leave one’s home, retail businesses are faced with significant challenges. Here are five ways in which marketing automation can help optimize customer engagement.

  • Browse abandonment emails can be a highly effective tool to re-instigate interrupted transactions. When acknowledging the emotional component of purchasing decisions, it is probably wise to understand that these motivations can be fickle. Not every interrupted transaction represents a rejection.
  • Including recommendations in welcome emails. The commencement of a relationship can often be a great time to set a tone. It is possible to incorporate recommendations within early communications that are not intrusive or nagging. On the contrary, this can be a highly effective time to showcase high value products and brands, generating desirable customer behavior down the line.
  • Acknowledging high value customers through personalized offers. According to the Pareto Principle, a relatively small number of individuals are responsible for driving a high percentage of any effect. Purchases reflect this as well. The customer lifetime value of certain specific individuals will form a significant part of your business. Reward their behavior, in order to cultivate and deepen your relationship.
  • Using basket abandonment emails to revive interrupted transactions. Offering discounts in basket abandonment emails is a great way to entice a customer who may be undecided in completing their purchase. Whatever their reservation – price point, delivery option or simply distraction by other options – a discount can often make the deal just that slightly more worth it, to persuade them.
  • Creating events and forums – both virtual and real-world – in which customers with similar interest can interact. A lot of purchasing behavior is driven by aesthetic, sense of personal identity and the desire to see these reflected in belongings and preferences. Providing customers with avenues to share their views, experiences and opinions can help create a sense of community – enhancing their relationship with your business as well. These events can be real-world or online and are a highly effective strategy for brick and mortar, as well as online businesses.


Marketing automation can help create a sense of belonging and personalized experiences for a large number of clients, which would be impossible to coordinate or deliver manually. It is an invaluable tool to nurture engagement and reinforce relationships between your business and you customers. To understand how Microsoft Dynamics 365 can help your business engage with its customers better, please reach out to us at  marketing@levtechconsulting.com.

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