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Email automation: Why every ecommerce brand needs it

Ecommerce marketing automation doesn’t need to be complicated. Email continues to provide a high-leverage way to encourage repeat purchases, making your ecommerce business less dependent on the sometimes unreliable flow of new customers. 

Email marketing helps you build your brand, as well as build a stronger relationship with your customers, who in turn will spend more money with you. One of the most useful aspects of email marketing is automation, which provides the opportunity to save you time whilst still making meaningful connections with audiences who are interested in your brand. 

So, what email automation flows are there? Let’s take a look at 4 of the most important flows and how you can utilise them.

1. Welcome Flows

The purpose of  a Welcome Flow is to introduce subscribers to your brand, with the aim to convert them into first-time customers. This flow is a great opportunity to shout about what makes your brand unique and why they should purchase from you. Your welcome email should be informative, clear, and actionable.

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2. Abandoned Cart Flows

Abandoned cart flows are one of the most valuable flows for any ecommerce business. They’re the sequence of messages sent to someone who’s expressed interest in purchasing but failed to complete the purchase. It’s vital to contact these customers, as almost 70% of shopping carts are abandoned on average- meaning that’s money being left on the table.  

There are a lot of reasons why a potential customer abandons a cart. Perhaps the shopper didn’t have their debit card in front of them or wanted to browse your site a bit more before making a decision. They could also check other competitors to compare prices/services- this is why it’s important to target them at this stage, whatever their reason is for leaving mid-checkout, most often it’s not because they’re no longer interested in the product.

3. Abandoned Browse Flows 

Essentially, Browse Abandonment Flows are very similar to abandoned cart flows, the difference being that they’re triggered when a user visits a product page but does not start or complete a checkout — a visitor doesn’t have to add an item to their cart to trigger this flow. All a site visitor has to do is view an item and continue browsing the site/exit. 

We’d recommend making your Browse Abandonment Flow emails a ‘lighter touchpoint’ than your abandoned cart flow, as visiting a product page doesn’t quite express the same level of intent to purchase as adding to cart, so you don’t want to put this user off with too many emails. 

4. Post Purchase Flows

Arguably the most important flow of them all is the Post Purchase flow, not only are they essential for growing your brand, but they also establish a sense of trust for users that their order has been received and acknowledged, which is especially important for a first-time purchaser. 

Post-purchase flows also have the ability to turn a shopper into a loyal and repeat customer, post-purchase messaging see’s a 217% higher open rate and 90% higher revenue per recipient than an average email campaign. You can achieve this by personalising the messaging used, based on whether the audience is a first-time purchaser or a repeat customer, as their needs will be different. For example, for a first-time buyer, you may want to encourage them to sign up for any newsletter/loyalty program you have. Whilst with a repeat purchaser, you could consider thanking them for their continued support and reach out to find out more information about them.

The example below is from Bellroy’s post-purchase flow and is sent 30 days after a customer has purchased. They encourage customers to follow their social media, give a review and ‘Expand your Bellroy family’ by buying new products. This is a great example of different methods you could utilise to continue their interest in your brand.

However, without a doubt, the most vital email in a post-purchase flow is the ‘Confirmation of Purchase.’ When customers click Complete Purchase they will appreciate knowing that everything went through as expected, that you’ve received their order and it will soon be on its way to them. This should always be the first email in your post-purchase flow. 

So, that’s our take on 4 of the most important flows that every eCommerce brand needs to improve customer experience and grow their brand further. However, it doesn’t stop there, there are plenty of other flows you can use to get the most out of your audience.

Get in touch with us today if you’re interested in using email automation as part of your e-commerce strategy.

Chris Thomas


Chris Thomas

CEO & Founder

Chris has been at the forefront of eCommerce and a pioneer of online retailing since the early 00s. A 5-time Drapers Award winner, Chris has extensive experience in developing fashion brands online.

Chris founded Cake in 2016. Based in Birmingham, with offices nationwide, Cake specialises in helping fashion brands understand their market online and then helps to develop appropriate strategical direction to achieve their plan, all backed by his 20 years of operating in the retail market.