Magento's Marketing Capabilities

Matt Trimmer

magento-marketing-functionalityWhy marketing is key to eCommerce success

Few things are as important to an eCommerce retailer as marketing. Driving traffic to your site is important, but once customers are on your site, marketing tools help to meet your business goals by increasing such factors as average order value or customer lifetime value.

Because of Magento’s low cost of ownership, merchants often wrongly assume that its marketing capabilities leave much to be desired. This is not the case at all, as Magento Commerce is equipped with a substantial collection of marketing capabilities at a fraction of the cost of other eCommerce platforms.

Rule-Based Product Relations

Enterprise has rule-based product relations that enable cross sell, up sell, and related product capabilities. Rules are established for a product so that if it meets certain requirements, a specific corresponding product is displayed. These rules can be based on anything from price to manufacturer to customer segment as well as custom product attributes.

Once a rule is created, Magento displays the list of the corresponding products and you have the ability to edit the list from there. For example, you could establish a rule which relates tennis shoes and socks as a suggested cross sell. Leveraging rule-based product relations, Magento will display the list of socks and allow you to remove or add to the list of suggested cross sell products. Using this capability, you could theoretically establish a handful of rules and allow Magento to just run those related products for the entire site.

This capability is significantly easier to set up using Magento’s provided functionality than if this were to be set up manually for each individual product. For a product catalog of any substantial size, it would be nearly impossible to establish product relations without rule-based product relations.


Banners are an area of a page that contains a static block of content, such as images, text, or HTML. Banners utilize conditions and customer segments to determine what will be displayed. As the marketing manager, you have control over what is displayed, as well as the size of the banner and where to place it on the site based on your site’s theme and template.

It would be a significant customization to add this sort of capability to a site that does not have access to it out of the box. An eCommerce site without this functionality is operating on the assumption that all site users are the same and should see the same suggested products, which is never the case. The Esurance “Sorta You” campaign hits this concept on the head. This marketing campaign shows Esurance’s customers (or potential customers) that they respect that customers are looking for a product that is 100% them, not “sorta” them.

Automated Email Reminders

Automated email reminders are particularly useful for sending reminders concerning a customer’s shopping cart or wish list. This functionality allows you to contact customers with abandoned carts or wish list items and entice them to make a purchase. During the automated email reminder creation process, one option is to include a promotional code in the email. A promo code is a great way to bring customers back, and in Magento, there is not extra work to include the promo in the email template. Additionally, rules can be established to automatically send emails after a determined amount of time, such as a week after your customer has abandoned their cart.

This sort of marketing targets sales that are just a few clicks away. The customer has already taken the time to browse your site and make a selection and is now so close to a sale that it makes sense to reach out and entice them to purchase. Without the automated aspect that Magento provides, this task would fall to an individual or an abandoned cart report followed by manual email reminders. Both of these options are time consuming and inefficient. Magento makes enabling automated email reminders easy and allows you to take full advantage of those sales that are just waiting to happen.


There are two types of promotions: shopping cart price rules and catalog price rules.

With shopping cart price rules, discounts are applied once the cart hits a certain value or when specific items are added to the cart. Many companies provide free shipping after a certain cart value, i.e. free shipping on purchases of $99 or more. That kind of promotion is achieved through shopping cart price rules. These promotions can be automatic or achieved through a coupon code. Coupon codes can be applied either by providing them to Magento, who will use them in the right situation, or the coupon code can be sent out to customers in an automated email.

Catalog price rules set the price of an item based on who is viewing it. For example, registered users or wholesalers see a different price than a normal customer. While this is different from the other marketing capabilities in that it does not necessarily encourage your customer to buy more, it serves as another way to enhance your catalog.

All of these marketing tools significantly impact not only the customer experience, but business goals as well. Marketing is about more than just site traffic; it is about conversions, average order value, and customer lifetime value. Magento’s robust marketing capabilities focus on interactive marketing as a way to build business to meet your goals. Contact us for more information.

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