Missed an episode of Chatfuel School—the podcast where we cover hot topics in the world of bot-building and marketing? Don't worry; we took notes for you. 🤓The topic for August 7, 2020 was the best no-code tools for ecommerce marketing. Here's the full episode. 👇 Keep scrolling for a recap of what you missed.

It used to be that only major movie studios with expensive equipment and big crews could create content for the screen. Now, anyone with a smart phone can produce high-quality video. It's just one example of how technology often becomes democratized over time so anyone can take advantage of it, regardless of skills or budget. Tools for building powerful apps, websites, chatbots, and more are following the same trend. Welcome to the no-code movement, which puts this technology in the hands of entrepreneurs and small- to medium-sized businesses across industries—especially in ecommerce. 😎

What is a no-code tool?

Tools that are no code don't require any developer knowledge or experience to use. They're usually highly visual, often drag-and-drop interfaces that anyone can learn to navigate quickly and without learning to code. They make the technology for building things like websites and chatbots available to anyone, regardless of their tech experience.

For example: Shopify is a no-code tool that lets ecommerce sellers design a sleek, fully functional online storefront. Bubble is no-code software that lets entrepreneurs build real mobile apps without dealing with a single line of code. Chatfuel is a no-code platform that lets any business owner or marketer build a chatbot to automate sales, support, and more. There are already hundreds of free no-code platforms out there for businesses like yours to take advantage of, and this trend is predicted to continue.

For example, Chatfuel's visual, drag-and-drop interface lets you build chatbots without any coding or tech experience.

How your ecommerce store can benefit from no-code tools

For ecommerce sellers, the most popular no-code tools are for marketing. They can help automate and advance your marketing campaigns so you can increase sales and customer loyalty. But besides benefitting your bottom line, why else should an online store like yours use no-code software? Here are two key reasons:

  • Save money and resources 💸You don't need to hire a team of expensive, highly skilled engineers to build your website, app, chatbot, or other no-code creation. Anyone on your team can contribute to the project, regardless of their tech background. Plus, no-code software usually operates on a monthly subscription basis, which means you won't need to make a major financial investment up front.
  • Pivot quickly 🏎️Engineering teams may take months or years to develop a fully custom solution from the ground up. With free no-code platforms, you can launch your creation in hours or days. That means it's also easy to iterate and make changes on a dime. As a result, you can test, experiment, and pivot to ensure that your solution is as effective as possible.

4 types of no-code marketing tools to try for your ecommerce store

We talked to no-code experts about the most powerful types of marketing tools your ecommerce business should be taking advantage of. Here are their top four picks.

#1. Proximity marketing with no-code tools 📍

Proximity marketing is a way to tailor your marketing to people in specific geographic locations. Sneh Choudhary, Senior Content Marketer at Mobstac, says that QR codes are the easiest way to get started with this type of marketing. They're a type of bar code that, when scanned with a smart phone, will offer the user information, a coupon, a link, etc. You can use these codes to connect prospects and customers offline, wherever they are, to your online store. Beyond that, Sneh recommends QR codes because they're cost-effective to create, and reusable for multiple campaigns. For example, you could:

  • Send a card with a QR code in your product's packaging. When the customer scans it, they'll receive a coupon for a % off their next order.
  • Display a QR code next to your physical product in stores. If a shopper's preferred size or style is out of stock there, they can scan the code and be taken to your online store to order it.
  • Add QR code stickers to the tags of the products you ship to customers. When scanned, the code can lead the user to a conversation with your chatbot, which can give them setup instructions, recommend complementary products, etc.

Sneh mentions two other types of proximity-marketing strategies your store can take advantage of with no-code tools. The first is NFC (near-field communication), which enables two different devices to talk to each other. She shares the example of a campaign that liqueur brand Campari ran a few years ago. "They produced these fridge magnets which had NFC embedded in them," explains Sneh. "So when somebody tapped on the NFC tag, they were able to order the product [for delivery]." Amazon's dash buttons work the same way. NFC tools like these make reordering seamless and frictionless, and can be set up without using code.

Amazon's dash buttons are a popular example of NFC marketing.

Finally, Sneh brought up geofencing, which lets brands send push notifications via their app when the user enters a specific geographical area. Burger King boasts one of the most famous geofencing marketing campaigns. In 2018, the burger chain offered coupons for one-cent Whoppers. All users had to do was open their app and get within 600 feet of a McDonald's location. The coupon would then appear, and the user would be directed to the nearest Burger King location with GPS. It made the chain's frequent proximity to competitor locations an advantage instead of a threat. Geofencing campaigns can be set up and automated with no-code software, too.

#2. SMS marketing with no-code tools📱

SMS marketing is done via text messages sent to the mobile phones of prospects and customers. There are plenty of no-code platforms out there for managing and automating powerful SMS campaigns at scale. Here's why your ecommerce business should be interested in marketing automation on this channel:

As long as you follow proper protocols for opting in, your customers are ready to hear from you via text message. You can use this medium to share coupons, announce new products, send shipping updates, and remind shoppers about abandoned carts. Business-boosting tasks like these can be done on autopilot with no-code software for SMS marketing. To help make your SMS campaigns as successful as possible, we asked guest expert Viktoria Georgieva-Philbrick, Head of Content at SMSBump, for her advice. She offers the following tips:

  • Personalize it 💁🏾Viktoria explains that “personalization is what will make your SMS stand out. Show [the recipient] that you really care about what they're looking for, what they want, what they're interested in. It'll ultimately help you beat the competition and earn more sales." Using their first name in greetings and recommending products relevant to their interests are just two ways to personalize texts from your ecommerce store.
  • Add an incentive 💲Coupons delivered digitally, like via SMS, have a 10x higher redemption rate than paper coupons. You can use a coupon as an incentive to get shoppers to sign up for your SMS list. Or, you can send them after a customer's purchase has been delivered in order to incentivize them to buy from you again. The result: more purchases and higher customer loyalty for your ecommerce business.
  • Don’t overdo it 🙅🏼‍♀️Don't abuse this intimate access to your customers' mobile phones! SMS spamming will hurt your business, and can negatively impact the power of SMS marketing on the whole. Basically, "think twice before you send yet another SMS campaign," Viktoria advises. "I think if done in moderation and with consideration of the customer," she says, "SMS will keep its insane open rates of 98% or more and click through rates of 35% and above."

#3. Chatbot marketing with no-code tools 🤖

The beauty of a chatbot is that it can automate time-consuming tasks for your ecommerce business—but in a friendly, personalized way. A well-built Messenger chatbot can provide 24/7 support that will serve and delight your customers. It can recommend products that will suit a shopper's specific needs. It can recover abandoned carts so you can increase sales. And the best part: You can build a basic chatbot in three minutes, and a more complex one in hours or days—no coding required.

We had Dana Tran, co-founder of CodelessBot, on this episode to share a few must-have elements for any no-code chatbot for ecommerce:

  • Solve a specific problem 🚨Dana says bot builders should first ask themselves why they're building a chatbot. "And unless you have the answer to that question, you really shouldn't start building anything just yet," explains Dana. Decide what your ecommerce business's most pressing problem is, and pinpoint what kind of help or information your users need most. Then, build a Messenger bot with those in mind. Choose the goal, then build the experience. A bot built for too many use cases (or an unclear use case) may end up being more confusing than helpful.
  • Think outside the box 📦With a marketing automation chatbot, you have the opportunity to create a fun and memorable experience for users. Dana offers the idea of equipping your Facebook bot with a digital scratch card or a spin-the-wheel experience. Gamified touches like these enhance the interactivity of the experience, and they can help move the user down the ecommerce sales funnel in a unique, engaging way.

Dana offers several different engaging ecommerce chatbot templates on her website, including a digital scratch card and spin-the-wheel functionalities.

Dana offers several different engaging ecommerce chatbot templates on her website, including a digital scratch card and spin-the-wheel functionalities.

  • Focus on value 💡One reason Facebook Messenger bots are so powerful is just that: They live on Facebook Messenger, where people are already used to chatting with family and friends. So if you spam and abuse the privilege of reaching users there, you'll lose that privilege. Make sure to follow Facebook's messaging policies. Only equip your ecommerce chatbot with messages and information that will be useful to the user. Because if they end up blocking you, you've lost that person's trust in your brand (and, Facebook may institute consequences for your page if this happens too often).

#4. Video marketing with no-code tools 🎥

Mobile video consumption rises by 100% every year. Plus, 72% of customers say they'd rather learn about a product or service via video. So you already know video marketing is an incredibly powerful tool for online stores. At the same time, the web is becoming saturated with video content. Consumers have near-infinite choices when it comes to choosing a clip to spend their time watching. That's why personalized videos can help your brand stand out from the competition—and yes, there are no-code tools for that.

One is called Hippo Video, and their Head of Marketing Nikhil Premanandan joined us on the show to tell us about it. He says that the goal of personalized video is "to move away from cold messages and cultivate warm greetings instead." Nikhil explains that Hippo takes customer data from your CRM, then uses it to creates personalized videos for specific users. It might include an image of the product they viewed last, text with their name, a song that's popular in their country, etc.

Visit Hippo Video's website to personalize this video with your name, so you can see how it works.

A highly customized video like this shows the prospect or customer that you care about their experience. It helps build trust and connection. 71% of shoppers feel frustrated when their shopping experience is impersonal, and video tools like Hippo are another no-code way to solve this pain point.

Nikhil's pro tip for getting the most out of personalized videos: Send them via email with the words video inside in the subject line. He says this trick can increase open rates by 27%. And once the user opens the email to find a custom video made just for them, they'll be wowed and primed to take action (like clicking through or even making a purchase).

It's time to hop on the no-code train 🚂

The competition for ecommerce brands today is tough. That's why you need to use the most powerful tools at your fingertips to make your online business stand out. No-code marketing automation software lets you experiment with powerful new marketing methods for a low cost, low time investment, low risk, and no required experience.

Ready to get started with your first no-code platform? One of the functions of Chatfuel is to help your ecommerce business get a bot up and running, fast. Sign up for your free account to start building your first no-code chatbot. When you're ready for more users and priority support, upgrade to Pro. Marketing agency? Book a demo with sales to learn more about how to grow your chatbot-marketing business with Chatfuel.