Running an e-commerce business can sometimes seem a daunting task. After all, you only have a finite number of hours in a day but an infinite number of tasks to complete. This especially becomes true when you’ve seen rapid growth in your customers and orders, which makes current systems and workflows inefficient.
Operating under the outdated systems will make your team feel overwhelmed by the volume of orders and customers coming in. And if it’s not well-organized, it’ll create bottlenecks that demand your instant attention. You can try with all your might to resolve them while staying on top of your marketing, communication, and business but may not be able to streamline everything..
But what if there was a way around it? What if there was a solution that can help you overcome these challenges?
If you are wondering, the solution is e- commerce automation. Automation is the future of not only the tech industry but also running your e-commerce business. Now the question is what automation looks like for e-commerce, why it’s important, and how you can implement it.
Let’s get right into that.
What is e-commerce Automation?
e-commerce automation focuses solely on implementing and integrating tools and software to automate your repetitive, manual, and laborious tasks. Doing so facilitates you with well-organized, self-operating systems for internal and external tasks such as sales funnel building, email communications, inventory management, order fulfillment, marketing & SEO, and others.
Bringing automation to e-commerce is all about what businesses can do more with what they already have. It aids in resolving the increasing demand, complexity, and inefficiency that come when scaling your e-commerce. At its core, e-commerce automation can involve,
- Trigger: An action that happens on your website to start an automated workflow.
- Condition: Condition dictates what’s the right course of action to take.
- Action: It’s the end of the workflow when the set conditions are met.
Most companies would hire new staff to deal with the rising complexities but there’s only so much humans can do. Even though they are the most powerful resources one has to reinforce your business — they can’t work 24⨯7. Thus, self-operating systems can simplify complex workflows and processes by working round the clock.
That said, let’s see some more reasons why automation in e-commerce is necessary today.
Why Do We Need e-commerce Automation?
Automation will take the intense workload off your shoulders, giving you time to innovate in your field. A 2020 survey found that around 74% of the respondents believe some tasks could be automated and a whopping 90% believe their organization can benefit from the automation.
Here are a few ways automation can benefit your e-commerce business:
- Boosts Overall Productivity: Automated tasks keep your employees away from the most tedious jobs so that they can focus more on doing the actual work they were hired for. Furthermore, the automation technology will allow your teams to focus on high-value tasks that improve overall efficiency and productivity.
- Saves Time & Money: Running an e-commerce business already involves taking care of a large cluster of critical tasks such as sending emails, order fulfillment processes,, online invoicing, inventory tracking, and others. Automating such tasks would help you save time and money by not employing additional staff.
- Increases Customer Engagement: With automated flaws, you can send out all the communications and content to your customers on time. This timely distribution of well-optimized e-commerce content can help drive more traffic and increase customer engagement for your brand.
4 Ways to Implement e-commerce Automation
1. Automate Your Communications
Imagine sending all the email responses to customers manually? Doing so will eat up all your work day and even then the task wouldn’t just get completed. The automation doesn’t end with newsletters, you need to automate your other communications too.
Here’s a list of communications where you can implement automation using the right tools:
- Email Autoresponders: With autoresponders, you can automate the task of sending out personalized emails after customers place an order. This can be a simple “Thank You” message or following up on the customer review.
- Abandoned Cart Recovery: These types of emails are sent when customers add items to the cart and abandon it without checking out. Recovering this abandoned cart manually would be too time-consuming, which makes automated emails a preferable choice.
- Back in Stock Emails: Sometimes the best-selling products can go out of stock, leading customers to wait for the same. Also, they have no idea when those products will be back in stock and might miss the opportunity to purchase the same. However, with back-in-stock email tools, you can send automated back-in-stock notifications to users.
- Automating Other Communications: Apart from these, you can also automate email communications such as product review requests, reward points earned, etc. By doing so, you can keep your customers informed and up-to-date about your products.
2. Automate e-commerce Workflows
e-commerce business is primarily built on two workflows: Product Inventory and Order Fulfillment. Failing to keep your product inventory updated can mean losing out on potential income and annoying your customers. Order fulfillment processes also have the same importance, and failing to properly manage it can affect repeat purchases from your brand.
Thus, you want to ensure that your product inventory and order fulfillment processes are on par with customers’ expectations. For the same, you must integrate tools that send reminders for low-stock notifications so that you can reorder the products and keep your inventory in check. For example, you have sent a mailer box to the client and you want to keep a check on its inventory.
Similarly, you want to try out different order fulfillment automation tactics that streamline your order picking to delivery workflow. You want to integrate functional order management and shipping automation tools that make your e-commerce order fulfillment workflows more efficient.
3. Marketing Automation with Integrations
Marketing is also an essential part of running an e-commerce business. Since people don’t easily become your customers, they need nurturing throughout their journey. They spend time in research and consideration phases before they make any decision.
By sending automated newsletters and content through the integration of email marketing tools, you can nurture your prospects with ease. Moreover, you also have access to tools that let you schedule your posts on social media so they get posted automatically.
Using auto posting tools like eclincher, you can take your e-commerce marketing to a notch higher and improve brand reputation with content marketing. Our tool also includes features such as reputation management, brand mentions, smart inbox, and analytics dashboard.
4. Business Management Automation
Carrying out the above-listed automation tasks first needs to be assigned to the concerned team. For instance, when a product is low in stock, you want to notify the same to your sales team. Similarly, you can ask your marketing team to create a social posting calendar for the coming month using business management tools like Trello, Asana, or Slack.
Another essential part of business management is customer support. Using powerful help desk tools and software, you can self-regulate your customer service requirements. Help desk tools allow you to centralize your customer support needs and view all the issues or tickets customers generate in one place.
Moreover, these tools enable you with additional features such as a Chatbot and survey/poll to improve customer experience. Thus, your business management tasks such as work assignments, internal communication, or customer service become streamlined with automation.
Make Way for Exponential Growth with Automation
In this article, we have enlisted the possibilities and power e-commerce automation brings for your business’s exponential growth. Since you know your business pretty well, it’s up to you to decide what processes to automate and which software or tools to use.
Identifying the processes and workflows that need automation will make your task of choosing the right automation tools easy. The more tasks you automate the better it is for your e-commerce business when it comes to expanding and scaling up.
From automating your communications to inventory and order management flows, there are countless other opportunities. Moreover, you can always get in touch with us for your social media automation needs.