As a small business owner, you will have a plethora of small, repetitive tasks in a day. Although each may take less than 5 minutes, you need hours to finish all of them. As your business scales, such tasks only pile up taking you away from other important work. If you want to reduce your workload, streamline your business processes and free up your time, eCommerce automation is the elixir you are looking for.
Of course, implementing automation in eCommerce is not as simple as drinking a magical potion. Read on to know more about it.
What Is eCommerce Automation?
eCommerce automation is the use of software tools to complete various manual, repetitive, and time-consuming tasks, where, most of the functions happen automatically without (or with minima)l human intervention.
An online business often has several repetitive but important tasks that take up hours. They often perform them with disinterest which results in errors that affect your business. When you automate such tasks, you reduce human errors, increase efficiency, and free up your staff’s time for other important work.
As your business scales, so does the demand, workload, repetition, and complexity. Many companies hire new employees to perform repetitive tasks. But this only increases the errors and inefficiency. But if you introduce automation in eCommerce, you can better utilize their time and energy in growing your business.
Why Do You Need An eCommerce Automation System?
Let’s see the benefits of eCommerce process automation:
1. Saves Time
The main reason for eCommerce process automation is that you can get more done in less time. As it involves scheduling your tasks too, you don’t have to try to remember each time to perform them. This frees up time which can be utilized for customer service and growing your business.
2. Better Employee Engagement
Your employees are your biggest resource. If you make them do more repetitive and mundane tasks, they are bound to get bored. Automated eCommerce streamlines most of their work and allows them to work on tasks where their skills are better utilized. They also get time to learn, upskill, and grow in their fields.
3. Reduce Costs
Although setting up an eCommerce automation system requires an initial investment, it reduces your overall costs in the long run. You don’t have to hire new staff or make your staff work overtime to perform repetitive tasks.
4. Increase Customer Satisfaction
Customer satisfaction is the key to a successful business. When you introduce automation in eCommerce, you can better engage with your customers. Chatbots, sending product recommendations, personalized messages, emails, order updates, and other such activities turn your customers into repeat customers.
5. Grows Your Business Faster
Automation in eCommerce is not limited to automating a few repetitive tasks. You can implement it in various parts of your business from order fulfillment to marketing to customer service. This streamlines your business processes helping you achieve your business growth targets faster.
6. Simplifies Deliveries And Other Processes
There is nothing worse than lost and misdirected packages. eCommerce process automation allows your customer to order hassle-free, pay securely, and track their order. It also updates inventory, and prints receipts and shipping labels preventing manual mistakes.
7. Data Accuracy
With an incredible amount of data generation and modifications, you need to ensure proper data management. Manual entries of order details, customer addresses, and inventory numbers are more prone to errors. One error can lead to larger problems. You can eliminate it with an eCommerce automation system.
eCommerce Tasks You Need To Automate
Now that you know the importance of eCommerce automation, let’s see which tasks or business processes you can automate.
1. Customer Service
If you are employing people for customer service, it becomes challenging to provide support 24/7. When automated, along with 24/7 support, you can gather real-time feedback, answer their questions immediately through chatbots, reply to messages, and so on. Here are 7 ways you can automate customer service.
2. Inventory Management
An important aspect of any eCommerce business is inventory management. You need to keep track of your stock, communicate about restocking with your suppliers, update the out-of-stock products on the website, etc. Inefficient inventory management may lower your sales and revenue. Inventory management software prevents understocking or overstocking.
3. Email Marketing
Email marketing plays an important role in retaining your customers. You need to send personalized emails that remind them about their abandoned carts, mention discounts and offers, notify back-in-stock products, recommend products, prompt reviews, etc. Writing emails and sending them individually is not practical. Automate them and your sales will skyrocket. Don’t know which marketing automation app to choose? Here are 10 options.
Another important task that you can automate is your accounting. Hiring an accountant is a good idea but it becomes tedious as your business scales. Also, you are more prone to errors with manual data entry and updates. With accounting automation, you can manage receipts, invoices, purchase orders, sales, expenses, and financial documents.
5. Order Fulfillment
When your customer orders online, they expect quick processing, immediate order confirmation, and delivery status updates.
Automate order fulfillment and you save your sales rep and customers the headache of back-and-forth communication. Set up an eCommerce self-service portal that allows your customers to track their orders.
6. Sales Schedule
Sales on weekends, festivals, and special occasions prompt your customers to buy and attracts new customers. For every sale, you need to apply discounts on the site, upload new products, post on social media, publish blogs, tease low prices, and send promotional emails to keep the hype up. If you automate your sales campaigns, you can have frequent sales to keep you on par with competitors and increase your sales.
Not Everything Should Be Automated
eCommerce automation helps you streamline your business processes and improve your customer service. But at the end of the day, nothing beats human conversation. Because even though chatbots do help with frequently asked questions, certain situations are better handled by human beings. If you always use robots to communicate, you might start losing your customers.