8 Ways to Automate your Ecommerce Business
Managing business operations can be a time and resource-consuming task, and an expensive one at that. Operations demand plenty of resources, from labor to mechanical. However, in times when the flow of the workforce is inconsistent but essential for a company to keep performing, it can often be difficult for businesses to manage sales, inventory, operations, human resources, marketing along with other activities with this scarcity.
With eCommerce businesses, the work is often repetitive and complex and demands attention to detail through the mass inventory and various departments. It is arduous to keep track of every transaction and maintain records for all packages that are dispatched, delivered, and returned. For situations like these, eCommerce businesses can automate their operations to ease the workload and make it convenient and error-free for their staff to manage the departments.
What are the advantages of using automation for your eCommerce business?
Before automation came into the picture, businesses would manage their inventory and operations with the help of spreadsheets and keep track of their transactions through rudimentary software or on pen and paper. However, with eCommerce automation coming into the picture, it has brought eCommerce management to a paradigm shift. Automation provides eCommerce brands and stores with the tools they need to convert manual, repetitive tasks into software-managed workflows that help in boosting the overall productivity and efficiency of the business.
Besides saving time for employees, and managers, automation has also helped businesses with scaling and expansion. Since automation can ease the workload faster and more accurately, it helps companies grow more quickly while saving them a huge chunk of capital in the long run.
Is Automation a Threat to the Workforce?
While it is believed that automation is slowly making the workforce redundant, its core objective is to help it become more productive and competent by freeing them from clerical tasks. While tasks like sending cold emails and newsletters to customers, managing inventory, recording customer responses, and creating employee performance reports can be extremely time-consuming for managers, it takes very little time for the software to execute them. Therefore, automation provides the workforce with the time and energy to concentrate on customer service, product development, and more, thus being no threat to the service class in any way.
8 ways to automate your eCommerce business
Ecommerce is an industry that depends on reliability, speed, quality management, and accuracy, which may not often be possible for labor-challenged businesses. Besides, running an eCommerce business demands a lot of planning and management to churn profitable revenue and fulfill customer demands before time. For this, you always need lucrative ways to make your eCommerce business easier to run.
Here are the top 8 ways to automate your eCommerce business and make it efficient and profitable in a short time.
- Business Management Automation
Team coordination, organizing, and task prioritization are the critical requirements for any business to be successful. An eCommerce business family is a big one and needs an automated management tool to take care of all repetitive tasks, such as maintaining employee attendance records, training new employees, defining business goals, reminding managers of their pending assignments, and organizing team meetings.
Business management automation software has steadily grown in popularity and demand among big eCommerce companies as well as upcoming outfits that need automation to handle their mundane processes.
Many business management software for eCommerce companies also includes the additional feature of reminding employees of negative customer reviews to work on the feedback.
Lastly, automation is significant for managing eCommerce business administration since it helps improve employee work experience, such as sending automated emails on special occasions and helping them manage their to-do lists efficiently and update their managers about the same.
- Automated Invoicing
Payment and refund management is essential to running a successful eCommerce business. Implementing an automated, reliable customer payment portal decreases the time taken to process orders or returns and refunds. Besides, requesting customers for payments can be tedious and inaccurate if the invoice generation is manual. With automated billing, eCommerce businesses can generate automatic invoices and send them to their customers without human intervention. Additionally, automation enables these companies to send receipts of orders and returns within seconds of processing- which would not have been possible had this process been handled manually.
Another major plus of having automated payment processing software for eCommerce businesses is that it helps instantaneously inform the management about any issues raised by the customers or problems in the portal, helping them improve customer satisfaction and experience.
- Automate your Customer Support
After frequently using digital assistants like Siri and Alexa on our mobile phones, most of us have become quite used to the idea of interacting with Artificial Intelligence-powered “Bots.”
Customer interaction with eCommerce brands underwent a considerable change when many websites and applications installed virtual Bots to assist their customers during the initial phase of their issue.
The importance of virtual assistants grew when eCommerce wanted to venture out to other countries and serve various time zones around the clock. Having human resources to man the online platforms would have been expensive compared to installing AI to man the chatrooms on their websites and applications. Therefore, automating your customer support may be the best option for your eCommerce business if you want to provide help 24 x 7 for various time zones.
- Automating Inventory Management
Proper inventory management is crucial for any eCommerce business since it involves tracking the incoming and outgoing stored inventory. Warehouse and fulfillment management are two vital processes of eCommerce businesses, though they can be very arduous for the workforce. Additionally, they require extreme attention to detail since one wrong entry can cost the company a significant sum.
For this reason, an inventory management system helps businesses keep records of the packages that are ready for dispatch, are being shipped, have been delivered, and need to be returned. It tracks the orders from the moment they are placed until they have been delivered.
Automating the process of counting the inventory and updating the management system automatically tends to save a lot of time and resources for the company.
- Automate Customer Feedback Handling
It is considered terrible customer service to not reply to and resolve customer problems and tend to their feedback and reviews. Ignoring or missing out on feedback and reviews on your business portal can affect your authenticity, sales, and overall customer rating. However, it is understandable that replying to customer reviews may require a lot of resources and can be exorbitantly costly.
Automating this process can be an excellent option if your business receives a lot of orders, handles a lot of sales daily, and thus requires constant and consistent customer interaction. With the help of artificial intelligence, you can initiate automatic replies to reviews and feedback. Even negative feedback can be handled with this software or be re-directed to the management team for further handling.
- Invest in Automation for Email Marketing
Sometimes, customers are on the verge of placing their orders but abandon their cart items at the time of payment. With the help of “Abandoned Cart Emails,” there are hopeful chances of getting some of these customers back and ready to order.
There are tools integrated into eCommerce websites and applications to track the customers’ activities when online. These emails are sent as a personalized reminder to customers when they abandon their cart before checkout to allure them to complete the purchase and place the order.
Sending automated emails after the customer abandons their purchase with a customized reference of what was in their cart and reasons to buy the products is an efficient way to boost sales and bring back “lost prospects.”
- Automating Order Management Processes
Order management is an essential process in the eCommerce industry that encompasses of other processes like - Project Management, Warehouse and Inventory Management, Customer Support, and others.
In short, it involves tracking and processing orders from when an order is placed on the eCommerce platform until it is delivered to the customer’s doorstep.
Processes like Shipment Tracking and Purchase Order Management can be repetitive and humdrum tasks that are often automated.
With automated Shipment tracking, you and your customer will be notified of all the steps of the delivery process, and your records will be automatically updated after successful or unsuccessful execution of the order.
Similarly, automated Purchase Order Management can easily place orders for inventory depending on the incoming sales and counting of all warehouse products.
- Sales Automation
Sales for eCommerce revolves around inbound leads, website traffic, offer emails, digital marketing strategies, and customer reviews. However, every eCommerce brand needs a strong sales team to maintain its clientele and make its customers aware of the new offers, discounts, promotions, and more.
A study showed that a sales team spends more than 70% of its person-hour on mundane, administrative tasks like manually scheduling calls with customers, initiating follow-ups, recording feedback and responses, allocating sales calls to agents, and entering their logging in and logging out details. To avoid wastage of resources, an automated workflow for the sales team is the best possible answer to this bottleneck.
The eCommerce industry is full of competition, with one brand providing more consumer benefits than the other. Today, thanks to competitive prices, enormous discounts, and fast customer service, there are so many options for customers when choosing an eCommerce platform to shop from.
In order to maintain your sales and popularity with the clientele, you must keep all your processes in order. From inventory, to customer support and feedback management, every process must be managed with utmost accuracy and speed.
While it may be humanly impossible to take care of these processes, automation is here to help you!
CognitiveClouds is a SaaS company known for its customized automation applications, helping eCommerce companies grow their businesses to the next level. Want to scale your business with automation? Get in touch with our team of senior engineers today!