It’d be fair to say that Amazon automation has made the eCommerce industry more ludicrous and tempting for people who’d originally not give it a moment’s thought. After all, it’s the perfect way to maximize your online revenue without putting in extra hours, even reducing them to a great extent. When stepping foot into the world of automation, there are a few common mistakes that you need to watch out for.
As exciting as it sounds, the first step to nailing your automation game is by mapping out a strategy that works best for your business. In this ultimate guide, we will talk about the top 5 Amazon automation mistakes that you should avoid at all costs, so read until the end.
Top 5 Amazon Automation Mistakes
Amazon sellers often go knee-deep into automation without chalking out a proper plan, leading to more losses. The following are the 5 most common Amazon automation mistakes that could ruin your automation strategy:
1. Identifying the Right Processes to Automate
When a seller first gets introduced to Amazon automation, they might have the urge to automate every major business activity and wash their hands clean of responsibilities. However, a business cannot run without human touch.
Before you automate any part of your business, you need to see how the automation will affect the day-to-day business activities, its long-term impacts, how independent the process will be post automation, and whether it is more profitable to do it manually instead of automating it.
If you end up automating the wrong process, it will be challenging to keep yourself afloat. Here is how you can identify the right processes that need automation:
- Start small by automating less significant operations
- Identify the potential pitfalls of automating a particular process
- Research on the usual business practices followed by other brands
- Run a trial to see how the selected business process performs under automation
What Business Activities Should Be Automated?
The key to selecting business activities for automation is to analyze the way they run:
- If the process is consistently repetitive with little to no variations, it’s perfect for automation
- If the process is dynamic and has a scope of creative inputs, it’s best not to automate it.
For example, order fulfillment and keyword research consistently follow the same pattern. If a service is regular and repetitive, a bot can do it better than you.
On the other hand, customer services require unique solutions. It also has a lot of scopes for personalization and adaptation, something a bot cannot do. Hence it’s best to handle your customer services manually.
2. Not Evaluating Your ROI
Just because an automated service does not guarantee that it will be profitable. As a business owner, your job does not end at automating the service; you have to constantly check your results to see how the automation is impacting your business and if it was worth the cost and energy.
A lot of brands often forget about the services that have been automated, only to realize later that their P&L is negative.
For example, if you choose to automate the process of sending review requests, make sure you check the following things periodically:
- Delays in sending review requests if any
- The efficiency of the review request management
- The number of responses you are getting
- Ease of modifying the process even after automation
- Customer interaction and response to your review request emails
Once you have data on the above-mentioned factors, you can compare it with the results of manual review requests to see which one works better for your brand.
You should also draw a comparison between the investment going into running the automation and the revenue it is helping you generate. If the numbers are not positive, automation is certainly not worth it.
3. Not Customizing Your Automation Service
Automating all your business segments is a recipe for disaster. The only purpose of automating certain business practices is to transfer the burden of repetitive processes that can run well without your supervision.
However, that does not mean that your automation service should decide the approach of those business activities and how they unfold.
Whatever automation tool or service you choose will come with its own default settings and features. As the business owner, it is your job to customize it as per your brand’s needs and style.
For example, if you use an email automation tool, customize the templates according to your brand’s language. Email marketing is an effective branding tool. If you use the default templates and let the tool handle your email marketing campaigns, you will never stand out or impact your target audience.
Instead, let them handle the backend work of managing thousands of emails and responses while you design the process to suit your brand’s tone in a way that sets you apart.
Here are a few examples of how you can customize your automation service:
- If you are using an order fulfillment automation service, make sure you use your personal brand packaging, even if you have to pay a few extra bucks for doing so.
- Do not settle for the default settings if you are using an advertising automation tool. Set your own ad settings, objectives, and target audience for the best results.
- If you are using chatbots and customer service automation, look beyond default responses. Make sure you have your own set of pre-recorded messages in your brand’s voice and tone. Also, remember to replace generic responses with personalized replies that speak directly to each customer.
4. Not Running a Test or Demo
A tiny, seemingly insignificant automation mistake can not only cost you money but also a significant number of customers and taint your brand name. Automation isn’t something you catch by its neck; instead, you gradually set your foot into it and analyze the experience before proceeding further.
Hence, before you automate a major business process, it’s always best to run a test to see if it is actually worth it.
For example, if you have decided to automate your order fulfillment and shipping service, make sure you assign a test order or orders to the fulfillment center before letting them take over all your shipments for good.
When you are shipping your product through a fulfillment service, you often run the risk of:
- Unexpected delays
- Product Damage
- Broken packages
- Returned orders
- Lost orders
You can certainly afford to risk a small order to try out a new service. But assigning an important client or an expensive order straight away to a stranger is not a smart move.
5. Falling for Incompetent Third-party Services
Although Amazon has its own set of automation services, you are most likely to require a third-party automation agency if you intend to automate larger parts of your business.
However, new business owners often make the rookie mistake of falling for incompetent automation agencies. Identifying qualified and genuine third-party services can make or break your automation strategy. With countless self-proclaimed automation services, finding the ones that actually know their way around automation can be a little tricky.
So here are a few tips to help choose the best automation services from the crowd:
- Check their market reputation and experience
- Ask for previous customer testimonials and verify the claims they make
- Understand the extent of access they are requesting in your shop how it can impact your security
- Don’t fall for shady automation services that make unbelievable claims that are too good to be true
- Understand the investment they require from your end and how they intend to reimburse you in case anything goes wrong
In addition to that, make sure you’ve zeroed in on the ROI for the tool or agency. It’s best to stick to services that offer free trials; it’ll help you get an idea of what you are getting yourself into before you finalize anything.
Amazon Automation FAQs
How Can You Automate an Amazon Store?
Amazon offers countless automation services, including fulfillment programs like FBA and MCF, advertising automation, automated keyword research, etc. That said, you can also choose third-party software or agencies to automate your business.
Can an Amazon Store be fully Automated?
The only way to completely automate your Amazon store is through companies like Elite Automations that take the responsibility of building and running an Amazon store from scratch.
Is it Safe to Automate Your Amazon Store?
Automating an Amazon store is completely safe as long as you can monitor and control your tools. We recommend not to give any software or individual more control than you.
Automation isn’t a one-time investment, although it’s branded as one. It’s a long-term process that you should slowly adapt your business into.
When you automate your business processes, you are not only investing money but also significant chunks of your business. That’s why you should take every step with extra precautions. We hope the above-mentioned points will help you avoid most, and more importantly, the major Amazon automation mistakes.