Since its advent, automation has quickly made its way into almost every major industry, including eCommerce. Owning and operating an eCommerce business requires a lot of hard work and time. And sadly, it isn’t every individual’s cup of tea to look after the multiple things that automation entails.
Indeed, hiring a team of experts to look after various aspects of your eCommerce business is an excellent idea; it certainly is not the most economical one, especially for small businesses or individual sellers.
The solution? eCommerce automation. Several automation tools will automate almost all important tasks associated with your eCommerce business, giving you enough time to focus on more important things instead of wrapping your head around mundane tasks.
Types Of Automation In The eCommerce Industry
Depending on the size of your eCommerce business and its requirements, you can automate different parts of your business. It includes but is not limited to:
Not all eCommerce businesses have a similar workflow. For instance, the requirements of a B2B eCommerce business are entirely different from those of a B2C eCommerce business.
As such, it becomes pertinent to employ a potent workflow engine that can provision and configure a workflow you require for the customers to create an account, set up a password, purchase an item, etc.
A few areas where workflow automation tools can come in handy are:
Request For Quote (RFQ) Automation
Most B2C platforms generally do not involve negotiations. On the other hand, almost every B2B platform provides an option to request a quote (RFQ), facilitating easy negotiations and personalized pricing. It can be automated, and the tools can calculate and offer the optimal pricing based on the customer criteria.
Customers these days seek quick solutions and a hassle-free shopping experience. To capitalize on this psyche and provide customers an elevated shopping experience, eCommerce businesses try to keep the checkout process as concise as possible.
Besides, a complicated checkout process also increases the cart abandonment rate. The best way to prevent it from happening and facilitate numerous parallel checkouts is to employ an automation tool.
Order Process Automation
Online shoppers these days seek prompt information regarding their order at every stage, such as whether the seller has accepted their order, whether it has been shipped, expected delivery date, etc.
Fetching all this information and manually updating it can give the strongest of minds a headache. Using an automation tool meant for order automation will help you complete all the aforementioned tasks and much more without even moving a finger.
A customer seeks a personalized product catalog for discounted pricing. This is all the more important if you are dealing in the B2B eCommerce business.
That said, personalized product catalogs entail following logical steps, price negotiations, payment gateways, etc. You can streamline all of it with an automation tool, i.e., you can offer a customer the products they want at a negotiated price, and that too, without having to crawl through their records.
It isn’t easy to generate business leads and streamline your sales funnel to enhance your eCommerce business revenue. However, you can easily manage it all without having to give in a lot with the help of correct automation tools.
The tools will help your sales representatives save several hours otherwise spent interacting and converting prospective buyers into customers by educating them and explaining the benefits of your products.
Here’s how sales automation can help your eCommerce business:
Keeping your customers posted about the status of their order confirmation, delivery, cancellation, or refund can help strengthen your relationship with them.
Manually tracking down such information and sending out a personal email to each of your customers is practically impossible. However, it can be achieved with automation tools in no time at all!
From abandoned carts to sale promotions, you instantly send personalized emails to each of your customers. This makes email automation a necessity amid the cutthroat competition in the eCommerce industry.
Your eCommerce store has to be in complete sync with your CRM (customer relationship management) to ensure that you close deals with most of your leads. For this, you need to streamline your strategies with upcoming opportunities so that they can produce long-term outcomes.
This will demand working on your landing and product pages, forms, etc., to ensure that all the elements of your eCommerce store are in perfect harmony. A great CRM automation software can work the charm for you as it will automate strategies that will help you capitalize on upcoming opportunities.
Customer Service Automation
Customer service automation allows you to house a virtual support team that works round the clock every day for the entire year. It not only provides instantaneous solutions to customers but also reduces dependability on human resources for the same.
While hiring human resources to provide 24×7 customer support can be pricey, a chatbot program is affordable and provides prompt customer support.
An eCommerce business that doesn’t provide sound fulfillment services to customers cannot sustain handsome revenues.
The fulfillment process begins right after a customer places an order. It requires an eCommerce business to handle and process the orders efficiently for successful and prompt delivery to the customers, along with quick and regular updates on order status.
You can send out automatic notifications regarding an order’s status or delivery schedule change by automating the fulfillment processes.
Here are a few ways you can automate fulfillment services:
Inventory Management Automation
Efficient inventory management is essential for every eCommerce business as it manages your online store’s staff and inventory status. Automation software can help you put all pieces together and maintain the flow state of inventory management in your business.
However, it will require you to streamline and integrate your eCommerce store with various business systems, including the ERP, CRM, warehouse management system, etc. Do this and keep all the stakeholders, including customers, posted about the latest developments regarding the availability of stock and the recent status of their orders.
Warehouse management is crucial for successful order processing and fulfillment. Besides, that’s the reason why recent times have witnessed a solid boom in the use of warehouse management systems as it automates managing inventory and integrates with your online store.
Moreover, it helps you display accurate details about the availability of different product variations on your online store. Also, warehouse management software automatically moves your inventory – the stock moves from one warehousing facility to another.
According to a report from ReadyCloud, customers return more than 30% of all online purchases. And surprisingly, in more than 60% of cases, the returns are due to the retailer’s faults.
Returns are as frustrating for a business as they are for a customer. That said, managing returns is as important for a business as managing and fulfilling new orders.
With the right automation tools, you can effortlessly manage returns in a hassle-free manner. The tools allow businesses to alert the concerned department, update inventory and CRM, process returns and warehouse data, and initiate a refund.
It wouldn’t be wrong to assume that future businesses will be highly dependent (and efficient) on automation tools, credit to their ability to get things done quickly, accurately, and affordably.
We hope the points mentioned above have conveyed clearly the potential of automation in the eCommerce industry.
Moreover, it is not feasible for small businesses and individual eCommerce business owners to spend money hiring individuals for different business aspects. This could easily create a gap between efficient work management and reduced business cost. eCommerce automation tools can bridge this gap and make it easier for you to skyrocket your business.
How Has Automation Transformed the eCommerce Industry?
The biggest benefit of automation, irrespective of the industry, is that it quickly gets things done and reduces the scope for human errors. Since an eCommerce business involves numerous intricate tasks that may consume a lot of time and require a lot of human resources, automation has proven to be a boon as far as time management and scalability are concerned.
Is eCommerce Automation Successful in the Long Run?
Any eCommerce business needs to minimize cost and maximize outcome. However, it may be impossible to achieve this dynamic equilibrium in the long run manually, given the hike in the salaries of the human resources and the general human tendency of losing efficiency over time. Automation eliminates these odds and helps you effortlessly scale your business and sustain profits in the long run.
Who Benefits From Ecommerce Automation?
Automation helps almost everyone willing to benefit from it, including management, operations, marketing, and customer services, involved in an eCommerce business by facilitating real-time information alongside taking care of various redundant tasks. Moreover, it all empowers a customer to transact with an eCommerce business in an effortless and hassle-free way.