Learn How E-commerce Automation Save Costs and Helps You Focus On What Matters
In today’s digital economy, customers spend more time online and increasingly turn to e-commerce platforms for their daily needs. And it’s only prudent for every business to expand its digital presence.
As your business expands, the customer traffic on your e-commerce site keeps increasing. And so are your small repetitive tasks like emails, inventory management, etc. These systems and repetitive processes become challenging to handle.
Of course, these tasks are essential for successful day-to-day operations. But at what cost? You end up with no time to focus on other important, creative tasks. You spend most of your time doing mundane tasks and focusing less on business growth.
An undeniable solution to this overwhelming situation is e-commerce automation.
What is E-commerce Automation?
As the name suggests, e-commerce automation is automating e-commerce processes intelligently. What kind of tasks should be automated? E-commerce demands many repetitive business processes done manually.
What happens when a customer creates an account to begin a transaction?
- Send a welcome email to the new customer.
- Communicate new offers and monthly newsletters to customers.
- Finding discrepancies between the shipping and billing address, flagging them as suspicious.
- Generating a list of similar items based on the order history of the buyer.
- Maintaining the minimum inventory of different products and restocking them.
- Re-notify about offers and availability for customers who have abandoned the cart.
The list represents a small sample set of repetitive processes. There are many hundreds of such procedural tasks that eat away at your productive time. You could have used this time for strategy formulation and growing your venture, and machines cannot do these creative processes.
This is where e-commerce automation comes in. You can use this software to automate such tasks and focus your time on essential aspects.
How does E-commerce Automation Work?
The software automates the e-commerce processes. Users perform certain actions and give inputs and feedback. Certain activities should follow up on the users’ triggers on the website. How is the response automated?
AI or Artificial Intelligence is the core of this e-commerce automation technology. They generate responses to actions on the website, mimicking a human. These programmes can also self-learn with their Machine Learning capabilities.
AI with Machine Learning (ML) capabilities update themselves with time, and they learn from user interactions and adjust their responses based on this data. By self-learning, AI technology can update itself. The users get a personalised experience every time they log into the platform.
When a customer logs into the platform, the AI technology lists similar products on the home page. This list is generated by analysing each user’s browsing and purchasing patterns. An automated thank you email is generated once an order is placed. Similarly, a scheduled email is sent out during offer and discount seasons.
What Processes can be Automated?
What can be automated depends on individual business requirements. But specific general guidelines are mentioned below to kick-start automation.
- Response to triggers:
- Some tasks are done to respond to a trigger. The trigger could be user interaction or inventory going below the threshold. The response to these triggers needs to be initiated immediately, and such processes can be automated.
- Time-sensitive Tasks:
- Certain tasks need to be done on time, regularly – daily, weekly, monthly, etc. These tasks can be automated easily by the software.
- Error-prone Tasks:
- Tasks repeated by humans might trigger a human error. If you find a job where human error is piling up, it’s time to automate that task.
- Data Handling on Multiple Platforms:
- Certain actions require data to be moved around on multiple platforms. Such processes can be automated.
These are some situations that call for process automation. It also depends largely on specific requirements.
Examples of E-commerce Automation
The tasks that are automated will differ for every business. A start-up will have different automation needs compared to an established player. Below mentioned are a few examples of what processes to automate.
1. Customer Onboarding
Automate the tasks involved in onboarding a new customer. A series of functions must be done on time every time a new customer logs in. For example, you can give them virtual tours. Email automation will also save a lot of time.
2. Order Fulfilment
Using this technology, you can process and dispatch orders quickly without errors. This automation can help the customer to have a glitch-free online shopping experience. For example, automated warehouse management software can ease the order fulfillment process. It enables the customers to receive the products on time.
3. Inventory Management
Send automated messages to your employees when the inventory reaches a threshold level. Automatically update stocks on the platform. And also communicate about out-of-stock goods to the team. Make internal communications effective. Automate all these processes with e-commerce automation software.
4. Customer Preferences
The automation software analyzes the customers’ browsing history to track customer preferences. You can display preferred products, modes of payments, and offers personalized to each customer, even in the form of an online invoice.
5. Channel Preferences
Customers buy your products from platforms like Facebook, Amazon, or Flipkart. Identifying the channel preference will help businesses to promote relevant offers.
6. Scheduled Offers and Price Changes
E-commerce Automation aids in applying seasonal discounts, offers, and price changes automatically. This reduces a lot of person-hours and possible errors. The software adjusts the price during the checkout time based on product combinations.
7. Scheduled Releases
Businesses schedule product launches on each platform with a series of marketing initiatives. This process can be automated using e-commerce automation software. Also, automate communications like blog posts, videos, etc., to engage the customers.
8. Customer Loyalty Programs
Segment customers based on their order frequency, sale value, or membership. Then, businesses target customised marketing efforts for each segment. This segmentation and marketing efforts can be automated. For premium customers, you can also automate discounts, shipping charges, etc.
9. Customer Service
Businesses can improve their turnaround time for answering queries using e-commerce automation. Examples of such services include Chatbots, FAQs, and advanced search options. It is available 24X7 for 365 days. Also, the system can differentiate between trivial and complex queries. By doing so, it can reroute complex ones to concerned authorities.
10. Product Return Policy
When a customer initiates a return, e-commerce automation can handle it within seconds. It automatically checks the return policy and updates the CRM and courier to begin the process smoothly.
These are some of the areas where e-commerce automation is implemented. But the sky is the limit when it comes to automation. Analyse the situation and choose the best automation software.
Read about Automated Dropshipping to get a better grasp of e-commerce automation.
Why Should You Implement E-commerce Automation?
E-commerce Automation offers several benefits to customers and businesses. Brands can provide personalised experiences to their customers while saving them time, and they can focus on more important issues. Some of the benefits of implementing e-commerce automation are listed below.
Time is the most valuable resource for any business, and E-commerce automation saves a lot of time for you and your team. You can indulge in more productive and creative tasks, leaving the AI system to deal with simple repetitive ones.
2. Improve Customer Experience
Personalise the customer experience with automated emails, recommending products, and fast order processing. You can process their queries and returns in a matter of seconds and delight them.
3. Business Growth
Achieve faster business growth through faster order delivery ad improved customer satisfaction. It helps streamline processes, categorize customers and products, and serve them effectively. In addition to customer satisfaction, you can also focus on more critical activities. Leave all the redundant tasks to the software and focus on activities that matter the most.
4. Improved Returns on Marketing Investments
Improve customer engagement, loyalty, and satisfaction by automating your marketing efforts. Achieve maximum reach and get maximum results on your marketing efforts. Synchronise your marketing efforts on all the channels and improve your brand image.
5. Accuracy and Consistency
Human errors can be avoided by automating the process. Thereby improving the accuracy of the system with e-commerce automation software. Also, consistency is the key to improved sales. With automation, improve the consistency of your marketing efforts, making your customers loyal.
E-commerce Automation – The Bottomline
E-commerce automation is vital for every business, big or small. Provide value to your customers with improved speed of service and utmost personalization. Put all your repetitive tasks on autopilot, and concentrate on growing your business. Choose the software that is compatible with your existing system based on your requirements and budget.