Constant optimization of processes is always on the agenda for businesses. Especially if it’s an eCommerce company, which requires managing multiple aspects, from keeping a Magento 2 PageSpeed score high to delivering the goods on time.
Naturally, poor workflow management creates issues and requires more money, time, and resources to keep a store on track. What if you could make your store run smoothly by itself with less investment and staff employed? This is precisely what eCommerce companies are striving to achieve with automation.
Read on to find out how automation works and how you can benefit from using it. We’ll also cover some of the most practical methods you can utilize to automate processes for e-commerce success.
What Is Ecommerce Automation
Automation generally involves simplifying corporate processes, like creation, distribution, and automation of human functions in an organization. The fundamental idea is to identify repetitive tasks and manual processes that can be automated and performed more effectively by workflow automation software.
In eCommerce, some manual operations such as approving purchase orders, catalog listings, processing refund claims, and resolving customer complaints, may be automated up to a certain point.
Benefits of Ecommerce Automation
The entire automation process may initially appear difficult and perplexing. However, if you turn to the right software and the proper process management methodologies, you will discover that it is a major deal-breaker for your company.
• Saves Time
Employees frequently perform repetitive duties throughout the day, wasting many hours and decreasing output. By streamlining workflows for your eCommerce company, you may move as many procedures and jobs as you can to automatic mode, giving your staff more time to work on more vital, urgent, and, most importantly, exciting activities.
For example, welcome letters are sent automatically to every user who has just finished registration. Can you imagine how much time it would take to do this manually? Luckily, there’s no need to spend time on such mundane activities since automation will handle this without requiring your participation every time.
• Eliminates mistakes
Even with the most skilled team at your disposal, human error is one thing that no organization can avoid. Automation decreases the number of mistakes made during eCommerce processes like data entry since it eliminates the need for you to input data manually.
Additionally, the system will automatically prompt the subsequent action, such as requesting permission from the person in charge. It ensures that no step is missed or forgotten along the process.
• Gathers Real Data
Most automation tools provide extensive business performance metrics and analytics. It gives a better understanding of how your business functions. You can learn how long it currently takes to process an order, how many mistakes are produced by your existing purchase order, or at which point visitors leave the website.
• Reduces Costs
By introducing automation, you’re not only making the process simpler for yourself, but you’re also saving money by not hiring extra staff to complete jobs that could be done automatically.
What Can Be Automated in an eCommerce company?
To determine what processes can be automated, think about the customer journey and additional aspects your team needs to deal with outside the platform, such as marketing activities, accounting, HR processes, payroll, and lead generation.
1. Orders Management
Every eCommerce company depends on the items’ delivery. In the long run, missed deliveries might be quite expensive. Shipping issues are usually the result of errors made along the road. An employee may have entered the wrong address on a shipping label, and an order may have been mistakenly marked as complete in your system.
This area of your business can be streamlined through workflow process automation. Printing shipping labels and changing the order status are included in this. It may also involve giving delivery tracking numbers.
2. Abandoned Cart Recovery
An Independent Web UX Research Institute Baymard estimates that nearly 70% of shopping carts get abandoned. With proper automation, follow-up emails or push notifications will be automatically sent to entice the consumer back when they leave their cart on your website. In the case of emails, they can be personalized and mention the items the user added and justify why they would still want to purchase them.
3. Customer Support
Give your clients updates on their orders’ shipment status, transit time, and courier deliveries. Provide up-to-date contact information upfront so that clients can get in touch with your team.
Besides that, consider integrating chatbot solutions powered with cognitive automation capabilities into the store so that you can instantly communicate with customers. For example, if you set up your Business WhatsApp for online customers, you may send automatic messages to start a conversation or find out what their main worry is.
4. Social Media Management
According to a WordPress hosting Kinsta, 74% of customers rely on their social networks to make purchasing decisions. Hence, it comes as no surprise that online stores devote so much time and effort to promoting their business on social networks. Social media marketing requires consistent production and distribution of engaging content for your audience.
If this process is automated, your company may benefit from a social media presence without investing much employee time in it. Using social media management tools, you may create a lot of content at once and plan how and when to share each post. Apart from that, such tools usually provide extensive analytics, which is crucial for building an efficient marketing strategy.
5. Inventory Management
When you sell through one channel, managing inventory doesn’t seem like much of a burden. However, with time you increase the number of sales channels. Your responsibility to control inventories across all channels expands as a result. Inventory automation tools conduct regular counts, help to track inventory across channels, and set reorder points to avoid overstocking and understocking. Thanks to inventory management and automation you’ll be able to keep your business growing with a better understanding of the goods in stock and the threshold inventory.
The finances and accounts of your eCommerce business should be well-organized. You may use accounting and bookkeeping software solutions to automate the financial management process. They can give you a complete idea of finances and allow you to plan investments according to cash flow. You will also be able to handle your tax claims and predict your company’s financial needs.
When preparing your business for automation, identify the repetitive tasks affecting your company’s productivity. Once you’ve determined where your operations are weak, you may consider ways to strengthen them. Consider how it will change the workload and what tasks your employees can take up instead of those automated.
After that, you need to find the right workflow automation tools. Study your options, and pay attention to the functions, interface, and price. Remember that you need to train your employees to work with these tools. After the automation is set, you need to constantly analyze the results, assess the impact, and make changes if necessary.
Alex Husar is a chief technology officer at Onilab. Working at the company for almost a decade, Alex has gained proficiency in web development, creating progressive web apps (PWAs), and team management. Alex constantly deepens his knowledge in various technological areas and shares it in his articles. He helps programmers overcome common challenges and stay updated with the latest web development trends.