How many manual and repetitive tasks does your day-to-day work include? Sure, they’re small tasks that take a few minutes to complete, but when you’ve added it up, it turns out you’re spending many hours per week just doing these simple, but repetitive, tasks.
Here’s where eCommerce automation comes in handy.
Surely, it doesn’t take an astrophysicist to realize that automation helps you to stop wasting time on dull, manual tasks, and focus on more important, and creative ones.
Still, let’s dive into the exact definition.
What Is eCommerce Automation?
In a nutshell, eCommerce automation is the use of dedicated tools, which complete manual tasks for you, quite often with the help of artificial intelligence. It’s a guarantee that you’re already using such tools if you are already using Mailchimp, HubSpot, Keap, etc.
The tendency is such that, sooner or later, everything that is possible to be automated, will be. Progress requires it, as we can’t move forward without eliminating redundant processes and tasks.
Think about it – some years ago, every client appointment needed to go through a person, most often a secretary. This meant that at least a few phone calls (in case of rearrangements), writing down schedules in notebooks, synchronizing with managers, and ultimately several people getting involved in spending a lot of time.
Nowadays, all the client needs to do is fill out a contact form, and spend a few minutes booking a meeting.
This is all good and all, but you are probably also wondering about the pros that automation in eCommerce brings.
eCommerce Automation Benefits
1. Saves Time and Money
This one is rather obvious. Doing tasks the old-fashioned way requires your organization to invest time and money, as there are people who need to perform these tasks manually.
Of course, eCommerce automation tools require you to invest money to use them, however, they’re still much cheaper and well worth the cost, especially in the long run. After all, if you compare a one-time yearly fee, or even monthly payments to employees, the former is more economically sound.
2. Increases Efficiency
Yes, tools don’t need sick leaves, they don’t go on vacations, and they’re always focused and ready to work.
The success of your eCommerce business depends on efficiency. Automation can greatly increase productivity, and efficiency by giving your employees the ability to focus on tasks that require analytical thinking, strategizing, and a personalized touch.
With automation tools, you can send customer emails, schedule sales promotions, generate invoices, use customer data segmentation, and much more.
3. Boosts Customer Satisfaction
Once you’ve set up your automation tools, they’ll work 24/7. This means that customers will receive an instant response to their queries, via chatbots.
Also, the online shopping experience of your clients can be much more personalized, and their orders and payments can be processed immediately, and whenever they want. No need to wait for a real human representative to take actions.
What’s more, using eCommerce marketing automation makes it really easy to create reward programs, and keep an updated database of the users’ progress. For example, should a customer reach $1,000 spent on your website, they could be automatically rewarded with a 30% discount on their next purchase.
4. Eliminates Human Error Factor
To make mistakes is human, especially when your employees are tired and overwhelmed with work. Still, sometimes such mistakes could end up being very costly for your business.
Automation software can greatly reduce such mistakes, on the condition that you set them up properly. Such types of workflow automation can become a crucial part of your day-to-day business operations. And you can use it in a lot of places, as well: invoices, order details, email campaigns, etc.
5. Higher Engagement
Automation can increase engagement not only with your clients, but also with your employees.
Well, for starters, it can make hiring and onboarding processes much easier and more effective. Additionally, automation reduces the frustration of doing repetitive tasks, and it encourages companies to adopt new technologies.
After all, once you get used to automation, there’s no going back. In terms of customers, they also benefit from automation, a lot. The most obvious example is with chatbots, where stats indicate that 55% of businesses using a chatbot generate more high-quality leads.
It’s easy to understand why, since the human attention span is very short. Waiting on a human representative to reply could take minutes, or even hours, while a chatbot assistant provides instant information.
Where Can You Apply eCommerce Automation?
Here are some more details about where exactly you can implement automation in your eCommerce business.
One of the easiest ways to apply automation in web design is in pattern libraries. In a nutshell, they are reusable UI elements that make up a website (buttons, image sliders, navigation bar, etc.).
There are also tools, that use deeper learning, that can generate color schemes, allowing you to transform design mock-ups into static websites. These options provide you with the opportunity to scale your website as your business grows.
Customer relationship management comes with a lot of repetitive tasks. That said, a CRM is essential for managing the data of your customers and leads. Probably the most popular automation tool used is HubSpot.
These tools help businesses easily distribute special offers and discounts to their customers based on their engagement and interests, like the product pages they visited the most.
One of the biggest headaches when it comes to dealing with an eCommerce store is taking constant care of your inventory. Knowing whether items are in stock or need to be reordered – which can be difficult to do manually, especially when your store has tens of thousands of products, can now be made easier thanks to automation.
You can even get notifications instantly about the items that require your attention.
There are so many eCommerce automation tools out there, and for a good reason. Email marketing platforms like Mailchimp and Constant Contact allow you to easily launch email campaigns and stay in touch with your customers with little to no effort.
Software such as Buffer make it easy to schedule your social media posts. Other like SERP Robot helps you keep track of your keyword rankings, which really eases the workload of SEO specialists.
The above are just the tip of the iceberg, there is marketing automation software for basically everything.
How to Start Automating Your Business
Perhaps you’re willing to start automating your business, but you are not too sure how to begin the process. You needn’t worry, here are a few things to consider beforehand.
- Decide which tasks you want to automate. Start with the ones you find to be most frustrating and repetitive. Feel free to ask your team for their opinions, advice, and ideas.
- Research and select the tools you’ll be using. Since there’s an abundance of automation software available for anything you can think of. Do your research first, then carefully decide which one will suit your needs the best.
- Define the targets you want to achieve. Think about what can be automated and whether it actually makes life easier or solves a problem or not. Automating tasks just for the sake of it may not be the right move, and in the end, could do more harm than good.
- Track your progress and make adjustments. Observe how things are going, and if necessary apply any needed changes so that everything is kept on track.
- Create a positive workplace automation culture. Let your employees know how cool it would be to automate boring and repetitive everyday tasks. Inform them how these tools would make their work life easier so that they feel excitement about the whole process, and not threatened by the idea of being replaced by a program.
Implementing eCommerce automation can potentially transform your business, and change the way you have been running it. With all the great benefits it brings to the table, it’s no wonder more and more eCommerce businesses are adopting some form of automation.
What about your business?
Let us know about your personal experience with automation, and how it has helped your organization grow.
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