Your eCommerce business growth can be a double edged sword. On the one hand, seeing more success roll in can be really exciting, on the other, more customers, profit and resources means a greater demand and pressure on you, the business owner. If only you could clone yourself, right?
Implementing automation can boost productivity and help quell some of the demands of a growing business. In this article, we'll talk about the top easy automation wins for your eCommerce business, so you can maximise your time, your savings and your profits.
What is eCommerce automation?
eCommerce automation is the process of using software tools that will complete various tasks for you, rather than needing to do it manually yourself. Automation works best when it's used for small, repetitive tasks that are performed in a consistent way. By this, we mean:
- Using an email software to automate welcome emails on sign-up or subscribe.
- Customers are sent an email to request a review, after a certain time period after purchase
- Customers who have subscribed to your blog are sent a monthly Newsletter
- Customers are sent tracking information about their delivery on purchase
What are the benefits of eCommerce automation?
We've talked a little bit about the power of automation previously, but what are the actual benefits of using a third-party software to automate parts of your eCommerce business? We know that some business owners are wary of adding more tools into their stack, because in some cases it can do the opposite of saving you time if not used sparingly.
The most obvious benefit of automation is the amount of time that it frees up for you to do other things. Automation is best used to perform the smaller, repetitive tasks in your business, so when you don't have to worry about them anymore, you can focus on the bigger picture for your business. When you're effectively using a machine to run tasks for you, you also get the added benefit of accuracy and consistency throughout your activities. For instance, if you're sending out multiple emails to different customer segments (and you should, at some point in your business career), automating these tasks can ensure the same procedure, tone of voice and elements are used throughout this particular activity. The bottom line is that automation can help you to operate in a more professional manner, without too much sweat equity on your part.
How can you automate your eCommerce business?
There are a few different ways to automate your eCommerce business. You can use a third party software, like Interparcel, to automate the larger tasks for your business, like your order and fulfilment processes or you can use workflow automation tools to handle the administration tasks for your business.
Automate your customer support
Artificial intelligence or A.I. isn't just a buzzword in retail these days. When you used to think about chatbots, what sprung to mind was horrible robotic interactions that weren't equipped to have smart conversions (or really any conversations) with your customers. Well, chatbots have come a long way since then, and they've become fairly mainstream for online businesses; particularly to automate their customer service experience online. Implementing chat bots as a first line of defence, greatly reduces costs, improves customer service and agent productivity.
Customers no longer have to go hunting through your website to get an answer to their question, automated interactions can provide a user with helpful information, at whatever stage they need it. You can implement a chat bot to:
- Send a welcome message
- Answer popular questions
- Upsell and cross-sell products to customers
Automate your inventory management and shipping
In the world of eCommerce, it's essential to find the fastest, cheapest and smartest way to get your products from A to B. In fact, 64% of customers cite speed as the most important factor that influences their loyalty to a brand, followed by price. Finding a solution that makes fulfilling orders faster, with fewer errors and gives you and your customer more control over their shipping process, can boost your sales and retention rates. You want to find a shipping solution for your eCommerce business that:
- Allows you to automatically select service or carrier-based package weight, dimensions, delivery requirements
- Generate shipping labels and can be printed in bulk
- Generates tracking numbers and emails for your customers, and alerts them to any delays in their delivery
- Automatically saves you money by combining multiple parcels into one box
- Provides live quoting to your customers at checkout to reduce cart abandonment
Interparcel's Shipping Manager, is an all-in-one shipping solution for the modern eCommerce business. It features advanced tools that allow you to integrate and import orders straight from your eCommerce store, whether it be hosted on Shopify, Etsy, BigCommerce or WooCommerce. You're able to customise your shipping rules so that you can fulfil orders in just a click of a button.
Automate your reviews
We've talked about the importance of reviews before, and we've also noted how difficult it can be to get reviews from your customers, and utilize them properly to get more customers over the line. This is especially true if you're a beginner eCommerce business owner. Using an automation tool like Mailchimp or Hubspot, you can send and schedule automated emails to be sent to a customer after their purchase. Using this in tandem with a chatbot that can automatically send messages to customers who have purchased through your bot, will guarantee you customer reviews. Use these reviews in your Newsletter and (certainly) on your website, above-the-fold, to social proof your business.
Reduce cart abandonment
Cart abandonment is a problem for almost every eCommerce business owner, at some point. Statistics show that it can be upwards of 75% for some businesses. eCommerce automation can solve this by identifying when visitors leave your store without purchasing anything and then sending out an email to encourage your customers to convert. Without automation, you'll probably send hours upon hours trying to recover lost sales.