For an eCommerce owner, the most valuable asset is time.
When you first start your business, performing all your tasks manually might still look feasible. But as your customer base starts to grow, it can take a toll and become highly inefficient.
Your staff might get overwhelmed with the sheer number of orders incoming and handling customers’ complaints. It will only act as a hindrance to your growth.
Just like you need to have a solid foundation for a great building, you need to have a rock-solid back-office automation system in place, which can help you scale.
Automated eCommerce allows the manager to focus more on revenue-generating tasks rather than repetitive ones. It converts most of the manual, recurring tasks into self-fulfilling, computerized activities.
To understand how automation can really help, you need to first know how it works.
How Does Automation Work?
Don’t we all love this notification that “Your product XYZ has been shipped” hours after placing the order? Your customer loves it too!
Imagine having to send confirmation emails manually to each customer every time they place an order. It doesn’t sound so cost-effective, right?
This is where automation steps in. It works through three stages – Trigger, Condition, and Action.
In the above example, a trigger occurs when a customer creates an order.
The condition here is the customer has confirmed the payment, and the action is that as soon as the condition is met, the customer gets an order confirmation email in their inbox.
This is the basic framework for every eCommerce automation process.
Should You Automate Your Ecommerce Store?
To simplify it, automation enables e-commerce operators to save time, save money, and sell more.
Here are some ways automation is helping eCommerce:
Let us look at some stats first.
80 per cent of shoppers want same-day shipping.
Only 53 per cent of online stores offer it.
Clearly, there is a gap to be filled here. Besides, slow and expensive shipping is the topmost reason for cart abandonment.
The order fulfilment process begins at the warehouse. Having an automated warehouse makes it easy to quickly process orders with time and accuracy. Products stored are tagged with SKU, type, and title for easy discovery.
All the orders coming from different sales channels are centralized. Some advanced solutions automatically prioritize orders depending on the customer and the stock level, amongst other factors.
Recently Ezyslips has introduced automation in order allocation according to the service types, the weight of the product and Zipcodes.
In fact, it even allows customers to view and track their order progress – picked, packed, and shipped.
With cheap and quick shipping, retailers can increase their customer’s satisfaction.
With the rising popularity of the eCommerce business, online fraud transactions are also at a high.
By the end of 2020, online fraud transactions are forecasted to reach $25.6 billion.
That’s why retailers need to prioritize fraud prevention to protect customer satisfaction as well as profitability.
You can identify a red flag when a customer:
- Has refused deliveries in the past
- Has placed orders with an invalid address, phone number, or email id
Ecommerce automation can be configured to notify you of such high-risk orders. High-risk orders can be identified through an IP address check, address verification system (AVS), and following the Payment Card Industry (PCI) standards.
Also, you can identify the fake orders to a certain point with the help of purchase history.
Eliminating risky orders can help you keep your financial situation stable and your business running efficiently.
Customer Experience Automation
Customer experience is the most integral part of your business.
In fact, 70 per cent of customers refrain from buying from a brand due to a bad customer service experience.
If you want to build long-term rapport with them, you need to deliver excellent service.
One way to do that is by triggering automated email or SMS updating them about their order status.
As customers, we regularly track our order status. So instead of having them log into the app each time, you can send automated email or SMS with tracking links.
Customers should be notified whenever the shipment is packed and sent out, is ready for pick up, and the estimated delivery date.
Moreover, it’s good to proactively engage with visitors on your site with automated interactions.
That is not the end of your task, also sending automated survey notifications to buyers will help in increasing the reviews and in the long run that will enhance your conversion.
Keeping in touch with your customers post-purchase encourages retention and improves your brand reputation.
Increasing retention rates just by 5% can help improve your profits by anything from 25% to 95%.
One best way to attempt to increase retention is by sending out targeted incentives.
Automation can help segment customers into different groups based on factors like location, past buying behaviours, etc. and send out targeted offers.
Customers will feel valued and will think highly of the brand.
Besides, adding a personal touch like addressing them with their first name will show that a company cares about them.
Accept it or not, automation in eCommerce is the way of the future. It allows for the execution of all processes with full efficiency by reducing errors.
While choosing your eCommerce automation platform, have a checklist of the following factors:
- Ability to process in real-time
- Active vendor support
- Pre-built APIs for easy integration with existing systems
- Data monitoring and validation
Start automating with small processes, and take a full plunge when you feel ready.