.Building and managing an e-commerce business is very challenging and a big responsibility.

There are so many tasks starting from managing the website, marketing the products, managing inventories, being answerable to your customers’ queries or complaints, keeping your social media pages up to date, managing accounts, and a lot of other things.

All of these tasks are extremely crucial for the proper functioning and growth of your e-commerce business. But, these are pretty time-taking and energy-consuming jobs. 

However, the interesting point to observe here is that most of these tasks are easily replicable. They are systematized and documented processes that can be comfortably passed onto someone else. This can allow you more freedom as the business owner, letting you focus on the growth aspect. 

That said, here are some reasons to automate your e-commerce tasks now.

Why Do You Need Automation?

Automation is one instrument that has the opportunity to skyrocket your e-commerce sales boasting multiple other benefits. Have a look here:
● Better targeting of messages
● Increased web traffic
● More lead generation
● Higher conversion
● Cost efficiency
● Better customer experience
● Better data collection
● Increased ROI in marketing

Hence, to experience an improved e-commerce set-up, let’s look at the 7 most significant tasks to automate in your e-commerce business

Inventory Management

If you are just starting your e-commerce business, inventory management may be a small task. But, as your business grows, the management and calculations become complex. There would be too much inventory to track manually using tables and excel sheets. Taking your chances with it may mostly result in one or the other error. 

“According to a report by Wasp Barcode, 46% of business owners still use manual process or don’t track inventory at all, which leads to failures in their system, overstocking, out-of-stocks, and irrelevant returns.”

Automation frees up your important time by updating your stocks automatically when customers make purchases or process returns for your products.

BENEFITS:

  • Avoids human error
  • Avoids overstocking or out-of-stocks
  • Reduces inventory costs
  • Saves time and effort
  • Updates inventory automatically 
  • Gives sales figures estimate

We recommend our readers to use Unicommerce, Vinculum to manage their Inventory effectively.

Accounting and Bookkeeping

Accounting and bookkeeping become the next important process that you need to automate. Successful e-commerce businesses always make it a point to organize and keep track of invoices, payments, and receipts. At the start, it might be easy to use a spreadsheet for this. However, as the business figures grow, tracking becomes extremely complex. Especially with multiple product offerings, it can get overwhelming. Hence, automating your accounting is a crucial step you should take.

BENEFITS:

  • Makes it easy to understand the cash flow and expenses
  • Quickly merges your bank statement
  • Reduces payment request delays with suppliers
  • Helps plan and manage inventory
  • Helps analyze the more in-demand products 
  • Maximizes advertising outcome as per the demand

We suggest you to use Ezyslips for the accounting and book-keeping.

We have included some interesting features for you.
1.Generate GST compliant invoices in bulk
2.Share your data with Tally accounting software.
3.GST compliant invoices include discounts like Giftcard,evouchers,product wise discount and many more.
3.Thermal as well as normal shipping labels.

Shipping, Returns and Refunds 

Tracking shipment, product returns, and managing refunds can get mind-boggling and, hence, need to be automated in your e-commerce business. As the sales go up, the returns also simultaneously increase. It is very natural to happen. 

“According to Invespcro statistics, 30% of all products ordered online are returned.” 

Moreover, nobody wants a lengthy return process involving 3-4 different parties in the refund. While there is no way you can stop returns, you can still make it a hassle-free experience for yourself and your customers by automating the whole process. 

BENEFITS:

  • Automatically returns and refunds without any hassle
  • Provides regular shipment updates
  • Helps improve carrier manifestation
  • Provides shipping label creation
  • Enhances customer experience and retention
  • Reduces costs by involving multiple stages

The must have tools to automate shipment and returns are Shipway and ezyslips.

Customer Support

While the above are internal processes, there are things externally that require your attention. Customer satisfaction is a big extensive process, and no business can afford to ignore it. Some of the things involve a speedy response to their queries, clear communication, professionalism, knowledgeable staff, and smooth and efficient systems.  

Now, taking care of all these processes manually is not practically feasible. Hence, to ensure customer satisfaction and retention, you need to automate customer support in your e-commerce business. However, note that complex situations may require the intervention of your customer support staff. 

  • The processes you would want to automate in your customer support department can include:

  • Help desk system to provide automated responses to customer queries by category
  • Customer feedback system post resolving the issue
  • Incorporating FAQs on website for self-help

BENEFITS:

  •  Simplifies customer service processes
  • Reduces the time to respond to customers
  • Reduces employee-hiring costs

A few tools to automate the customer support process are GoToAssist, HelpScout, and Zendesk.

Shopping Cart Abandonment

Another common issue faced by e-commerce businesses is known as shopping cart abandonment. This happens when customers add products to their shopping carts, but for some reason, do not proceed with the purchase. There are different reasons customers have to abandon their carts like additional shipping cost, no coupon code available, lengthy checkout process, payment security issues, etc.

“A report by Barilliance reveals that the average cart abandonment rate rose to 78.65% in 2017 and growing since then.”

This is why there is a need to automate your cart as well. The easy solution to this problem is to send reminder emails to customers who refused to check out the added products in their shopping carts. Automation will just ease your task by sending automated personalized emails to customers to lure them back. You can even offer some offers to ensure conversion. 

SalesCycle studied that nearly half of all abandoned cart emails are opened and over a third of clicks lead to purchases back on the website.”

Hence, these triggered sequenced emails can be an effective way to recover lost sales.

BENEFITS:

  • Improves conversion rates
  • Helps promote your products
  • Helps to bring back potential customers 
  • Improves customer relationship and experience

Some email marketing automation tools are MailChimp, GetResponse, Customerly, SendX, ActiveCampaign, and Drip.        

Social Media Networks

Social media, undeniably, is the essential formula to gain and retain a customer. The truth is that the majority of customers perform online research before buying any product. It is also seen that the reviews that they get through the social media channels highly influence them into buying a certain product over the other. 

Social media is essential for you to drive traffic to your store, communicate with your fans, build your brand, and make sales. However, with the social platforms being so vast and deep to explore and manage, manual efforts can be extremely time-consuming and effort demanding.  This is why a social media network is a relevant task to automate in your e-commerce business.

BENEFITS:

  • Helps build meaningful engagement with customers
  • Expands audience reach multi-fold
  • Increases customer retention rates
  • Inculcates customer trust and conviction about your products
  • Helps with customer feedback

A few tools twe suggest are Hootsuite, Buffer, and Edgar.
Where you can try hootsuite as a free tool for your eCommerce startup.

Customer Purchase Follow-up

Customer retention is today the most concerning issue for e-commerce businesses. As per a study, existing customers bring in more business and repeat purchases than the new users. Also, acquiring new customers is more expensive than retaining them. Hence, following up on your important customers is an essential step to grow your business online. 

A simple yet effective way to retain the existing customers and get them interested in buying more from you is through emails. You can simply set-up an automated email to do the customer purchase follow-up. It is usually sent to a customer who has just purchased your product or service.

The content of the email can be as simple as saying thanks for purchasing your products. You can even ask for customer feedback on your product. This will improve customer satisfaction and retention. To further boost your sales, you can send an automated email displaying your best-selling product recommendations. 

BENEFITS:

  • Fosters customer engagement
  • Increases re-purchases
  • Creates a good impression with your customer
  • Increases loyalty and retention

The tools you can use to create automated customer follow up emails are Campaign Monitor and MailChimp.

Conclusion

Automation is becoming an inevitable tool for e-commerce business owners that take their growth plan on priority. And if you made it to the end of this article, give a pat on your back! You are going to make a success story very soon. Above mentioned were the most important things you need to automate in your e-commerce business. Automation is the future. So, if you haven’t given it a try,

Do check out the top tools for automation. Because now is the time!