Ecommerce automation has enamored brands worldwide. More than 1.1 billion eCommerce tasks have been completed through automation, which in turn, has saved about 9.2 million hours. 52% of eCommerce business owners say that they use automation in some way or the other. The question is no longer why, but how. It is fair to say that experts in eCommerce website development have started integrating automation into online shop fronts from the very beginning. Let’s learn the ropes of eCommerce automation.
What is eCommerce Automation?
Ecommerce automation refers to the use of software to convert manual tasks, processes, and campaigns within a business to automation to save time and money.
You see, as businesses grow, the demands, complexities, technicalities, and repetitions add on, and systems that used to work stop working or lag. This is when companies create workarounds to catch up to all the work that is by then, piling up. However, this is an endless cycle that wastes a lot of time, money, resources, and is recurrently inconsistent. The time, money, and resources could be used on something urgent; or even new and exciting. That is why eCommerce automation is being lauded globally.
How to automate eCommerce website?
Ecommerce automation generally uses AI or Artificial Intelligence, which mimics human actions and thought processes to a certain degree to create a user-friendly automated business process. In basic automation, simple AI with a list of criteria that triggers different tasks based on pre-set conditioning is used. But, AI can be reprogrammed with Machine Learning or ML to automate advanced tasks as well and used effectively in coaxing out higher value from eCommerce website development.
For example, with ML, you can enhance search function in an eCommerce platform based on customer search behavior. ML also allows websites to customize themselves based on individual customer behavior. For example, every time you find recommended products on social media pages based on your previous searches. Then there are chatbots, smart search solutions, and more.
Significance of marketing automation in eCommerce (B2B)
According to recent studies, 55% of B2B companies are using marketing automation today. Why? The answer is simple; it drives sales productivity by 14.5% and reduces marketing overhead by 12.2% on average.
Here’s listing the benefits:
More leads, more gain
A blend of SEO-optimized content, social media, and guest posting can drive visibility and hence leads up. Companies can automate the implementation of the same, which makes measuring success and optimizing the program easier.
Sales-ready opportunity identification for the win
If you’re integrating marketing automation into B2B eCommerce website development, the leads you generate and nurture will eventually need your services. Automation will help keep them informed about your brand, your services, and what you can do for them. For example, you could send subtle automated reminders from time to time.
The art of showcasing your talent
Whether you sell expertise or products, without visibility, both wouldn’t survive. You need to showcase them, make them tangible, relevant, and visible. You can create content for that, but you need automation to deliver it in the right doses, at the right time.
Client retention, no longer a touch & go subject
Client needs can be episodic. It can become difficult for companies to keep reminding their clients recurrently of the services or products they offer and their availability. This is where automation comes in. It helps keep the customers in the loop while keeping the company hassle-free.
Tracking & optimizing marketing investment for a tight-knit budget
To improve ROI, every company needs to track and optimize their marketing plan and budget. But, doing that manually and regularly can be difficult. Marketing automation helps businesses efficiently deal with this.
Productivity on the rise
Marketing automation does one thing with aplomb, taking the drudgery of repetitive marketing tactic out of the roster for marketing departments. This induces productivity and increases efficiency.
Save billable time, save money
Clients cannot trust you blindly and rightly so. But, what about billable hours? They can surely be used better. The solution is using marketing automation to screen, qualify, and nurture prospective customers before putting in any hours.
The one question you might have by now is, “But, what do I automate?” Let’s delve into that.
Customer Experience & Support-The reigning duo
Boosting customer experience and support through automation can help build customer loyalty and brand integrity all at once. You know that feeling of “exclusivity” every customer seeks? That can be something that differentiates you from your competitors, and that can be automated. In fact, it can be a part of your eCommerce website development.
How to automate eCommerce customer service
Here are a few examples:
- The chances of selling to an existing customer base are at 60-70%, while the chances of selling to new customers are at 5-20%. So, it is only fair to not only track but also reward your existing customers periodically. Automation can be used to tag these customers based on what they are buying when they’re buying, and the frequency of their actions. You can then set up your business rules and automation to target these people through special or specific automated marketing tactics. For example, send a discount for people who have spent over a limit, or send a special discount to members, or even people who buy specific products or services could be sent an email to showcase similar products or related products.
- Automating that can save you a lot of hassle and time. You just need to sync up the email client with your CRM system.
- The best way to improve customer experience is to ask your customers what they want, i.e., get their feedback. To do that, you can streamline workflow to collect the feedback automatically. Send automated follow-up emails after a sale, and even send reminders.
- Have you seen those messages, “We are sorry for your inconvenience…”? They are generally posted by a company after they get a negative review. These are mostly automated but show the customer that you care, accept your responsibility, and are willing to change for the better.
- Tracking and analyzing customer behavior through automated customer segments can improve customer experience a lot. You can choose your own segments and fully automate the process.
Bring workflow & marketing to the forefront
Just like customer experience is indispensable for customer retention, marketing is an essential tool to enhance customer acquisition. Every business needs new customers to grow and flourish. Workflow automation, on the other hand, makes a business function smoothly with minimal manual effort. How do you do it?
- 54% of people online make their purchases based on social media recommendations. You can reap the rewards of a lucrative social media presence by automating your social media. Create posts en masse and schedule the regular posting, that’s all you need to do. This way you can also automate your marketing workflow.
- You can send discount codes, customer-behavior specific offers, or even informational posts to customers who don’t come and buy your product or services at once. These leads need nurturing but, you should only do it when you have their permission & their information. These are the leads that need to be persuaded through consistent automated nurturing.
Purchase Order Automation for efficiency enhancement
Purchase order automation holds an important position in an eCommerce automation checklist. It is using a centralized system to create a purchase order mechanism that automatically sends a purchase requisition to the appropriate party for approval, and once approved is automatically transferred to the supplier in the form of a purchase order document. This automation allows the supplier to acknowledge the order, invoice them, and integrate them into your accounting system. It cuts the need for paperwork and the involvement of unnecessary hierarchy.
Vendor & supplier onboarding simplified
When you switch vendors or add suppliers to your chain, a lot of information and process needs to be shared between the two. It can get very hectic very fast. That is why vendor and supplier onboarding is a big part of the eCommerce automation checklist. An automated supplier portal can help share and receive all supplier-vendor-company details through a simple web-based interface.
Order Management-The catch-all of eCommerce processing
Order management includes project management, customer service, and many other areas. This too is an important part of the eCommerce automation checklist.
In this system, many business services can be automated, including order placement, sale, and post-sale activities. For example, mistyping seems like a foolish mistake but can lead to failed deliveries, which in turn can lead to a huge expense. This problem can be solved by automated shipping labels. It can be done by a single click and can print tracking numbers, mark your order as dispatched, and more.
Not only that, but you can also use an automated order management tool to send reminders to your regular customers to reorder something they like at a precise time, or if you are selling one item only, you can also remind your customers about the necessity of the item.
Lastly, you can remind customers about the products that are there in their cart if they abandon it. 70% of online shoppers abandon carts regularly; think about the customers you can gain if even some of those people come back thanks to the reminders.
Take a chill-pill with automatic inventory management
Inventory management is essential for all online shops, but doing it manually can be tedious. The best solution for that is automated inventory management, which can make stocking up or down a breeze.
Realistically the workflow can be like:
- Receive an order
- Inventory management allocates stock to the order based on rules you set
- A “ready for dispatch” tag is associated with your order
- Details of order get sent to warehouse managers
- Warehouse staff pick, pack and send out the stock
- Stock removal is updated, and accurate inventory volume is logged
- Stock reaches a predetermined volume, and that automatically raises a purchase order
Sales automation to the front of the line
Individuals in sales spend 10+ hours every week selling products. No meetings, no sales ideas, only selling. In this day and age, automated selling can help them concentrate on closing deals and running down leads rather than selling each product individually. Any repetitive sale task, deal follow-up, or even prospective client calling can be automated.
Now that we know what CAN be automated, let’s learn about the eCommerce automation tools we need.
What are the best eCommerce automation tools?
For inventory and order management system:
It keeps track of inventory and stock levels at all times. All the information is synced across all sales channels. It can also predict the inventory level requirements.
It operates in real-time and operates across several channels. It offers a complete business solution operating different sectors like order and inventory management, drop shipping management and shipping management.
It helps retailers manage the entire business process through automation. It works by syncing customer orders from multiple sales channels into a central platform while operating the inventory in real-time.
To generate customized messages and Emails:
It is a marketing automation tool that keeps all text snippets in one place. Whenever a business needs to send out an email or a message, it can just choose the right snippet and insert it into the right location.
To set up custom applications:
It is the one-stop-shop for all eCommerce marketing needs. It offers a complete business solution that includes CRM, analytics, sales and marketing automation, and also credit card processing. Businesses can also utilize a number of built-in campaigns to further automate store tasks that take up a lot of time.
Zapier supports 750+ apps like email clients, spreadsheets, accounting tools, and communication platforms. So, instead of juggling a lot of tasks, you can simply use Zapier to handle it all. You can use the provided workflow options or set up a custom workflow that suits you better.
To generate and manage store subscribers:
It is one of the most powerful conversion optimization and lead generation tools. Ecommerce automation tools had never seen anything greater. Using it, you can boost store conversions and gain more subscribers. It is also a great tool to retarget customers.
To set and manage email campaigns:
It is used in setting up and managing email campaigns. Its marketing automation helps attract new customers and retain loyal customers through targeted emails. It also integrates well with popular eCommerce platforms including WooCommerce, Shopify and Magento.
For growth-focused eCommerce companies, Omnisend is a godsend. It helps businesses reach and convert customers at the right time, using the right channel, with the right message. It is a favorite tool for eCommerce website development companies worldwide.
It is a simple marketing automation tool that enables businesses to promote their products or services through email marketing.
Also Read – Understanding the Benefits of Internet Marketing
For customer relationship management:
It is an all-in-one customer relationship management or CRM solution. Zendesk can help businesses automate customer relations activities and offer data processing capabilities.
To promote your online store on other digital platforms:
Through IFTTT businesses can market their online store products on multiple social platforms at the same time.
Businesses can market their products and services on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn through it. You can easily schedule posts on it, and it will post automatically on the social media platform of your choice. Rightly it is an irreplaceable part of the best eCommerce automation checklist.
For Lead Management
It is a marketing automation & CRM software combined. It automates lead capture, ensures no lead leakage, and helps companies build a strong business framework with an ever adaptive workflow. It is one of the top eCommerce automation tools.
Okay, now that you know the best eCommerce automation tools, let’s look at some case studies in which automation helped businesses achieve more.
Case in point
- McAfee, a software publisher, quadrupled its conversion rate and generated a lot more qualified lead than before through marketing automation by segmenting the customers and giving them the right information, at the right time when they were in the buying process.
- Thomson Reuters, a Canadian and British media agency, used marketing automation to reorient its email marketing approach and increased the number of valuable leads by 23%, increased the conversion timing by 72%, and increased the revenues attributed to marketing by 175%.
- Brahma Gems, an Indian authentic gemstone company, rose above lead leakage through eCommerce automation and increased conversion rates from 20-30% to 70-80%.
It’s a wrap
There’s a simple answer to the simple question, “Why use automation in eCommerce?” It saves money, time, and effort while increasing efficiency and productivity