eCommerce automation

Your eCommerce website is always up and running, with no intervening downtime. It must be operational at all times and able to accept orders.

Because it is not feasible for a company to have employees monitoring the eCommerce store all 24 hours, every eCommerce firm requires some level of eCommerce automation.

Technology has made it easier for organizations to eliminate or minimize numerous labor operations. Startups might believe this to be a luxury, but for developing businesses, it is an absolute requirement.

B2B eCommerce, or more complex marketplace management situations, are notorious for producing discomfort.

Many companies also face difficulties in order fulfillment, including a variety of inventory shortages. And customer satisfaction is rapidly declining.

For the most part, eCommerce automation makes great business sense for businesses. Individual sales processes differ, but most are identical.

Automating certain elements of the procedure allows eCommerce firms to run smoothly while devoting resources to processes that develop the business and improve customer experience.

The most important element of this transformation is the use of process automation and outsourcing to remove human error while also increasing efficiency.

Automation is critical in the world of eCommerce. After each transaction, your company must:

  1. It should accurately represent your current inventory.
  2. Send the client an invoice and shipping details.
  3. Enter the new income into your accounting software.

Without requiring any action on your end, an automated system ensures that everything listed above occurs in a smooth and effortless manner.

What is eСommerce Automation?

Table of Contents

eCommerce automation, in its purest form, is the use of technology to assist eCommerce businesses to grow sales and enhance staff efficiency.

Businesses can save money on order expenses, redirect personnel activity, and provide customized customer experiences by automating eCommerce operations.

A typical eCommerce automation consists of a sequence of actions that have been prepared and customized.

eCommerce automation

Automation includes three aspects:

  1. The trigger event is the initial signal to the automation that it should begin.
  2. The action is triggered by a condition, which specifies what the automation will do.
  3. Finally, the result is an action that accomplishes a goal without the need for human input.

Between the time a customer places an order and the time it arrives in their hands, numerous operations are completed. The new order must be retrieved, processed, and packed before it can be shipped.

B2B eCommerce platforms with strong automation capabilities aid organizations in selling effectively, maintaining high order accuracy, and increasing employee efficiency.

Benefits of eCommerce Automation

eCommerce automation benefits

By pre-programming the tasks that require manual input (e.g., picking items from inventory), ecommerce automation is able to carry out these tasks without the need for human input.

Enabling eCommerce automation provides a number of benefits to eCommerce companies.

With eCommerce automation, you may enhance all of the following:

Efficiency

When we talk about business processes, the first thing that comes to mind is an efficient system.

You may believe you’ve established effective procedures when in reality you’ve inadvertently created bottlenecks in your operations.

The eCommerce sales department’s responsibilities are numerous—however, activities such as filing and data entry are extremely monotonous, error-prone, and time-consuming.

These activities consume time that could be used to perform more essential responsibilities.

With eCommerce automation, these bottlenecks are reduced, and time-consuming manual tasks become automated.

The impact may be felt beyond the team and throughout the organization.

Data accuracy

In eCommerce, having accurate data management is essential.

There’s a lot of new data generated every day, such as order details and consumer information, or item quantities.

There will always be a risk for human error if this data is not shared manually.

And, in a large eCommerce business, even the smallest mistake can accumulate and grow into huge issues affecting client experience as well as your capacity to fulfill orders—sometimes without your knowledge.

Productivity in the workplace

Smart businesses always look for new methods to get the most out of their resources, which includes people.

Businesses may use eCommerce automation solutions to keep their workers productive, resulting in increased engagement and a more enjoyable working environment.

Employees have more time to assist consumers, enhance the product, or develop their abilities if tasks are automated in the back office.

Giving your staff the opportunity to test new ideas and put them into action will help you grow your firm.

Customer experience

Customers demand more purchase experiences that are memorable, and convenient, and help them save time and money.

Customers appreciate being able to monitor their orders and obtain up-to-date inventory and fulfillment information.

In the long run, businesses that make it simple for clients to manage their purchases, shipping, and returns without the need for any personal involvement save money and develop customer loyalty.

Average order value and sales volume

Customization and incentives are important for increasing sales and average order values, and automation allows you to put these methods into practice.

You can also customize your pricing calculations, discounts, offers, shipping choices, or any other incentives based on the customer or customer class.

You may also enable automatic order limits to assist you in hitting your minimum purchase value or revenue targets.

Focus

When you let employees off of time-consuming duties, they may devote their attention to more creative business procedures such as your development and growth plan.

When combined with market research, sales reps and eCommerce experts have a treasure trove of consumer information.

They can make crucial choices to expand market share when they combine this data with market research.

Who Benefits From eCommerce Automation?

Automating eCommerce procedures makes life easier for leaders, managers, teams, and whole departments.

Here are the benefits of eCommerce automation for various business processes:

Management Team

Managers need up-to-date data on sales and consumers in order to plan strategically and expand the business.

They must be able to integrate their eCommerce system across ERP, CRM, PIM, eProcurement, and other systems in order to maintain visibility across platforms.

Managers can make well-informed decisions to propel the company ahead when data is connected and automatically presented in an easy-to-understand style using custom reports and dashboards.

Operations Team

Automation is becoming increasingly important for operations managers to increase the efficiency of standard processes such as sales, inventory tracking, delivery, and product management within their company.

The automated segment, tag, and route products or orders based on specific criteria aids in the efficiency of their job.

In addition to automating routine tasks, as described above, AI-based procurement management leverages its capabilities to automate quotation processes, contract negotiation, and reorder goods with low quantities.

Marketing Team

To develop successful marketing campaigns and minimize advertising spending, marketing teams need precise information on customer behavior and product specifics.

Automation allows marketers to personalize offers, goods, pricing, and shipping choices.

They can create more profitable campaigns by taking advantage of consumer preferences and inventory statistics to promote certain items or improve targeting.

Customer service Team

Customer satisfaction is more important than ever.

Customers are increasingly expecting faster, more personalized customer service that responds to the most pressing issues and concerns in a timely manner.

However, without access to eCommerce CRM data, businesses may not be able to deliver this level of service.

Support agents may be informed of the optimum times to contact consumers or utilize automated scripts for personalized message follow-ups with further integration.

Customer Success Team

Identifying the perfect time to cross-sell, up-sell, or give extra assistance to customers is a critical ability for customer success managers.

Following up with consumers at critical moments, such as when they utilize a deal, order a specific item or quantity, or require assistance throughout the purchase or return procedure is essential.

Your Customers

Last but not least, eCommerce automation has a direct influence on your consumers.

It’s what allows eCommerce companies to give timely support, personalize conversations, and most importantly keep their promises to the customers.

This raises the average order value and sales.

How to Automate your eСommerce Business?

We now know that automating your eCommerce operations has a number of advantages: less effort, increased productivity, happier consumers, and more sales.

So, what’s the best way to get started with automation?

Follow these simple steps to get started automating your eCommerce company.

Step #1 – Determine what to automate

There are plenty of eCommerce processes that may be automated.

In general, anything that consumes time is repetitive and requires manual data handling should be automated.

For example, activities such as order processing, order monitoring, and inventory management are all potential candidates for automation.

Maintaining inventory levels, pricing, and payment options across numerous eCommerce channels is another common task.

Once you’ve decided what to automate, you’ll need to figure out which connections and integrations are required to make it happen.

Step #2 – Select the appropriate tools.

There are many eCommerce solutions on the market.

It might be difficult to select a solution with the capabilities and functions you require for successful automation.

You’ll have a better feel for the capabilities and limitations of different vendors as you look into them.

You’ll learn how they manage product, order, client, inventory, and fulfillment data internally as well as across systems.

Don’t forget to inquire about case studies or testimonials when researching vendors.

This can not only reveal information from those who have actually been there, but it may also provide answers to questions you hadn’t considered.

Step #3 – Look for integrations that have already been built.

When your current systems have ready-made connections and can connect to your eCommerce platform, integration becomes easier.

You won’t need to engage outside help or spend time setting up and running connections.

It’s also vital if your supplier offers connections that can quickly, accurately, and dynamically transfer product, order, customer, and other data between your systems.

Step #4 – Your data must be processed in real-time.

Sales and support staff are in charge of follow-ups, inventory updates, shipping notifications, and more.

The goal of real-time automation is to keep them from manually pressing buttons, switching between applications, or recording data into Excel spreadsheets.

Sync and transfer your data in real-time, not in batches, since this may reflect badly on your client experience.

Step # 5 – Validate and monitor your data.

Data accuracy and integrity are also essential in each step of a business process, which implies that a high degree of data accuracy is required.

Every transaction is recorded in audit trails and logs, which document the data flow.

Look for apps that allow you to manually retry, review, or do repetitive tasks.

Have a method in place to maintain and verify the accuracy, quality, and security of your data.

Step # 6 – Create a winning support team.

Ideally, your systems should operate without fail.

However, if there is ever an issue, problem, or question with any of your integrations, you must have a team on call that has access to all of them 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

When an order or return doesn’t operate as intended, you react swiftly, start working on the solution sooner and notify your clients without delay.

Common problems you may face in the eCommerce Automation process

The following are the most common issues encountered while automating eCommerce operations.

#1: Your sales, marketing, customer relationship management (CRM), enterprise resource planning (ERP), and fulfillment systems are all disconnected.

Many systems must be employed to manage marketing, sales, order processing, and shipping activities in eCommerce firms.

Customers may receive incorrect inventory levels, untraceable orders, or wrong shipping details when data is difficult to access or duplicated across systems.

With the aid of integrations, data transfer between systems is automated, and the data’s consistency and uniformity are preserved.

When data is always up to date, you can operate from a single source of truth and save time and money.

#2: Your staff is bogged down with time-consuming manual tasks and procedures.

eCommerce salespeople spend only half of their time directly interacting with consumers.

It’s a waste of customer-facing employee time to shuffle papers and do tedious data entry, especially if the selling process is repetitive or requires many step-by-step actions.

When you improve the efficiency and ease of your company procedures, you free up time, money, and human capital that may be used to focus on more critical aspects of your business.

#3: You have insufficient data for informed decision-making and dealing with growth.

As your eCommerce company expands, so does the cost of doing business and the amount of time you must devote to it.

More and more financial, operational, inventory, and customer data are produced at the same time.

More data does not harm your firm if you use the appropriate eCommerce solutions; it simply makes you a better decision-maker.

You can generate contextual, relevant reports once you’ve got the appropriate data and that data is correct.

This allows your eCommerce team to stay up with customer demands, provide customized content, and make the proper commercial decisions.

#4: Customers want more control, customization, transparency, and a self-serve model in order to improve the customer experience.

Customers want to have more control over online transactions. Customers desire transparency into order status, access to purchase history, and the ability to modify their orders.

They also want a smooth connection with you. They don’t want to respond to needless queries, execute extra tasks, or complete more procedures.

This experience falls short of expectations or results in dissatisfaction.

Using self-service to provide customer support frees up corporate resources.

Understanding your customers better can improve customer satisfaction, lead to higher sales, and aid in the development of a successful business.

Where did you need to automate your eCommerce business?

Ecommerce automation is about determining which activities need to be streamlined and then selecting the appropriate applications to carry them out.

The following are some of the most frequent operations in an ecommerce company:

  1. Sales and Marketing
  2. Inventory
  3. Accounting
  4. Productivity
  5. Customer Support

Now let’s dive into each one of these eCommerce business processes & have a look at how ecommerce automation can save you time, cut costs, and focus your attention on these processes.

Sales & Marketing Automation

eCommerce store

It will take a long time and cost a lot of money to create an ecommerce business from the ground up with your own developers and designers.

Using platforms that are designed to get your business up and running as soon as possible is an excellent alternative.

On these platforms, you can choose from several themes to customize your page and connect it with popular payment gateways.

Recommended eCommerce platforms: Zoho Commerce, Shopify

You can build, design, and develop your online business exactly the way you want without writing a single line of code.

Zoho Books and Zoho Inventory are already integrated with Zoho Commerce, so you can manage your inventory and incoming payments and costs.

You may also send reminder emails to customers who have items in their shopping carts.

Zoho Commerce has a lot of features that allow you to process payments, including integration with major payment processors and the option of accepting credit cards directly.

Email marketing, marketing automation, and campaign tracking

Email marketing

The most significant element of marketing is building your email list, which allows you to interact with all of your customers immediately.

Compared to Facebook, where you may reach as little as 2% of your audience, 24.7% of those who receive your email are likely to read it.

Marketing automation

Let’s assume you’re a security equipment vendor and a potential client has received your free report on how safe his home is.

This might imply that the prospect is concerned about the safety of his or her home in the case of a security threat.

You don’t want to send him emails that discuss your company’s general workplace surveillance equipment.

It’s not important right now—at least not in the sense that it is. Each client is unique, with his or her own wants and demands.

Marketing automation allows you to generate the most relevant email sequence possible for your prospects, based on their expressed interests.

Campaign tracking

You should be able to determine which campaigns performed the best so that you may continue to do more of what works and improve what didn’t.

Your marketing budget should be used to its maximum potential if you want to get the most out of it.

Recommended eCommerce campaign tracking tool: Zoho MarketingHub

MarketingHub is a one-stop shop for all of your marketing needs.

Whether you are a small business owner or an enterprise company, MarketingHub has everything you need to strategically plan and execute marketing campaigns across all channels with full analytics and reporting.

From one location, you may send out emails, social media posts, and even SMS messages. You can also keep track of the effectiveness of these campaigns.

You can also build workflows that directly lead to the most appropriate content or email sequence.

MarketingHub can also predict when a prospect typically opens their emails and postpone delivery till then.

The in-depth reports on campaign effectiveness, leadership development, and revenue generation guarantee that your marketing budget is well spent.

Social Media Automation

One of the prime components of a good social media strategy is planning.

Content must be designed specifically for social media and published at the optimum moment.

You may use social media management software to develop a content calendar and arrange postings for several social networks in advance.

You’ll be able to keep track of hashtags or trends that are relevant to your business and participate in more productive conversations.

Recommended eCommerce social media automation tool: Zoho Social

Zoho Social is a popular program with over 3000 ratings on software rating sites such as G2Crowd, Getapp, and Capterra. From inside Zoho Social, you can create, schedule, and publish content; interact with consumers, and respond to them all.

The SmartQ function forecasts times when your followers are most likely to interact with them. You may also see who’s talking about you, discover which posts are getting the most attention, and learn how many individuals have shared a certain post.

Inventory Automation

While developing your own ecommerce store is ideal, you may also benefit from the audience on established marketplaces like Amazon and Etsy.

If you’re selling products in several channels, you should be aware of inventory levels for each one.

It’s also critical that your store isn’t over or understocked. It signals that you’ve wasted money on inventory if you’re overstocked.

When your stock doesn’t sell, you’ve got a problem on your hands: products are just sitting on the shelves and you don’t have enough money left to do any more advertising.

If you’re understocked when there’s more demand, you risk missing out on income and potential long-term customers.

Customers will occasionally return an item. It’s a hassle to have to manually refund or credit a client, then send the stuff back to stock—or trash it if it’s broken—before returning it.

Recommended eCommerce automation tool: Zoho Inventory

Zoho inventory

Zoho Inventory provides you the option to establish a reorder point for each of your products, which is one of the ways it helps you manage stock.

You can choose a safe reorder point for goods based on past sales and current trends. Zoho Inventory will automatically place an order with suppliers when stocks reach that level, based on previous purchases and current trends.

This ensures you don’t accumulate goods that aren’t selling and have a sufficient supply of items that are.

You may automatically generate a sales return from the sales order when a consumer repurchases something. The customer may either get credits or the money back.

You may also identify an item as defective if it should not be returned to your store.

You may also track inventory in a variety of channels, as Zoho Inventory is fully compatible with Amazon, Etsy, Shopify, and other platforms.

Zoho Inventory lets you know how your products are performing in each channel, thanks to its advanced reports.

Accounting Automation

Accounting software keeps track of the money coming in and going out of your firm, so you always know where you’re at financially.

You must track income, keep records of expenses, prepare bills, and be tax compliant.

Recommended eCommerce automation tool: Zoho Books

Zoho Books is ideal for ecommerce retailers looking to accept multiple payment options and integrate with popular payment gateways, such as Stripe, Authorize.Net, PayPal, and Forte.

You may generate bills, issue invoices, raise purchase orders to providers, and convert them to bills as soon as you receive the products.

At any moment, Zoho Books can generate profit and loss reports, financial statements, and cash flow statements for your business.

Productivity eCommerce Automation

Project Management

You’ll have to rebuild your website, come up with a marketing campaign for it, or even release a new product.

All of these are huge undertakings with a lot of duties.

You need to know exactly where things are, what has to be done, who will do it, and how long it will take.

All of it is possible with project management software. You don’t have to be a project manager in order to use it.

Recommended eCommerce Project management tool: Zoho Projects

Zoho Projects is a cloud-based project management tool that allows you to control projects of any size. The comprehensive project management module allows you to break down any big endeavor into smaller, more manageable pieces.

You may also include milestones, get a Kanban view of obligations, and establish public and private chat rooms for contextual discussions.

All of your work-related communications will be neatly organized by activity in one location.

Zoho Projects

Team Communication

ecommerce automation - zoho cliq

You’ll need a quick method to communicate with coworkers privately while the discussion on a job takes place inside the project management software.

While it’s ideal to maintain communication in a single, centralized portal—such as your project management portal for optimum collaboration—there will be many situations where ad hoc cooperation is required.

You’ll have to form a group fast to complete that pressing business activity or exchange a file with a coworker.

Recommended eCommerce team communication tool: Zoho Cliq

You may also make audio and video calls, as well as establish groups and channels for discussing specific subjects.

Office Suite

Zoho one - ecommerce automation

Creating written content for an online store, such as product descriptions, website text, and blog entries is part of the process.

You’ll also need spreadsheets to gather information for study—for example, pricing for comparable products with client comments—or go over figures, in addition to collaborating on text documents.

Recommended eCommerce automation tool: Zoho Office Suite

Zoho’s Office Suite has full-featured software for creating and collaborating on text, spreadsheet, and presentation documents.

You can also work from anywhere thanks to all three products having complementary mobile apps.

File Management

Documents and spreadsheets aren’t the only ones you need to run an ecommerce company.

Product photos, videos, PDFs, and other visuals are all necessary. All of these documents must be available to the appropriate people for collaboration to succeed.

Recommended eCommerce automation tool: Zoho WorkDrive

Zoho WorkDrive stores documents in Team Folders according to the folder-first method, ensuring that files are properly organized and preserved.

A project, task, team, or department is used to create each Team Folder.

Team Folder files will be visible only to permitted members and will allow them to read, write, or comment on the files.

With Zoho WorkDrive Any member of the Team Folder will be notified automatically of any modifications made to any of the files in that folder.

Business Email

While you should not use email for internal purposes, it is vital to communicate externally via email.

It’s also required for email marketing and outreach. If you use the right tools for the appropriate goals, your inbox will never fill up on you.

Recommended eCommerce business email tool: Zoho Mail

Zoho Mail is a powerful and flexible email client that businesses will appreciate.

Zoho Mail offers you the ability to collaborate with other users.

Before you send them out, you may have your emails reviewed. You can share your emails with colleagues, instead of forwarding them.

Collaboration can also take place through comments on top of the email. This is a quick, yet effective, alternative to the endless reply chains that occur over email.

Customer Support Automation  

Help Desk

Customer service is crucial both before and after the purchase.

Customers may be enthusiastic about your product, but they may also want to know if it is tailored to their unique demands.

After purchasing, consumers may want guidance on how to use the product effectively or have concerns regarding particular features.

There will be times when clients want refunds or replacements.

Imagine if all of these various types of consumer queries were sent to the same email address.

When many persons are involved in customer care, using a standard email inbox is no longer practical. That’s why you’ll need help desk software.

All of your teammates may log in to their own accounts and view every client query in the event that they have access. They may delegate answers to themselves or others by assigning tickets.

Another advantage of help desk software is that not all clients contact you by email. Some people will reach out through social media and some utilize the forms available on your website.

So you may imagine how difficult it is to keep track of queries from multiple channels.

Then comes “the help desk” which brings everything together in one spot, allowing any member of your team to respond.

Recommended eCommerce help desk tool: Zoho Desk

A comprehensive agent productivity system, such as Zoho Desk, on the other hand, gives you a real-time view of activity across all your teams and customers.

It works with Slack to combine time tracking, collaboration, and dashboards—all in one place.

You may also use it to respond on Facebook and Twitter to questions asked on different platforms right from the Zoho Desk.

Live Chat

eCommerce Automation Zoho Desk

Nothing beats speaking with a genuine individual for assistance, even if a website is excellent.

In fact, live chat is more likely to encourage clients to revisit a website than any other feature, according to 63% of consumers.

There’s no better approach to jumpstart a relationship with consumers than by assisting them when they need it.

Recommended eCommerce automation tool: Zoho Desk (again!)

That is correct. Zoho Desk, on the other hand, offers a built-in live chat that converts live chats to tickets, canned answers for frequently asked questions, and customer happiness ratings.

Your Next steps toward eCommerce Automation

So here you have it.

If you use the correct set of ecommerce apps to automate your business, your sales, stock, and accounting functions will operate effectively without requiring any physical input.

You’ll have a robust marketing and support structures in place, as well as all you need for collaboration and project management.

Author

My goal with Shop eGrow is to make an all-in-one eCommerce Growth Portal. I will share tools, tips, and resources I have researched and used on my ecommerce journey. If you have any questions regarding the above, please do not hesitate to contact me by using the contact page.

Write A Comment