How to Properly Set Up eCommerce Automation
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ECommerce automation uses software to convert tasks, campaigns or processes to automations. It works well for inventory management, lead conversion, order-related updates, and conversational eCommerce. Hence, it helps you to deliver an ideal customer experience.
The buildup of hundreds of small tasks carried out by employees can stunt business growth. ECommerce automation will help this by giving your employees more time to focus on other, important tasks.
An example of eCommerce automation would be triggering an email to your customer when an item is ready to be in store.
(PS. If you're completely new to starting an eCommerce business, we recommend reading this primer on it.)
- Workflow Automation
Workflow automation in eCommerce is the use of tech, apps or software to manage repetitive tasks or manual processes that are time-consuming and/or subject to human error.
Common applications of workflow automation:
- Product catalog automation
- Email notification automation
- Customer service automation
- Sales automation
- Quote and RFQ automation
- Checkout automation
- Order processing automation
- Fulfillment Automation
Fulfillment automation enables efficient order processing and regular updates to customers. This means that customers and sales representatives no longer need to engage in long conversations.
Some ways to automate fulfillment:
- Inventory management automation
- Returns automation
- Warehouse management automation
It's not just about the eCommerce automation software itself. Follow these key steps to automate your business properly.
- Identify Tasks That Would Benefit From eCommerce Automation
In general, any activity that is repetitive, takes a lot of time, and needs manual data handling is fair game for automation. Examples would be activities involving order tracking and updating product information.
- Pick the Correct Automation Solutions
Research vendors' strengths and weaknesses, and remember to ask for testimonials and case studies. Understand how they manage order, inventory, customer, product and fulfillment data between systems as well as internally.
- Search for Pre-Built Connectors
Automation will be easier if your existing systems have ready-made connectors and have the capacity to integrate with your eCommerce platform.
You will not have to spend time configuring integrations and implementing them, and hiring help.
This will be especially true if your connectors reliably and dynamically transfer order, customer, product and other information between systems.
- Process Data in Real-Time
You want to prevent your sales and support representatives from manually switching software, pushing buttons, and feeding data into spreadsheets. This will involve inventory and shipping updates, follow ups, and more.
Enhance your customer experience by syncing and transferring your data in real time instead of in batches.
- Validate and Monitor Your eCommerce Data
You must maintain a high level of data accuracy. Automated logs and audit trails will document each transaction's data flow.
Ensure that you have a process to check and maintain the quality, security and completeness of the data.
- Don't Forget Your Support Team!
In an idyllic world, your automated eCommerce system would work like a well-oiled machine.
But hiccups and problems do arise that your software or tech may not be able to handle. To deal with this, one of your teams should have round-the-clock access to the integrations.
Hence, you can react to problems more quickly and notify your customers at the earliest.
Not all automation is good automation. Furthermore, if a software provider claims they can automate everything, that's a red flag.
Answer the following questions before you purchase a tool:
- What are your goals in gaining an eCommerce automation tool?
- What would be the tool's "must-have" features?
- Is there anything you can compromise on?
ECommerce Automation Tools:
- Dotdigital (Formerly Dotmailer):
Dotdigital has the advantage of being one of the most powerful and user-friendly platforms on the market. It's a good platform for organizations that are already familiar with email service providers such as MailChimp and now want to move forward. It is ideal for email marketing that requires an all-in-one package. Price is $150/month to $600/month, with a 20% discount for charities and non-profits.
Provides a range of features that aid effective email marketing and is a great tool for smaller businesses. It is ideal for newsletters, follow-ups, transactional emails and triggered emails. There is both a free and paid version, which starts at $10/month.
- Oracle Bronto:
An intuitive platform that is great for high-growth retailers who require powerful eCommerce marketing automation. It offers email services that integrate with commerce platforms. There is a quote-based pricing plan with a free demo.
It is a marketing platform that offers design, website, campaign and CRM services. Its ease of use ranks somewhat lower than the others on this list. There is a free option, but the paid version is noticeably more useful and starts at $9.99/month. Ideal for small to medium organizations.
We hope this article has given you an insight into automation in eCommerce, whether you are just starting out or established and looking to grow.
If you are looking for customized eCommerce automation services tailored to your business needs, you're in luck. BluEnt does just that as part of its business process automation (BPA) services, which also includes supply chain management, inventory management, and CRM.
(If you're stating right from scratch, you might also be interested in our eCommerce web development services).
You can check out our portfolio to see how we've helped other businesses. We cater to funded startups and mid-to-large companies.
Ready for a fully automated ecommerce business? Contact us now!