The global e-commerce industry which was worth $9.09 trillion in 2019 grew to $10.36 trillion in 2020. With a growth rate of 14.7%, it is expected to reach $27.15 trillion by 2027. Businesses in this robustly growing sector have numerous development opportunities. A smart way to tap into this potential is by employing ecommerce workflow automation.
For e-commerce sites function round the clock, taking orders and payments, managing campaigns, checking cart abandonments, and more. Employing staff to work 24×7 can be expensive, error-prone, and time-consuming. Automating key processes eliminates these demerits while ensuring efficient, round-the-clock operation. If that sounds like something that your e-store needs, read along.
What is Ecommerce Workflow Automation?
As mentioned earlier, a lot of processes like inventory management, order management, receiving payment, processing shipping, campaign management, customer review collection, and a lot more go into running an e-commerce store. Manually performing these will be expensive and error-prone. That’s why you find e-stores increasingly turning to automation.
Ecommerce workflow automation involves using the right processes and software to automate the activities involved in running an e-commerce store. It facilitates the bidirectional flow of data between your systems to ensure accuracy and efficiency. This leaves human resources with more time to concentrate on other tasks.
Benefits of Automating Ecommerce Workflow
Here are some of the key ways in which e-commerce workflow automation can be beneficial to your e-commerce business.
- Elimination of Manual Data Entry
When you run an e-commerce store, you’d have to enter data such as order number, shipping address, etc. This can be quite tedious, boring, and error-prone when done manually. Automation can significantly reduce the time spent on data entry and free up staff to work on more critical tasks.
- Timely shipping
Automation helps e-commerce stores facilitate processing the right data between systems promptly. This enables delivering the purchased goods to customers’ doorsteps on time.
- Improve Product Information
Online shoppers depend on your product descriptions to ensure that they’re buying the item they need or prefer. With automation, you can ensure apt product information for all your product listings, if your product data is available in your POS or ERP system.
Automating time-consuming and repetitive tasks that have to be performed daily in your e-store, saves a lot of time. This saved time can be utilized on more critical tasks. It would make them more productive and efficient.
Automating the execution of repetitive tasks would help reduce the manpower requirement in your e-store. You needn’t hire and train staff for performing several tasks, it would let you save your money.
- Simplify complex processes
With automation, you can also simplify complicated business processes such as drop shipping (coordinating directly with suppliers to enlarge product variety), multi-location fulfillment, handling product returns, displaying on-hand inventory, and more to enhance customer experience.
7 Best Ecommerce Workflow Automation Ideas 2022
Here are 7 areas where your e-store can beneficially employ e-commerce workflow automation.
1. Inventory management
Ecommerce businesses, big or small, experience issues while managing their inventory manually. This is because they have to handle hundreds of thousands of products on their listing. And keeping track of each item is an utter waste of time. That is why it’d be wise to go for ecommerce workflow automation for managing your inventory.
It will help in keeping track of all your products and stopping taking orders when a product goes out of stock. You’ll also be able to avoid overstocking of products by identifying the number of sales of each product effortlessly.
2. Segmentation and personalization
Customer segmentation is important for online businesses as it helps them to cater to customers in a personalized manner. Automation tools can help segment your customers and subscribers based on their demographics, product preferences, online behavior, browsing history, and past purchases.
This will help you be more relevant with your marketing campaigns and target the right people at the right team to increase leads and sales. With segmentation, you can also cross-sell, up-sell, offer gifts or discounts on purchases. They will help improve the user experiences as they help in making customers feel welcomed and understood.
E-commerce businesses have to handle loads of invoices, receipts, and other documents. Dealing with all those is extremely time-consuming and hectic. Automating these will make the process highly manageable. An automation tool will simplify updating your ledgers and monitoring all the purchases, expenses (shipping costs, warehouse fees, marketplace fees, in payment processor fees, fulfillment expenses, etc), incomes, returns, refunds, etc.
This will help keep track of all the costs you’re incurring and your e-store’s financial performance. The visibility it gives you about your operational expenses will help ensure the financial growth of your business. You can also try invoicing software for your businesses and optimize your financial processes.
4. Abandoned cart retrieval
Every day, 69% of carts are abandoned. And when an e-store sends out abandoned cart retrieval emails, 45% of recipients open them, about 21% click-through them, and 11% make a purchase. That’s a good conversion rate! So, e-commerce sites should take efforts to recover their abandoned shopping carts.
However, doing it manually can take time, effort, and resources. So, employ automation for this purpose. Some tools automatically filter out those shoppers who placed things in their cart but left without buying those and target them through abandoned cart retrieval emails.
5. Email marketing automation
Ecommerce marketing automation software, as aforementioned, can collect data and segment your customers to facilitate targeted messaging. You can tie up your e-store’s analytics to your email marketing tool to target people as per their behavior, liked items, past purchases, and more. Sending emails will be triggered based on the stage of the customer journey and actions.
Over time, as you keep analyzing the open rates, click-through rates, bounce rates, and unsubscribes, you’ll get to understand what works with your customers and what doesn’t. This will help you tailor their experiences accordingly. And this can serve as one of your most effective marketing strategies.
6. Loyalty programs
Another vital part of the e-commerce business that you can automate is your customer loyalty programs. An ecommerce automation software will let you select the conditions for your customers to earn loyalty points based on their details, purchasing history, and browsing behavior.
You’ll be able to establish processes to dispense the loyalty points to customers and determine the way they’ll benefit from them. For instance, you can set up rewards to be delivered to them on their birthday, wedding anniversary, when they become an Elite shopper, or when they buy from you goods worth more than a specific amount of money.
7. Social media posting
More than 3.6 billion people were estimated to be active on social media worldwide in 2020. This number is expected to rise to nearly 4.41 billion in 2025 (Source: Statista). This means that your e-commerce business shouldn’t miss out on the exposure and opportunities it would gain from being on social media.
However, with numerous social media networks having varied specifications, requirements, and more, regularly posting on social media can be challenging. This is where ecommerce workflow automation can help. You can schedule posts and engage with your audience without taking too much effort and working at inconvenient hours.
E-commerce workflow automation can eliminate a lot of manual work for your business, save time and money, increase productivity, improve product information, facilitate timely shipping, and simplify complex business processes. There are several areas where you can employ automation. This blog has discussed seven of those.
If your e-store hasn’t yet employed workflow automation, it’s time you do it. This will help you stay abreast of the current trends while improving your bottom line. Furthermore, make sure that you avoid common eCommerce marketing mistakes to ensure that you reap the fullest benefits of e-commerce workflow automation.
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