10 Smart Ways to Automate Your eCommerce Business

global expansion ecommerce

As an e-commerce business, you potentially have an audience all across the globe. This means you potentially have 8 billion customers across seven continents and two hemispheres. Imagine if your business took off and you had to handle all this via manual input. 

At first, things might be slow, but what happens after a while when your business takes off? Isn’t introducing automated, scalable solutions easier than waiting for the workload to exceed your capacities? Here are the top 10 innovative ways to answer this question.

1. Start using a chatbot

This point is the simplest to explain – using a chatbot for e-commerce means automating your customer service. Now, no matter how sophisticated, chatbots cannot replace real human customer support. They can, however, drastically alleviate their workload.

Also, chatbots are available 24/7 and respond immediately. Time of response drastically affects customer satisfaction, which means that chatbots will create a better CX. Most importantly, chatbots are scalable. Once you set up the system, it won’t matter how many customers require the bot’s assistance. Still, it’s better to start thinking about this in time.

With the help of modern AI algorithms, machine learning, and deep learning, most e-commerce chatbots can already pass the Turing test. Most importantly, your e-commerce business will be in more than one channel (social media, e-store, etc.). With chatbots, you can interact with them on all these channels.

2. Pick a suitable CRM software 

As an e-commerce business, the main thing you should focus on is the available customer data. With CRM software, all of this data will be in one place. This way, you can create better offers, improve customer support, and make your upselling and cross-selling efforts more accurate.

This is data that all your teams need. Your marketers may want to check the numbers for their next infographics. Logisticians must know which items are best-sellers to prepare the next inventory order. Salespeople need to know which customers prefer which items to be more effective at what they do. The key is that when this data is centralized, everyone knows where to find it. In a way, this boosts team collaboration.

However, it’s crucial to mention that CRM software doesn’t make all this data publicly available for security. Instead, you can give access to various information on a need-to-know basis.

3. Real-time inventory costing tools

Inventory costing (also known as inventory valuation) is a concept of determining the total value in your inventory. In e-commerce, you need to use inventory costing to make accurate financial reporting. Without it, there’s no accurate accounting. 

There are many ways to approach this topic, and Lightspeed’s inventory costing guide explains the process well. There are different methods like:

  • First-In, First-Out
  • Last-In, First-Out
  • Weighted average cost
  • Specific identificcation

By automating this, you’ll avoid unnecessary audits. All it’ll take is for you to check out the app to see exactly how much your inventory is worth. This is also important for detecting and preventing employee theft. 

Manual inventory costing is unreliable because the likelihood of human error is quite high with so many items (in e-commerce). By automating, you can avoid this huge problem in the simplest manner possible. 

4. Use automated logistics solution

In e-commerce, shipments are constantly going in and out. With an automated logistics solution, you’ll have a much easier job keeping track of everything. Mistakes are common with such a volume of work, so you must make your order processing much more efficient. 

This will also help you with inventory management (as much as any WMS). After all, if you track every item going in and out, your books should be clean. When this is done automatically, there’s no room for human error.

This logistics solution can optimize your warehouses when you’re in charge of your storage and track shipments if you’re dropshipping. With the right logistics system, you can provide higher customer support, even when dropshipping. Like most other items on this list, automated logistics are highly scalable. 

5. Find a dynamic pricing tool

One of the hardest administrative tasks in e-commerce is tracking all the price changes. Prices evolve regularly, and keeping up with them is the only way to remain profitable and competitive. This is not an easy thing to do manually. 

First of all, a price change can be misleading. To get a real picture, you’ll need more computing power. This is why the analytical methods used by these dynamic pricing tools give such amazing results. 

The quicker the price adjustments you make, the more you stand to profit. If you’re the first to lower the price, you may catch some new customers you would otherwise miss. You’ll collect one more day of extra profit if you’re the first to raise it. Either way, this is a method that will help maximize your profit. 

6. Set up email marketing automation

Email marketing is the bottleneck to successful e-commerce. When they choose to make a purchase, you use email to have them confirm the order. This way, you minimize the risk of friendly fraud. Once the purchase is made, you will probably send them the receipt this way.

Email marketing is also there for cross-selling and upselling opportunities. If someone has browsed your offer and is contemplating buying a product, why not offer them a bundle to make an offer more enticing?

You can also use emails for post-sale follow-up or to send a new offer to someone who has abandoned the shopping cart. Every idea mentioned in this section could completely change your e-commerce business. With automation, this becomes efficient and immediate, and there’s no missed opportunity. 

7. Get an automated analytics software

Analytics heavily relies on data collection, and with analytical software, this data will be gathered automatically and in real-time. You’ll be able to tell the real situation at any point since this process never ends. It’s always active, and you can inspect the current state whenever possible. 

One of the first things you should consider is the sales and revenue analysis. In e-commerce, this tells you how well you’re doing. This is the most important KPI, but it’s not the only one you must monitor carefully.

Customer behavior analysis is pivotal for your marketing campaign and your e-store’s design. There are so many psychological factors that determine whether people buy or not. Even the position, shape, and color of the CTA button may be a determining factor.

8. Invest in a decent review manager

People decide whether to buy products based on reviews. They also choose who to buy from based on the reviews, testimonials, and other social proof available. A great review manager can even help with review generation.

So, to appear more legitimate, you need more reviews, and one of the ways to increase the rate is review aggregation. This gathers every great review you’re getting (regardless of the platform) so you can format and use it. 

The way you respond matters, and by automating response management, you can rest assured that no kind word goes unrewarded and no complaint goes unaddressed. 

9. Spot brand mentions with a social media listening software

Brand mentions are a free promotion, but they can also be a missed opportunity. You need to notice these brand mentions and ask an author for a tag or a link to your page. Most of the time, you’ll get it just for asking.

Also, this can help you figure out the public opinion regarding your brand. This way, you’ll see what people say about your brand when they think you’re not listening.

This is also useful for review management and analytics. You’ll see how much people talk about you and what they say. You can also get involved in the topic. Arguing online gets you nowhere, but coming up with a polite (even apologetic) comment may win someone over, even if they weren’t that impressed before. 

10. Boost your accounting with automatic payment processing

Since you’re an e-commerce business, accounting, and payment automation is the first thing you should focus on. This shows that our list wasn’t made in any particular order. 

AP automation helps you deal with your own strategic vendors. When ordering items in bulk, the value of these orders will be quite high, so by automating payments, you stand to save quite a bit of money.

Also, with the help of automated accounting, you’ll handle a huge volume of orders, small purchases, cashback instances, and more. Overall, it’s a tool that an e-commerce business cannot survive without. 

E-commerce is a field with too many processes to be handled manually

In e-commerce, handling everything manually is never an option. There are too many orders, complaints, customer profiles, and emails to send. Fortunately, with a great system and just the right amount of automation, you can easily overcome most of these problems.

Just make sure you can integrate the tool you choose with the rest of your digital arsenal. This will make your job much easier and your enterprise more efficient.

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