eCommerce Automation 101: Your Guide to Automating Your Online Business | Article – HSBC VisionGo
Here's everything you need to know about using automation to grow your online business, from what functions you can use to how to implement it.
For many businesses, success means being able to easily perform a number of important functions at one time. But, for small and medium-sized businesses - especially eCommerce stores - that’s not always possible. That’s where automation can help them save time and money - and even help increase sales.
You can automate nearly every part of a business, from marketing and sales to packing orders and handling customer services. Most of these processes can be repetitive which means they’re ripe for automation; and since they’re also often labor-intensive, it can save you a lot of effort. Below, we’ll show you why automation can help you streamline all the processes in your online store, and how to implement it.
At its core, automation in eCommerce means using software applications or tools to handle a range of everyday business functions instead of having someone do them manually. A major advantage of automation is that everything can be done faster and cheaper. Here are some of the business functions that you can automate:
- Inventory management
- Accounting and bookkeeping
- Order fulfillment
- Customer service
- Returns and refunds
- Workflow management
How Can Automation Help My Online Store?
Most eCommerce stores and online retailers simply don’t have enough manpower or financial resources. By automating different parts of the business, they’ll find they don’t need as many employees or as much ready cash to keep their business running smoothly. Some of the benefits of automation in eCommerce include:
It saves time
You can manage your inventory by linking your ERP and POS systems
You can offer a better customer experience with improved customer service
It reduces business costs
It helps increase sales
You can easily market your business with automated emails and scheduled social media
5 Ways to Automate
Are you now convinced that automation can help your eCommerce business? Great! Here are five ways you can implement automated systems into your business:
Abandoned carts are a big problem for online retailers, but you can fix this by setting up a system that will automatically send emails or push notifications to visitors who leave your store without buying anything. This will help drive sales.
2. Automate reviews
Nothing is more powerful for a small business than a positive review from a happy customer. Capitalize on this useful marketing tool by automating the review process. Set up automatic emails as part of the post-purchase process so customers can leave a review, and have these seamlessly integrate into the product pages of your online store.
3. Use AI for customer services
Artificial intelligence has come a long way, and it can be a powerful tool for running a great eCommerce business. You can use AI to offer live chats on your website, for example, to improve your customer service.
4. Marketing automation
To run a successful online store, you’ll need to send out a lot of marketing emails and posts on social media. This can be very time consuming if you want to do it properly. Luckily, there are many tools available - such as Buffer and Hootsuite - to help you send out all your emails and social media posts automatically.
5. Automate fulfillment
This is where you have to pack customers’ orders and send the packages out for delivery. Depending on the size of your business, you can automate these processes in different ways. You can use automation in different parts of your warehouse, or even use fulfillment tools to prepare shipments with automated shipping labels and tracking information.
Grow Your Business With Automation
Incorporating automated systems into your business workflow can be a very cost-effective and convenient move, no matter the size of your company. There are many ways to do it, and more tools than ever to help you automate. Why not try it out for yourself and see how your business benefits?
If you’d like more information about using automation in eCommerce, please click here.