The concept of buying and selling goods seems relatively straightforward. Retailers will purchase a bulk of materials from a supplier and sell it to a targeted market. It sounds as simple as 1 + 1 = 2, right?
However, customer demands, behaviours, and needs have become more complex as the world of buying and selling goods has progressed in the age of new technology.
Anyone with a wifi connection can easily make large purchases, explore international markets and discover new products and services in just a few scrolls and taps on their digital devices. With that being said, as a business solely operating online, it can be difficult to win over your intended audience.
Nearly every single facet of an e-commerce store can be automated, from customer relations to sales and marketing. Most of these procedures are tedious, which means these tasks are ideal for automation.
In this guide, we go through how e-commerce automation can help you streamline the processes in your online store, and how to incorporate it.
At the very least, your e-commerce store should allow customers to checkout swiftly. Lengthy or complicated checkout procedures are the main cause of abandoned carts. Customers are seeking the least amount of steps required that will easily secure their purchases during the checkout stage.
A solid checkout system should avoid the following:
- The requirement to create an account in order to purchase items
- Unable to calculate total costs
- Slow website page
- Limited payment options
- Inadequate return policies
To address a lengthy and/or complex checkout process, provide accelerated checkout methods such as Shop Pay, Apple Pay, and Google Pay. Do your market research and employ a reputable payment gateway that your customers can rely on. You can also consider automating promotions to eliminate the need for customers to remember discount codes.
Potential customers are unable to conduct a thorough quality check and inspection before purchasing an item. In other words, when they buy products online, they must take a leap of faith.
There is always the possibility that an item will be delivered in poor condition, will be lost in transit, or will be completely different from what the buyer expected. These factors could turn potential buyers into an uninterested audience. To avoid losing a pool of potential buyers due to the uncertainty that comes with e-commerce services, it will be helpful to attach positive customer reviews on your site.
Allowing website visitors to go through customer testimonials will garner the following:
- Positive reviews will help you build trust with potential customers
- It will encourage existing customers to make another purchase
- Reviews improve click-through rates
- It will improve landing page conversions
Reviews from satisfied customers are extremely beneficial to e-commerce businesses. Make the most of this valuable marketing tactic by automating the review process. Set up automated emails as part of the post-purchase process so customers can write in their reviews, and have these seamlessly integrated into your product’s online page.
In reality, customer service representatives can only manage one customer inquiry or issue one at a time. Artificial Intelligence (AI) in its myriad guises, enables customer service departments to do more, thereby improving the customer experience.
For instance, Chatbots can handle multiple queries at once. This is an ideal solution for businesses that have a high frequency of calls and struggle to meet customer demands in a timely manner, especially during the holiday seasons.
The benefits of automating customer service are the following:
- Reduce wait times
- Reduce the cost of hiring additional customer representatives
- Collects data on customer concerns
There’s a variety of communication platforms such as Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, Slack, and many others that allow automated messages to take place. Facebook Messenger's AI for example, appears within conversations on the chat app and recommends appropriate responses to common questions from customers.
To lead a successful e-commerce business, it’s essential to deliver impactful and timely marketing strategies that will help you strengthen your brand image, stand out amongst competitors, build a community through your intended audience and stay relevant in the market. As such, email marketing and interactive social media posts are vital to your business’s growth rate.
Effective e-commerce marketing will bring the following:
- It personalized your audience’s experience with your business
- Drives quality traffic
- Increase business visibility online
- It allows you to understand what works and does not work for your audience
The creation of quality content requires a great deal of time and consideration. The act of effectively distributing content to it’s appropriate channel can be time-consuming too. Fortunately, there are numerous tools available to combat this, such as Buffer and Hootsuite, to assist you in sending out all of your emails and social media posts automatically.
This is where you manage customers' orders and ship them out for delivery. Based on the size of your company, you can automate these processes in a number of different ways. Automation can be used in different parts of your warehouse, or you can use fulfillment tools to prepare shipments with automated shipping labels and tracking information.
Common challenges to shipments involve the following:
- Bad traffic conditions
- Technical glitch
- Unclear addresses
- A huge surge of delivery volume
Shipping processes that are automated encourage greater efficiency, which leads to increased productivity. This means that businesses can complete a greater number of orders and process them more swiftly. As a result, automated shipping aids in the optimization of your supply chain.
The incorporation of automated systems to your e-commerce business can be a cost-effective solution to improve your workflow. There are numerous approaches to take when it comes to this topic, as well as more toolkits than ever to assist you in whatever area you wish to automate in your business. Why not give it a chance and see how it influences your business?