Successful e-commerce businesses use every tool they’ve got to create a better customer experience, streamline everyday processes, increase profits and remain competitive. Smart automation is one of the best ways to achieve that without sacrificing quality.
Automating key processes doesn’t just eliminate human error. It makes your e-commerce business more productive and frees up your team’s time so they can focus their creative energy on taking the company to the next level.
The future is here and the robots are here to help. So, let’s explore how you can supercharge your e-commerce business by using alerts and automation to streamline your front and back end processes.
Automating the Back End
A lot of really important work takes place behind the scenes. From inventory management to processing returns, e-commerce businesses have a lot to deal. The good news is that most of these processes can be automated.
1. Smart Inventory Management
Your inventory is your backbone. Your customers rely on you to consistently keep the items they need in stock and to introduce new stuff they may love. And, if you are multichannel, the whole process gets even more complicated.
You need to know what you’ve got, how much you’ve got, where it is, when to order more and how popular it is. If you make the wrong guess and order too much of a product that just isn’t selling you will lose a lot of money. The same thing happens if you don’t have enough of a popular product. Multiply this across thousands of lines and you’ve got a lot of work on your hands!
Smart e-commerce businesses use an intelligent inventory software that saves hours of pain and thousands (even millions) of dollars in lost profits every year.
Automation allows you to effortlessly:
- Set up alerts and get a notification when a stock drops under a certain number so you can re-order before you run out
- Set up rules and create auto-orders for popular items
- Collect and analyze data and easily see what’s selling and what isn’t
- Easily check how much product you’ve got in stock
- Predict demand
- Keep track of various costs
Using inventory management software lets you tap into the data quickly, check if there’s any wastage and keep improving your process. That way you can catch potential mis-orders before they have a chance to hurt your business. And, the right software makes it easy to identify key opportunities.
2. Streamline Onboarding New Partners
You are working with a lot of different people and businesses! Automation can make transitions easier on both you and your partners.
Whether you are bringing on a new supplier or distributor, using a system to on-board and set expectations makes everything move along faster and smoother. Crucial bits of information don’t slip through the cracks and neither of you wastes valuable time going back and forth in inbox hell.
3. Automate Your Returns
Automating your returns process can make both managing your inventory and delivering a stellar customer experience a lot easier. Plus, it helps you gather crucial data you can use to improve your process so that you get less returns.
First, create a clear process for returns that both your customer and your team can follow and so that the returned product can end up where it needs to be. This keeps each item moving along a set path and makes it easier to prevent unnecessary waste.
Your returns roster shows you where certain products are falling short. Use the data from the return forms to decide if it’s time to drop or improve certain product lines based on customer feedback.
One Solution to Rule Them All
While a lot of tools can help you automate key processes in your business, sometimes, a complete solution could be the missing piece you were looking for.
At Skubana, we offer an all-in-one automation solution for e-commerce businesses just like yours that manages the entire back end process.
With Skubana, you can manage order processing, shipping, inventory management, fulfillment by Amazon, vendor management and cross channel analytics. By streamlining the entire back-end process, you can access all key data from the same dashboard and minimize errors while maximizing profits.
Improving the Customer Experience With Automation
While you can automate the back end and call it a day, using automation can help you create an unforgettable customer experience.
1. Capitalize on Key Opportunities
On average, 69.3% of all e-shopping carts get abandoned every day. Users get distracted, their lunch break comes to an end or their cat sits on their device, in yet another attempt to hijack their limited attention.
Smart e-commerce businesses capitalize on this opportunity by creating an automated email sequence that gently reminds the customer that there’s something waiting for them. Create a 2-3 email nurturing sequence that goes out a few hours after the cart has been abandoned and remind your visitor about the items they left behind!
2. Expand the Ordering Experience
Just how many options does your customer have? These days, our expectations are pretty up there. We want to order things quickly and we expect businesses to have an omni-channel presence.
Your customers want quick, seamless service. Chatbots can help you accomplish that! Incorporating chatbots into your website and social media ordering processes can create a very personal feel while automating your customer service.
Bots aren’t just useful for ordering a new t-shirt through Facebook Messenger. They can answer common questions and handle run of the mill requests, freeing up your customer service team to focus on the requests that really need the human touch.
3. Use Content Marketing to Nurture and Retain Your Customers
Marketing automation can really help you improve your digital marketing ROI. Nurturing customers after they’ve made the purchase is a crucial part of improving your customer retention rate.
Use your CRM tool to create irresistible email sequences that engage customers! You can:
- Create custom offers
- Put together unique product suggestions based on past purchasing decisions and interests
- Share edutainment style content based on their interactions with your website and social media profiles
Automation can really help you personalize customer interactions and create great moments.
Keep Improving Your Process
Smart automation is to e-commerce what Henry Ford’s assembly line was to the auto industry. It’s a unique opportunity to revolutionize time consuming activities and replace them with something much better.
Use the tools you’ve got at your disposal to collect data, track inventory items and get a unique insight into your customer’s buying behaviors.
That way, you will always be in the perfect position to offer your customers the products they need and the information they want. And, if you can do that consistently, you’ll always be ahead of the pack.
About the Author
Crucial Vacuum and Skubana Founder Chad Rubin grew his e-commerce business to an 8-figure business in 7 years. He is a Top 250 Amazon Seller, and co-founded Skubana as an all-in-one ERP system and operations platform designed for high volume sellers to run and automate their business. It integrates with most e-commerce marketplaces, 3PLs, and warehouses, provides profitability and multi-channel inventory management, and compiles all of your marketplaces on a single convenient dashboard. Learn more at email@example.com or sign up here.