On an average day, an eCommerce business owner has 10+ tasks to handle. From inventory and shipping to marketing and payments, it feels almost impossible to stay on top of every aspect of your store without eCommerce automation in place.
To add to this, the digital landscape is growing and evolving every day and as a store owner, you need to keep up with the latest trends and act on them fast.
As a store owner, what you need in your arsenal to stay on top of your store activities is the smart integration of tools and eCommerce automation.
Besides the multiple tasks they need to complete in a day, eCommerce store owners have one pressing problem they struggle to tackle— streamlining the different workflows they need to manually run. With automation, your eCommerce store’s backend will be simplified, allowing you to focus on the more important things.
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What is eCommerce Automation?
Simply put, eCommerce Automation allows store owners to convert different tasks and processes within their eCommerce business into automated work. For example, it’s a good practice to update your customer information in your CRM whenever a high-value product is purchased on your e-commerce platform. Now, that is a part of the e-Commerce Automation workflow that you can set up to save you hours of manual data entry.
Be it managing your inventory, automating your bookkeeping or running email marketing campaigns, e-commerce automation is necessary at every step of your e-commerce business. As workforces evolve to focus on the more important parts of growing your business, eCommerce store owners need to automate the mundane workflows that are usually run by their employees.
Automation is key to ensuring that you aren’t lagging behind. Even platforms you use, like Shopify, Bigcommerce, and Woocommerce have strongly prioritized automation. Shopify has even built an automated app of their own, Kit, which allows Shopify store owners to automate their ads.
But, is the hype backed by evidence?
According to Shopify, yes.
Last Black Friday, eCommerce automation generated $2 billion in pre-scheduled sales. Shopify also reported that one store, automated the launch of a new apparel line. This brought them a return of over $150,000 in an hour, even selling out one of their popular items in under 2 minutes.
It’s no different for stores running on BigCommerce, WooCommerce or even Magento.
While the revenue generation sounds easy, setting up eCommerce automation in your store takes time, trial, and experimentation before you hit your success metrics. For instance, you’re planning to automate your emails to recover your abandoned carts, your initial month of setup will include testing out copy and layout of your email, and even understanding how many emails you need within your recovery sequence.
Once you’ve got enough results for the tests you’ve run, you can implement a permanent strategy for your abandoned cart emails based on the copy, layout, and email sequence that generated the best results.
Eager to get started with eCommerce automation? Let’s look into the different aspects of your eCommerce business that you can automate.
How to Automate for your eCommerce Business?
1. eCommerce Inventory and Sales Management
Manual inventory management is time-consuming. As a store owner, you’re sure to have dealt with hours of scrolling through your inventory list, updating prices, re-ordering products as they go out of stock, removing old inventory listings, and more.
Besides inventory, store owners also need to manage their customers, identifying and tagging them based on how they found the online store, the sales channel they purchased from, and the number of orders they’ve made, to name a few.
Customer management doesn’t stop there.
If store owners want to get ahead, they need to use this data about their customers to set up different processes— from setting up auto-discounts for their loyal customers to alerting customer support about any high-risk orders so it can be followed up before order processing.
Although it is a routine task, inventory and sales management is an important part of any store management. But, it doesn’t have to be on your plate or anyone’s task list for that matter. Set up apps that automate your inventory and sales management workflows to save time while getting your work done.
What are the Inventory & Sales Management Automations?
A few places where you can use this eCommerce automation include:
- Low product stock alerts
- Product inventory management
- Analyze product performance
- Data-based inventory decisions (like removing a product range)
How can you automate inventory and sales management?
Let us explain how this works with an example.
You can set up processes that send alerts to the Inventory Head about low product stock so that they can stock up before the item runs out on the store. You can even raise prices for low stock items to leverage the demand and smartly earn more.
Similarly, if your store is on BigCommerce, the platform offers centralized inventory management. It helps you keep track of your stock, stay informed about low-stock products, update stock levels easily and more to keep shoppers informed. This prevents shoppers from feeling disappointed when they’re not able to bag the products they’re interested in, but at the same time, they can choose to be notified of when they’re back in stock.
The platform offers easy inventory and order management by integrating with different tools like Inventory Planner. Check them all out here.
2. eCommerce Email Marketing Automation
Email marketing is as old a marketing tactic as it is effective. With an ROI of 4400%, email marketing is on every eCommerce store owner’s radar. As shoppers evolve in the way they shop and as ads and promotional content get more specific to the shoppers, generic emails aren’t going to cut it.
Your email marketing needs to be highly personalized and relevant to the shopper it is sent to. The best way to send emails that are tailored to each shopper is with eCommerce automation.
According to eMarketer, B2C marketers who leverage automation have seen conversion rates as high as 50%. Top online stores leverage automated emails to set up email campaigns for different requirements based on customer triggers and behaviors. Some of these email campaigns include welcoming new shoppers (check here for the best welcome emails), reminding shoppers about their abandoned carts, recommending and cross-selling products to them, to name a few.
With automated emails, you can send messages that are sure to bring clicks and revenue. For instance, as a store owner, you can set up cart abandoned emails that are sent to the shopper based on the product(s) left in their cart. The email will show the customer the image of the product, helping with recall. You can even send discounts to carts that include high-ticket items in the cart, boosting conversions.
What can you achieve with Email Marketing Automation?
With email automation, you don’t have to worry about whether you can personalize for each of your shoppers. Instead, you can spend more time understanding shopper behavior and strategize the copy within these emails to increase your conversions.
A few use cases of email eCommerce automation include:
- Recover abandoned carts
- Upsell and cross-sell products
- Recommend products
- Promote referral programs
- Boost customer loyalty with engagement
How can you automate your E-Commerce Email Marketing?
Automate.io’s Email Workflows integrate your favorite project management, email, and contact management tools to run workflows that put email sending and data recording on autopilot.
Integrate with MailChimp, Gmail, Salesforce, Hubspot, Zoho, and other apps that you use for email marketing to your store (either Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce or Magento) to supercharge your automated email campaigns and growth hack your eCommerce marketing.
You can set up Mailchimp & Shopify Integration and sync your orders, products, abandoned carts, and customers, in a matter of just a few minutes. For example, you can sync new Shopify Customers to a Mailchimp List and further run upsell campaigns.
3. Customer Support Management
To ensure that your customers have a great shopping experience from your store, you need to have a stellar customer support system. American Express reported that consumers are willing to spend 17% more on a company that has outstanding customer service. Your customer support can make or break the success and growth of your eCommerce store.
But, it’s not easy to keep track of every aspect of your customer support management. From recording any tickets raised, managing them, making changes to following up with the customer, customer support needs a great system for it to work efficiently.
For instance, a customer is having difficulty with one of your product pages that allows customization to the product. For this, you need to contact your developer to fix it.
If you’re dealing with a lot of customer requests on that day, you may end up missing out on the request or getting back to the customer a few days late. By this time, you’ve lost the customer.
How can you avoid this? You can start by setting up a workflow that integrates your favorite customer support management apps and automates a part of your customer support process.
What can you automate in customer support management?
A few use cases of this eCommerce automation include:
- Offer shopping assistance
- Reduce and recover abandoned carts
- Upsell products
- Cross-sell product ranges
- Make product recommendations
How can you automate customer support process?
Automate.io enables you to integrate with your favorite apps— Intercom, Salesforce, Freshdesk, Hubspot, and more. These integrations power your customer support to increase satisfaction rates.
From setting up emails when live chats have been completed to recording to chat sessions on your spreadsheets to even raising tickets, automating live chat functionalities will make your store’s customer management more efficient. You can worry less about losing valued customers and spend more time on delivering quality help.
For instance, when a live chat is triggered, the automation will retrieve and store customer data within your CRM tools like Salesforce or Hubspot, and even send a message on Slack to add one of your team members onto the conversation. Once the live chat has ended, the workflow can trigger the email integration to send a thank you email to the customer.
How does a shopper interact with a live chat and what can you automate? Here’s an example of customer support automation:
4. Payment & Bookkeeping Automation
Finance and payment management is everyone’s least favorite part of managing a business. When running an eCommerce store, finance is even more time-consuming as compared to other businesses. From managing payments for employees to paying for apps and platforms used to paying manufacturing costs and keeping track of the payments made by customers, manual bookkeeping is a nightmare.
Use payment software like PayPal, Stripe, and FreshBooks to keep all your accounts digital and avoid having a folder full of receipts. Integrate all your finance requirements, providing automated solutions for accounting, billing, and invoicing.
What can you automate in payments and bookkeeping?
This eCommerce automation offers the following:
- New Customer alerts (email, chat apps, project management, and support tools)
- Automatic Invoice Generation from New Orders
- New payment alerts
- Payment due alerts
How can you put your invoicing & bookkeeping on autopilot?
Automate.io lets you integrate your preferred finance software, keep all your customer transactions in one dashboard, and even receive monthly statements about your cash flow.
5. Product Pricing Automation
Pricing every product on your online store is no small feat. If you’re doing this task manually, you need to cross-check with large platforms like Amazon to check their average prices, analyze your competitor’s pricing, and even take into account your manufacturing costs, taxes, and customer demand.
Updating your product pricing needs to be done routinely to ensure you are efficiently making the most of the changing market. But, it’s tough to keep track of such a time-consuming task. This is especially true for store owners who have a large product list.
What can you automate for product pricing?
But with eCommerce automation, you can make this process more efficient to maximize profits. Here are a few ways to use it:
- Competitor pricing analysis
- Monitor stock availability data
- Dynamic pricing strategies
How can you automate your product pricing?
Automating your product pricing update is simpler with tools like Informed.co. With this software, you have all the data on your products to make better business decisions. The Informed.co dashboard shows you competition prices, your own store’s sales data and even shows you where you need to increase or decrease your prices.
The tool then goes ahead and adjusts your prices based on the data it has collated and competitor benchmarking, using smart eCommerce automation.
As a merchant, the time you spend researching product prices and making changes is instantly cut short. The only thing left on your plate would be to monitor the progress and even use the data to increase product stock or manufacture variations of the same product.
6. Social Media Campaign Management
Social media platforms are one of the best ways to communicate with your shoppers and create strong relationships with them. Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest— these platforms allow store owners to engage with their shoppers in many different ways and capture different kinds of shoppers.
Typically, eCommerce stores create organic posts on social media to keep their existing audience engaged while also running paid campaigns to bring new, relevant audiences to their social media accounts and ultimately, their online store.
If you don’t have intelligent software to manage social media, you would be spending a lot of time going between social media platforms to schedule and send out messages on each channel.
What’s more, after posting, you may be having trouble handling data from both your organic and paid efforts across multiple social media channels. Cross-referencing this data and pooling it together to get an overview of your shopper behavior might also be tedious.
What can you do with social media eCommerce automation?
With eCommerce automation for social media in place, you can:
- Promote flash sales
- Recover abandoned carts
- Retarget store visitors
How do you automate your Social Media campaigns?
With apps like Buffer, automating your social media posting has never been easier. Buffer has helped stores like Foster Coffee Company focus more on their content and performance and less on how they should go about posting across the different social media platforms.
Automate.io also helps you connect Facebook Lead Ads to help you manage your paid efforts with ease. You can store all your Facebook Leads on a Google Sheet or add these leads to your email marketing platform and target them with product recommendations.
We hope these automated workflows help you set up processes that drive more impact with less effort on your part.
Whether you’re thinking of setting up automation for marketing or for your inventory, don’t take a one-size-fits-all approach to your automated workflows. Instead, work on tailoring your automations to the kind of shoppers you receive.
Customizing your eCommerce automations is similar to how you personalize a customer’s journey with the brand. It might take you some time and resources to set up, but it is sure to bring you higher ROI on the efforts with increased conversions and sales.
Ready to earn more revenue for your store with eCommerce automation? Get started with Automate.io and let your apps talk to each other!