A lot goes into running a successful eCommerce business, and whether you are just starting out or already have a thriving shop, it’s easy to find your schedule filled to the brim. But you don’t always have to be strapped for time, even while scaling your business.
Luckily, a lot of day-to-day tasks that would take ages to do manually can be automated to streamline the growth of your brand and save you invaluable hours that you can invest in other priorities.
Read on to learn:
Let the rise of automation begin.
eCommerce automation can be defined as using software to handle manual tasks with automated workflows. From sending abandoned cart notifications to creating personalized email campaigns for your most loyal customers, more likely than not there is a tool available to help you automate the process. (And if not, it could be a golden business opportunity to create one.)
Automation tools don’t just save you time, but rather are essential to scaling your business and keeping up with the competition.
For example, today over two-thirds of companies compete primarily on the basis of customer service. As a result, having the right automation tools to streamline your customer service workflows could be a major contributing factor to your brand’s success.
Essentially, eCommerce automation helps:
So what areas of operation should you automate to reduce costs, drive sales, and expand your brand? Let’s find out.
Perhaps the most valuable use of automation tools is in sales and marketing, allowing you to perform outreach at scale and directly increase your revenue. Here are a handful of effective automation methods to consider.
Email is more powerful today than it has ever been, and keeps growing in importance. When it comes to lead generation, collecting emails should be a top priority for eCommerce stores.
Ways you can automate emails to drive sales and customer engagement are:
Upselling and cross-selling are two powerful ways to boost revenue by many multiples and maximize each purchase on your site.
Upselling is offering higher-end versions of a product at a greater price while cross-selling is promoting items like accessories that would be a good match for a product your customer is interested in buying.
While cross-selling can boost sales by 20%, upsells can be up to 20 times more effective. Amazon’s “Frequently Bought Together” cross-selling feature alone is estimated to bring in a staggering 35% of Amazon’s yearly revenue.
Imagine you could post simultaneously on all of your social media channels with the press of a button. Solutions like SocialPilot and ContentStudio allow you to schedule posts, gather analytics, and save plenty of time dealing with social media.
If you’re running a Shopify store, there are plenty of apps you can use like Post Studio’s Auto Post to publish your products on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and others.
Interested to learn how customers view and talk about your brand over social media? That’s where a social listening tool comes in handy. It allows you to monitor conversations around certain keywords, phrases, and hashtags that relate to your brand.
Hubspot, Sprout Social, and Falcon.io are examples of platforms that offer social listening tools. They provide a holistic view of how people perceive your brand, what they expect from it, as well as an analysis of customer sentiment.
Customer retention is key in driving sales, and with just a 5% boost it can increase your profits anywhere from 25–94%.
With the right tools, you can improve the customer experience on your eCommerce site and in turn drive customer retention.
Customers that keep coming back can be rewarded to boost customer retention and your customer lifetime value (CLV). With an automated loyalty program in place, you can send repeat buyers free gifts, promo codes, and special offers.
Customer reviews play an important role in driving sales, with Search Engine Watch reporting that 72% of consumers will only purchase a product after reading positive reviews.
But the vast majority of customers don’t normally leave a review, which is where an automated reminder after purchase can make all the difference. Be sure to add a link in your message to where they can post their review.
With even a small customer base, customer inquiries can quickly stack up and become a challenge for sellers to keep up with. Assuring your customers they are being heard is important for customer retention and making sure their problem is solved in due time.
Many platform-specific CRMs like Zoko.io offer automated message flows to acknowledge customer concerns and inquiries. Examples of automated messages that can boost your customer experience are:
Most eCommerce platforms come with a robust range of features for inventory management, but you can still add apps or widgets to boost sales with the different set of methods described below.
Platforms like Shopify offer abandoned cart recovery features with on-page prompts and notifications, but with an automated email or WhatsApp reminder, sellers can earn back a significant amount across their abandoned carts.
If you’re selling consumable products like dog food, beauty products, or supplements, then it’s likely your customers will be interested in repurchasing your products once they run out.
Consider the average time it takes to consume your product and set up automated email reminders to be sent after a set period to your customers. Shopify apps like Replenish also allow you to set reminders based on your product’s consumption rate.
Having a product run out of stock may push some shoppers to look for it elsewhere, but your more loyal customers or those that trust your brand above others will be happy to join a waiting list.
In one case study, back-in-stock emails resulted in a 22.45% conversion rate. Back In Stock: Customer Alerts is a popular Shopify app that sends customer alerts for restocked products, price drops, and preorder opportunities.
Order tracking is a major part of a great customer experience. While marketing emails have an average open rate of 10–20%, tracking notifications have open rates between 50 to 120%.
Order tracking app ShipStation allows WooCommerce and Magento stores to update customers with order statuses, track inventory, and build a branded tracking portal on their sites, to name a few.
Rather than leaving customers with a basic tracking number, an automated tracking system will make all the difference in boosting your customer experience overall.
Using automation to run eCommerce operations is a no-brainer that saves you time and helps you rapidly grow your brand. Tasks that would take countless hours to do manually can be set to completion on autopilot and usually in record time.
When considering how you can optimize your eCommerce store with the right automation tools, try to:
Zoko offers a range of automated tools that can help you scale your eCommerce business. Click here to learn more!