We all take time to perform countless tiny tasks every week. What happens when those tasks get so piled up that they become a burden? Let’s find out…
No matter how small or large your operation is, you probably have hundreds of small tasks that only take just a few minutes out of your day. These manual tasks don't appear to be huge time-wasters on their own. However, when they accumulate, they may waste a full hour.
What falls into these time-wasters? Well, it can be anything from minor tweaks to your ecommerce platform to running email campaigns and sending follow-up messages to your customers. All of these tasks, when taken lightly, can become dangerous.
These small tasks can destroy your productivity and hinder the growth of your business. As Deloitte recommends, you must avoid wasting time on insignificant tasks and focus all your attention on fundamentally improving your operation.
That's where automation comes into play. In this article, we're going to talk about the following three things:
- What automation means for an online business
- How can you benefit from automating small tasks
- Which tasks do you need to automate (and preferably pronto)
If you feel automation software would be helpful to your ecommerce business, read on…
What is Ecommerce Automation?
If you know what business automation is – and we're sure that you do – then you technically know what ecommerce automation is as well. It's a tool that allows you to manually stop performing processes, tasks, and even entire campaigns.
For decades, people have been spending hours upon hours on repetitive aspects of their business that could be easily automated today.
While these tasks must be done, they often aren't worth 100% of your attention. That's why people tend to perform them half-heartedly. And that's where problems start happening. Human errors are responsible for anywhere from 60% to 80% of business failures across all industries.
You won't have to worry about a lack of focus when using a machine. A machine will do everything perfectly, saving you a lot of work hours in the process.
Benefits of Ecommerce Automation
Automation is a great way to eliminate the errors your workers make daily. Sure, but is there anything more to it? A few mistakes less often isn't a good enough reason to invest significant money and, ironically, time into finding the right automation software.
There's more to the entire process than that.
What's important to realize is that automation can help you with several tasks: keeping track of your inventory, streamlining customer reports, and assessing high-risk orders.
Here are a few additional benefits you should know about…
1. You'll Streamline Your Employees' Jobs
Everyone has a routine. Your employees do too. But trivial tasks don't need to be a part of it. Roughly 25% of employees want to “do their jobs.” Use automation to allow employees to do their jobs and improve satisfaction rates.
2. Costs Will Be Reduced Significantly
Without spending an hour or two on easily-allocatable jobs, your employees can concentrate on working on their tasks and completing things on time. That will eliminate the need for working overtime and, in turn, save your company a good amount of money.
3. Customer Satisfaction Will Increase
Your employees won't be the only ones feeling more satisfied than ever. More than a third of consumers think that response time is the most critical aspect of customer service. By automating customer services, you'll ensure high satisfaction rates among shoppers.
8 Ecommerce Tasks You Need to Automate… Yesterday
By now, you've hopefully realized just how helpful automation can be. Regardless of the size and type of your online store, some processes need to be automated as soon as possible.
Here are eight of those repetitive tasks…
1. Customer Service
Satisfied shoppers are happy shoppers. And happy shoppers are big spenders. A case study conducted by Pardot revealed that a small business managed to increase revenue by 50% with customer service automation. Once they stopped using it, their income went down.
The most significant difference between traditional and automated customer service is that the latter can work 24/7, gather real-time feedback, and provide answers instantly. All of this, of course, can improve customer experience immensely.
What can you do if a customer sends a message after work hours? You can use Gorgias to respond to consumers after your work is done automatically. All you need to do is go to your dashboard, create a new rule concerning these messages, add a trigger, and you're done.
2. Sales Schedule
In the past, having a sale every few months was the standard. Now, most online stores have weekend sales almost every month. No wonder more than 60% of salespeople feel that selling is much harder today than it was just a few years ago.
Now you're forced to have frequent sales, to compete with other stores. While having a sale may seem like a simple thing to an untrained eye, you need to look beneath the surface.
You'll realize that the automation process has a lot of moving parts:
- Having regular social media posts about it
- Keeping shoppers engaged until the end of it
- Making sure shoppers are hyped with a countdown
- Teasing low prices and items going on sales
3. Product Rollouts
Every time you're restocking or adding a new collection of products, you have to treat it like a new product launch. You must see what platforms to target, what consumers to notify, and at what time, and deal with many other aspects.
Even something simple, like a product rollout, requires much preparation. A lack of preparedness is the biggest problem an online store can encounter.
The promotion starts on your website. And you want people to know about new products right away, right? Then you can use a heatmap tool like Crazy Egg to understand where to place ads on your site. It will help you see what's working, what's not, and give you new ideas.
4. Fraud Prevention
Although few people today fall for “Nigerian Prince” schemes, credit card fraud is still a big problem on the Internet. The ecommerce industry loses over $12 billion every year due to fraud. And there are many types of ecommerce fraud.
That's why order management is a tricky task for so many employees.
It would be best to try Shopify's risk analysis tools to eliminate human error. The tool verifies every order to your dashboard through address verification, IP address check, and other business processes.
In the video below, you can hear Eric Bandholtz of Beardbrand and Brett Burns explain how they use Shopify Flow to filter out fraudulent orders:
5. Inventory Management
Managing your inventory is not something many of your workers look forward to. Of course, if you don't keep track of your stock, you won't be able to know what items need to be restocked or to communicate effectively with your suppliers.
And the last thing you want is more supply management problems.
A lack of inventory management can lead to lower sales and lost revenue. That's why you must oversee products coming in and out of your company. This may be time-consuming, but you can use an inventory management platform to make things easier.
You need a platform to help you manage the supply chain more carefully, assess your stock, and keep your suppliers in tune at every moment.
Here are our recommendations:
6. Email Marketing
Regarding your ecommerce store, email is one of your most powerful tools. It can help you with cross-selling efforts, customer retention rates, and your marketing strategy. Automating email marketing makes a lot of sense. You don't want to spend hours writing and sending out emails to your shoppers.
But many businesses fail to realize this.
In fact, less than 5% of companies with more than 20 workers in the United States use marketing automation. You can't allow your company not to leverage marketing automation.
Businesses that have embraced ecommerce automation tools and improved their email strategies have increased their conversion rates by up to 77%. So what should you look for in an email marketing automation tool?
Here are a few things to consider:
- The ability to send welcome emails to new customers
- Behavioral triggers that lower shopping cart abandonment rates
- Post-purchase engagement emails with order notifications
You probably didn't think much about accounting when starting your own online business. It's one of those aspects of a business that doesn't require too much focus at the beginning when you're not making too much.
But as your business grows, that changes completely.
A company accountant is a great idea unless you're just starting and don't have enough money. If that's the case with you, you need an alternative solution. Fortunately, studies have shown that you can automate 50% of accounting-related tasks.
There are plenty of tools for you to choose from. And they can help you with everything from managing your funds to invoicing and keeping track of supplies.
Some of the most widely used accounting platforms include:
8. Web Development
The look of your website accounts for 75% of your brand's credibility with users. That means every aspect – from design and graphics to easy-of-use and navigation – must run smoothly. And that also means that you need to have someone overlooking everything.
Working on a tight, calculated budget can make having a 24-hour on-deck team for these problems impossible. However, you can still have all of the minor problems under control with the use of automation.
Small theme changes, action-oriented visuals, and pop-up banners can all be handled without the deveissuesinvolvement with some help from Shopify Flow. You should only call in the big guns when you have a real problem.
Automate Tasks and Not Relationships
A little automation can go a long way. But try not to overdo it. You can't use automation as an excuse to ignore customer support completely. If you start completely relying on robots to communicate with your customers, you'll lose them.
Here's what you need to keep in mind about automation:
- There'entirelyf software out there for eliminating inconsequential tasks
- Automation is there to help you think about the high-value aspects of your business
- You have several repetitive tasks that require automation ASAP, so start with those
You must treat your customers right to give your brand a human feel. And you can't treat them right without the right tools. Sign up for Gorgias today and get a 15-day free trial.