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How To Automate Ecommerce Website: Ideas And Tools For 2024

Learn how to automate your ecommerce business with free guides and powerful tools.

In this comprehensive guide, you’ll learn how automation can revolutionize your business operations, from inventory management to customer support, and the top tools to help you automate your ecommerce website in 2024.

Whether you’re an ecommerce veteran or just starting, this guide will provide practical ideas and insights to streamline your operations, save resources, and enhance your customer experience.

Examples of Ecommerce Automation

E-commerce automation can start with simple repetitive tasks and expand to complex and dynamic scenarios, allowing your detachment from day-to-day operations.

Here are some examples:

  • Marketing. Automate content publishing on websites and social media for timely campaigns.
  • Fulfillment. Automatically manage product visibility to align with inventory availability.
  • Customer service. Segment and engage customers dynamically based on behavior and preferences.
  • Onboarding. Change product merchandising automatically to reflect market trends.
  • Accounting. Automate financial processes, ensuring accuracy and efficiency in transactions and reporting.
  • Internal communication. Auto-notify team members for timely responses to inventory, customer, and financial updates.

The good news?

Plenty of software solutions are out there to help you with these tasks, covering everything from email campaigns to social media posts and customer segmentation.

Examples of simple commerce tasks automated.
Examples of simple commerce tasks are automated. Image: Alloy Automation.

By embracing technology and automation, you can simplify your operations, reduce manual workload, and provide a better customer experience.

10 Types of Ecommerce Automation

Let’s explore types of ecommerce automation to help you increase business efficiency, reduce costs, and give you a competitive advantage.

Here are some practical ideas and tools to automate your ecommerce website this year.

Inventory Management

Before you can serve anyone, get your house cleaned up.

In 2022, almost 60% of online shoppers from the US felt that out-of-stock issues impacted their shopping behavior.

To prevent negatively impacting your brand reputation and image, consider implementing order management systems with real-time inventory updates to keep track of stock levels, sales, and orders in real-time, avoiding stockouts and overstock situations.

Here are some of the top ecommerce inventory management tools:

  1. Finale Inventory: Offers real-time inventory tracking and multichannel integration.
  2. Fishbowl: Best for QuickBooks users.
  3. Cin7: Best for manufacturers and product sellers.
  4. ShipBob: Best for hybrid fulfillment.
  5. Ordoro: Best for multichannel sellers.

That prevents overselling and reduces customer dissatisfaction.

Fishbowl offers an efficient way to manage your warehousing and manufacturing workflows.
Fishbowl offers an efficient way to manage your warehousing and manufacturing workflows. Image: Fishbowl.

Additionally, you can automatically generate shipping labels and send alerts for low-stock items, ensuring timely reordering and minimizing the risk of overpromising and underdelivering your customers.

Fulfillment

According to ZipDo, fulfillment costs represent up to 30% of an ecommerce company’s total operating expenses. Doing it right can save you a lot of money.

Efficient inventory management can lead to smooth fulfillment, ensuring customers receive their orders accurately and on time.

Specialized shipping and order fulfillment software like Brightpearl and Extensiv Order Management (formerly Skubana) are invaluable tools for streamlining warehouse processes and supply chain management.

Brightpearl provides efficient inventory and order management software.
Brightpearl provides efficient inventory and order management software. Image: Brightpearl.

Like the abovementioned inventory management tools, these platforms offer real-time inventory tracking, order routing, and shipping label generation features.

Automating these tasks can significantly reduce the risk of errors and delays, ultimately improving customer satisfaction.

Accounting

No sane ecommerce business should do manual accounting.

Connecting tools like Xero or QuickBooks Online with your ecommerce platform allows you to automate various accounting tasks such as invoicing, expense tracking, and financial reporting.

On top of that, you can integrate these tools with inventory and shipping software to automatically track expenses related to your products and orders.

Automatically sync data both ways between QuickBooks Online and your store.
Automatically sync data both ways between QuickBooks Online and your store. Image: MyWorks.

One helpful tool for automating accounting tasks for Shopify users is the QuickBooks Sync by MyWorks.

This app seamlessly integrates Shopify with QuickBooks Online, automatically syncing sales, refunds, taxes, and fees. This integration enables ecommerce businesses to save time and reduce manual errors in their accounting processes.

Customer Journey

Sales don’t just happen.

There’s sort of a customer journey every consumer has to go through to make a purchase.

It's an oversimplification, but with enough data, you can see some behavioral patterns buyers make you can use to improve your ecommerce customer journey.

Let’s break it down into 5 stages:

  1. Awareness
  2. Consideration
  3. Acquisition (Purchase)
  4. Retention
  5. Advocacy
Ecommerce customer journey stages.
Ecommerce customer journey stages. Image: Omnisend.

As illustrated in the visual above, the ecommerce customer journey can be long and complex and varies from person to person.

Helping potential customers reach the next stage sooner can help drive conversions and increase AOV (average order value).

Tools like AddSearch’s search and discovery service, InfiniGrow, Totango, and ChannelSight’s Where to Buy can streamline the customer journey by providing personalized experiences and enhancing the customer’s path to purchase by assisting them in the Awareness, Consideration, and Acquisition stages.

These tools utilize advanced technology to track customer behavior, analyze data, and provide relevant recommendations, ultimately improving the overall customer experience and increasing sales.

With AddSearch, you can easily include an “Add To Cart” button on search results for faster check-out.
With AddSearch, you can easily include an “Add To Cart” button on search results for faster check-out. Image: AddSearch.

It’s worth investing in since enabling customers to find and add their desired products to the cart swiftly shortens the buying process, increases sales, and helps avoid the high average online shopping cart abandonment rate of 70.19%.

Security

$41 billion was lost to ecommerce fraud in 2022. By 2025, the ecommerce fraud detection and prevention market is estimated to reach over $69 billion.

Utilizing software like SEON and Riskified in ecommerce operations is crucial for ensuring security.

These tools can identify and pause high-risk orders and send automated messages to the team to flag potentially fraudulent activities.

SEON provides insights into every transaction, order, buyer, player, account, and interaction.
SEON provides insights into every transaction, order, buyer, player, account, and interaction. Image: SEON.

Customer trust is essential for any business, and any breach of personal information can damage your brand’s reputation irreparably.

Customer Support

According to research by Salesforce, if a company provides excellent customer service, 75% of consumers will continue to do business with them even after a mistake.

You should invest in customer happiness to retain customers and ensure overall success and competitiveness.

Using chatbots for everyday inquiries and scheduling emails for order updates, you can streamline customer support processes and provide faster customer response times.

Here are some customer support software options:

  • Tidio: AI-driven customer service chatbots for everyday inquiries.
  • Richpanel: An all-in-one ecommerce customer service software offering a self-service customer portal, agent helpdesk, and a ticketing solution.
  • Help Scout: Shared inbox keeps everyone on the same page across channels (email, live chat, Facebook Messenger) and cultivates a more collaborative environment.

Remember, the key to successful automation is to balance it with a personal touch. Automated systems should enhance the customer experience, not replace human interaction.

In fact, around 75% of consumers prefer to interact with a real person instead of a bot.

It would help if you balanced automated, AI-assisted, and human-powered customer support strategies to build long-term customer loyalty.

Customer Segmentation

DMA’s report shows that 77% of email ROI comes from segmented, targeted, and triggered campaigns.

In contrast, in another study, 49% of participants stated that they purchased something impulsively as it was presented to them with a personalized message.

To segment ecommerce customers, you can use attributes such as:

  • Purchased products
  • Location
  • Spending habits
  • Purchase frequency
  • Demographics
  • Psychographics
  • Needs
  • Geographic
  • Behavioral
Types of customer segmentation models.
Types of customer segmentation models. Image: Magistral.

CRM systems (Customer Relationship Management) and marketing automation platforms can assist you in segmenting your audience.

For example, CRM systems like Salesforce and Zendesk can track customer interactions and purchase history, while marketing automation platforms like HubSpot and Mailchimp can automate creating and sending targeted emails based on customer behavior.

Further reading: 5 Simple Customer Segments Every Retailer Should Use

Ecommerce Marketing Automation

The more data about your customers you have, the better personalization opportunities.

You can pull data from your inventory management software, customer support tickets, and CRM records to craft personalized offers with tailored messaging.

For example, automating email campaigns lets you send relevant content to customers at the right time, no matter the time zone.

Contact’s journey map.
Contact’s journey map. Image: Mailchimp.

Similarly, social media automation allows you to maintain a consistent presence across various platforms.

Most modern marketing automation solutions offer performance analysis, allowing you to track the success of automation efforts and make data-driven decisions to optimize future campaigns.

Some popular tools for ecommerce marketing automation include HubSpot, Klaviyo, Omnisend, and Adobe’s Marketo.

Email Automation

Research shows that 49% of consumers want to receive promotional emails from their favorite brands weekly.

Ensure the effectiveness of your email automation strategy by implementing best practices such as:

  • Using triggered emails
  • Personalizing content
  • Optimizing for mobile
  • Testing and refining strategies
  • Monitoring key metrics
Abandoned cart email example by Rael.
Abandoned cart email example by Rael. Image: Really Good Emails.

Additionally, tracking key metrics such as open rates, click-through rates, and conversion rates is vital for understanding your email campaigns and making data-driven decisions.

Here are some of the best email marketing tools for ecommerce:

  • Shopify Email: Offers ready-made templates, audience segmentation, marketing automation, and detailed analytics. It also provides opt-in forms that can be embedded on your website or integrated with your Shopify store.
  • ActiveCampaign: Provides a drag-and-drop editor with hundreds of email templates and allows you to automate your email marketing with newsletters, abandoned carts, purchase follow-up, and customer win-back emails.
  • Klaviyo: Built for ecommerce, it offers audience segmentation and detailed analytics. It’s free for up to 250 contacts and 500 emails per month.
  • Omnisend: Features ready-made templates, audience segmentation, and automation for scaling email marketing efforts without constant monitoring.
  • Drip: Offers smart automation for scaling email marketing efforts, audience segmentation, and detailed analytics.
  • Constant Contact: Provides ready-made templates, audience segmentation, and detailed analytics for gauging how an email marketing campaign performs.

Email automation can be valuable for building lasting customer relationships and driving business growth.

Advertising

AI-powered e-commerce marketing automation tools like Google Performance Max, Google Responsive Ads, Facebook Automated Ads, and Amazon’s dynamic e-commerce ads can take your business to the next level if used correctly.

Big tech uses artificial intelligence to automate ad campaigns and optimize product placements based on customer behavior and market trends better than any small business owner can do.

Performance Max helps you drive performance based on your specified conversion goals.
Performance Max helps you drive performance based on your specified conversion goals. Image: Google.
  • Google Performance Max, for example, uses machine learning to display ads across Google’s network, including search, display, YouTube, and Gmail. It automatically optimizes campaign performance by adjusting bids and placements to maximize conversion value.
  • Google Responsive Ads uses AI to create and test different ad combinations to find the best-performing ones.
  • Facebook Automated Ads streamline the creation process by generating personalized ad content and targeting options based on the business’s goals and audience.
  • Amazon’s dynamic ecommerce ads leverage AI to display customized product recommendations to shoppers based on browsing and purchasing behavior.

Before mindlessly burning ad dollars, understand your customers, segment them, and run experiments.

Common Ecommerce Automation Questions

Frequently asked questions about ecommerce automation:

1. What is ecommerce automation?

Ecommerce automation involves using software and tools to automate various tasks within an online store, such as order processing, inventory management, and customer communication.

2. What are some examples of ecommerce automation?

Some examples of ecommerce automation include automated email marketing campaigns, order tracking and fulfillment, accounting, customer support, and inventory management.

3. What are some popular ecommerce automation tools?

Popular ecommerce automation tools include platforms like Shopify, WooCommerce, and Magento and specialized tools like Klaviyo for email marketing automation and Zapier for task automation.

It’s Your Turn To Automate

Ecommerce automation tools have the potential to revolutionize the way you manage your online business. By automating tasks such as order processing, inventory management, and customer communication, these tools can free up valuable time and mental capacity, allowing you to focus on more important tasks such as strategic planning and business development.

With streamlined processes and increased efficiency, you can take your business to the next level and stay ahead of the competition.

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