With technological advancements in machine learning, robotics, and artificial intelligence, how we conduct business is drastically changing, and e-commerce companies are rushing to keep up.
Beyond technology, traditional working patterns are breaking, and the global workforce is becoming more dispersed and independent. Coming off the heels of the Great Resignation, where a record 4.3 million workers quit their jobs earlier this March, companies are being forced to update business processes to make their organization more appealing to top-talent candidates — enter e-commerce automation.
As one 2020 McKinsey Global survey states, nearly 66% of organizations have automated one or more business functions — a 9% increase from just two years prior in 2018. And e-commerce automation isn’t just for big corporations — thousands of startups and small businesses are automating time-consuming processes, as well.
Over the last few years, businesses that have implemented automation have already seen massive improvements, particularly with more efficient processes, higher productivity, faster turnaround time, and greater employee engagement. With more e-commerce companies looking to join this advancement trend, let’s take a look at six key areas of your business to automate.
1. Employee Onboarding
A study from Gallup reports that a mere 12% of employees believe their company does a sufficient job at onboarding new hires — a statistic that should never be taken lightly.
Employee onboarding experiences can make or break your company’s reputation and retention efforts. Especially when onboarding manually, the room for human error and irregularities is much larger. Plus, administrative tasks take time that you don’t necessarily have to spare. That’s why so many companies are looking to automate these processes.
Not only does this process reduce this chance of error, but it saves time for both hiring managers and employees, increases employee productivity from the start, improves employee retention, and gives your business a competitive edge.
Choosing to automate onboarding processes can better help your new hires tackle the onslaught of required tasks. From streamlining pre-boarding workflows to offering team communication apps, the solutions automation can create for your onboarding methods are endless.
2. Social Media Marketing
Regardless of who your target audience is, staying on top of your social media marketing should be the main priority in the interest of growing your brand.
One of the biggest benefits of e-commerce automation is that you can utilize tools to gain and collect helpful data — impressions, reach, engagement, etc. — across all social media platforms. Using these reports, your company can easily compare the success rate of campaigns, identify weak points, and determine which areas to improve.
Plus, these automation tools can reduce time spent scheduling, coming up with ideas, and planning content. Instead, you can focus on growing your accounts and engaging with your audience.
3. Customer Relationship Management (CRM)
Manually dealing with contacts and leads can be a hassle, but as any business executive knows, maintaining those relationships is of paramount importance. Large amounts of information must be transferred back and forth. Manually exchanging payment details can pose a huge risk for human error. And managing complicated spreadsheets is time-consuming.
Automating customer relationship management, or CRM, can remove these burdens from your team members. With CRM automation, sharing and receiving details becomes much easier, more accurate, and allows your team to focus on more demanding company tasks.
For one, automating sign-up forms allows your customers to be immediately added to your CRM and email marketing lists. CRM platforms also let you automate lead scoring, which contributes to accurately determining customer value. Plus, contact segmentation is key to personalizing content. With CRM automation, you can automatically adjust leads into segments based on their actions.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg …
CRM can pair with other e-commerce automation tools to streamline various customer-related tasks — a benefit for which your sales, marketing, and customer service teams will thank you.
4. Email Marketing
Email marketing: one of the oldest marketing strategies in the book, yet still one of the most reliable and effective. On average, businesses earn $35 for every $1 spent on email marketing campaigns. Not only does this tactic give you a direct line of contact with your customers, but it also contributes to increasing brand awareness — a crucial foundation to successfully acquiring more long-term customers.
However, manually formatting and sending personalized, professional emails to each client on a consistent schedule can be a burden. Utilizing the power of email marketing automation software makes it easier.
Simply put, this tool enables teams to send the right message to the right customers at the right time. Thanks to automated workflows, you can more effectively nurture leads and ultimately drive sales from existing and potential customers.
5. Customer Experience and Support
When it comes to e-commerce automation tactics, retention is often at the top of every company leader’s mind. If you’re new to the e-commerce business, staying committed to offering the best support and customer experience possible is crucial.
However, with a smaller staff, doing so isn’t easy. Customer concerns, questions, or issues can arise at any hour on various channels. Fortunately, automation can help.
For customer support, chatbots have become the most popular mode of automation. They’re on call 24/7, they offer immediate responses, and even if they receive a complex question, they can transfer the customer to a real agent. Plus, the implementation of chatbots has been shown to increase company sales by 67%.
When it comes to boosting the customer experience, automating functions that reward customers for their loyalty is the way to go. Automated point-based reward programs that offer frequent buyers free shipping, discounts, or special offers for meeting certain spending goals serves as one the best methods to improve the customer experience.
6. E-Commerce Automation Feedback
The only accurate way to know if your e-commerce automation strategies are working is by soliciting feedback from real customers. Automated feedback tools can join together with your CRM systems to request comments and advice from buyers. Using these insights, your company can evaluate common concerns and determine inadequacies that could use improvement.
However large or small your company, automation is the key to accurately scaling your e-commerce business for future success. If you’re still conducting the above areas manually, you’re already living in the dark ages. Whatever the task may be, automation can help streamline workflows, improve efficiency, and boost employee productivity.
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