Posted on July 24, 2019 by
Tasks we thought only humans can perform are being taken over every day by automation or robotics. Driving full speed ahead, technology is changing our world with every passing second. But since it draws out personalization, where do we draw the line with automation when it comes to business?
On one hand, customers demand that their experience be smooth and quick. But on the other hand, a lack of personal touch drives them away.
As your eCommerce business scales, tasks become more tedious and complex and you have more things to handle. It becomes difficult to do everything manually. You’re left with no choice but to automate certain tasks.
Striking a balance between the two becomes difficult. For instance, while automating customer service with a chatbot, you need to know until wherein the conversation can you let the chatbot run, and where you need to turn it over to a customer representative. The key is knowing where to automate and where to keep it real.
We’ve got 7 ideas for eCommerce automation that will help you run your business smoothly without compromise to customer relationships.
1) Scheduling sales
It’s human nature to love a good deal! With so much competition in the market, sales occur quite frequently now, and to top it off, stores let customers know that a sale is coming up in a few days or a few hours to build momentum!
If you have price changes coming up – be it a small promotion or a gigantic sale – you need to predetermine the time period and the discount rate and automate the process. If you have a big enough store, it’s simply impossible to manually tweak prices when you want to go on sale.
Once you automate the process, when the sale goes live, price changes are automatically rolled out. Flow by Shopify is one such tool that enables you to do this. This saves you a ton of work and brings down error rates.
2) Rolling out new products
When you launch a new product or range of products, you not only have to handle putting it up on your website, but you also have the tasks that follow – publishing them on social media and other marketing and sales channels. Automating this process will save a ton of time and reduce the manpower required. This will help you bring down costs and also free up your schedule to focus on more important things.
There are tools available that allow you to preload your new products and have them automatically published on your store’s website, while it also rolls out onto all your sales channels. But remember, as much as we want to automate, when it comes to social media and emailers – it’s best to add a bit of personalized touch in them. You can try out tools like IFTTT that allow you to market products on multiple channels in a single go.
3) Managing out-of-stock products
When you have a large catalog, it becomes hard to track inventory. There are apps that will allow you to automate inventory as well. When it comes to out-of-stock products, however, things become a bit more complex. Your marketing and advertising teams need to know not to promote these products until their back in stock.
Imagine a potential customer sees an ad on Facebook for a product they are interested in, but when they click on it, they find out it’s out of stock. Not only do you lose a potential customer but you also wasted your advertising budget.
So we think automating this area would make your business more efficient. When a product goes out of stock, it will automatically be unpublished and your teams would be notified so that they can pause promotions. Tools like Ecomdash and Contalog can help you manage inventory.
4) Reduce cart abandonment
Customers abandon their carts for various reasons. While for some it’s a personal habit to window shop and not to spend money on things they don’t need, for others, it’s because they realized they weren’t getting a good deal. No express shipping, surprise shipping rates, and complicated checkouts are some of the main reasons potential customers abandon the shopping journey.
You can automate certain things in this stage of the journey to give the customer an extra push to buy. By adjusting prices during checkout and adding the reason – such as buying a combo, buying a certain quantity, discounts already applied – will give the shopper a sense that they are getting a good deal. You can also have discounts automatically applied to certain customers that have been tagged as “subscriber” or “gold member”.
Apart from this, if you are shipping globally, it goes without saying, showing the customers the rates in their own currency makes things much simpler. You wouldn’t want them doing calculations and conversions to figure out how much it’s costing them.
Today there is a bunch of apps that have automated email features to send out reducing cart abandonment emails in order to save you time, and one of the most effective ones is an all-in-one marketing platform Growave. Its automated emails work as a reminder to purchase things that customers liked or will need in the future. For example, if your store’s visitor viewed any items and put them in a wishlist but never actually bought it, Growave will send a friendly reminder email about the items he liked. Those emails have a high rate of openings and usually turn a one-time visitor into a customer.
Growave is the all-in-one marketing platform that helps Shopify brands reach their audience, engage users and increase conversions with ease
5) Automating Payment Options
What would we do without payment gateways? From only being able to use a credit card online, now we can shop with debit cards, internet banking, wallets, and so many more options! But not all options are available to all customers and all locations.
You can automate your checkout to show and hide payment options to customers based on their device, location and order history. This makes it simpler for the customer and gives them options that make it easier for them to complete the transaction. Here too, Shopify’s Flow does the trick well.
6) Fraud Prevention
Compared to the chances of online fraud, shoplifting was much easier to contain. Customers, as well as businesses, face problems of fraud.
Luckily now there’s a way of tracking it automatically. The market runs aplenty with anti-fraud products like Subuno, Riskified, and Signifyd. While scammers might be smart, you can be smarter. By using indicators and risk analysis automation, you can identify high-risk orders. This can be done by checking IP addresses, past patterns originating from the order location, customer behavior, and more.
You can also automatically notify the security team to review the transaction. By doing so, you can reduce the risk of reverse charges and transaction disputes. This not only saves you money but also safeguards your brand image.
7) Identify and tag customers
It’s not an easy task to figure out which customer likes what. Through analytics tools, you can find out quite a few vital details about customers that will help you tailor your advertisements and enhance their experience. But it does require work on your end to identify and categorize customers.
Well no more! It’s time to start automating these tasks. Based on a customer’s search, their source of origin, their time spent, their purchase history, their payment choice, etc., you can have them tagged into different segments. A tool like Metrilo can help you tag customers easily, and therefore, identify their needs so you can cater to them more efficiently. At the end of the day, as a business, the most important task is to keep the customer happy from start to end – with the goal of having them make a purchase and be a returning customer.
So there you have it! 7 ways you can automate parts of your business so that it runs smoothly. But wait, we have an added bonus! While there are so many things that can be automated in an eCommerce store, there’s one crucial thing we can’t leave out. While listing your products, you can’t spend hours on end arranging them and figuring out what’s best-selling, what’s trending, and which customer would like what! It’s simply not feasible and if you want to be successful, it’s just not an option to do it manually. There are services like Tagalys that use predictive technology to sort through your site and optimize your categorization and sequencing of products. This helps tailor and enhance your customer’s experience leading to a higher conversion rate.
It might take a bit of time to adjust to automation and you need to make sure everything works fine. We suggest you try it out in stages rather than implementing everything in one go!
Once you’ve got these steps in place, you’ll have so much more time to focus on other things – like keeping that personal touch with customers!