As your e-commerce business grows, everything becomes more demanding. Those processes and systems that have always worked for you in the past? They may not be as efficient now. Your teams may be performing redundant tasks, time may be wasted as data is stored in disparate systems… these are just a few signs that it’s time to explore automation.
Here are some top benefits of automation for e-commerce businesses.
- Boosted productivity and more time back
- A chance to increase employee engagement
- Valuable access to business intelligence
- Opportunities to improve marketing campaigns and conversion rates
- Improved customer satisfaction and experience
1. Boosted productivity and more time back
In the simplest terms, automation uses digital technology/tools to perform and complete tasks automatically. So, you don’t have to do them manually. Some examples include data integrations, AI, machine learning and marketing automation software.
As well as streamlining business processes, automation boosts internal productivity. Your team no longer need to spend time on repetitive tasks such as manually inputting data and searching across multiple systems to find the information they need.
That means they have more time to spend on other value-added tasks. For example:
- Finding ways to increase customer retention
- Reviewing customer NPS (net promoter scores) and looking for ways to improve it
- Building stronger relationships with their peers/colleagues
2. A chance to increase employee engagement
Imagine telling your team that there was a way to get that repetitive task (the one they all hate) off their Monday morning to-do list for good? Your employee satisfaction and engagement would probably increase!
This is what automation can do. Leading on from our first point, those time-sucking tasks (like data inputting) can be automated. All your team needs to do is check the system every now and again to ensure everything is running as it should.
That means more time back to focus on tasks that really make a difference. The ones that can propel their career development and breathe some much-needed excitement back into their lives.
3. Valuable access to business intelligence
As you know, the business landscape is constantly changing - sometimes, suddenly without warning. It’s important to access the right data at the right time so you can make well-informed decisions as you adapt to this change.
Automation tools, such as data integration, are particularly important here. If your commerce platform is integrated with your ERP system, details of any orders placed can transfer to your back office. This means a faster order fulfilment cycle.
Likewise, any information gathered and stored in your ERP system can feed back to your commerce.
For example, inventory and warehouse levels can ensure any stock-related information on your e-commerce website is accurate. Combine this with built-in analytics tools and you’re setting your business up to respond more successfully to unexpected spikes in demand.
4. Opportunities to improve marketing campaigns and conversion rates
Access to real-time data is key if your business is going to run 24/7, 365 days a year. In the previous section, we mentioned how a commerce-ERP integration can ensure your website can always display real-time stock information.
But that’s not the only thing automation can offer, in terms of real-time data. Marketing automation software, for example, can help your marketing team continuously improve their campaigns. Data gathered from various parts of a marketing campaign (e.g. email performance, CTA clickthrough rates and social media engagement) can be used to optimise follow-up campaigns.
Better yet, this data doesn’t need to be manually gathered. It can automatically feed through to customisable dashboards. Modern marketing automation software can even recommend the next best steps, based on that data.
5. Improved customer satisfaction and experience
Things like teams working in siloes and disparate systems can impact the quality of customer service and experience your company provides. Which can then impact customer satisfaction. Automation can tackle this by eliminating siloes and connecting your data, systems and employees.
This then leads to all of the benefits we discussed above. But above all, you can now better engage with your customers and keep them happy. This is by:
- Providing them with the information/products they’re looking for - quickly
- Eliminating the likelihood of them encountering unavailable products
- Allowing them to quickly perform the action they want (e.g. purchase, speak to a customer service agent/salesperson etc)
- Giving them more autonomy (e.g. somewhere to check order statuses, create price quotes, receive automatic notifications related to their orders etc)
To maximise the benefits of automation software, start with your user adoption strategy…
If you place automation at the heart of your business, you’ll find adapting to sudden surges in market demand is much easier. But if you want to maximise the ROI of your technology investment, you must prioritise user adoption.
After all, how will you realise any of the benefits above if your team aren’t using the tech properly, if at all?
In our 10-step guide to technology adoption, we cover what you need to prioritise and when. Download your copy below.