How ecommerce businesses can use automation to help grow their business

automation

Automation is becoming a big part of business, especially when it comes to ecommerce. There are now many roles that can be done by a machine, which not only saves a company money, but also speeds up productivity and increases the safety of workers. 

If you are a company that is looking to automate some of your processes, here is how an ecommerce business can use automation to help fuel its growth.  

Packaging and wrapping

One of the roles that automation can make easier is when it comes to packaging and wrapping products waiting to be distributed. Some human interaction may be needed in some areas but for safety as well as efficiency, you can use robots to pack your products and get them ready to be wrapped. 

In many companies, pallet wrap machines now wrap, instead of this task being done by hand. This is faster and also safer than machines that rely on people to use them. 

Another aspect of this is using automation to get products to workers via a rail system so that they can then pack. Companies such as Amazon use this system, printing the right labels as well as grouping products going to the same location. 

Customer experience

Although few people like the automated telephone systems that are now commonplace, there are ways that automation can help the customer experience. By using artificial intelligence (AI) to help show existing customers what they might want based on their previous purchases, you can encourage them to return. 

Automated websites can also interact with the customer to offer help or advice to them during the shopping process, so that they don’t click away and leave having had a dissatisfactory experience. 

A delicate balance is needed to give the customer the best experience without making them feel unvalued. 

Working with vendors and suppliers

Automating the vendor and supplier process makes it a lot faster for both the supplier and your business. By knowing in an instant what is needed and when, suppliers know when to ship products or materials and get paid quickly. 

The key to making this work is to have a common system that allows both the company and the vendors to add products, update delivery status and send invoices for payment. 

Order management

The ordering and shipping process is something that can be easily automated. From the point the customer orders their item, the whole process can be done by automation. The products can be packed and shipped automatically using barcodes to keep track of the progress of the item. 

Once the item is shipped, you can either rely on an external company to track the parcel for you or have your own logistics arrangement that allows your company to track the item itself. From here, you can send this information to the customer so that they are always aware of where their item is at any time. 

Order management done in this way eliminates a lot of the problems that can occur with processing orders. It also gives confidence to the customer and implies great customer service. 

Inventory

Along with the order management system, you can also incorporate an automated inventory system that knows exactly how many of each product your company has available. It can also be used to track supplies so that you know when they are running low. 

Keeping track of your inventory helps to maintain a good order process, in addition to lessening the chances of a product not being available when customers want it. Having items out of stock frustrates customers, and increases the chances of them looking to your competitors for products instead. 

Marketing

Following up on a customer’s enquiry or website click is a great way to help improve conversion rates and increase customer satisfaction. If you are able to collect their email address, you can send them relevant ads via email to help convert a sale. Email addresses can be collected by asking customers to sign up for a special discount or freebie. Many customers will sign up if they are getting something in return. 

Omnichannel marketing can also entail using automation to get ads in the most relevant places according to where your customers are. This could mean billboards, streaming services, social media, or websites. 

Conclusion

Using automation can give your company a boost in production and an improved customer experience. It is important to create the right balance between automation and the personal touch so that your customers feel they are valued. 

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