What is automation in eCommerce?
eCommerce automation is the process of using different software tools that perform some work tasks automatically without employees’ input. Obviously, certain challenges cannot be accomplished without human involvement; however, the work can be considerably simplified with automation tools for eCommerce.
How eCommerce Automation Works
eCommerce automation is carried out by platforms based on Artificial Intelligence. These platforms can predict different actions of website users and according to that form a specific reaction, i.e. perform a certain task (like sending an email to the user, for instance).
AI is able to take care of more difficult tasks as well. Besides, it can improve itself via machine learning, through receiving information based on interactions with website users. And here comes the big advantage: giving visitors more personalized experiences.
Specifically, machine learning makes it possible to optimize search functions on the website of an online store using the information about customers’ earlier searches (like used keywords, most viewed results, and so on). After analyzing this data, AI defines which links should be moved to the top of the search results.
Another achievement of artificial intelligence in eCommerce automation is customer service chatbots. Chatbots mimic a live dialogue with a company representative. Of course, they can’t fully replace customer service managed by humans, but those bots can do many useful things: answering simple questions, referring a person to the correct department, offering recommendations of products, and more. Additionally, chatbots constantly improve their reactions according to the previous experience; in brief, they make their answers more “human” and accurate.
Thus, artificial intelligence (and eCommerce automation systems in general) can make the work of a business a lot faster and more successful.
Reasons to Automate Your eCommerce
Still not sure if you need eCommerce automation software? Here are some more reasons.
Without a doubt, eCommerce automation provides a wide range of benefits for your business.
Firstly, it easily accomplishes tasks that are too difficult for human employees. Among them are monitoring a countless amount of information, detailed analysis of this information, forming appropriate reactions and performing certain actions.
Secondly, eCommerce automation offers the benefit of saving time. In business, time indeed is money.
Thirdly, the automation provides such bonuses as coherence and accuracy of calculations, analyses and basically any other performed activities. We’re only humans, we make mistakes.
Software does not.
And last but not least, one of the greatest benefits provided by eCommerce tools for automation is the ability to direct your attention to important things such as moving your business forward and modernizing your production.
There are many low-cost eCommerce automation tools (or even some free options!) that will work like a charm without any input from you.
Choosing the Right Tools
At this point, you should base your choice on your needs, as there are lots of tools developed for different purposes.
For starters, you need to determine the expected results: do you need faster workflow or eCommerce email automation, fraud detection or eCommerce email marketing automation, or all of it?
Let’s look into the most popular types of automation tools:
- Sales automation;
- Task management software (provides planning, tracking, reporting, and testing);
- Customer support software (keeps track of clients’ requests, allows communication with users and takes care of other customer support problems);
- Bug tracking software (monitors reported software bugs);
- Email marketing automation (makes your automatic messaging personalized and regular);
- Finance management (means planning, organization, directing and control of all the financial activities);
- Website analytics (analyzes the customers’ activity on the website);
- Inventory management (manages the flow of production from the creation point to selling)
- Marketing automation (automates repetitive tasks of a marketing campaign);
- Social media management (takes care of making, tracking, analyzing, and interacting with social media content).
The Best eCommerce Automation Tools
The best tools for your purpose depend on specific demands and circumstances, but we have compiled a list of the best programs with various functions:
Gives you a handy, real-time updated environment where you are able to access required client info, use effective sales management tools, data analysis, use automated documentation creating and reporting.
This tool provides a strong inventory and order management system, tracking stock levels and inventory statuses automatically. It is of irreplaceable help for online store owners.
Wholly covers the “messaging” part of your business by keeping all of the text snippets you save in one place. So when you need to send out an email or a message, you only have to choose the right snippet and direct it to the right location.
A tool that can be described as “all-in-one.” It offers sales and marketing automation, credit card processing, analytics, etc. InflusionSoft gives you access to more than 200 applications from one location so that you don’t have to waste your time on switching between tools and tasks.
A great choice for connecting to all your applications from one access point. With this tool, you are able to easily set up custom solutions that connect different applications to increase and improve store-level automation.
Provides automatic inventory management; furthermore, it includes order, drop-shipping, and shipping management that do not require regular input from you.
A tool for conversion optimization and lead generation that helps you gain more subscribers. Additionally, it can be used to retarget abandoned carts.
A popular tool that provides email marketing automation and improves the marketing of your company in general. Besides, it provides such functions as RSS-to-email and a date-based email feature for sending special birthday coupons to customers.
Automates some aspects of customer service, allowing you to help your clients more efficiently and build a good relationship with them. Obviously, this tool makes responding faster than if you do it manually; besides, Zendesk can also hire agents for tasks where human participation is needed.
Gives such privileges as market research, competitive research, monitoring the web for reviews and articles on your store, and much more. It is a great idea to use Google Alerts to stay up-to-date about what’s popular in your niche and what people think about your business. And as a nice bonus, the tool is free.
A free tool that connects software and online services from social media to your Shift4Shop account. IFTTT can post to various social networks, send notifications, and these are just a few examples of the many tasks that this service can accomplish.
Another tool that can automatically post to social media. Additionally, it provides analytics of customer activity on your page. It is very useful to estimate the popularity of your posts and products.
This service is developed for promoting online stores via email marketing. It gives you the opportunity to work with an account manager that will help you grow and improve your business.
Gives retailers the ability to manage their entire back-end. The tool offers such benefits as syncing customer orders into a central platform, keeping the inventory accurate, integrating any vital software you may need to streamline and automate your whole online business.
Helps in retaining customers with a loyalty program. The tool provides an incentive system for certain actions of customers; this helps to increase or regulate sales. Loyalty points allow you to build a strong relationship between your brand and your clients.
A very handy automation tool for advertising your business. It creates Facebook and Instagram ads; moreover, it offers a special tool for creating retargeting ads and personalized emails, promoting specific products to customers, and so on.
This tool automatically asks people to leave their review of the product after they get their purchase. This helps you to stay tuned for customers’ opinions about the production, which helps you to gain the trust of clients and improve the products after analyzing feedback.
Helps to recover abandoned carts using push notification. It gives you the opportunity to maximize sales by sending out emails about abandoned carts to remind people about the products they were going to purchase.
This service keeps track of website traffic and other statistics. It provides an SDK for gathering usage data from the Google Analytics mobile app that is available for both IOS and Android.
This is another analytics tool that gives you the opportunity to understand, identify and improve the metrics of your eCommerce. The collected information can be used to make better marketing decisions and improve your business.
The tool offers streamlined client invoicing and time tracking processes; all in all, it helps to optimize sales as it offers solutions for SMBs, responsive mobile design, time-saving auto-bills, recurring payments, invoice-to-payment functionality, and much more.
Offers such functions as financial reporting, invoicing and expense tracking.
It is a cloud-based task management service that allows you to manage work tasks from nearly any device. The tool is free, but some special features are available in the paid version. Wunderlist helps to organize, manage and accomplish your business tasks.
Works like a shared email inbox. It enables a large team to carry out customer support via email. The service offers live chat, CRMs, phone systems, and email marketing tools.
This tool helps businesses to improve their customer support. Kayako offers different support channels that deal with many important issues of customer support, helping service departments work better and ensure more efficient support.
How to Start Using eCommerce Automation Tools?
The easiest way to begin using eCommerce automation tools is to build your online shop with the help of 3dcart, as it comes with a few good automation tools right away, such as Automation Rules, Back-in-Stock notifications, Autoresponders, etc.
Many tools from the above list offer a free trial version, and some are just free. Try out the ones you are interested in, see if they work for your business, and watch your profit rise.
Nowadays it is very beneficial to run an online business: it is convenient and accessible for everyone. Nevertheless, running a successful online store is no easy task, and here eCommerce automation tools are of great help. They considerably simplify the work and save your time. Instead of small repeated tasks, you can focus on more important global ones: improving the product and growing the business.
The first step to automating your eCommerce business is using a CRM system. Nimble CRM offers a set of tools and functions that will streamline your workflow. Give it a try, and see your business grow.