eCommerce is a thriving environment, but its deadliest enemies are usually too many tasks and insufficient time. The industry is already worth billions, and it’s continually increasing as more customers convert to online purchasing. To harness the true potential of your e-commerce business and outpace your competitors in the process, you need the advantages offered by workflow automation.
Explaining E-Commerce Workflow Automation
Every e-commerce business faces an overwhelming workload. It includes time-consuming tasks such as data recording, order management, and following up purchases with complimentary e-mails. Small-scale businesses and start-ups often find the complex, interrelated processes particularly difficult. As a result, employees must perform these repetitive tasks manually instead of using their time more profitably.
Installing workload automation software can often be cost-effective, even for the smallest enterprise. It performs complex tasks, enabling you to channel your efforts into lead generation and marketing. Workflow automation effectively increases efficiency by taking care of essential e-commerce processes.
1. Supplier Data Input
Successful e-commerce often relies on providing customers with an extensive choice. A key strategy is to continually source new suppliers who continually offer exciting, innovative products. Once entering into a contract, you’ll need to incorporate data into your systems, such as tax codes, import details, and payment methods. When performed manually, you’ll need multiple spreadsheets and a steady exchange of e-mails.
Automation can help enormously by dealing with this additional workload and saving on your time and employee resources. Inaccuracies can easily occur when recording data manually, leading to confusion at a later stage.
A mutual, automated data exchange can be effortlessly and accurately performed through a web-based interface. Moreover, it helps assimilate B2B compatibility as it enables you to deal with an automated company on its terms.
2. Inventory Management
Maintaining your e-commerce business with real-time accuracy can be almost impossible when managing your stock manually. You can also lose potential customers if they have to be informed later that a product was unavailable at ordering.
Automated stock control is particularly beneficial. Automation software regulates stock management in real-time, providing accuracy for your business and your customers. It increases efficiency and reliability by maintaining your stock at an optimal level. When a product reaches a pre-determined figure, an automated system can place an order with your supplier on your behalf.
By installing automation software, your business can appropriate its funds more effectively. In addition, the system contributes to matching more accurately your warehouse requirements with your customers’ shopping trends.
3. Efficient Order Management
When managing the process of fulfilling orders, a manual operation can become increasingly complex. It’s related to inventory control and checking on a customer’s details and payment methods. There is also the physical process of issuing invoices and shipping labels.
Inaccuracies can occur when manually transcribing names and addresses, leading to lost packages. In addition, it impacts customer service and your brand’s reputation and even reduces profit by replacing missing goods.
An automated workflow ensures a high degree of accuracy at all stages of the ordering process. Shipping labels are reliably detailed, while the correct items are selected for despatch. Automated order tracking is highly beneficial, alerting you to unforeseen discrepancies.
4. Customer Management
Your business success depends on your customers. Therefore, managing them throughout your shared relationship is crucial. Automation can help by collating customer data, payment methods, and credit ratings.
It can also help with problems such as an abandoned shopping cart by sending an automated e-mail reminder. In addition, your workflow automation software can send a thank you note when purchases have been made. It can also assess customer satisfaction by issuing an e-mail questionnaire.
5. Negative Publicity
A serious threat to your e-commerce business is negativity. If poor reviews reach social media, your brand’s reputation can be harmed simply by a belated response. With an automated workflow system, customer complaints can be effectively dealt with at the source by directed to the most appropriate staff member instead of languishing amongst pooled e-mails.
Automation can increase your effectiveness in dealing with customer dissatisfaction. It also helps you channel resources into positive action on social media. When problems occur, customers are usually placated by courtesy and a swift response.
Running an e-commerce business with an emphasis on manual operation is laborious and time-consuming. Improving efficiency can be effectively achieved through workflow automation. It performs a multitude of tasks on your behalf. Order fulfillment, inventory levels, customer management, and data recording are just a few of the benefits your business can gain through installing workflow automation software.
Greg Tuohy is the Managing Director of Docutec, a business printer (mostly multifunction printers) and office automation software provider. Greg was appointed Managing Director in June 2011 and is the driving force behind the team at the Cantec Group. Immediately after completing a science degree at UCC in 1995, Greg joined the family copier/printer business.