As an online merchant, acquiring new customers and gaining new orders are almost always the top priorities. But as you start scaling, systems and business processes become more dreadful and highly inefficient. You will start getting overwhelmed with hundreds, if not thousands, of small and repetitive tasks: Making sure the right products and inventory are on the website, fulfilling orders and payments 24/7, processing and dispatching packages, etc., all while staying on top of marketing, reviews, and customer service. And consequently, you will find yourself spending more time putting out fires than growing your business.

So how can you make more time to focus on bringing in more customers and orders while keeping everything else on track?

Among various practices to boost digital selling efficiency, Ecommerce automation stands out as a fundamental and futuristic tool that business leaders should be making use of. In this blog post, we uncover how Ecommerce automation can save you time which could be better used on streamlining costs and focusing your attention on what matters.

Understanding Ecommerce Automation

Let’s break down the term by its definitions:

  • Automation is the labour-saving technology by which a process or procedure is performed with minimal human assistance.
  • Ecommerce Automation is the software that helps your online store convert most or all of the manual, repetitive tasks into self-fulfilling, automated tasks. In other words, this helps you complete tasks automatically rather than doing them manually.

Although Ecommerce automation saves you time, it doesn't mean that you have to fire your employees or yourself. Rather, it frees up your team's time for customer interactions, creativity, and big-picture thinking that will prove more valuable when it comes to scaling your business.

Example of Ecommerce Automation

Automating your Ecommerce helps get rid of tedious and repetitive tasks, and simplifies processes that could bog you down for whole day long. Below are some examples of Ecommerce Automation:

  • Inventory management: Auto-unpublish products when they are out of stock and re-publish when they are back in stock
  • Customer segmentation: Automatically tag/group customers based on certain attributes such as ordered product, total lifetime spending, geographics, demographics, etc.
  • High-risk orders: Automatically hold and flag irregularly large orders. Auto-notify customer service team via email for manual review
  • Internal communication: Auto-notify team members & stakeholders via email whenever a product is out of stock or a VIP customer has just created an account
  • Scheduled sales campaigns: Auto-publish content on website, including blog posts, banners, website themes. Also, automatically apply discounts, upload new products on sales category

But how exactly does this happen?

In its purest, simplest form, almost all Ecommerce automation happens through the automated workflow of Trigger - Condition - Action. And here’s how it works:

You are the owner of a men’s clothing store and there is an upcoming sales program. Let’s say you want to offer your customers different discount rates based on their total spending on the store:

  • Platinum customers who have spent over $5000: Get a 70% discount
  • Gold customers who have spent over $3000 and less than or equal to $5000: Get a 50% discount
  • Silver customers who have spent over $1000 and less than or equal to $3000: Get a 30% discount

Here’s how the logic of the automated workflow is described with Atom8 - The Commerce Automation Platform, designed exclusively for BigCommerce merchants

  • Trigger: WHEN an order is placed by the customer
  • Condition 1: IF the customer’s lifetime spending is greater than $5,000.

Action 1: THEN segment the customer into Platinum group 

AND auto-send a “Thank-you” email with the 70% discount code

  • Condition 2: IF the customer’s lifetime spending is greater than $3,000 AND less than or equal to $5000

Action 2: THEN segment the customer into Gold group 

AND auto-send a “Thank-you” email with the 50% discount code

  • Condition 3: IF the customer’s lifetime spending is greater than $5,000 and less than or equal to $3000

Action 3: THEN segment the customer into Silver group 

AND auto-send a “Thank-you” email with the 30% discount code

Once you’ve finished setting up the workflow, you can say goodbye to pressing additional buttons regarding that process ever again. Instead, you’ll watch it get done flawlessly all by itself.

Benefits of Using Automation With Your Online Store 

Essentially, Ecommerce automation increases the quality of the customer experience (with segmentation and personalized offerings), while simultaneously allowing businesses to prioritize and make time for more important tasks which require strategizing and social skills. Here are the few ways your business could benefit from Ecommerce automation.
1. Saves time

As a store owner, time is your most valuable resource. And Ecommerce automation is the key to get more done in less time, simply by putting your time-consuming tasks on auto-pilot, such as: 

  • Auto-publish/unpublish website’s content (banner, page, blog etc.) 
  • Auto-hide/unhide products and catalogues
  • Auto-change product merchandising (price, purchasability, visibility, etc.)
  • Auto-segment and engage with customers
  • Auto-notify team members
2. Grows business faster

Automation can be applied to all parts of a business, from Marketing and Sales to Fulfillment and Customer Service. It can help you manage all these functions effectively by reorganizing tasks, streamlining processes, and categorizing store data. 

In fact, recent statistics show that Ecommerce automated tools enabled merchants to save up to 30% on financial and human resources and still assure business growth targets (i.e. revenue, profit, customer acquisition, and retention, etc.)

On top of that, less time on daily repetitive tasks means more time on important aspects that involve innovation, decision-making and strategy - the key elements in growing your business.

3. Increase sales and marketing effectiveness

Ecommerce sales & marketing teams have the most to gain from automation. For example:

  • Provide personalized customer experience with real-time customer segmentation & engagement 
  • Assure timely response with instant automated emails/messages sequences following customer activities
  • Enable proactive and dynamic marketing campaigns with scheduled marketing campaigns on time-trigger

According to recent statistics, adopting automation on sales and marketing allows businesses to effectively generate a 50% increase in revenue.

Learn more about how to adopt Marketing and Sales automation on your Ecommerce website here

Conclusion 

We believe every Ecommerce brand and retailer, large and small, should be applying automation as much as possible, for one very simple yet important reason: The more you automate, the more your business can thrive. 

Automation allows you to save a lot of time and resources. It makes your business processes much faster and more efficient. It helps increase the effectiveness of marketing and sales activities. And most importantly, Automation brings you the freedom to focus on the things that matter most to your business.

BigCommerce helps growing businesses, enterprise brands, and everything in-between sell more online.

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