Growing an online business has its own set of challenges, especially in a world that is increasingly reliant on the digital marketing space. E-commerce is in a continual state of flux and businesses that are not able to scale operations quickly enough often find themselves left behind.
In this competitive landscape, one of the strongest ways an e-commerce can differentiate itself from its competitors is by adopting automation.
It sounds simplistic, but automation is one of the best ways that e-commerce businesses are surviving and thriving despite increased competition in the marketplace. Automation provides an invaluable layer to a business that allows it to scale, grow, and continue to develop without compromising on quality or service.
But the question inevitably turns into, “Okay, but what do I automate?”
The truth is, there are many answers to this question, but it depends on your business and what you see as the pain points. Implementing automation means streamlining processes that are integral to the growth of your business, but this first requires you to identify what processes need that level of automation.
Every business has different areas where they think automation makes the most sense. Here are some ideas on what can be automated and to give you some food for thought on what your business needs.
1. The shopping cart
The shopping cart is one of the mainstays of an e-commerce business, but it is often neglected in the buyer experience. Think of ways that the shopping cart can be enhanced and improved to develop a buyer journey that customers enjoy every time. This might mean creating web portals that allow customers more access to their purchases (i.e. account maintenance, package tracking) and automates some of that from your end.
You can also use automation to create automatic shopping upsells while customers browse their shopping cart by tagging and linking products. Integrating your shopping cart with payment options such as promo codes, coupons, multi-pay plans, and trial offers are another way you can automate the shopping process while still providing customers with a great experience.
2. Customer service
Admittedly, customer service tends to be a major pain point for e-commerce businesses. Not only does it take an immense amount of resources, it can also take away time that could be better used to develop long-term goals and plans. Luckily, there are many ways to automate parts of the customer service experience that saves you time while still providing customers with personalized attention. When evaluating options, think about ways your representatives might need, such as being able to track orders in every aspect, order notes as well as being able to access custom call scripts.
Successful customer service experiences must balance speed, efficiency, positivity, and consistency – each experience needs to be the best. That can be very stressful, which is why automation is so necessary.
You can streamline all the different ways customers choose to communicate by consolidating that information so that it is all easily accessible by reps, as well as providing the necessary context for speedy responses. Built-in chat is another way to automate the process and provide information in a timely manner.
3. The checkout process
Customers are now able to see a great new shopping cart and they are assured of a great customer experience – great! But what about when they actually check out? What is that process like, and where it can be improved – both from the buyer end and from your end? Instant one page checkouts are a key way to streamline processes while capturing the necessary details needed for a smooth checkout.
Think of how you currently manage payment processing, compliance, and overall inventory deduction, and management. Are these processes integrated or do they operate independently? And what processes take the longest? Those are ones where there might be some room for automation rather than requiring constant manual attention.
At the end of the day, automation is a key step in ensuring the longevity and success of your business in a constantly evolving world. Each part of the customer journey has allowances for automation, but it is up to you to decide where your business can best benefit from automation in order to provide a superior customer experience every time.
These are just some of the areas where e-commerce businesses see the most return on investment when it comes to automation, and it can be the starting point when developing a strategy to address these needs.
See how these ideas and use the use of Orderwave will help you grow your e-commerce business and get ahead of the competition. Contact us to get a free demo and consultation.