Reclaim Your Time With Ecommerce Automation

Ecommerce automation involves the use of software tools and plugins that are intended to complete various tasks on your behalf. This frees up time as you no longer need to do these jobs yourself. Some aspects of business will always need manual input though a decent number of ecommerce operations can be automated with great success and efficiency. Automation is ideal for smaller, more repetitive tasks which are carried out consistently.

Examples of website automation for online business include:
  • Welcome emails for new customers.
  • Customers whose spending exceeds a certain value are grouped as high value and are assigned to an independent customer group.
  • Newsletter sends, which go out once a month, where regular and high-value customers receive a different version.
  • Orders that show suspect information, such as different shipping and billing information, being flagged as risky and earmarked for review.
  • Existing customers who buy a specific item are emailed about related items that may complement their purchase.
  • Customers receive an email 30-days after purchase to ask for a product review.
  • When inventory numbers fall below certain limits, a purchase order is automatically opened and sent to the supplier.
  • Customers with abandoned carts receive emails as part of an abandoned cart recovery campaign.
You can probably imagine how much time it would use up for an individual to manage all these tasks manually but because they always follow a specific process it makes them ideal candidates for automation.

How Ecommerce Automation Works

Ecommerce automation is primarily driven by smart platforms that are adaptive to the actions, input or feedback of website users. At the heart of these capabilities is artificial intelligence which can replicate user actions and decision processes to a certain extent. Simple types of automation, like those listed above, are powered by simple AI with a logic that triggers events such as sending an email at a predetermined time following a user action.

AI is capable of more elaborate tasks and some forms of AI can expand upon its own programming via machine learning. Machine learning is a means by which the intelligence of AI is enhanced based on information gathered through user interaction. This allows the AI to become more effective and efficient over time and to better personalise the experience for the visitor.

An example of machine learning could be to enhance search functionality. The keyword searched for and the product clicked on would be used to determine which search results are most relevant to the keyword used. These terms would then be moved to the top of the search results for that particular keyword.

Benefits Of Ecommerce Automation

Automation provides copious amounts of benefits to an ecommerce business as it allows you to achieve things that you otherwise wouldn’t have time for. Some tasks are fundamental for a business but are not appropriate to be handled manually. More mundane jobs involve monitoring and gathering data, reviewing particular limitations and then taking action by following a set procedure (for example, sending an email, reviewing orders, segmenting customers). Automation provides a way where the software handles the data and takes action accordingly without your involvement beyond its setup.

The number one benefit is the amount of time that the automation frees up. Where menial jobs become managed by software, this allows you to focus on growing the business and engaging more effectively with customers.

Consistency and accuracy are further benefits. Where a computer is handling these tasks, the follow on is that they will be carried out in an extremely consistent way. When configuring the automation, you establish how you would like the tasks to be performed and the software does the rest for you. With manual work, you’d need to constantly monitor what procedures to follow, when to do them and always be on the lookout for human error.

Automating your ecommerce processes allows you to operate your business in a more streamlined way. You would be able to devote time to important areas and blend in the human touch where it is needed.

How Can You Automate Your Ecommerce Business?

Different automations are handled by different software products.

Workflow Automations

Workflow automation tools are typically designed to manage administrative and organisational tasks relating to your business. These assist with day-to-day tasks such as inventory control, customer relationship management and the refinement of marketing strategies.

Automating Email Notifications

It would be highly time consuming to manually send emails to each of your customers. Most people are accustomed to scheduled newsletters but email automation need not stop there.

Autoresponders

Autoresponders are a way of automatically sending personalised emails to website customers after they have placed an order. This may be a one off Thank You email sent straight away or may extend out to multiple follow-up emails sent over a period of time. These may be customised in whatever way that is desired.

Abandoned Cart Recovery

Cart abandonment is when a customer has put items into their cart but leaves the website before completing their purchase. Cart abandonment can be caused by a number of factors – only some of which can be moderated. Manually contacting customers to recover their carts is not practical and ignoring the problem can cause you to miss out on a substantial amount of sales.

Product Reviews Request Email

Most customers read reviews to help them decide whether to buy something.They pay attention to more than star ratings too – they look for products with more reviews and higher stars. Gathering product reviews has a huge influence on sales but it can be tricky to encourage customers to submit them.

Customers can be reminded to return and place a review by implementing a plugin such as YITH WooCommerce Review Reminder. The emails will be sent after a certain amount of time following a purchase. When setting the timing of these emails, give the customer some time to use the product and form an opinion.

Automated Fraud Filters

Fraud can cost a merchant significant sums per year. Luckily, there are automated tools which can identify a fraudulent purchase as opposed to a genuine sale and then mark it for review. WooCommerce Anti-Fraud filters incoming orders according to a list of features common to fake transactions. These can be mismatched billing and shipping addresses, sizeable transactions from new customers, failed credit card attempts or other considerations. If an order is flagged, you can review the information in order to decide whether to fulfil it or not.

Marketing Automation Integrations

Marketing is pivotal for the success of a business but it also takes up a substantial amount of time. Any means that you can use to automate your marketing presents tremendous advantages to your business. WooCommerce integrates seamlessly with the leading email marketing automation software, MailChimp.

Automating Your WooCommerce Business

Now that you are aware of the automation possibilities, as it relates to ecommerce stores, you may have some ideas as to how it can work for you. If you have an online store, which is built on WooCommerce, there are hundreds of plugins that can help to make running your business easier. Get in touch with the Wired WooCommerce experts to help set up your processes and free up your time.

Published on Tuesday, 12 November 2019 under WooCommerce.