For 20 years I’ve consulted with ecommerce merchants, from startups to multinational businesses. This post is the second in a series that focuses on innovation in ecommerce.
The first post addressed improvements in drone shipping . In this installment, I will review progress in ecommerce automation to streamline routine tasks.
Ecommerce automation refers to using software to automate a manual procedure. A good example is verifying images associated with a product. Rather than having a person confirm each picture for every single product in a catalogue, picture recognition technology can review each image automatically and flag the pictures which don’t meet predefined thresholds, for example 50% recognition. Just the flagged images would be reviewed manually, leading to reduced human participation and a quicker path to publishing product pictures.
Automation works best for repetitive and awkward tasks which follow consistent measures. These jobs, if assigned to a person, would be time consuming and dull. Automation enables the ecommerce team to concentrate on greater return tasks, like interacting with customers.
Other examples of ecommerce automation include:
- Escalate service tickets when clients send several emails or initiate numerous calls for the exact same issue.
- Forward negative product reviews to the manufacturer or distributor to deal with customer concerns.
- Assist shoppers find comparable products based on a product’s description and graphics.
- Recognize customers for loyalty.
- Flag customers with a history of top product yields.
- Create tags for products based on search terms from clients.
- Eliminate out-of-stock products from website search and merchandise offerings.
- Notify clients of delayed orders and new delivery dates.
- Define customer advertising sections based on shopping activity.
- Fix overall product pricing — up or down — based on earnings history.
- Answer routine questions from shoppers using an automated agent.
There are lots of automation vendors for ecommerce. Here are three.
Kit automates Facebook and Instagram advertising, as in:
- Create Facebook dynamic advertisements and retarget shoppers most likely to purchase.
- Construct lookalike audiences for the best targeting.
- Post Facebook upgrades to induce customer engagement.
- Send personalized”thank you” emails to create repeat purchases.
- Make and promote discount codes to obtain and keep customers.
- Create reports on marketing and sales functionality.
Zendesk focuses on automating customer support. It delivers an artificially intelligent bot that could understand questions and supply answers, reducing customer wait time in addition to merchant staffing costs. Complex problems which can’t be solved by a bot visit customer service staff.
Consistent Cart simplifies left cart retrieval, push notifications, and add-to-cart pop-ups. Like Kit, Consistent Cart is available on the Shopify App Store. It requires a couple of minutes to install. It can contact clients via text or email. Consistent Cart’s”Smart Auto Stop,” is, to me, the best attribute. It verifies if the clients have purchased products before sending an email or text.
Ecommerce automation helps sell more effectively and economically. It lowers operational costs, allowing merchants to compete on price. It is a competitive edge, in other words.