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Faster, Better, More Efficient: Sales Automation in eCommerce

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16.01.2024
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Ten years ago, a small online store could afford to manage its operations manually using Excel or Google Spreadsheets. In the current pace of modern commerce, this is no longer sufficient: such a business will sooner or later lag behind competitors and become uncompetitive. What specifically needs automation first?

The automation of processes in an online store is the key to maintaining the pace of development and business growth. Even small businesses require fast and error-free operations, as all processes are typically managed by one, at most a few individuals. If you are developing a store or a trading platform on a nationwide scale, all processes must be well-coordinated, and communication must be flawless and swift. This applies to all stages of the sales process - from clicking the "Buy" button to shipping the package and subsequent communication with the buyer.

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Which processes need automation?

It is best if automation is integrated into the process of creating an online store. However, even in an existing store, it is possible to automate any operations. The implementation of automation should be gradual to avoid unnecessary confusion and disruptions to the store's operations.

Payment Systems

Automating payment processing allows the store to sell more, and customers to make quick and secure purchases 24/7. Integration with payment systems can be a built-in part of CMS functionality and website builders. During the development stage of the online store, it is essential to check which payment gateways and compatible payment systems are available for integration. It is also advisable to study the terms of cooperation with each individual payment provider. Most of them charge only a percentage of transactions for system usage, but some may also have a monthly subscription fee or a one-time connection fee.

The choice of payment systems for an online store depends on their popularity among customers. For example, if the majority of customers prefer paying with credit cards, your store needs a high-quality card processing system. It's better to choose one that not only includes the standard payment procedure (entering credentials) but also integrates with Apple Pay and Google Pay. You can read more about payment systems in the article.

Payment methods in the online store

Read also: TOP 3 CMS for creating an online store

Logistics

A well-organized delivery process is the key to a high reputation for an online store. Nothing can damage customer relations more than a lost, damaged, or incorrectly addressed package. Automation of receiving, processing, and interacting with the warehouse, in-house courier delivery, and postal services makes the delivery process more precise and faster. In turn, this increases customer loyalty and trust in the store.

For this, an online store needs a ready-made solution for integrating postal services. This provides the following advantages:

  1. Automatic creation of invoices in CRM, which are immediately transferred to the carrier service (Nova Poshta, Meest, etc.).

  2. The ability to print invoices without leaving the account.

  3. The ability to track each package in the CRM module and promptly inform the buyer about its status.

Automation of the store's interaction with postal services significantly accelerates the processing and dispatch of orders. This benefits both the seller, who can sell more, and the customer, who receives their purchase as quickly as possible — motivating them to return to your store for more.

Read also: CRM systems — what they are, why they are needed and which one to choose

Customer Communication

Interacting with both potential and existing customers is a meticulous and labor-intensive process, thus it also requires automation. This primarily involves collecting and systematizing customer data in CRM. This information is valuable for developing promotional terms, loyalty programs, and building personalized communication with customers. The gathered data allows tailoring communication to the individual needs of each customer. Offering to address a customer's needs with an attractive promotion or a personalized offer significantly increases their motivation to buy your product.

In the implementation of these offers, automated processes such as email and SMS campaigns can be helpful. The integration of chatbots into the online store is also very beneficial, capable of not only attracting new customers but also providing quick feedback to existing ones.

Online chat for communication with customers in the online store

Another useful feature for personalized communication is a voice bot for calls. It can be used for notifying customers about new promotional offers and collecting feedback from them after their purchases.

Read also: What is an IVR system, and what tasks does it help solve

Advertising and Analytics

Services like Facebook Pixel or GA4 provide the capability not only to track user actions on the website but also to "build" audiences based on their behavior on the site. The collected audience is already segmented based on specific criteria (visitors of certain pages, visitors who spent a certain amount of time on the site, or those who added items to the cart but didn't complete the purchase – there are many segmentation options).

This is valuable for improving the effectiveness of remarketing. You can create advertising campaigns not for everyone with relevant interests or site visitors, but specifically for those whose interests you know. Alternatively, you can remind users of an unfinished purchase, which also increases conversion.

Reporting in CRM allows evaluating the effectiveness of the chosen marketing strategy and understanding current consumption trends. These insights are based on specific figures, crucial for optimizing promotional methods.

Online store sales analytics in Google Analytics

The Tasks Solved by Automation Processes in an Online Store

Automation accelerates work and provides an opportunity to create a competitive advantage for businesses. Proper and effective implementation of automation tools yields the following results:

  1. Reduction of Time Costs: Employees have more time for crucial tasks, while email campaigns and order processing take only a few minutes.

  2. Personalized Customer Communication: Automation enables personalized communication, stimulating customers to make more purchases, thereby increasing conversion rates and the average order value.

  3. Improved Service Quality: CRM and chatbots enhance service quality by providing quick responses to customer queries, offering support 24/7, and fostering customer loyalty.

  4. Enhanced Organizational Efficiency: Automation improves the organization of workflow processes, boosting labor productivity and reducing costs.

  5. Error Minimization: By eliminating the "human" factor, automation helps minimize errors.

  6. Structured Analytics: Automation provides structured analytics, aiding in evaluating the effectiveness of strategies and optimizing promotional methods.

Read also: How to create a business page on Facebook

Automation in an online store opens up opportunities for business development. Well-implemented and streamlined automation tools simplify operations, free up time, allow better satisfaction of customer needs, and contribute to increased sales. The modern SaaS platform Shop-Express offers a wide range of integrated solutions for automation and store integration with essential services. The flexible CMS of this platform also allows the addition of additional tools according to the store owner's preferences.

If you need a domain, hosting, or a server for your business, you can always find interesting offers on the Cityhost website.

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Author: Bohdana Haivoronska

Journalist (since 2003), IT copywriter (since 2013), content marketer at Cityhost.ua. Specializes in articles about technology, creation and promotion of sites.