4 ways automation can accelerate your e-commerce enterprise
In 2020, e-commerce exploded from around 15 percent of retail sales to almost 35 percent in just the first three months – essentially the same amount of growth it had taken 10 years to achieve prior to 2020. Some will argue that this kind of growth was an aberration due to the circumstances surrounding it. That may be so, but the impact 2020 has had on customer expectations for online businesses will continue to be felt for years to come.
More people than ever before are now paying attention to your e-commerce capabilities. In particular, your ability to smoothly adapt to surges in demand and provide excellent customer care before, during and after the sale. Targeted use of automation can help.
By deploying applications that automate repetitive tasks, build structured databases of customer information, and handle routine customer interactions, you can free your organization to stay focused on continuously improving the customer experience, instead of getting bogged down in the day-to-day.
In this post, we want to focus on four areas of your business where automation can bring the most value to both you and your customers. Later, we talk a little about customized automation solutions and the advantages they have over most off-the-shelf applications. Let’s get started.
E-commerce automation and customer support
Perhaps the best indicator of excellent customer service is a high retention rate. Having some kind of loyalty program has always been one of the most effective ways to keep people coming back. Using automation, you can identify the best customers in your database and instantly send them discount codes after a certain number of purchases.
Automation success story: fast answers
Forte Group partnered with one of the largest cosmetics retailers in Europe and Asia to design an all-in-one system for managing and processing customer requests, claims, and orders. As part of this system, we created a virtual helper that increased the average number of customer requests processed to about 700 per day. These requests were also processed five times faster than before.
Email marketing is another cornerstone of customer acquisition and retention. Automation can sync up your email campaigns with your CRM system and create distinct mailing lists that target different types of customers.
Automation success story: more click-throughs
Together with a large cosmetics retailer, the Forte team implemented a search-analytical database that served as a single repository for all email notifications. The result was improved management of email campaigns as well as significant growth in the direct traffic generated by these campaigns. A library of unique email templates was also created. This slashed development time and costs, and made the company more responsive to customer needs.
E-commerce automation and the marketing workflow
Winning new customers is an essential-but-costly part of any growing business. Social media continues to be one of the most effective ways to get yourself in front of new audiences. Using a variety of automation tools, you can schedule posts, track outreach, and plan marketing activities based on stats. Similar tools can be used on your website to nurture new leads. They could also track user activity and automatically follow up with a sales offer, useful content, or a discount.
Automation success story: faster order processing
When one of our e-commerce clients came to us looking for a way to automatically generate gift certificates for their B2B customers, we built a module that used a single-page application to automate the gift certificate workflow. As a result, certificates are processed faster and the number of corporate customers continues to grow.
E-commerce automation and order fulfilment
In the world of online sales, nothing has a bigger impact on your company’s reputation or bottom line than order fulfillment. Something as simple as a misprinted address or incorrect labeling can lead to failed deliveries and unsatisfied customers. Targeted use of automation throughout the order-fulfillment process will dramatically reduce the incidence of these costly mistakes and ensure you stay in your customers’ good graces.
Automation success story: automatic fee calculation
Auto parts manufacturer Ex-Guard aimed to streamline ordering, processing, and fulfillment. Forte Group engineers not only built a secure and reliable gateway connecting the internal ERP to the storefront and implemented critical integrations related to pricing and fulfillment. As a result, buyers can see the manufacturer’s suggested retail price (MSRP) for each item on its product page to calculate their ROI plan and sales staff cut the time and resources spent on order placement and processing by 50 percent
Even when all goes well and an order arrives as expected, automation can play a big part in making sure you deliver excellent service after the sale. Send automatic emails to customers who make regular purchases with discount codes that encourage them to shop again. Engage customers who abandon their carts with automated messages that invite them to revisit their order and complete the purchase. You could even personalize these messages using info from registration forms.
E-commerce automation and sales support
In order for a sales team to be truly productive, it can’t be burdened with a bunch of routine tasks that waste its time. CRM automation tools like new-customer notifications, call reminders, and database searches allow salespeople to stay focused on going outbound and capturing new business.
Automation success story: more productive salespeople
Working together with medical supply distributor, Ovation Medical, the Forte Group made extensive use of automation to streamline the sales process for repeat customers, adapt the Salesforce CRM suite to an inventory management system, and customize “Order Now” pages for B2B clients. All of this made it possible for each Ovation sales rep to manage as many as 400 customer accounts, effectively doubling the team’s productivity.
Automating follow-up reminders for sales managers is another way to boost productivity and bring in new clients. The whole process can be tracked step by step, and progress is easier to analyze at the end of a specific period.
Why a customized automation solution may be right for your e-commerce enterprise
There is no shortage of off-the-shelf solutions for e-commerce automation. These turn-key applications may seem like an easy way to bring your business up to speed but we think it would be well worth your time to consider a customized solution instead. Here are three important reasons why.
1. One size does not fit all
While small- to medium-sized businesses may be able to make do with a ready-made solution, the unique business practices of most large companies demand a customized e-commerce automation. Also, the enormous volume of business that a large enterprise can generate, during say a Cyber Monday, can quickly overwhelm the capabilities of many turn-key applications.
2. No extra fees
A common misconception is that custom software is expensive, but in reality, a tailored solution may be more cost-effective in the long run. Off-the-shelf software almost always comes with long-term costs for periodic licensing fees and software upgrades. Then there are fees for technical support that you may have to pay whether you use the service or not.
3. Limitless scalability
As your business develops and becomes more complex over time, you will want your e-commerce platform to be able to evolve along with it. Creating a scalable, tailored solution is the best way to do this. Tailored solutions can also be built to mesh perfectly you’re your existing software, libraries, and security protocols.
|“Automating your mobile cart workflow is more important than adjusting the cutting-edge design.” – Aliaksander Shakhnovich,
Senior Director of Commerce and Digital Innovation
We’re Ready to Help
At the Forte Group, we excel at delivering customized e-commerce solutions for businesses of all sizes. We start by collaborating with you to create a product vision that aligns with your high-level goals. From this collaboration, we create a road map that consists of a series of sprints (or phases). Every sprint will have a set of agreed-upon goals as well as a budget cap for achieving those goals. As long as the goals for a given sprint don’t change, neither will the budget cap.
To learn more about how we can partner with you to achieve your e-commerce goals, click here and answer a few quick questions. It will only take a minute and doesn’t cost a thing.