It can be self-fulfilling to be manually involved in the day to day running of your e-commerce business. This is because you understand every aspect of your business and you can do them even with eyes closed. But as beautiful as the manual running of your business may be, sometimes you need to take the back seat to allow room for some automation. Automating business processes allow room for better ways of delivering on your business promises.
When you allow automation to take its course in your business, measuring the business performance and keeping track of ways and manner your business is running becomes easier than when doing it manually. To progress in your business, avoiding being bogged down with workload arising from manual operations is a smart choice to make.
Why and what should you automate in your business?
- Why should you automate? The reason to automate is to speed up the time it takes to complete a given business task. When you identify those processes that require automation and take steps to automate them, you will find that delivering on your business promise becomes easier. Also, it makes your business scalable when you automate and can grow to become an international business with the capacity to deliver anywhere globally.
- What should you automate? If you look carefully in the way you perform a given business task, you may notice certain tasks are repetitive in nature as well as critical to the overall business success. Such functions are calling for automation to make them less cumbersome in carrying out your tasks.
When planning process automation, four important principles must come to mind:
- Repetitive tasks. Handle repetitive tasks first; your target is to automate those processes that take so much time to accomplish.
- You need to consider ranking in order of important to know which one requires the most attention.
- Optimization and automation. Find those tasks that require optimization and automation on daily basis
- Nonscalable tasks. Identify those tasks that are not scalable, especially when your business automation takes effect; you will have to still do them manually on a day to day business activity.
What automation brings to your business are flexibility and more freedom in the day-to-day operations of your e-commerce business. The tasks below are perfect for automation in what you do every day in your business, and the beautiful part is that you can once in a while get involved in doing those business chores. Here are five business automation processes to introduce to your e-commerce business.
- Cart abandonment automation. Cart abandonment study in 2015 shows it worth about $5 trillion. This is disturbing for any business, and it happens in small and large firms. While you can manually recapture those customers back, it is better to automate the process using cart abandonment emails. Check with your store platform for the service. I know Shopify does and you can use MailChimp for the same purpose. With automation, your first email will be out soon after a cart is abandoned before checkout and get the lead back in your sales loop. However, you may find it’s technically imperative to follow up manually because of circumstances leading to cart abandonment, do so!
- Customer service. Dealing with your clients to help solve their problems is an important task for every business person whether in the small or large organization. This process needs partial automation and partly manual. It is understandable that machine cannot take the place of the human element in this task, but you can automate your interactions with clients. Tools like Desk.com help to create an interactive Q&A and FAQ parts of your e-commerce website, and you can outsource the communication part using LeadChat. Using such tools provides you the benefits of handling your customers’ concern to stay close to them. While automation cannot take the place of manual handling of client matters, automation will at least give you the room to manage your customers effectively.
- Social media. While managing your customer is important, attracting lead is crucial to driving your business to success. Social media platforms are best places to connect with potential clients, and the best way to send your business information and content is by automation. Using tools like Hootsuite gives you the capacity to manage a large social group on multiple social media platforms with just a click. Of course, you also want to occasionally attend to your social media contacts manually in platforms like Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.
- Inventory management. If you run an inventory based business, automating it is your best choice for efficiency. Although automating your inventory system may look cumbersome and costly, but doing so will give you better control over your products and stocking. You can get more idea about automating your inventory control from Finale Inventory, Fishbowl Inventory or Ordoro. Once in a while, making manual intervention may be required for efficiency.
- Productivity tools for online activities. When managing your business, you will find that many things need your attention and you can work smarter by using productivity tools to manage your small but repetitive tasks from time to time. There is a tool called “If This Then That” and helps to manage apps.
- Financial Automation. A business without proper accounting and booking method runs the risk of constant trouble in the way they do business. You need to streamline your bookkeeping and accounting system to achieve better insight into your business performance. Tools like QuickBook can help in the automation of your business books and stay up to date with your business financials.
There are tons of business automation tools to use in your business; you can start with the few listed above and see how helpful they are in managing your business.
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