E-tailers: Automate Your Ecommerce Operation with These Awesome Tools
It’s been a historic year for ecommerce, but the massive growth spurt has accentuated some pain points along the way. Namely, if you’re selling online, you can probably think of plenty of small tasks that can’t be ignored but seem to eat up your entire day. Time is money in the fast-moving ecommerce world, and the few minutes you’re spending on each task quickly add up. How can e-tailers take back the reins? The answer: automation.
Did you know that four in ten enterprises are actively adding automation to their workflows and 25% of them are small businesses? The benefits include increased efficiency, reduced busywork, improved customer service and greater accuracy. When the market is surging, optimizing your ecommerce business is more important than ever. Therefore, we rounded up some of the best ecommerce automation tools on the market so you can level up your online store and crush your 2021 goals.
Read on to learn more.
Zapier Puts Automation Power in Your Hands
Zapier calls itself the automation tool for busy people and connects to more than two thousand apps, letting users build customized workflows with no coding required. Each “Zap” starts with a trigger action and is followed by at least one reaction, and once it’s set up, the whole sequence happens automatically. For example: A popular Zap saves email attachments and alerts the user when it’s ready to view. The Trigger in this case is receiving an email with an attachment, and the Actions are saving the attachment to Dropbox and alerting the user via Slack.
With its nearly endless connection opportunities, Zapier can also sync tools like Help Scout or RingCentral to your website, so you can easily track your interactions with your customers.
TextMagic Tackles SMS Marketing…Like Magic!
Millions of retailers took their businesses online at the beginning of the pandemic and entered the already-crowded ecommerce market. As the competition grew stiffer, e-tailers had to find creative ways to stay relevant with consumers, and many of them switched up their marketing strategies and started sending texts. Look at these powerful SMS marketing statistics to see why this tactic has worked out so well:
- 50% of ecommerce traffic comes from mobile shoppers
- 70% of consumers want to be contacted by brands via text
- 90% of texts are read within three minutes
- SMS has an 8x higher engagement rate than email
With TextMagic, e-tailers can send automated mass SMS messages to their entire distribution list, instantly alerting recipients to new products, flash sales and more. Sending an SMS opens a two-way chat, so customers can communicate with your team to get questions answered or order issues resolved. TextMagic also provides reporting and analytics, so you can track the success of each message.
ReadyReturns Automates Ecommerce Returns
One in every three products bought online is returned, despite e-tailers’ best efforts. You might view this statistic as a gut punch, but returns are just opportunities in disguise. Here’s a quick overview: 81% of consumers say their ideal returns policy is hassle-free with no return shipping fees. For sellers who have implemented that policy, sales have increased by up to 357%. How do they do it? The easy returns give shoppers confidence, and they choose to shop with the brand that provides them with a better experience.
Returns present solid opportunities for e-tailers, but most processes are still manual and require a lot of legwork for both the seller and the customer. That’s where ReadyReturns comes into play. This ecommerce returns software adds a portal to your online store where customers can initiate returns at any time and from anywhere. Simply set your rules for returns (return-by dates, reason for returns, etc.) and give your customers the power to return at their leisure.
OMQ Uses Artificial Intelligence for Customer Service
Customer service is a major hurdle for many ecommerce businesses because there are no face-to-face interactions. If customers have questions or issues with their orders, they often must locate a phone number and spend their precious time waiting on hold. Even worse, they might send an email and wait multiple business days for a response. Several e-tailers have incorporated automation into their tech stacks to improve customer service, which explains the rise of ecommerce chatbots and other handy tools.
We’ve already sung the praises of AI platform OMQ on our recent roundup of must-have ecommerce tools, but it’s worth mentioning again because it provides top-notch automated customer service. OMQ plugs-in to your ecommerce site and creates a database of frequently asked questions and their answers, based on the information you feed it. It’s constantly learning how best to answer customers, and it quickly gets up to speed so it can relieve your customer service reps of some of their workload.
Cloud.IQ Helps Auto-Recover Abandoned Carts
Cart abandonment costs e-tailers $4 trillion annually with 78% of consumers abandoning their online shopping carts. When you look at the low average ecommerce conversion rates of 2% to 11%, it’s easy to get discouraged. Why do shoppers abandon their carts? Check out the top reasons, per Baymard.
- Unexpected shipping costs (61%)
- They don’t want to create an account on the site (35%)
- Checkout is too complicated (27%)
Every savvy e-tailer can learn from these statistics, and it’s always worth going the extra mile to bump up those conversion numbers. That’s why Cloud.IQ provides intuitive automation tools to help recover abandoned carts and encourage consumers to complete the checkout process. E-tailers simply set up pop-ups for discount codes, newsletter signups, product recommendations and more. With the constant barrage of content, shoppers’ attention spans are shorter than ever. Interactive reminders from Cloud.IQ keep them focused all the way through the purchase process.
Hootsuite Handles Social Media Posting
If you haven’t heard, social commerce is still on the rise, driving more than $30 billion in sales every year. What were once peer-to-peer sharing apps have become billboards, commercials and hubs of digital commerce all at once. The transformation has led to some awesome features like Instagram Checkout and Facebook Shops, which let consumers make purchases without leaving the apps. It’s all part of the seamless experience in which ecommerce becomes integrated into daily life. Speaking of daily life, 3.6 billion people are already using social media, most of them every day. You can reach literally billions of potential customers just by participating on these platforms.
We get it—with so many social media platforms, it’s hard to keep up when you have so many other business needs on your plate. Lucky for you, you can automate your social media with a tiny bit of prep work beforehand. Hootsuite is a top tier tool for businesses to “set and forget” their social posts. Once you load in your copy and (optional) creative assets, Hootsuite will publish for you on your schedule. It even has AI to analyze performance data and recommend posting times for optimal engagement.
Work Smarter, Not Harder
The tech-focused nature of ecommerce means there is always new technology to help e-tailers run their businesses more smoothly and efficiently. Automation in particular saves time while reducing the day-to-day busywork so sellers can focus on strategy and growth. During this ecommerce boom, it’s more important than ever to work smarter, not harder.