Ecommerce Automation: How to Make More $ While Doing Less

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Even if you’re already making a profit with an established ecommerce business, you can likely boost your bottom line without any extra effort by automating certain tasks. The simple trick is knowing what to automate. 

4 Tasks to Leave to Ecommerce Automation to Make More $

1. Product Pricing

If you set your prices once and allow them to stay that way for the long term, you are missing out on money. To see this concept in everyday practice, look no further than your corner gas station. It often adjusts its prices daily to keep up with local competition, take advantage of higher-traffic periods, and make more sales. 

This same strategy works well in ecommerce, where the value of your inventory constantly fluctuates. It’s why cozy sweaters and flights to warm-weather destinations cost more in colder seasons—companies stand to make more profit by increasing prices when demand is the highest. 

By following subtle marketplace changes and adjusting your price points accordingly, you can garner more sales, make the most of each, and ultimately improve your gross totals. Tracking these daily price adjustments once required an enormous in-house team to research market changes and manually update products. Thus, where exorbitant effort and labor costs once negated possible financial gain, automation software now provides big opportunities—and big profit margins. 

Today, the highest-rated ecommerce platforms such as Bluehost, Shopify, and Wix offer access to dynamic pricing features that adjust your prices according to preset controls. For example, they can apply a complex algorithm to automatically raise or lower your price points in response to a scarcity or abundance of inventory. They can also shift your pricing on a predetermined schedule, taking advantage of certain in-demand seasons or times of the day. 

In addition to saving you time, these tools also allow you to update pricing, monitor your closest competitors, and gain insight into marketwide trends without the need for a dedicated team. They can even automate marketing efforts by sending messages to your customers regarding items they’ve added to their cart or previously browsed. In the end, you’re left with significantly more connection points with your audience, which typically translates into more sales. 

2. Order Fulfillment 

The profitability of your business directly relates to its scalability. As your customer base grows, everything must become more streamlined—from your order intake and product production to order fulfillment and shipping. Any glitch in the system can negatively impact your ability to reach and satisfy customers. 

Manually managing the entire fulfillment process wastes precious time and effort that’s better spent elsewhere, especially when most tasks (like printing shipping labels, packing orders, delivering items to the post office, notifying the customer, and tracking orders) can be automated through modern integrations.

The first step in setting up an automated fulfillment approach is to maintain an online inventory database. There’s a good chance you’re already leveraging an ecommerce platform to streamline your sales process. If not, you may want to migrate to one of our top ecommerce picks. Choosing a compatible fulfillment software allows you to integrate an automated sales station that prints labels, organizes purchases, and schedules package pickups. 

Screenshot of the reports section of Shopify, displaying names, catagories, and authors.

Once your online structure is in place, your next move is to work on optimizing your warehousing process and the algorithms that run it. Certain robotic solutions can compile and pack orders as they come in, resulting in near-immediate fulfillment. System integrations can then track the package from business to doorstep, keeping customers notified by email or text without any employee oversight.

Fully automating your order fulfillment isn’t an overnight process, but the benefits are worthwhile. It removes human error from the equation, resulting in fewer costly packaging and shipping mistakes. It also saves on the labor costs of hiring a team to run warehouse operations and the financial drain of carrying too much product—or not enough. With an automated inventory management approach, you’ll be notified anytime an item is running low, ensuring a steady flow of inventory to meet customer demand. 

3. Menial Ecommerce Marketing Tasks

A cohesive, cost-effective marketing strategy is essential to your success because the right creative team can guide your outreach efforts and end up making you a lot more money. 

That said, hiring the right people often costs more money in the first place, so you’ll want to allocate their time and efforts as efficiently as possible. 

Menial tasks only waste precious time that could be spent brainstorming the next great campaign. For example, things like sending emails, publishing social media posts, creating basic content templates, proofing copy, and updating content across different platforms are all straightforward activities that don’t require creative oversight. Therefore, these tasks are ripe for automation, which can free up your marketing team to work on more meaningful projects. 

One good marketing automation strategy you can apply is to use email marketing software like Constant Contact or ActiveCampaign to tackle repetitive tasks in a “set it and forget it” approach. This allows you to create shipping notifications, product updates, and newsletter templates without reinventing the wheel. You can even set up targeted email sequences in an automated workflow structure that generates and converts leads while also nurturing existing customer relationships. 

Similarly, you can also simplify your social media approach by auto-scheduling blogs and posts via intermediary apps like Buffer and Hootsuite. Not only can these help curate your feed with focused campaign content at optimal times for your ideal audience, but they can also stay true to your brand’s design standards due to their customized post templates. After each campaign, you can review the data to gauge how well your efforts were received and tweak your next approach accordingly. 

A screenshot of the homepage of the Hootsuite software, offering an option to start a 30-day trial or compare plans

Lastly, if you’re planning a product launch, there are many automated ways to prepare for it ahead of time. For example, you can pre-log items into your ecommerce platform inventory and set them to “go live” on launch day. Meanwhile, top-rated email integrations can take care of key steps in the customer sales funnel—such as abandoned cart reminders and customized product suggestions based on shopper browsing history. All of these solutions allow your marketing team to spend more time improving your offering and the overall experience for your audience. 

4. Customer Service

Unhappy customers are bad for business for many reasons. One of the most impactful is that unhappy customers can be more likely to share their disappointing experiences and interactions with their friends and/or via online reviews. Naturally, since it’s especially hard to win these people back, the easier route is simply to keep your existing customers happy—and automated tools can help you in this pursuit.  

Before continuing, it’s important to remember that there is such a thing as too much automation, as replacing every single part of the customer journey with an AI-based human alternative can lead to diminishing returns. Instead, the most successful approaches combine the best of both worlds—a distinctive human touch with the processing and analytical capabilities of today’s best technology. 

In other words, while most customers are happy to take care of routine issues and self-service tasks on their own, they still want to be able to opt for human intervention when they need fast, effective support for more complex issues—because nothing is more frustrating than a bot that doesn’t “get it.” 

Anyway, one of the best use cases of customer service automation tools is for supporting the efforts of live representatives. For example, you can streamline your website and customer-facing communication channels to handle an assortment of minor tasks so that agents can tackle the heavier challenges. This means that chatbots can answer simple product questions, provide order statuses, and set up easy returns, while any issues that escalate beyond a chatbot’s capabilities can quickly be resolved by connecting customers to a live representative—or scheduling a callback for later. 

Keep in mind that many system integrations can also manage the feedback process for you by requesting a post-purchase review from your customers via email or text. These same tools can gather and analyze all of the incoming data to provide you with an overview of the areas in which your business is doing well as well as the areas in which your customer service can improve

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