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Does eCommerce Automation Affect Your Customer Experience? Here’s What We Know
Featured Best Practice on Customer Experience
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Running an online store takes a lot of work, from formulating strategies, marketing, communication to shipping – not to mention all the follow-up tasks.
Furthermore, an eCommerce store operates 24/7 without any breaks – it must always be up and running and able to accept orders.
However, it’s not practical to keep your staff working 24/7 since eCommerce automation can take care of these tasks.
This article will explain how eCommerce automation can improve customer experience and suggest some automation strategies to implement in your business.
But first, let’s start with discussing how excellent customer experience can help your business.
Why Customer Experience Is Important
Customer experience is how customers perceive their interaction with your business. A great customer experience is crucial to sustainable business growth since any positive customer experience helps increase loyalty, retain customers, and encourage brand advocacy.
To get into details, a satisfied customer contributes 2.6 times more revenue than a regular one and as much as 14 times more than a dissatisfied customer.
Creating brand advocacy from satisfied customers is also important because 88% of customers read reviews about your business to decide whether they should make a purchase.
What Is eCommerce Automation?
eCommerce automation refers to technology that helps online stores grow sales and increase staff productivity by doing tasks automatically without any human intervention.
eCommerce automation typically consists of a series of actions that you can customize and configure. In short, the whole process:
- Starts with a trigger event or an indication that the automation should start.
- Is followed by a condition that defines what the automation will do.
- Results in action taken without any help from humans.
Types of eCommerce Automation
There are various eCommerce automation types, each having its dedicated purpose, such as:
- Workflow automation – automates repetitive tasks like RFQ, checkout, order processing, and product catalog automation.
- Sales automation – automates sales processes by completing repetitive tasks like email notification and answering FAQs.
- Fulfillment automation – automates order handling to allow quicker order processing and auto-update on customers’ orders. This includes tasks like inventory management, warehouse management, and returns.
Benefits of eCommerce Automation
With eCommerce automation, you can improve the following factors:
- Efficiency – every task performed by your online business is vital. However, data entry tasks are very repetitive, time-consuming, and more prone to error. With eCommerce automation, the number of functions is significantly reduced, and the time-consuming manual tasks are automated. This allows you to focus on more important tasks.
- Data Accuracy – accurate data management is a must for an online business. There’s a vast amount of ever-changing data like customer information, order details, and inventory numbers. If the data is managed manually, there’s always a chance of human error. Automation helps avoid unnecessary risks and get accurate data, preventing mistakes like a forbidden error caused by wrong configuration and settings.
- Team Productivity – businesses are always on the lookout for new ways to maximize human resources. By using eCommerce automation, companies can automate back-office tasks and allow their employees to focus more on assisting customers, improve the product or even work on their skills.
- Customer Experience – customers are always willing to have a great purchase experience that saves their time. They also value transparency and the ability to track their orders and receive up-to-date inventory information.
Using eCommerce automation, businesses can make it easy for customers to manage their orders, shipping, and returns without staff involvement. This can both save money and build customer loyalty.
Three eCommerce Automation Strategies for Customer Experience
Marketing automation isn’t an emerging technology, but rather the intelligent application of the automation process that’s revolutionizing customer experience. In short, marketing automation is a tool for personalizing the customer experience. Here’s how:
1. Audience Segmentation
The fundamental belief of a better customer experience is relevancy. This means showing people something relevant to their interests.
To make your eCommerce business relevant, you need to segment your audience and personalize your marketing efforts for each group. Automation software makes it simple to segment by using data points such as demographic information, behavior, and location.
It’s the behavior data that you’ll want to focus on. By utilizing this data point, the audience is showing you what matters to them. The segmentation by behavior can be divided into three parts:
- VIPs – the minority of your customers who contribute to most of your purchases.
- Non-engaged – people who purchase once and disappear.
- Category Specific – a group of customers who only buy a particular type of product.
Using the automation strategies, you’ll easily be able to divide your customers into these three categories. All that’s left is figuring out a way to specify your services for them.
2. Dynamic Content
To effectively personalize your customer experience, you need the automation that can deliver dynamic content. I’m sure you’re familiar with eCommerce sites providing recommendations. That’s possible because of automation.
The automation technology works by using an AI-powered recommendation engine. It identifies similar patterns in your customer’s behavior and then makes recommendations.
The dynamic content that users see will reflect on their past actions, such as previous purchases and visited pages, and the actions of people who have similar interests.
While email is considered a more traditional marketing approach than other advertising channels, just like segmentation, email has become more sophisticated and can deliver a higher average return thanks to automation.
The main issue with email automation is that sometimes businesses don’t know what types of automated emails they should be sending. To help you out, here are some examples of email automation you could be sending:
- The welcome email – when a new user agrees to receive emails from your company, you should send one right away. Welcome emails are four times more likely to be opened compared to other promotional emails.
- The abandoned shopping cart email – just because someone didn’t finish purchasing your product doesn’t always mean they don’t want to buy it. There are many reasons why someone leaves the checkout process midway. Try sending them a gentle reminder not only to show that you care but also to entice them to finish what they started.
- The order confirmation email – people also engage with transactional emails more than promotional emails. When a buyer has just purchased a product, immediately send them an email confirming their order has been placed and that you will update them on the shipping progress.
Customer experience is a crucial factor in determining the success of your business. If your team handles too many tasks, they might not deliver their best services for your customers. Luckily, eCommerce automation comes in handy to help solve the issue.
Now you know how eCommerce automation affects customer experience, as well as the suggested eCommerce automation strategies you can implement to boost your customer experience.
All that’s left to do is start using eCommerce automation and let AI handle all the repetitive tasks, so that your team can focus and engage more on providing the best customer experience they can.
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In the modern Digital Age, advances in technology and communication, combined with the explosive growth in data information, have given rise to a more empowered global customer. Recent economic and political events highlight the need for organizations to understand how consumers view the world and the most important attributes for their purchasing decisions.
Thus, increasingly more organizations are seeking to invest and focus on Customer-centric Design. A clear understanding of customer needs and behaviors across the organization will help drive profitable growth strategies and provide the confidence to invest in opportunities at a time when staying within budget can be extremely difficult.
Learn about our Customer-centric Design (CCD) Best Practice Frameworks here.
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About Shane AvronShane Avron is a freelance writer, specializing in business, general management, enterprise software, and digital technologies. In addition to Flevy, Shane's articles have appeared in Huffington Post, Forbes Magazine, among other business journals.
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