The global eCommerce industry is booming at a rate of 14.7% every year, and it is expected to reach $27.15 trillion by 2027. As in India, with the growth of the internet and online infrastructure, it is no surprise that the Indian eCommerce industry has experienced an exponential boost synchronously. Day and night, people are buying products online and satisfying their appetites. Your eCommerce business has to be active round the clock. Therefore, you need a robust system and an eCommerce workflow that strengthens the bottom line.
Websites take orders 24/7, and only large or well-funded eCommerce companies can employ staff to take and manage orders every hour of the day and every day of the week. But for all that can’t, automating workflow will help your online store hum.
If this sounds like the eCommerce process you want to implement, then read on because we’ll discuss all aspects of the business that will simplify your workflow.
What is eCommerce Workflow Automation?
In simple terms, eCommerce workflow automation means companies can operate their businesses more efficiently. It’s a way to streamline operations and save money. However, to successfully run an eCommerce business, you need to manage a lot at the hindquarters.
Processes like supply chain management, inventory management, order management, marketing, payments, logistics, return management, and much more go into running and scaling an online store. Therefore, it is better to tie these processes into an automated workflow. The main objective of eCommerce workflow automation is to replace manual and repetitive tasks with a simplified process that can be handled by software, app, or tech.
This will lower the operating cost, and you can then employ your valuable task in more creative work.
Importance of eCommerce Workflow
Various tasks are repetitive and create blockage in streamlining the business. In addition, these tasks, if done by humans, are time-consuming and error-prone. Therefore, rather than employing staff to do such tasks, it is better to get them done by software or a tool. For example, order management is an area where a lot of data entry and sending dispatch emails are required. So instead of manually doing everything, there are order management tools that can automate the entire workflow and 10x the efficiency.
Technology is more time-efficient than humans. If a certain task is automated through tech, it will save time and will be done accurately. Hence you can utilize that time to be more productive.
Automating certain daily repetitive tasks like order management and payments saves a lot of time. Workflow reduces the time spent on administrative tasks and free-up the resources that can be utilized on more creative tasks.
Simplify Complex Process
You can simplify complex processes like logistics, warehouse management, marketing, and cart abandonment by building a robust workflow and by employing technology to execute mundane tasks.
Top Guidelines For eCommerce Workflow
Workflow Automation in Inventory Management
When it comes to offering customers a premium experience, inventory management is critical. Keeping inventory updated will avoid situations when customers eagerly need your product, but stock is unavailable in your warehouses. However, while you can use an inventory management system, it is absurd to manually manage the whole inventory of your eCommerce business. Especially when you have a large customer base, you won’t be able to manage critical orders manually, and if you’re overstocking, you’re wasting valuable warehouse space.
That’s why you need an inventory management system. Every time an order comes into your store, a sales order will be created in your system, and the stock of the item will be updated in real-time.
Here is how an inventory management system can simplify the workflow:
- You can track the flow of stocks in your warehouse.
- You can set rules in your inventory management system to allocate stocks to the order.
- Every order gets a “ready for dispatch” tag in your system.
- Inventory management software can send all the details of order fulfilment, shipping labels, etc., to the warehouse in charge.
- When the stock reaches a lower than the predetermined level, the system can trigger a notification to you to raise the purchase order with your supplier.
Workflow Automation to Management
The purchase order with your supplier looks like this without an automated order management workflow. When sales of a certain item increase, you decide to raise the purchase order from your supplier, and then you’ve to make arrangements to get it delivered. This whole process is much more complex than it seems. But automation can simplify the more complex areas of your eCommerce business.
Through order management software, you can predict incoming sales and can raise the purchase order accordingly. Also, purchase order tracking is much more simplified through automation, you don’t need to flip stock sheets, emails, and other documents, and the software can manage everything.
Here is how the order management system simplifies the workflow:
- Most order management systems can be integrated with the whole company infrastructure. They can be integrated with accounting, warehouse management, customer service department, supply chain, and others.
- Through automated order management, human involvement is not needed, which increases accuracy, time efficiency, and productivity.
- Order management software can report and forecast incoming sales. They can predict how much safety stock you’ll need to avoid over-ordering or overselling.
Workflow Automation in Accounting
Just like you need to track inventory and purchase orders, accounting and bookkeeping are equally important. Automated accounting systems for eCommerce will help you streamline the accounting process within the organization. In addition, the data generated from these systems are useful in analyzing sales, profits, and the overall direction of the company.
Here is how accounting software simplifies the workflow:
- Help make critical decisions by generating sales, revenue, and profit data.
- Reduce manual intervention (which can be time-consuming) by automating the accounting process.
- Automated accounting systems provide cash flow information, which is useful in understanding the rhythm of income and expenses of your eCommerce business.
Workflow Automation In Customer Experience And Support
Everybody sells high-quality products online in the same category and at a very competitive price. As a result, there is little to differentiate between online stores. Therefore to Ace the competition, these businesses are turning to customer experience and support as their differentiator. The problem is customers interact with your online store round the clock, which makes it difficult to always be at their service. You can bump up customer satisfaction by automating key areas of customer support.
Customer support automation can help customers solve around 60% of tickets without needing support agent intervention. Here is how this will help in simplifying eCommerce workflow:
- The major benefit of customer support automation is you can offer support 24/7, even when the team is offline. The automated system can answer 50% of a customer’s query, and if not answered, the support team can intervene.
- By automating customer support, you’ll be able to resolve more customers’ queries in less time.
- It helps in focusing the support team on solving much bigger problems of customers that bots can’t handle.
- Automation lowers customer ticket resolution time by answering customers in less time.
- Customer support automation is one-in-for-all. It handles customers’ queries on different platforms like WhatsApp, Instagram, Facebook, live chat, etc.
Workflow Automation in Marketing
Marketing becomes crucial for running and scaling a business in a competitive industry like eCommerce. When there’s little to comprehend in the product, the story you tell and the message you communicate become very important. And that’s what good marketing does. Customer acquisition is the primary goal of any brand’s marketing. The only way to continuously flourish in the market is to bring new customers constantly. By automating day-to-day marketing tasks like ads, social media posts, content marketing, and email marketing, you don’t have to worry about getting new customers.
Here is how marketing automation simplifies eCommerce workflow:
- Social media marketing is the go-to marketing strategy for new-age eCommerce sellers. By automating the process of scheduling and uploading social media posts, you can garner the rewards of social media presence without indulging your team.
- Email marketing is one of the high-converting channels for an eCommerce store. Using email marketing automation software in the market, you can collect data, segment it by various metrics, and send personalized emails to your customers. Plus, you can also analyze the performance of your email marketing campaigns.
- Not every customer finds your product by directly lending on your website. Their journey includes many touchpoints. Some will discover it through social media, emails, or ads. Through automation, you can cover your customer comprehensively and influence their buying decision.
Workflow Automation in Supplier Onboarding
There will be situations when you require new suppliers to onboard in your eCommerce business to speed up supply. A lot of information exchange, tax details, and adaptation is required, which is time-consuming and can delay operations. But with the help of automated supplier platforms, you can shift this tedious process of onboarding suppliers away from your team.
Workflow Automation in Logistics & Return Management
Logistics is the backbone of the supply chain of an eCommerce business and plays a huge role in customer satisfaction- which we’ve discussed above as a differentiator. Unfortunately, the logistics sector needs to be more organized regardless of technological advancement. Still, major changes are happening in the industry, with new businesses hustling to organize the sector and automate the complex areas of logistics. From order sorting to route optimization and final delivery, logistics automation has helped retailers improve their customer service to a significant extent.
Moreover, shipping aggregators like NimbusPost can help you compare shipping rates and manage courier partners. Plus, you can get cloud-based NDR management, minimize RTO, and one-day COD remittance against zero sign-up cost.
Benefits of logistics automation in simplifying workflow:
- Logistics automation software allows you to hire a manageable workforce to manage your orders. Everything is done by software for you, from picking and packaging orders to shipment to tracking orders to printing out invoices and customs forms.
- Automation software offers flexible and cost-effective options to execute each order-like NimbusPost. You can negotiate rates and ask for discounts that might otherwise be unavailable. This allows businesses to fulfil orders with the least amount of hassle.
- The process of logistics and return management is seriously not easy. If you’re trying to handle everything manually, customer experience will be compromised, or your competition will crush you because they are using advanced software to automate logistics. Therefore, leverage our software to enable consistent and reliable shipping and enhance customer experience.
The Bottom Line
If you’re sailing your boat in the eCommerce ocean, then you very well know how ruthless the ocean is. Every year, more players enter the eCommerce industry, making survival hard for you. As of November 2022, the GeM portal has served 12.28 million orders worth Rs. 334,933 crores (US$ 40.97 billion) from 5.44 million registered sellers and service providers for 62,247 buyer organizations. The only chance to scale and remain relevant in the market is to continuously leverage changes and build efficient workflows within the organization so that we can offer more services to customers than they ask for.