So what exactly is ecommerce automation?
Ecommerce stands for business conducted on the internet. It runs from selling goods online to transferring money digitally to pay for them. Using software to take over the processes that facilitate these transactions – like tracking supplies of stock and fulfilling customer orders – is called ecommerce automation.
There are companies that still use manual labor for their business operations, inputting all the information about which goods are where in their system by hand, and physically keeping track of POs and shipments, but this is costly and puts limits on the amount of sales that can be handled.
When these business practices are automated, a company can run at maximum efficiency. Paid staff are freed up to work on other, more productive areas of the business, and the stage is set for a firm to grow.
According to a 2021 report about the state of automation in business by Zapier, 94% of workers whose companies hadn’t automated said they had to perform repetitive and time-consuming tasks. In companies that had automated, however, 2 out of 3 workers said it made them more productive, and 9 out of 10 reported that it had improved their lives in the workplace. Another finding was that for 88% of Small and Medium-sized businesses, automation resulted in them being able to compete with larger companies.
How does ecommerce automation work?
With ecommerce automation, routine, mundane tasks that have traditionally been performed by employees are taken care of by software.
Examples of some of these routine tasks automation can take over for you are:
- Inventory management,
- Sending and keeping track of emails
- Producing reports
- Issuing POs and keeping track of them,
- Processing shipments and keeping track of them
- Keeping track of payments and returns
How will ecommerce automation improve your business?
- Saving time – automating mundane tasks speeds up your business operations and eliminates human error.
- Increased productivity – when employees don’t have to do repetitive tasks any more, they can concentrate on other, more productive aspects of your business.
- A streamlined business – an automated system can create workflows that make the different stages of your sales fulfillment run as efficiently and seamlessly as possible.
- A quicker order-fulfillment process – by producing accurate check lists, picking, packing, and shipping can be taken care of without a hitch.
- Improved customer satisfaction – with automation, your customers get the right item when promised.
Another great feature of automation, one that’s not always considered, is that the software can give triggers. What’s a trigger? Well, it means that the operating system will initiate an action when certain conditions it’s been programmed to recognize are met. Take stock levels as an example. Because the digital system is tracking stock, it can be instructed to send out POs for more goods when their level, the amount in storage, reaches a predetermined low. Any aspect of your sales business can be programmed to give triggers for actions in this way.
But maybe the number-one way automation can improve your business is when it comes to setting the stage for customer satisfaction. Your main purpose, what it’s all about, is getting the right items to the right customers at the right time. Let’s face it, keeping tabs on every order is difficult when you’re selling on a lot of online channels. Well, automation is, hands down, the best way to make sure that complex order fulfillment operations go smoothly. The result is happy customers, and happy customers mean repeat business.
Why is DEAR Systems the better way to automate your ecommerce business?
If you use DEAR Systems for your automation, you’ll see benefits to your business in the following ways:
Streamlined order fulfillment
When you’re selling on multiple online platforms, order fulfillment is complicated. You have to keep the different channels in their own silos while picking, packing, and shipping for them from the same place. In this scenario, keeping accurate, separate records of transactions is essential. DEAR Systems streamlines all of this, automating every aspect of the process. Yet, while a computer system is handling everything, you still have oversight. DEAR Systems has a transparent, centralized platform that lets you check on your goods at every stage of its movement through the system. The upshot is that with these mundane, repetitive tasks taken care of, you’re free to focus on expanding your business.
Seamless B2B ecommerce
DEAR offers a B2B portal that can be customized to fit your needs. More than managing and tracking your B2B transactions, the portal can store several catalogs at the same time and choose which companies have access to them. This means you can control which goods are offered to which business. You can also integrate the portal with your ERP systems like accounting, inventory and more, ensuring the smoothest B2B operation. Plus you can give the portal its own unique domain name, which in a way is branding. And as we know, branding is the way to set your company apart and get it noticed.
Because DEAR is a computerized system that holds detailed information about each process in your order-fulfillment setup, it can coordinate and organize this data to produce the most efficient workflows. Workflow is a term that describes the overall operation of a business process, a step-by-step work guide. You can create workflows for purchases, sales, suppliers, customers, credit notes, etc. And because DEAR also has a capability when it comes to assembly and disassembly – which basically means putting together or taking apart component parts of items – workflows can be put out for this function too. It goes without saying that when you can do this successfully, you end up with a business that has a good reputation for efficiency.
Automate reorders and backorders
Inventory planning is the way of making sure you have the right level of goods in your inventory. When it’s done properly, you have enough stock on hand to fill customer orders, but not more than that. DEAR can make this happen. You can program the system to recognize when the level of your goods reaches a low, a low that’s been set by you, at which point it will automatically send out a purchase order for more items. Sometimes, however, stock runs out. When this occurs, customers have to wait for their orders until their items have been restocked. In these situations, the items wanted are said to be on backorder. To speed this process up as much as possible, DEAR can recognize when the item is back in stock and automatically ensure its fulfillment. It’s called the backorder feature.
Direct Mail Marketing and emarketing is another essential aspect of running a business well. Notices about new products, promotions, and general advertising have to be sent out constantly, and they have to be sent out in short order. To stay on top of this, companies have to have a complete list of their customers, and another for those they want to reach, their prospects. It’s beyond tedious and time-consuming to maintain these lists of names and addresses manually, and it would take forever to produce the pieces to be mailed one at a time. But DEAR Systems can take care of mailings effortlessly. DEAR will not only keep and maintain mailing lists, it will configure them in whatever way you want. Say you only want to send a particular promotion to a select group from your mailing list; DEAR can do that for you. Or maybe you want to target prospects with the hope of turning them into new customers, converting them; DEAR can easily do that also.
Every business needs to develop a notification system, a method that will give them timely alerts of things that are happening or about to happen. This could be anything from when to expect an order to something in that order changing. DEAR makes this easy with its notifications function. You can set DEAR notifications as signals in the notification center or send them as emails to the person who needs to know about them. You can also personalize the email notification message templates. Another helpful feature is external notifications. With these, you can send notifications to third-party applications. Examples of how notifications make your life easier are: getting one when your backordered goods arrive; or being alerted when a customer has exceeded their credit limit; or being informed that an SKU number has changed.
As mentioned, DEAR Systems can issue reports for any part of the ecommerce process. You can also program it to produce these reports at whatever schedule suits you best. This could be daily, weekly, or monthly or anything else. Plus it can get them to the right department or person.
Backing up your data is incredibly easy when you use DEAR, and you can schedule this to be done automatically from its Scheduled Reports. Select the particular data you want to backup, decide the frequency you want this to happen, and program the electronic system to send the backed-up files to the person or department of your choosing via email.
Another great aspect of DEAR is that you can set it to give you reminders about things you have to take care of. These reminders pop up on your dashboard in a small display, called a portlet, when you log into DEAR Inventory. Clicking on this portlet will open up a detailed page that will lay out the reason for the reminder – what it is that you need to do.
There’s no doubt that it’s difficult for a retailer to manage orders when they use several online platforms to sell their goods. The larger a business grows, in fact, the more it’s going to have to automate. Even for mid-size companies, manually taking care of the processes involved in order fulfillment is time-consuming and money wasting. DEAR’s multi-module inventory management software eliminates this, managing your orders with transparency, and taking your ecommerce to the next level. It doesn’t matter if you’re a retailer, a wholesaler, or a manufacturer, DEAR software can ease the movement of your inventory, from receiving an order to delivering it.
Want to know more about DEAR’s automation features and integration possibilities, and find out how they can improve the business of your business? Call today and schedule a consultation.