February 27th, 2018 • BPM
Sabrina has been running an e-commerce website for the last several months. She has onboarded a number of new vendors, which means she needs to set up hundreds of new products. But she doesn’t have the time to do it herself or with her limited staff. Her time is better spent finding new vendors. A friend tells her to look into e-commerce process automation. But can it really help?
E-commerce process automation helps you spend less time on standard processes and makes sure they run the same way every time. When you automate an e-commerce business process flow, you let software do the heavy lifting of passing data back and forth, sending notifications, and handling predictable conditions.
Some great examples of automated e-commerce processes are Item Setup, Vendor Invoicing, and Purchase Order Generation. When processes like these are automated, it can help you free up time to work on finding new vendors, improving website features, and decreasing delivery speed to your customers.
So far, we’ve focused on saving your valuable time. But what about the other benefits of e-commerce business process automation?
Manage Orders More Easily
Managing orders can be much simpler when you don’t need a human constantly working on receiving new orders, having them shipped, and cross checking those orders with the delivery addresses. With automation, your order management is an automated e-commerce process, and there’s no chance of human error as well, making it faster and more accurate.
Collect Real Data
Using an automated e-commerce process gives you a better picture into how your company runs by delivering tons of data. Do you know how long order processing takes right now? Do you know how many errors your current PO process generates? Do you know where most of the new item uploads get jammed? All of this information can be available by adding automation to your e-commerce business process.
Through all of this automation, you’re not only making the process easier for yourself, but you can also save money by not hiring additional people to do tasks that could otherwise by done instantly by your e-commerce business process.
E-commerce business process automation makes things a lot easier and more efficient. But where are the actual use cases? Learn how other companies are using automation.
Managing the inventory of your e-commerce website is a whole lot easier with automation. You can automatically set it to order more products if your stock dips below a certain threshold. If you’re predicting a higher sales volume during a particular season, you can automate that as well, ensuring that you’re not turning down customers with the “Out of stock” sign. Automating all of this ensures that your store always has inventory in stock for your customers to purchase.
Order Management and Shipping
One of the biggest things that drives customers away from shopping online is the long wait time they have to endure, from ordering the product to receiving it at their doorstep. Automating your order management and shipping can help reduce the total processing time.
E-commerce process automation ensures that there’s less time spent managing orders. Saving that time for you and your staff ensures that you can work on additional automation work elsewhere across the website.
Payments and Invoicing
Automating your payments and invoicing to vendors can eliminate any human errors that might be made in tax calculations and sum totals. Without that error, you can be sure of sending more accurate payment notifications and invoices to your vendors and customers. In addition, this also eliminates the need for having a human do each and every invoice and bill.
Refunds and Returns
Refunds and returns are something every e-commerce website has to deal with at some point in time. Having an automated workflow in place to receive defective goods and either replace or refund the customer can help you save time on smaller e-commerce process automations that don’t make you money, but save time for both you and your customer. With prompt refunds and returns, you’ll be making customers a lot happier with your website, which encourages them to trust you more.
Customer service seems like something that should only be for humans, but there’s something to be said for automation. Although no one really likes having to listen to an automated voice at the other end of the phone call, it’s not a bad idea to have automated chatbots and emails to respond to routine customer queries and complaints. This way, your support team can spend more of their time handling escalations and complex queries.
KiSSFLOW has a number of apps in its arsenal to help you with your e-commerce automation. Ranging from invoicing to automating purchase orders, you can find a number of apps in KiSSFLOW designed to make your life easier.
If you find that you have an idea for an app that isn’t on KiSSFLOW yet, you can create your own without needing coding knowledge. You can even use this to customize existing apps to fit your company requirements. This way, you’re not stuck with something that doesn’t fit perfectly to your organization’s requirements.
There’s plenty of e-commerce business processes that you can automate. If you’re looking to grow your website, and need to find the time to do it, start off with automating some non-core processes. Once that works, you can work on automating more important processes. Use the time that you’ve saved to find new vendors, add more products to the site, and hire more people to start scaling your website to take on bigger players.