All growing eCommerce businesses eventually reach their breaking point. They can’t keep up with incoming orders, constantly changing inventory levels, and fulfillment. You can try to hire more people, but that isn’t going to solve all your problems in the long run. Growing pains for eCommerce sellers are real.
While this a great problem to have, they can ruin your customer experience if you don’t take care of them. You’ll spend most of your time fixing errors for customers instead of focusing on improving your business.
For many, eCommerce automation is the next step for your business to improve operations, save time, and continue to grow sales. Learn what eCommerce automation is, how it helps you, and what to look for in an automation solution that’s right for you.
What is eCommerce Automation?
eCommerce automation combines the right people, software, and processes necessary to automate the order lifecycle, from the point of checkout to delivery of product to your customer.
Many things must happen between the time a person hits the “submit order” button on your website and when their package is delivered to their doorstep. In short, merchants need to process the order, pick the inventory, pack it, and ship it via your most cost-effective carrier.
That order passes through a lot of hands and different systems to be fulfilled. Many companies rely on manual data entry to pass orders between their eCommerce platform and fulfillment system such as an ERP, accounting, 3PL or POS system. eCommerce automation then allows for the bidirectional flow of information, or data between these systems to ensure efficiency and accuracy.
How to Tell that You Need eCommerce Automation
Take a good look at your business, does this sound like you? If it does, then you’re ready for eCommerce automation.
Without automation, eCommerce merchants can’t keep up with their growing sales volumes. Every new influx of orders can be overwhelming because it means you have to spend more hours hand-keying data across multiple systems for order fulfillment.
Your team shouldn’t have to spend hours manually moving data like order processing, inventory updates, or product information between systems. This slows downs your processes and makes your data more prone to mistakes, which can lead to overselling, incorrect shipping addresses, delayed order delivery, and more.
If you feel like you’re spending most of your time talking to customers to fix your own mistakes, then you’re ready for eCommerce automation.
What to Automate for your eCommerce Business
eCommerce integration can help automate these areas of your businesses.
- Automate order processing between eCommerce platform and fulfillment systems such as ERP, POS, or 3PL.
- Update inventory levels across sales channels when on-hand inventory changes.
- Notify customers when orders have shipped.
- Update product information across sales channels for pricing changes and more.
- Automate returns process.
Automation saves you time and resources. Companies that have multiple team members spending up to 6+ hours a day processing orders can do the same work in 15-20 minutes with automation software. You don’t have to manually move data anymore. Not only does automation improve your operational efficiencies, but it also improves your customer experience. See how:
- Guarantees orders are delivered when promised.
- Keeps inventory levels accurate to prevent overselling.
- Displays accurate, consistent product information.
- Allow customers to track the delivery of their products.
- Makes returns easy and efficient for customers.
Realizing the benefits of eCommerce automation is easy. The more difficult part is finding the right software for eCommerce integration. We’ll show you what to look for in an eCommerce automation solution.
What to Look for in eCommerce Integration Solutions
There are all types of eCommerce integration solutions available to sellers today. They range in functionality and price tags. However, there is still a core set of capabilities that you must have to do eCommerce automation right.
When comparing eCommerce automation solutions, look for these capabilities:
Look for platforms that already have pre-built connectors for the systems you need to connect. This ensures that they can provide dynamic integration that covers inventory, order, customer, shipping/tracking, and product data between your systems.
It’s critical that your automation solution syncs data in real-time as events happen, like when your on-hand inventory changes. You shouldn’t have to manually push any buttons to kick off processes. This ensures you’re not at risk for overselling and more. Don’t settle for batch syncing that syncs every 15 minutes, hour or daily.
Data Validation and Audits
Robust eCommerce automation platforms will validate that your data was sent and received from every one of your endpoint systems. They will also provide audit trails that track every one of your transactions. You will always know how your data is moving throughout your operations.
Proactive Data Monitoring
Proactive data monitoring is an essential differentiator between systems. You’ll know that your integration provider is watching your data to detect any errors or perform retrys when needed. Even on the weekends, you’ll be confident that your eCommerce automation is running smoothly.
Reliable Support Team
When something goes wrong with your integration, like a failed order, you must be able to contact someone to help you. The faster their support team is, the faster you can help your own customers. You need to be able to count on your integration provider.
Make eCommerce Automation Your Competitive Advantage
eCommerce sales continue to grow as do customer expectations. It’s no longer enough to just have a web presence. You must also be able to provide an optimal customer experience to stand out from the competition.
eCommerce automation gives you that competitive advantage. What are you waiting for?
Learn more about nChannel and how we provide integration between eCommerce platforms and ERP, POS and 3PL systems. See if we connect the systems that you work with.