While eCommerce is widely accepted channel in most of the parts of world; staying relevant in this highly competitive world is a huge challenge. Enterprises need to embrace automation at all levels to compete and faster service management.
Some of the key aspects of automation in ordering process are:
Adoption of automation by even by basic websites and Enterprises is pretty much visible. It is not tough; if you spare some time on basic automation tools; you can create some Chatbots and Robots yourself in few days. For incoming call handling; people do fear that it can bring up negative experiences with impersonal telephone menus and inappropriate canned responses. However; automation or semi-automation through using procedures in place can bring your service cost down dramatically. Automated solutions can have a positive impact by providing clients with rapid answers to queries. “Live chat” or chatBot is a feature available with a lot of those online support desks and can also help provide a better client experience. This might help cut back cart abandonment prices.
Global MDMs like Informatica has enabled systems as a service; which has made Catalog data like Country Catalog; Customer range and Price Variants management very easy. One should look out for right APIs for connecting these catalog systems so that you don’t have to manage the systems and compliance needs across borders. Many agencies across the world have started helping with branding and content management around catalog. Crowdsourcing such creative content is also a great idea for catalog re-writing as needed.
Refunds And Returns
There are a lot of Cognitive capabilities from IBM or Open APIs which can help read emails and push them into right workflows for further processing. This can help bring down an email response from days to few minutes. Each e-commerce business will have to process returns and refunds sooner or later; and this will be a good deal less time-consuming in case you have a procedure. You should have a documented procedure to ensure any client service team know precisely what to do and hopefully; do not have to contact you for approval.
Managing inventory and ensuring that you have inventory available for purchase is a big job when you haven’t put good systems in place. Ideally; you want your inventory updated and reordering automatically done when a stock reaches certain predetermined levels. There are some inventory management systems available for e-commerce shops; but cloud-based ERP software from SAP and IBM are leading the market right now. These solutions are great; but still; there is always business nuances of cross-border shipping and stocks management. In this case; you need an inventory management system that will require to look out for options which can sync across your different channels. Borderfree has one of these solutions which are helping a lot many brands to do effortless shipping.
IOT powered inventory management and reverse logistics are fairly uberized right now; to quickly scale and lookout for automated tracking of shipments. It also helps in automating future consignments for large B2B needs wherein Vendor Management Inventory is a key ask. I was recently visiting Alibaba.com to look out for devices which can be used for logistics tracking and was surprised to see how easily we can source something really technically savvy.
Entrepreneurs should aim for zero effort to call and talk to a client or manually do any work to accept obligations on your e-commerce business. There are a range of various payment gateways available to assist you to automate the payment process; so below are a few factors before picking them: Does the gateway function in the countries in which you wish to market? For refunds or returns; do they help with related processes? Do they have integrations with the card providers in different countries? At times you may want to provide more than one to accomplish this. Is it easy for the clients to use? Do you desire a payment gateway; merchant accounts; or all-purpose payment system? What are you looking for in charges and contract provisions? Does the payment gateway integrate readily with your site? Are you a”high risk” company? Some industries; such as betting; diet; travel and adult content are deemed high risk; which means some payment options will not wish to work with you. In this instance; you will need a specialised provider who deals with high risk industries. How You Can Automate Your Home (a Free Crash Course) Does the payment gateway support preferred payment procedures of your customers? For example; some are limited as to which types of credit card they will accept. Some popular options for payment gateways include Paypal; Stripe; Braintree; and Paymill. If you do have to utilize many platforms and need a centralized way of looking at your payment streams; Quaderno integrates with various payment flows and offers you an overview in 1 area. If you need tax calculations in checkout; such as for VAT payable in the EU; that is another thing that you wish to make sure your checkout process can automate. Again; this can be something Quaderno takes good care of using the automatic calculation of appropriate VAT and issuing of bills.
Fulfillment of orders is just another aspect of e-commerce businesses that may take up huge amounts of time in case you do not have an automatic solution in place. You do not wish to be warehousing; picking; packing; and transport orders yourself; so an integrated; outsourced or fulfillment as a service is a viable option to consider. Not many companies can scale for global fulfillment and logistics needs; so it is recommended that try to negotiate a good deal with someone like Borderfree so that they can help with all quick process; customer documentation and logistics needs for global scaling. Where you could automate is to create some simple API connects or Robots(easy only) to exchange information with them.
Accounting application like QuickBooks; which when integrated with your ERP applications can do wonders when it comes to Financials Management. Make life easier for yourself by merely automating everything you can from the accounting ledger; and you will also create your accountant’s life easier at tax time. There are a range of accounting methods available today; but you need one which seamlessly integrates with your payment systems and company bank account. This way it will automatically pull in data in your earnings and expenses and offer you with good reporting. e.g.; Quickbooks
Be careful about the audit process as both automation by robots and human are subject to Audit. One should always ensure that all audit trails are documented in the systems and are traceable. A good log search engine is also recommended for larger enterprises with lots of audit liabilities.