Running an ecommerce site can require a daunting amount of work. Between running the business, processing and shipping orders, attracting new customers, and keeping current customers happy – sometimes it feels like you have to be in two (or three, or four) places at once.
That’s where automation can help. By automating certain processes, it allows you to free up your time to focus on more important aspects of running your business.
We’ve put together a guide for ecommerce retailers on how to set up some amazing automation. Let’s jump in.
Social Media Automation
Social media is a great way to communicate with customers, gain product exposure, and even provide customer support. But you can’t spend all day writing Facebook posts.
That’s where tools like Buffer and Hootsuite come in handy. These tools let you schedule posts, easily share across multiple social networks, and dive into rich data and analytics on how those posts perform. Not only does this help you cut down on the amount of time dedicated to maintaining a social media presence, but also helps you understand how your social channels are performing and which types of content produce the best results.
Toolset.co is another fantastic social media automation tool. With Toolset you can copy your competitors’ followers, follow relevant users, and unfollow the ones that don’t follow you back. Best of all, it’s easy to use and free.
Most ecommerce retailers know that email has the highest return on investment (ROI) for digital channels. But there no reason we can’t make a good thing better. Tools like MailChimp, Klaviyo, and Picreel make it easy to automate collecting and sending emails.
MailChimp is the world’s leading email marketing platform. One handy feature about MailChimp is their collection of preset automation workflows which allow you to automate sending emails based of specific triggers. For instance, you could automatically send customers an email when they abandon a cart, make a purchase, or when their order is shipped out. You can even automate sending reengagement emails to people that haven’t bought from your store in a set amount of time.
Similarly, Klaviyo is an email marketing platform that has a range of features that help retailers not only automate sending emails but also gain actionable insights on how to improve emails and segment customers.
Picreel email popups and overlays take the hassle out of collecting customer emails. People can argue for days about the how much they hate exit popups and link popups, but the numbers don’t lie. Email popups work well, really well.
Shipping is another area that can greatly benefit from automation. But how exactly this automation works will vary greatly depending on how your fulfillment process.
If you’re filling out labels and shipping everything yourself then there is a great deal of room for improvement. For instance, with Shopify Shipping, you can quickly and easily print shipping labels, manage order fulfillment, and save money. What’s more is that your customers automatically receive an email with tracking info and the cost is automatically added to your Shopify invoice.
If you have a warehouse, vendor, or dropshipper doing your fulfillment then you may want to look at company like HubLogix or Spark Shipping. These companies work by integrating your storefront with your fulfillment partner and automatically pass along orders. This not only helps to speed up the fulfillment process but also improves accuracy.
Every business has its own unique needs. Depending on what those needs are, retailers may be able to turn to versatile automation tools such as Kit or If This Then That (IFTTT).
Kit is a virtual assistant for Shopify stores that can perform a number of different tasks including SEO, email marketing, and social media advertising. Plus, one of the best parts about Kit is that you can control it with your smartphone.
Another versatile automation tool that can help is called IFTTT. IFTTT lets you sync a variety of web tools through what they call “recipes”. Whereas some people are creating recipes for their personal lives, like “If my car enters the driveway, then open the garage door”, there are a number of recipes that can help retailers too. IFTTT has bunch of pre-made recipes to help marketers and retailers, such as, “If I post a new Instagram picture, then tweet it as a native photo”, or “If a new subscriber is added to MailChimp, then send me a notification”. Plus, IFTTT is integrated with several apps and digital tools, so there is a lot of opportunity to create your own recipes.
So how will you use automation?