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Maximise efficiency with ecommerce automation
Order fulfilment

Maximise efficiency with ecommerce automation

Versha Kamwal
May 5, 2022
7
mins read

Ecommerce businesses operate 24/7 with no breaks in between. Therefore, they must be up and running to accept orders at all times. Since it’s not practical to have staff manage the ecommerce store round the clock, every online business requires some level of automation for smooth working.

Research says that current at-scale technology can automate about half of the retail process, but only 61% of companies have met their automation targets.

Automating repetitive ecommerce operations makes sense for most businesses—as it keeps ecommerce businesses running smoothly while improving the customer experience. Although, advances in technology make it easy for businesses to reduce many manual functions. Startups and small businesses might think this is a luxury, but it’s a necessity.

In this blog, you will learn what is ecommerce automation, what are the benefits of ecommerce automation, and how can online businesses automate ecommerce operations.

What is ecommerce automation?

Ecommerce automation refers to the use of technology in ecommerce operations to reduce human intervention.

While some aspects of the ecommerce business still require human input, a significant number of tasks can be automated successfully, such as repetitive daily tasks that are always performed in a consistent way.

However, this doesn't imply that you don't need your current workforce. On the contrary, ecommerce automation requires constant job reinvention, which results in upskilling and increasing your workforce's effectiveness.

What are the benefits of ecommerce automation?

When executed well, ecommerce automation does multiple things:

1. Saves time

Automating repetitive tasks and operations can free up your valuable time. You can then invest your time in high priority tasks like picking and packing orders.

2. Reduces manual errors

Manual processes mean more risk of human errors. If your processes are automated, you can prevent and reduce manual errors significantly—saving more time, increasing efficiency and improving order accuracy.

3. Cuts costs

With cutting-edge technological solutions, you can reduce costs drastically. By having access to advanced tools, your workforce can do their jobs quickly and efficiently. This can also help you reduce your labour cost in the long run.

4. Simplifies order deliveries

Is there anything worse than lost or misdirected packages after a customer places an order? Ecommerce automation can help brands process orders automatically—picking, packing, printing receipts and shipping labels. Rather than having a manual process for order management—saving time and preventing the recurrence of mistakes. Moreover, the tracking information is automatically sent to the customer, making it easier to keep track of their orders.

5. Enhances customer satisfaction

Customers around the world desire unique, simple, and convenient experiences. In addition, they value transparency, order tracking, and access to the most up-to-date order status. Ecommerce automation can help you achieve all that without spending much time on the post-purchase experience as everything is automated.

6. Grows business faster

The time previously spent on data entry chores, repetition tasks can now be allocated to serve customers better, branding, marketing and other important operations. Those are the activities that, in the long run, lead to increased profits for your business.

How to automate ecommerce operations?

1. Automate integration with sales channels

The first step to start selling online is integration with the sales channel you want to sell on—Amazon, Flipkart, Shopify shopping cart, and more. Usually, you have to log in to a seller panel, create product listings, and configure all the settings according to your preference manually.  If you add more sales channels, you have to duplicate all your efforts for each platform—bringing the scope for error and mismanagement.

With ecommerce automation, you can use a tech-enabled platform to integrate with marketplaces as well as shopping carts. You can synchronise your inventory and orders between sales channels and warehouses through this unified platform.

Here’s how Eshopbox can help you automate integration with multiple sales channels:

  • Eshopbox has pre-built integrations with marketplaces, shopping carts, ERP, accounting software, and analytical tools—to automate your ecommerce operations, completely.
  • With 2-step integrations, you can connect with these applications instantly.

Eshopbox's integration with multiple sales channels
Eshopbox's integration with multiple sales channels

2. Automate inventory distribution

Ecommerce businesses usually track and manage their inventory by using physical inventory ledgers or spreadsheets and manual data to make decisions on splitting their inventory. However, this manual process of inventory distribution can be inefficient, prone to error, and time-consuming.

Here’s how Eshopbox can help you automate inventory distribution across India:

  • With the help of Eshopbox's actionable dashboard and data-driven analytics, you can plan your ideal inventory distribution using your historical order data with no manual effort, input or calculation. Such tech-enabled inventory allocation is time-efficient, based on insights, and easy to implement.

Eshopbox's analytics to plan your ideal inventory distribution
Eshopbox's analytics to plan your ideal inventory distribution

3. Automate inventory management

Keeping track of your inventory is fundamental to your success in ecommerce. Traditionally, ecommerce businesses use physical counting methods and manually update inventory levels on each sales channel after making a sale.

Here’s how Eshopbox can help you automate inventory management across multiple sales channels with an actionable dashboard:

  • Get full visibility of your inventory levels across all sales channels through a unified view to prevent interruptions in fulfilment and delays.
  • Track inventory and quantity on hand across multiple locations in real-time.
  • With real-time inventory updating, Eshopbox syncs your inventory across all sales channels every 5 minutes, enabling you to relay accurate inventory levels in real-time and avoid overselling.
  • Maintain optimum inventory levels to avoid under-stocking and overstocking.
  • Get proactive inventory replenishment reminders to restock inventory to prevent Out-of-Stock (OOS).
  • In case of a return, Eshopbox ensures quick turnarounds and adds inventory back to your active inventory.

Eshopbox simplifies inventory management
Eshopbox simplifies inventory management

4. Automate order fulfilment

Picking, packing, and shipping orders might not sound too hard. But when sales grow, sales channels multiply, and the customer base increases—you need an automated and streamlined process to manage ecommerce order fulfilment.

Here’s how Eshopbox can help you automate ecommerce fulfilment with the use of powerful technology, such as barcode scanners, conveyor belts, intelligent robots, and more:

  • Once orders are received, they are collected and consolidated in a single system as the orders can be placed by customers across multiple sales channels from different locations, at different times.
  • The orders are automatically allocated to the fulfilment centres nearest to the customer location including order details, shipping details, delivery address, and more.
  • The order is assigned to the picking team. The pickers get a descriptive picking slip including the items, quantities, and storage locations to collect the products from their respective locations in the ecommerce warehouse and deliver them to a packing station.
  • The order is packaged either in a standard way or using custom packaging with flexible packaging rules if the ecommerce brands want to create a unique unboxing experience for their customers.
  • Orders are marked 'ready-to-ship' for the courier service that have to be picked up from the warehouse.
  • The Eshopbox proprietary algorithm uses a combination of ground, air, and regional carriers to utilise the fastest delivery options that are cost-effective.

Order being allocated to nearest Eshopbox FC
Order being allocated to the nearest Eshopbox FC

5. Automate the post-purchase experience

Creating an outstanding shopping experience is crucial for your ecommerce brand. You need a platform that prioritises one thing—delighting your customers.

Here’s how Eshopbox can help you manage the post-purchase experience with automation:

Additionally, Eshopbox curates a fantastic customer experience with a self-service customer portal:

  • Real-time order tracking information with a branded tracking page is pushed automatically to the customers.
  • Proactive shipping notifications for order updates via SMS and email are sent to your customers.
  • Customers can re-schedule delivery attempts, and modify their delivery information without any assistance from the support team.

Eshopbox's branded customer portal to track orders
Eshopbox's branded customer portal to track orders

6. Automated returns management

A manual returns process can be troublesome for your customers as well as for you. Getting returned products back in your inventory can be costly and time-consuming. Moreover, a difficult returns process can ruin the customer experience.

‍Here’s how Eshopbox can help you automate returns management:

  • Your customers can initiate a return or exchange on the customer portal.
  • Eshopbox auto-syncs your returns across multiple sales channels. This means Eshopbox's powerful return inventory tracking helps you stay notified when returns are initiated on any sales channel with easy and hassle-free return labels.
  • Eshopbox's powerful rule engine allows you to implement highly personalised return, refund, and cancellation policies.
  • The return shipping is automatically aligned with an upcoming scheduled delivery in the nearby location.
  • The returned product is restocked in your available inventory after quality check and is made re-sellable quickly.
  • If your customers have the wrong size or colour, Eshopbox helps them find the right replacement with easy one-click exchanges.
  • While selling on marketplaces, Eshopbox's auto-generated reports help you monitor defective returns and file claims by generating a Claim Filing Report (CFR).

Returns management
Returns management

7. Automate reconciliation of payments

While selling online, you have to reconcile your payments according to the guidelines of individual marketplaces and your own brand website. While different marketplaces have their own unique fee structures, shopping carts attract fees of payment gateways—making it difficult to track and reconcile these payments manually.

Here’s how Eshopbox can help you automate reconciliation across sales channels—Amazon, Flipkart, Myntra, Tata Cliq, and Shopify. This will help you to track the fees charged to you and the payment received from the service provider and identify:

  • Orders for which you have received payment
  • Orders for which you are awaiting payment
  • Orders on which fees are charged more than provisional fees
  • Orders for which your payment is overdue

Bottom line

Automation isn’t going to make it possible for your ecommerce business to run 100% hands-free—but it will save you time and money by eliminating inefficiencies. With a tech-enabled 3PL partner like Eshopbox, you can take advantage of ecommerce automation without making a massive investment in technology.

Connect with our fulfilment expert today.

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