3 REASONS YOU SHOULD AUTOMATE YOUR E-COMMERCE STORE
Automation is a very important solution when it comes to e-commerce. As an online seller, would you rather spend the whole day on time-consuming tasks, rather than using that time for other ways to expand your business? Of course not! Which is why you should automate!
To simply put, automation would move data from one task/system to another. It will rid you of needing to manually key in data and most importantly, saves so much time so you can focus on selling!
From a broader point of view, automation can give you game-changing benefits for your online business. Through automation, you can increase your profits and get an edge on competitors who are still doing things manually.
Many companies provide software for different aspects of your business. Examples of these aspects are front office sales, marketing, and back-office operations.
This post will focus more on back-office, especially operations, and accounting. So here are 3 aspects in your business that you should automate, and why.
Automate Order Processing
To be a successful e-commerce seller, you should have multiple systems across your business(es) and be selling in multiple places. Some example places are platforms like Shopify or Magento and on a marketplace like Lazada or Shopee.
With so many platforms and marketplaces, it can be very chaotic to handle! Typically, data flows through your inventory, shipping, and accounting systems. Now imagine doing that while handling multiple marketplaces.
To make your life easier, you want automation of all processes by sending a single, accurate set of order data from start to the finish (customer’s bank account).
Through automation, all of this is done for you with no need for manual data entry and with exactly zero errors.
With no errors during ordering processing, the correct sales tax is charged, the right item is chosen, inventory is updated across all sales channels, shipping labels are precise, and tracking information is available immediately to be shared with your customer.
On the other hand, with manual data entry, any one of these basic tasks can go wrong! The customer’s trust in you is lost, and sometimes forever.
According to a global report by KPMG, The Truth About Online Consumers: “Regardless of how many attributes a company has that will earn the trust of their customers, not having the right systems in place to protect that trust can be catastrophical.”
From this, you as a seller should be able to see that technology’s role in building consumer trust cannot be understated!
Automate Tracking Revenue and Expense
When you’re a multichannel seller, it’s easy to lose track of the finances of your business while keeping tabs on all your incurred costs.
Marketplaces like Amazon provide a settlement report every 2 weeks, and platforms such as Magento create complicated spreadsheets of your transactions.
Now assuming you’re like most other sellers, all of this data is not going to make any sense unless you’re planning on taking a course in data analytics.
It would be better if you used software that could integrate all your data and insights from all your sales channels into a convenient platform, and put it in a simple, understandable form.
Basically, it is key for online businessmen like yourself, who want to know your profit and grow your business, to automate the tracking of revenue and costs.
Because, unless you are able to initially account for both money in and out (payment processor fees, marketplace costs, warehouse costs, fulfillment expenses, and shipping fees) of your business, you are blindly running your business into a wall.
Automate Book-keeping and Accounting Data Entry
We know it definitely sounds boring, and I may be wrong, but most sellers I know feel demotivated when it comes to bookkeeping and accounting.
Unfortunately, you won’t be able to avoid these tasks as they go hand-in-hand with online retail.
For an online business owner selling on multiple channels while juggling employees, marketing, inventory, and your own fulfillment, spending time entering data into QuickBooks or Xero will just break your business momentum.
Even if you’re fine doing the occasional tedious task of bookkeeping, the backlog will keep increasing, especially when you’re selling well!
Also, let’s assume you’re not doing your own bookkeeping and have hired a professional to help; wouldn’t you rather be paying a professional for financial advice, rather than data entry?
To put it simply, get automated so your financials are accurate, timely, and in compliance. By doing so, you’ll save up to 90% on costs for accounting.
What’s more, you’ll be able to keep track of your KPIs, on which you can grow your business.
If these automation suggestions don’t seem right for your e-commerce business, keep searching.
Make friends with technology. Automation can only improve your business productivity and efficiency, which will help to grow your online business.