What Is Workflow Automation? And How to Use It to Improve Your eCommerce Store

Ecommerce workflow automation, a great methodology to save time, maximize the user experience, and promote customer relations within your online business.

In this article, we will clearly define the concept with regression to take a tour of the possible uses through 4 clear examples and to inform you about the many solutions available for your business.

What Is Workflow Automation?

Workflow Automation is a method of automating routine processes that would otherwise consume hours to be done manually.

In brief, companies must conduct a variety of sales and marketing activities on a regular basis.

Workflow automation is also the idea of using tools and software to create and automate workflows. This will relieve the staff of some of their responsibilities and make the objectives easier to achieve with fewer mistakes.

That was merely a brief overview of workflow automation. Let’s take a look at why you should use it in your e-commerce business, or in other words, the advantages of workflow automation.

People have been motivated by the sudden increase of Software as a Service (SaaS) which has provided them with affordable access to sophisticated technology. However, an e-commerce business involves several activities, the majority of which must occur in real-time.

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E-commerce Workflow Management and Automation

In this regard, you may find this e-commerce automation article helpful. Once you put those systems in place, you can take advantage of the applications you are using by creating efficient workflows that improve your e-commerce.

To get you started, here are a few essential opinions on workflow automation in e-commerce:

1. Inventory Workflow Automation

No business can survive without a well-organized inventory workflow. Although you’ll almost certainly be using an inventory management system, manually entering data for each order isn’t realistic.

As a result, having an alignment between your e-commerce store and your inventory management system is critical.

It should be two-way sync, so that whenever a sale is made in your store, a sales order is generated in your inventory management system, and the item’s stock is modified accordingly.

The revised stock quantity must also be reflected on your website. Another valuable feature of the integration is the ability to collect customer information when they fulfill an order.

Maintaining a list of customers who have purchased from you not only simplifies the refund process, but it also facilitates the marketing efforts of your company. You can then use the information to deliver discounts based on your customers’ buying history.

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💡 Multiorders is a good example of an inventory automation system.

multiorders inventory automation

2. Accounting Workflow Automation

Accounting, like inventory, must be done automatically if a transaction occurs. Your inventory management system must send customer and purchase details to your accounting application.

Each sale can be accounted for as revenue, while each supply order to your vendor can be accounted for as a cost. Customers can obtain a credit note for refunds, which they can use the next time they make a purchase.

Both of these operations will happen automatically, without any manual interference, thanks to a seamless integration between your e-commerce store and your inventory management and accounting applications.

💡 ExpandCart online store can be easily integrated with the Qoyod cloud accounting system. Stay on top of your finances with this online accounting service.

Qoyod provides quotations and purchase orders and converts them to bills, all with the click of a button. The system updates accounting operations automatically.

workflow automation - Qoyod

3. Restocking Supplies

You can set up a workflow with your inventory management app to systematically submit a purchasing order to the retailer when the item’s stock is low for products with predictable demand.

You can set up a workflow for things you can’t foresee where a job is generated in your project management framework as soon as an item’s stock exceeds a certain number.

The assignment will then be discussed with your teammates, and you can decide how much to order.

💡 ExpandCart online store is integrated with one of the most powerful stock automation systems: Zoho inventory.

Zoho helps store owners increase sales and keep track of every unit with powerful stock management, order fulfillment, and inventory control software.

The system allows online store owners to auto-export new products, product updates, and new orders to Zoho Inventory, in addition to the ability to import products with a single click.

workflow automation - zoho

4. Order Closure

When you receive an order and discover that you are nearly out of stock, you have three options to select from:

  • Dropshipping the order.
  • Place a backorder (sell without stock.)
  • Assign that order to another store.

When you receive an order for an item that is out of stock, you can set up the desired action in the workflow page of your inventory management app. For instance, you could try moving the order to another store first. If they don’t have any in stock too, you can request your provider to fill the order.

💡 Try using an app like “Notify Me When Available” which displays the email subscription form in the frontend when a product is Out of Stock. When the product is back in stock, this app will notify the subscribers by email in a background process.

This app is free on some plans on ExpandCart.

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5. Leads Capturing through CRM

Communications with prospective customers can take place across a variety of channels, including social media, live chat, and even a simple lead capture form at a website.

These potential customers will be added to your integrated Customer Relation Management (CRM) as leads. This means that you will not miss any chance to interact with people who have expressed interest in your content.

ZOHO is a good example of a CRM system.

Zoho crm

6. Abandoned Cart

People who add products to their cart but do not fulfill the transaction are a common occurrence; in 2018, the global cart abandonment rate was over 75%.

What’s more surprising is that an email telling people that they have products in their cart has twice the open rate of a traditional marketing email.

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People can leave your store without making a purchase for a variety of reasons, including a convoluted checkout method, long loading times, or declined payments.

While the problems that cause visitors to leave your online store must be resolved in the first place, a successful abandoned cart software will carry a sizable portion of those visitors back.

💡 MailChimp is a good example of an email automation system.

mailchimp email automation

7. Welcome Email

Welcome emails have an open rate of almost 85%, which is considerably higher than daily email marketing that only addresses the reader(s) by their first name and has little value other than reminding them that their subscription has been verified. A notification email is required in cases like order status, but your welcome email should be longer.

Consider using the marketing automation tools to figure out how they got to the subscription page, or which website or product they spent the most time looking at, so you can tailor the content to their particular interests.

If the visitor is a first-time purchaser rather than a newsletter or blog reader, it may be a smart idea to include a special offer in their welcome email.

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8. Leave a Review

Since 95% of shoppers will not buy a product until they read online consumer reviews, it’s critical that the customers leave one for products they’ve purchased.

Given that reviews are so influential, create a process where you first ask your clients how happy they are with your product, and what you can do to enhance their experience.

This not only allows you to better represent your clients, but it also allows you to recognize any problems they might be experiencing. After confirming that customers have enjoyed the best possible after-sales support, it is preferable to ask them to leave a review.

Many of these systems necessitate the use of several software applications. Since there are so many applications out there, it’s likely that you won’t be able to find the exact integration you need.

HotJar is a good example of a customer engagement analysis system.

Hotjar customer feedback

Examples of Workflow Automation and Coordination in eCommerce

In this section, we will offer you 4 examples of how to apply automation to your marketing and other departments to elevate your sales.

1. Automate the Ad Funnel

Imagine this, someone is searching on Google, supposedly it is a Google campaign. When they enter your website, they are automatically added to a retargeting campaign.

After they are enlisted in a retargeting campaign, you have an automated funnel of displaying several adverts. For the first week, you can run promotion #1, for the next 3 weeks you can play promotion #2.

Then, if they take no action on these adverts, you can display them a YouTube video in an automated mode.

This is called a Drip Marketing Campaign. It is not emails, it is actual digital ads. While visitors are browsing the Internet, they would see it in an automated manner. In the end, if you are doing this, they will convert.

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2. Social Media Automation in terms of Targeting

Suppose you show a video advert on Facebook. You can then launch a campaign if somebody views this video for 50% or longer, that they are entered into another campaign to retarget those audiences with a different advert or a different video.

If they view a certain length of that, they can be entered into another campaign, so that they are seeing different content over time, which is maybe helping them through that buying process until they are ready to convert.

Thus, keep in mind to automate that conversion funnel and the path. If you prepare a well-designed primary campaign, it will be a self-driven process thereafter.

3. Email Automation

When a visitor subscribes or converts on your site or a social platform advert, you can send them emails in an automated manner, instead of simply streaming them some multimedia adverts.

For example, if you have a CRM, when you convert prospects from uninterested leads into qualified leads at your CRM, you can then launch an automatic campaign to send them an email that speaks about a specific subject of interest.

The same campaign, seven days later, will send them another email. Seven days later, it follows up with another email, in a systematic sequence.

If someone converts to your website, you can create an automated email drip campaign, in a way that retains the communication ongoing until in due course they convert.

⚠️ Warning! Are You Making the Most out of Your Order Confirmation Emails?

4. Automate Your Customer Feedback

This process is meant to build reviews and reputation. When you spot somebody in your CRM, from a status like “pending” to “finalized”, you can automatically send them an email that purports the following:

“Dear customer, we appreciate your opinion. Please, give us your feedback.”

“Thanks for working with us. If you don’t mind, leave us a review.”

If they do so, you may automatically exclude them from this campaign. If they don’t, you can launch another automatic email a week later, which denotes the following:

“We know you are busy, but we do appreciate this feedback.”

If they send feedback, you can remove them. If they don’t, you may pause a month perhaps, and send another email with the same subject.

As you see, this process can continue persistently. Actually, you may envisage this exact concept experiment with everything, to automate your connections with your clients via email campaigns.

In a Nutshell

The economy is ruled by large industries. You can’t increase your productivity by doing manual work. Automating workflow in sales and marketing increases efficiency and accomplishes a variety of other goals, such as saving time and resources, simplifying task management, reducing human error, and so on. As a consequence, if you haven’t attempted automation yet, now is the time to do so.

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