Integration and automation technology helps businesses of all kinds run more smoothly, accurately, and efficiently. Most businesses will see integration as a critical piece of their automation strategy to make their internal processes faster, more cost-effective, and mistake-free.
But in the realm of post-digital ecommerce, the one benefit of automation that can’t be overstated is its effect on your customer experience. When ecommerce operations are properly automated, it transforms the customer experience in ways that can radically improve your business.
Automated ecommerce has quickly become the standard that shoppers have come to expect. Customers expect accurate orders, flawless customer service, the cheapest prices possible, and — perhaps most importantly — shipping speed that was unheard of 10 years ago.
If you aren’t automating processes with ecommerce integration, you’re lagging behind.
We should be clear that automating ecommerce processes is not just about automating an individual function, using an individual business application. It’s about automating multiple processes end to end – an entire system of operations from storefronts through the entire supply chain and logistics, working together with your analytics and financial tools.
Let’s go step by step through examples of how ecommerce integration and automation benefits your customer experience.
Automation is essential to the shopping experience through your online store, whether it’s a website or app. Integrating applications with Shopify is one of the most common methods of automation in ecommerce today, allowing you to automate processes between Shopify and your ERP, finance, payment, and logistics systems.
For example, customers expect an online store to provide accurate inventory data. If you sell a product that is currently out of stock, that should be reflected automatically on your website. Details like this separate modern ecommerce experiences from those of the past.
When an ecommerce operation is automated end to end, the order processing happens immediately after the customer submits their order. And simply put, the faster you can process the order, the faster you can deliver it. This allows you as a retailer to promise a certain speed of delivery, helping you to compete for business in a world where two-day shipping has become commonplace.
With your integrated internal systems, you can immediately send automatic emails to notify your customers with an order confirmation, a shipping date, estimated delivery date, or any other notification you feel is necessary to provide the best possible customer service.
What’s the most important step in your buyer’s experience? It’s receiving the product they purchased as quickly as possible. Easier said than done, fulfillment has historically involved manual processes: For example, a warehouse employee locates a product, packages it, and updates inventory information before sending the package to shipping.
Automation improves inventory management significantly, making it easier to keep track of multiple stock keeping units (SKUs) to make the order more traceable, with less room for error or delays. This type of automation also connects with your accounting and analytics systems, yielding valuable business insights, such as where you’re turning the best profits or which warehouse best fulfills orders without manual intervention. If your strategy involves offering the lowest prices, it can also help you make informed pricing adjustments.
Many companies may also automate a standardized presentation of the order, ensuring that it’s packaged exactly as it should be.
Additionally, integrated systems can keep customers updated with the status of their order. In-app or online trackers show customers if their order is processed, packaged, shipped, in transit, or delivered.
Automated returns management takes a lot of aggravation out of a potential pitfall for ecommerce retailers. Just as customers expect easy shopping and fast shipping, they’ve become accustomed to being able to swiftly return their purchases.
An automated returns process should connect your tools and processes, ensuring end-to-end accuracy without manual tasks. For example, your inventory should automatically update when the return is done, and your website should automatically reflect that the piece of inventory is back in stock. Plus, the returned payment should be automatically processed in your ERP.
From the customer’s perspective, this means they receive their refund quickly, usually directly to their credit card, and that they receive clear status updates via email.
In the end, what automation does is make ecommerce business processes more reliable. Speed and accuracy are easy to measure. The perception of your business is not, but it’s just as important. Amazon has set a standard in ecommerce — fast shipping, correct orders — and it has achieved this through intensive utilization of automated processes, acting upon analytical insights to shave milliseconds off processes. The overlooked magic ingredient to its success is reliability, keeping millions of customers coming back.
With modern, automated ecommerce operations, you can hold up your promise to your customers, helping to build a positive reputation and customer loyalty.
Does any of this sound complicated? With Celigo, it’s easy! We are a partner for thousands of ecommerce businesses around the world that want to scale their business and transform their operations to become more agile and efficient. Our iPaaS is the only integration platform with business process automation technology, helping to automate up to 100% of a business process end to end.
With more than a decade of experience and a comprehensive library of prebuilt solutions with embedded business logic, Celigo provides unparalleled ecommerce expertise.
Where to learn more:
Celigo Integration Platform: Explore the features and benefits of our iPaaS. It is your single point for business process automation.
Post-Digital Ecommerce Summit: Watch the replay of this virtual event, featuring ecommerce industry experts who use Celigo’s iPaaS to drive success in the post-digital era with actionable insights around improving the customer experience.
How to Scale Ecommerce Operations With Automation: Get tips on implementing automation into your operations and company culture from a successful ecommerce business that uses Celigo.
Ecommerce Integration Best Practices: Read our extensive guide on best practices for each step of ecommerce automation: order management, inventory fulfillment, item management, and returns management.
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