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RPA – The first step for automated e-commerce
  • icon-pen Manish Malpani
  • |
  • icon-calendar August 13, 2020
  • Automation Tech Talk

Customers have been spoiled!

Kudos to e-commerce giants such as Amazon, who have done a fabulous job of delighting their customers at every step of their purchase journey. A customer who till recently was accustomed to making an online purchase by selecting, ordering, and getting the delivery of the ordered merchandise now expects intuitive interfaces, around-the-clock availability, real-time fulfillment, personalized treatment, global consistency, and zero errors. 

Thanks to automation, which is helping e-commerce companies achieve all this and making it possible to offer products and services swiftly, resulting in a seamless user experience. The companies have raised the bar and increased customer expectations to the extent that they have now become increasingly demanding of online purchase experience. Starting with the amount of time that is spent on a shopping page, the number of clicks, down scroll to reach choice of merchandise, every possible task is automated leaving no spot for customers to feel stranded. 

While automation successfully eliminates one of the biggest challenges that e-commerce companies face – increased customer expectation by creating multiple touchpoints, it also eliminates the second biggest challenge – squeezed profit margins. When done rightly, automation empowers companies to offer more competitive prices because of lower costs, better operational controls, and less risk, which eventually increases the companies’ profit margins. 

With digitization as the prime focus for most of the companies, automation is at its all-time high in e-commerce, and for a sector forecasted to reach 6.54 trillion US dollars in revenue by 2022, the technology will undeniably play a significant role in achieving the forecasted figures.  

Automation in e-commerce and its benefits:

Automation eliminates the need for executing manual and repetitive tasks and offers a number of other benefits for the industry such as:  

  • Decreased delivery risks
  • Improved compliance
  • Better inventory management
  • Improved application integration
  • Enhanced user support
  • Multi-tasking support
  • Better auditing
  • Optimized operational costs

A few Use Cases for Automation:

Customer Onboarding: Capture process-ready documents, automate notifications, identity and other verifications, gather e-signatures, integrate with in-house and external systems and, most importantly, communicate in customer channels of choice. 

Product Categorization: Automate the assignment of attributes and categorize products based on customized product mapping rules.

Automating Merchandising Inventory Updates: Automate the whole process of reading the product catalog images, making the necessary modifications, and upload the same to the respective product folders in the platform.

Payment processing: Use RPA to automate financial filings, accounts payable, receivable and reconciliation, and much more. It helps businesses unite all payment processes in a single mechanism that seamlessly works across all the channels.

Customer support and personalization: Automate order placing, information search, and other processes related to the customer’s interaction with the store. It can also send the user automatic notifications about the order and collect customer’s feedback after the order is received.

Marketing automation: Automate all processes around sending emails in bulk, filling in the customer information, constant information updates, handling the complaints, and any other activity that involves interaction with your shoppers. RPA helps gather and provide marketers with a ready set of data that can later be used for future campaign planning.

Supply chain management: Add security and speed to the logistics process, automate inventory management to shipping to order monitoring, send notifications on the order status, get alerts about inventory status, product shipping, etc.

Custom bots can keep a tab on inventory levels by taking into account the historical data and sketching out patterns in demand, notify managers when product stock levels are low and automatically reorder products that go below a certain threshold level.

Returns Processing: Automate the entire return process from sending a message, confirming receipt of the return, updating the inventory system, making the payment adjustment to the customer to ensuring that the internal billing system is updated.

Cart Abandonment reminder: Automate email reminders and workflow to the customers who may have left their items into the cart without completing the purchase 

Upcoming Purchase Reminder: Send pre-scheduled reminders for purchase due, for instance, in case of healthcare products, you can remind the customer that his purchase of medicine for the upcoming month is due.

Robotic Process Automation, without a doubt, is vital for those e-commerce companies that are ready to embrace the latest technological innovations for the benefit of their business. While saving you time and money, RPA, alongside manages to increase sales by providing better customer experience, smoother, error-free operations and automate processes that can improve their bottom lines and delight customers.

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Manish Malpani
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