Five ways e-commerce automation can help retailers increase profitability

Automation in retail

E-commerce thrives on instant gratification. Customers expect products to be available when they want them and have them delivered without delay. Speed and scalability are, therefore, quintessential for success. Slow e-commerce operations will cause customers to look elsewhere and hurt your customer satisfaction.

E-commerce automation, especially within retail is helping online play and brands keep up with this unprecedented and ever-increasing need for speed and scalability. By identifying repetitive tasks that can be easily handled by software, e-commerce teams are reducing manual effort, minimizing errors and accelerating their speed-to-market through automated workflows. Here’s how.

1. Monitor product assortment health

With customer tastes and demands changing rapidly, e-commerce teams need to constantly optimize their digital product assortment to match the latest trends. Keeping track of the competitor products, along with your own inventory movements is crucial to gaining this intelligence.

Automated tracking of this information helps retailers to quickly spot newly-added, out-of-stock, replenished, and discontinued products in your product assortment versus the competition. Moreover, it enables them to benchmark the overall health of their product assortment by further classifying products based on price range, product attributes, and recent trends.

 2.  Increase product information accuracy

As product assortments change quickly, your PIM needs to keep pace to ensure that the latest products hit the digital shelf before the competition. Often, tedious but essential tasks such as gathering the required product information, normalizing product data to meet standard formats and style sheets, and ensuring content correctness can extend your product’s time-to-market.  

Automation in retail workflows within the PIM system helps deal with such challenges.

For instance, Netscribes automates sourcing of product data from multiple websites, checking whether product specifications meet pre-defined guidelines, extracting product data from incompatible formats such as PDFs and word documents and transferring them into standardized templates, among other tasks. As a result, e-commerce teams can handle large volume of products, which translates into higher sales.

3.  Analyze customer reviews

If mined carefully, product reviews can offer a ton of actionable insights. Not just from your own website but also that of your competitors, besides social media handles and community forums. You can even detect and weed out fraudulent reviews. Our automated review analytics platform allows you to cull and segment such user-generated content based on:

  • A topical and sentiment-based analysis – Using a combination of text analytics and machine learning, a topical analysis can reveal the trending or most-talked about aspects of a product/ category. Similarly, sentiment analysis can uncover the overarching feeling (positive or negative) towards a particular product/ category.
  • Category /brand-wise insights – Using automation, this helps segment retail categories and identify new entrants and how they rank in terms of customer satisfaction, price, product performance, etc. For more granular insights, further segmentation options include time slicing, star rating (happy vs. unhappy customers), online vs. offline purchasers (verified vs. unverified buyers), and source (e.g., Best Buy vs. Amazon US vs. Amazon UK)

4. Greater marketing personalization  

From product discovery to purchase and after-sales support, customers expect timely, relevant, and personalized communications. Be it recommendations based on their recent search, or discounts and offers that help them reconsider their abandoned carts. Consider employing an automated email workflow to reach out, remind, and convert these customers before they turn to your rivals. Platforms like Klaviyo will help create such customized campaigns based on shopper behavior.

Customers love it when you let them know of their wishlist items being on sale. Platform plugins like Growave let you do just that. In retail, email automation also allows you to solicit feedback at scale. This will uncover what works and what doesn’t in your customer experience journey. It helps in gaining back old customers and reigniting a relationship through campaigns like ‘We miss you’. Studies suggest marketing automation efforts like this can earn up to 90% higher customer retention rate.

5. Monitor competitor prices in real-time  

A constant eye on how other online retailers and marketplaces are pricing their products can help inform your own pricing decisions. Automation in this area of retail comes in the form of pricing intelligence tools that help track, compare, and analyze prices in real-time across multiple competitors.

Netscribes’ proprietary platform offers this along with other customizable settings that can be configured to answer your pricing intelligence needs. Based on a pre-defined criteria, the platform sends alerts recommending when you should lower or increase your prices. For example, in the absence of competition for a high-demand product, it will notify you to increase your product’s price to capitalize on the opportunity. Apart from this, real-time pricing intelligence platforms like ours can also:

  • Provide actionable competitive insights and business recommendations both overall and for specific products in your assortment
  • Monitor the periodic price movement of high-priority products in relation to that of your competitors through visual dashboards
  • Combine stock status information with competitive pricing insights to take smarter and aggressive pricing and discounting decisions

As the shift to digital continues to accelerate, advanced solutions to optimize e-commerce operations will be crucial to stay competitive. Netscribes develops customized automated workflows to meet the specific requirements of your e-commerce team. Contact us to know more

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