The B2B eCommerce market is growing and becoming more and more competitive by the day. As customers constantly look for better and more optimized processes, B2B sellers are expected to innovate and improve their offer and work continually. But how can B2B eCommerce companies win new clients and keep their existing customer base engaged? The most obvious way – workflow automation.
This article will look at workflow automation in eCommerce, some must-implement workflow automation ideas, and workflow management benefits in eCommerce.
Automated workflow in eCommerce: The basics
A workflow in business is an arrangement of processes through which a piece of work passes from initiation to completion. It involves managing information and data to reach a business goal, optimize resources, and reduce costs, manual effort, etc. Workflow automation in eCommerce means automating these processes based on preset rules. Namely, work tasks are automatically triggered and routed between people, technology, and data to increase speed and accuracy and eliminate errors. Flexible workflow automation enables businesses to tweak and make their workflows more efficient as time goes on.
Workflow Automation Ideas for B2B eCommerce
As B2B eCommerce transactions have higher value, take longer, and involve many decision-makers, the opportunities for workflow automation are also much more significant. That being said, here are ideas for workflow automation:
#1 Line sheets
A great tool to help you advance the process of displaying your products and efficiently take orders online is a line sheet. It is a sales tool that can help you show a range of products in a streamlined product catalog for wholesale prospects. Furthermore, a professional linesheet can also help you cross-sell your products, provide your customers with an intuitive shopping experience or even send buyers your latest drops through an in-system email.
#2 Single cloud-based data source
As you grow your business by adding new product options and catalogs, managing all product configurations, classifications, classification sheets, and so on becomes difficult. That is why a singular, cloud-based data source that stores and collects all product information across systems is a massive help in keeping your product data organized.
#3 Inventory automation
Effective inventory management is crucial for a successful eCommerce function. Furthermore, managing inventory, especially across multiple locations, is overwhelming and time-consuming when using manual methods. Proper inventory tracking demands reliable data and analytics, which is why inventory automation can streamline operations such as stock counting, purchase orders, fulfillment, and shipping.
#4 Customer experience and support automation
Improving interactions through the customer journey and creating a great customer experience and support is a great way to boost loyalty. These processes can also be automated, making your business more efficient:
- Customer retention – Track and reward your most engaged customers. For example, workflow automation tools let you tag customers based on what they are buying, enabling you to send targeted marketing to people who reach a particular order value or a number of purchases.
- Sync your customers to an email list – Strategic, targeted email campaigns are an excellent way to generate more sales. The best way to automate these processes is by syncing an email client with your CRM system.
- Understand your customers’ perception of your products – Seeking customer feedback is how successful brands identify their weaknesses. You can smooth-run workflows to collect that feedback automatically by creating automated follow-up emails.
- Reach out to negative reviews – When your business gets a negative review, you must respond. For example, the system can identify all reviews with two stars or fewer and automatically refer them to a customer service team member. This way, you will ensure that no negative review slips through the cracks.
Benefits of Workflow Automation in B2B eCommerce
There are many reasons why B2B eCommerce businesses should automate their processes. Here are some of the main benefits of workflow automation in eCommerce:
#1 Secures data accuracy
Most eCommerce businesses produce an immense amount of data – new customers, inventory, or transactions. As more and more data accumulates, it can get scattered or misplaced, putting a further strain on day-to-day operations. Furthermore, even with the best processes in place, human error will always be possible. Workflow automation minimizes or completely eliminates these concerns.
#2 Reduces costs
Businesses that choose to automate manual tasks can perform them faster and with more precision. The time, money, and effort saved has a positive spillover on other areas of business. For example, with automation on repetitive manual tasks, employees can spend more time on customer service, market research, competitor analysis, or exploring creative business growth tactics.
#3 Scales the business
Locating data or manually sending emails can be time-consuming and could lead to errors. As employee attention is redirected to unproductive activities, there is less time to concentrate on business growth initiatives. Binding employees in useless activities that can be performed by software hinders your ability to increase revenues and act on growth opportunities.
#4 Improve customer experience
Customers become accustomed to buying without the sales representatives’ intervention. And when the products, order data, and shipping information are tailored to their requirements, customers feel like they are getting the best treatment. When customers have the possibility to buy, oversee their orders and return without staff help, it saves them time and effort, and they come again to buy more.
The bottom line
As an eCommerce business, you must get all your business processes right to ensure you beat out your rivals and maintain your customer base. That is why workflow automation is something you should not ignore.
It aids your business efficiency and productivity by completing mundane tasks far more quickly than humans do and with practically no error. Moreover, when repetitive tasks get automated, your employees can spend their valuable time elsewhere. They can complete assignments that demand human intelligence and attention.