How to automate your e-commerce

Review manual processes

As your e-commerce business grows, it may be a good idea to review which manual processes could be automated. These can be simple tasks like answering emails, but they take a lot of time (and therefore cost a lot of money), because you do them so many times a week and day.
At PostNord, we want to help you run your e-commerce business with a focus on what you do best - selecting the best products and serving your customers in the best way.

What exactly is e-commerce automation?

You can automate almost everything in your e-commerce, but that may not be the goal. Instead, the goal is to pick out the parts that take up a lot of time and costs, or why not what you find boring to do. It is possible to automate everything from advertising to price monitoring as we talked about in the post Pricing Strategy. You can also automate parts of your customer service and administration such as returns, order confirmations and delivery information, as well as, of course, warehouse management and shipments depending on the warehouse solution you choose.

Read also: EDI

If you don't want to handle the goods yourself at all, you might choose a so-called 3PL solution or third-party logistics. This means that another company will stock and dispatch your goods for you, which we can also help you with. However, we believe that you prefer to see your goods and have contact with your customers, which is why you need PostNord's help to send parcels smoothly and communicate effectively with customers about deliveries and possible returns.

By linking your logistics solution (that's us) with your e-commerce platform and finance system, you'll have more automated processes and ultimately a fully automated e-commerce business, where quality product selection and customer service are the focus.

Why should you automate your e-commerce?

Ultimately, e-commerce automation is about reducing the costs of your e-commerce and your business. For example, answering phone calls and emails with questions about when a parcel will be delivered costs time and money - instead, we at PostNord can help you with automated messages to recipients of your shipments.

It's also about reducing customer friction and frustration. The customer who places an order on your e-commerce site and, for example, receives an email with an order confirmation, a pre-notification of the delivery date by text message and a printed return slip directly in the parcel will feel that you have extremely good customer service – even though the whole process is automated. You spend time setting up the automated processes, but no time on each customer who uses them.

In this way, every automation you make becomes an investment for the future. You don't need a manual process today, but in 6 months you will have automated dozens of processes and freed up a lot of time. Time you can use to develop your e-commerce and increase both the number of customers you can sell to and improve the margins on each customer. So you can satisfy more customers and make more money on every purchase.

How do you automate your e-commerce and what can you automate?

As we mentioned earlier, it's about looking at which processes are currently taking up a lot of time, cost or frustration. Our recommendation is to start there. If it's time-consuming to go and drop off parcels every day, you can book a pick-up through us. If it is common for customers to want to return goods, you can send the return slip directly in the delivery and do not have to receive phone calls and e-mails with questions about how to do it.

As we wrote earlier in the article, the answer is: everything can be automated. But let’s focus on how we can help you with the automation of your e-commerce:

  • Integration of logistics solution with your e-commerce platform
  • Flexible delivery options to offer the customer at the time of purchase
  • Delivery information to customer including size and weight of package
  • Let the customer change the delivery point after the parcel has been sent
  • Convenient returns with return slips and payment of return shipment
  • Distribution of direct mail and other addressed or unaddressed customer communications

Who benefits from e-commerce automation?

Everyone benefits from e-commerce automation. Customers receive information about their goods faster and more reliably, which lead them to perceive the customer service as better and the company as more trustworthy. The company saves time and costs that can contribute to both better margins and lower prices.

Your e-commerce staff won't have to worry about missing out on sending information or getting stuck in endless piles of customer service queries. Instead, they have time to focus on further developing e-commerce to offer even more desirable products.

Read more about e-commerce

Automating e-commerce is important but only a fraction of the work. For more information on other aspects of electronic commerce, visit the e-commerce collection page.