How Advanced Software is Bringing Automation to the Ecommerce Industry
APR 23, 2018 00:11 AM
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How Advanced Software is Bringing Automation to the Ecommerce Industry

by Anna Johansson
 
When compared to 20 or 25 years ago, today’s world looks starkly different. And it’s impossible to understand today’s business world without recognizing how the internet has influenced and altered the marketplace.
 
Ecommerce now accounts for a hefty percentage of all retail sales in this country; companies like Amazon dwarf leading brick and mortar retailers like Walmart in terms of sales and revenue. But how have we come so far so fast?
 
While there are many different factors in play, automation has had a clear hand in helping ecommerce businesses maximize efficiency and do more with less. And with significant innovation happening in the automated software space, even more advances are coming down the pipeline.
 
4 Types of Software Automating Ecommerce
 
If you wanted to build a business that grossed $1 million in annual sales, you once needed dozens of employees, facilities, and a large marketing budget. Today, it’s possible for one person to build a seven-figure business from a spare bedroom using nothing more than a few automated tools.
 
This might sound overly simple – and, to a degree, it is – but it’s not much of an exaggeration. Don’t believe it? Let’s highlight some of the time-saving automation tools that ecommerce business owners are currently using:
 
1. AI-Powered Image Optimization
 
Images are critically important to ecommerce. A customer isn’t going to purchase a product if they can’t see it. The problem is that it takes a lot of energy and manpower to edit and optimize photos so they have a positive impact on listings. Enter AI-powered image optimization software.
 
Pixelz has developed an advanced solution that they refer to as a “Photoshop assembly line” for product image editing. As brand representative Dave Kensell explains, “[It] breaks image editing down into small steps that are completed by a blend of specialist human editors, AI, and scripts.” The result is a much faster and more efficient process that’s set up for repeatability.
 
2. Help Desk and Customer Service
 
“Sometimes people are reluctant to talk about automation in customer service – it can bring up negative experiences with impersonal phone menus and inappropriate canned responses. However, automation or semi-automation through having processes in place can be good for the business if done right,” Quaderno explains.
 
There are a number of powerful help desk and customer service solutions on the market right now – including Help Scout, Groove, and Zendesk.  They provide varying levels of automation, but each provides ecommerce business owners with significant time-savings.
 
3. Social Media Marketing
 
It’s hard to get the sort of brand exposure you need to thrive in ecommerce without a social media presence. Unfortunately, managing social media accounts takes a lot of time when handled manually. Once again, automated solutions come to the rescue.
 
Some of the leading solutions on the market include Hootsuite, Buffer, BuzzSumo,  and Sprout Social.
 
4. Email Marketing
 
There are automated solutions in virtually every area of marketing, but email marketing is another niche that comes to mind – mainly because it requires so much manual involvement. Solutions like MailChimp lead the way.
 
“There are certain times that you can send emails which are best for open and click through rates. By automating your email campaigns, you can ensure that your emails get sent out at the right time, every time,” ecommerce entrepreneur Nicole Martins Ferreira explains. “You’ll still need to write up and create the emails, however, scheduling and split testing can easily be done within MailChimp for maximum results and time saving.”
 
The Future is Sleek and Efficient
 
When you study how quickly the ecommerce industry has progressed over the past couple of decades, it’s hard not to think about where things will stand in three to five years. Rapid iteration is commonplace in the automated software space and, in this context, the future is looking pretty bright.
 
 
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