Jul 10, 2023
Automation for e-commerce businesses: 11 helpful tools to consider
Running an e-commerce business is not for the faint of heart — but you know that already. With so many moving parts to manage, it's no wonder that even the most seasoned e-commerce professionals can find themselves feeling overwhelmed.
But what if there was a way to simplify your workload and take some of the stress off your and your teams’ shoulders?
Enter: e-commerce automation.
Why automation is so topical
By harnessing the power of automation tools (or tools with automation capabilities), e-commerce brands and retailers can more easily streamline operations, improve efficiency, and increase revenue.
In fact, AI-enabled e-commerce solutions are set to be a US$ 16.8 billion market by 2030, with 84% of e-commerce businesses either actively working AI solutions into their business or have it as a top priority.
💼 50% of work can be automated in today’s age (McKinsey).
🤖 31% of businesses have fully automated at least one function (McKinsey).
🥱 94% of workers say they perform repetitive, time-consuming tasks in their role (Zapier).
⚙️ 76% of businesses use automation for standardising or automating daily workflows (Formstack).
💪 2 out of 3 knowledge workers say automation has helped them be more productive at work (Zapier).
💰 $46,000—the average saving for organisations using workflow automation tools (Formstack).
😎 65% of knowledge workers are less stressed at work because they automate manual tasks (Zapier).
🤝 95% of customer-retailer interactions will take place on automated systems (such as chatbots) by 2025 (Siteefy).
📈 Automated warehouses are becoming commonplace, with an expected growth of 13,6% by 2025, reaching nearly $31 billion in market value (Siteefy).
⚡️ Automated warehouses are 40% more likely to ship orders within one day of the order being made (Robotics Business Review).
The best e-commerce automation tools
Whether you're struggling to keep up with order processing or looking for ways to boost your ecommerce marketing efforts, here are 11 automation tools that are sure to help you get more done in less time.
Klaviyo is an all-in-one e-commerce marketing platform designed to help e-commerce businesses connect with customers on a deeper level and scale their business like never before. With Klaviyo, you can create targeted email campaigns, automate your marketing efforts, and track your progress all in one place.
But what makes Klaviyo truly special is its ability to personalize your marketing efforts like other e-commerce marketing platforms cannot. Using data and insights from your customers' behavior and preferences (something the brand calls behaviour-based automation), Klaviyo can help you send tailored messages and product recommendations that resonate with each customer, leading to increased engagement and sales.
Klaviyo also offers a range of other features that can help you take your e-commerce business to the next level. From 300+ powerful integrations with other e-commerce platforms, to tools for creating beautiful landing pages and forms, Klaviyo has everything you need to grow your business and connect with your customers.
The platform is very powerful and feature-rich, which can make it difficult to navigate and set up for those who are new to email marketing automation. However, Klayvio provides ample resources to help businesses get started, including guides, webinars, and a customer support team.
AfterShip is a shipment tracking and analytics platform that can automate your post-purchase customer communication, such as delivery updates, alerts, and surveys.
First and foremost, AfterShip is incredibly easy to use. The platform is user-friendly and intuitive, making setting up an account and navigating the dashboard a breeze. With support for over 700 carriers worldwide, you can be confident that your customers will receive timely updates about their shipment status, regardless of location.
AfterShip also provides valuable data insights that can help you optimize your shipping process and improve customer satisfaction. You can track the delivery time of each carrier, analyze delivery trends, and even identify potential delivery issues before they become a problem.
The pricing model of AfterShip can at first be hard to grasp, and there are limits to the features offered in the free plan. However, the paid plans are reasonably priced and offer advanced features for high-volume shippers.
It's also important to note that AfterShip is not a shipping logistics platform but a tracking tool. You'll need to look elsewhere if you're looking for a platform to handle shipping logistics.
AfterShip is an excellent tool for any eCommerce business looking to streamline their shipping process and improve customer satisfaction. It's easy to use, provides valuable data insights, and supports a wide range of carriers.
BoldCommerce is not one tool, but a suite of e-commerce tools designed to help businesses of all sizes manage their online stores more efficiently.
One of the biggest benefits of BoldCommerce is its range of tools and integrations that can help you grow your business. For example, you can use Bold's product upsell and cross-sell features to increase your average order value, or use their subscription management tools to create recurring revenue streams.
Bold also offers a range of integrations with popular e-commerce platforms like Shopify, Magento, and WooCommerce, making it easy to sync your data and manage your store from a single dashboard.
Powerful features do however come with a price tag. Additionally, while Bold offers a range of tools, some users report that they can be complex and difficult to use for beginners. However, their customer support team is reportedly top-notch, always ready to help you with any questions or issues you may have.
ZenDesk is a customer service software platform offering various features designed to help businesses manage their customer interactions. One of the platform's key benefits is its automation capabilities, which can help businesses streamline their support workflows and improve efficiency.
For example, ZenDesk allows businesses to use clever chatbots to handle basic customer inquiries and support requests. This can free up support staff to focus on more complex issues, while ensuring that customers receive prompt and accurate responses to their inquiries. ZenDesk also offers a variety of automation tools, including triggers and macros, that can help businesses automate routine tasks and workflows — allowing businesses to handle a larger volume of inquiries with fewer support staff, allowing them to scale their operations more efficiently.
To really reap the benefits of ZenDesk, you will however need to invest significant time and resources in setting up and maintaining your automation workflows.
Overall, ZenDesk is a powerful tool that can help businesses improve customer support operations, while its automation capabilities can help businesses streamline workflows and provide a better support experience for their customers.
Google Shopping is a product listing platform that can automate your product feed management, ad creation, and bidding strategies, allowing you to reach more potential customers across Google's network.
We’ll keep this simple with the biggest plus point: it’s free.
Granted, you need to add your products to Google Merchant Center, but once it’s up and running (and ideally connected to your e-commerce platform), the products should automatically appear in Google Shopping results.
More visibility for your products, without the extra work.
Pixc is a powerful bulk image editing tool that can help e-commerce businesses optimize product images for sales. Its features include removing image backgrounds, retouching, resizing, and more. With Pixc, you can easily improve your product images to make them look more professional and appealing to potential customers – at scale.
One of the main benefits of Pixc is that it can save you a lot of time and effort. Instead of spending hours editing product images manually, you can use Pixc to automate the process and get high-quality results in minutes. Pixc is also relatively affordable compared to other image optimization tools.
One potential downside of Pixc is that some users have reported that the automatic background removal tool can be imprecise at times, so a manual quality check for tricky images might be needed from time to time.
Other similar tools you could consider include Canva, which is not an automated solution, or Adobe Photoshop, which is more expensive and requires specialised skills.
Salsify is a unified Product Experience Management (PXM) platform that can automate product content creation, syndication, and optimization across different marketplaces and channels. They promise that brands, retailers, and distributors can deliver the best possible product experience by using their platform.
Salsify's automation capabilities enable brands and retailers to streamline their product content creation, enrichment, and syndication processes. For example, Salsify can automate the collection and validation of product data from various sources, helping to ensure that product information is accurate, up-to-date, and consistent across all channels.
Salsify can also automate the enrichment of product content by suggesting relevant attributes, keywords, and images based on the product category, audience, and channel. This can help improve the searchability, discoverability, and relevance of products, leading to increased conversion rates and customer satisfaction.
In addition, Salsify can automate the syndication of product content to multiple sales channels, such as online marketplaces, social media platforms, and retailer websites. This can save time and effort for brands and retailers by eliminating the need to manually upload and manage product data on each channel separately.
Refersion is an affiliate marketing platform that can automate your affiliate program, allowing you to track and reward your affiliates for driving sales and traffic to your store.
With Refersion, businesses can easily manage their affiliate program by automating tasks such as tracking affiliate sales, generating unique referral links, and issuing commission payments.
The platform also offers features like customizable commission structures, fraud detection, and real-time reporting to help businesses optimize their affiliate program and track their performance.
By automating these tasks, Refersion helps e-commerce businesses save time and resources while also increasing their revenue through affiliate marketing. It allows businesses to focus on their core operations while the platform handles the complexities of affiliate management.
For even deeper automation, Refersion customers who are also subscribed to Klayvio (remember them from way up the top of this article?) can benefit from their partnership and integrations.
ChannelApe is an e-commerce automation platform that can automate your product data management, warehouse and fulfillment automation, and multichannel inventory synchronization.
One of the best things about ChannelApe is its ability to automate:
- Inventory management: It can sync inventory levels across multiple sales channels, so you never have to worry about overselling or running out of stock. This means you can focus on growing your business, rather than manually updating inventory levels.
- Order fulfillment and shipping: You can set up rules for how orders are fulfilled and shipped, and the platform takes care of the rest. Plus, it provides real-time tracking information for your customers, so they always know where their order is.
The platform also offers powerful reporting and analytics tools, so you can track your sales performance and make data-driven decisions. With ChannelApe, you'll have all the information you need to save time, reduce errors, and provide a better experience for your customers.
Nosto is a personalization platform that can automate your product recommendations, email personalization, and onsite personalization based on real-time customer data and behavior.
With Nosto, you can automate personalization across all of your channels, including your website, email, and advertising. This means you can create personalized experiences for each of your customers, without manually creating and managing multiple campaigns.
Nosto’s promise is to create shopping experiences today that win customers for life, clearly expressing their focus on relationship building through personalisation.
Nosto boasts the ability to use artificial intelligence to analyze customer behavior and make personalized product recommendations off the back of it. It uses machine learning to understand each customer's preferences and purchase history, and then recommends products that are most likely to interest them. This means you can provide a personalized shopping experience that increases the likelihood of conversion.
Nosto also automates email campaigns based on customer behavior, such as abandoned cart reminders or product recommendations, helping you engage with your customers at the right time, with the right message.
Last but certainly not least is Videoly (come on, would our article be truly complete without sharing a little about ourselves?)
Simply put, Videoly automatically (or as our customers put it, automagically ✨) connects the world’s best product videos to online stores, increasing sales and boosting customer engagement through the power of video.
Videoly’s automation strengths are twofold:
For e-commerce brands, uploaded videos flow automatically to retailers already using Videoly. That means when you update a product video, it’s instantly updated on the retailer’s site, too – keeping your brand image and product content consistent across any of your retail partners or resellers.
It’s super simple. Upload your videos, assign them to products and markets, and all the rest happens automatically – saving you resources and extra costs. You can schedule videos for publishing and pause them anytime.
For online retailers, automatically embedded product videos mean your team’s resources are freed up for other tasks, reducing extra costs.
Best of all, we’re fully compatible with all platforms, and integration is super easy. Whether you’re using BigCommerce, WooCommerce, Magento or an in-house customized solution, we’ve got you covered.
To learn more about how you can capture the power of video, why not book a quick demo with us?