“If you don’t find a way to make money while you sleep, you will work until you die.” This famous quote from investor Warren Buffet reflects a reality most online business owners face today. As the ecommerce market continues to grow rapidly, online retailers have to find a way to keep their businesses running round the clock to maximise revenue without wearing themselves out. And the best way to do is automating business processes to improve operational efficiency.
Tip 1: Use a live chat assistant
According to a report by Google, one third of all shopping searches on Google happen between 10pm and 4am, which suggests that most people tend to have late-night shopping habits. Many live chat services can be automated to help customers with basic queries even when a staff member is not available to assist them, especially during non-working hours.
For instance, chat programs like Botsify use a chatbot to immediately direct customers to relevant pages on your site when they ask questions with keywords such as ‘pricing’ or a particular product name. When an automated reply is not available, the bot then directs the customer to a human operator to provide further assistance.
Tip 2: Automate emails to keep customers connected
Maintaining good relationships is vital to every business, but manually emailing every customer quickly becomes unfeasible once your customer base starts to grow. In addition to live chat solutions, automated emails can come in handy to keep customers engaged.
Cart abandonment is a problem for many ecommerce stores, with up to 77.3% of all online orders being left behind before reaching checkout. An auto-responder email can help to remind customers to revisit the orders they have not checked out, and can even be an opportunity for you to cross-sell other products to help customers in making the buying decision.
Got a bunch of satisfied customers? Schedule emails via an automated customer review system, such as Yotpo, to encourage them to leave reviews on your site. This boosts your store’s credibility and will help attract new customers with minimal effort on your end.
Tip 3: Schedule your social media posts
Social media marketing is a must-have for most online stores to showcase new products and sale items. Streamline the social media marketing process by scheduling content so that you keep customers updated without the hassle of having to make manual posts online. A good recommended social media management tool will be Hootsuite, which allows you to schedule posts and track your content performance via data analytics so you know which posts resonate the most with your customers.
Tip 4: Foster the right partnerships
Getting connected with the right partners can do wonders for your ecommerce business. Many ecommerce retailers are turning to drop-shipping, where they purchase products from a third party to fulfil orders. This will relieve them of having to manage their inventory and logistics.
Alternatively, try affiliate marketing, where you can allow other stores to market your products in exchange for a cut of the sales. In Singapore, the most popular affiliate programmes include Qoo10 Shopping Curator, Clickbank and Amazon Associates.
Both methods help to reduce the time spent on sales and inventory management process without compromising on revenue.
Being an online business owner does not mean you have to be involved in operations 24/7. With the right techniques and systems, your store can be automated to continue running even when you’re asleep or working on something else.