Automation has become the norm in numerous areas of commerce these days and it is certainly strong in the field of online selling. People who run e-commerce stores on various online marketplaces can make life easier for themselves with a raft of automatic tools to manage anything from new customer enquiries to planning shipping and returns. According to one high-profile eBay automation solution provider, Webinterpret, average sales figures can go up by as much as 12% when automatic processes replace manual ones using the online marketplace. What’s more, automated services can operate on more than one eBay domain, meaning that a UK-based seller can also sell to eBay users in France, Australia, Germany and the US, among other locations.
The importance of automating some or all of your service offerings on eBay cannot be overestimated in terms of a seller’s bottom line. Automation is, at its core, all about reducing costs while expanding markets. How else can today’s generation of automation tools help sellers to maximize their profit margins? Read on to find out.
Nearly every seller on eBay who is making their living from running a business on the platform has some kind of marketing strategy. It is only occasional eBay users who sell a few personal items they no longer need once in a while who will solely rely on potential buyers finding them. Indeed, for many professionals, their eBay store is a kind of marketing in itself, potentially attracting would-be customers to check out their own e-commerce store.
Regardless of whether shoppers buy from your website or via your eBay account, you’ll want to reach as many people as possible. Today, automation tools allow your products to be marketed more effectively than ever before. When you have an online advertising budget that is necessarily limited in terms of spend, using artificial intelligence to target your spend most effectively makes a great deal of sense. By procuring ads for the items most likely to sell you can increase the number of sales you will make significantly. With more efficient targeting, automatic marketing tools will allow your eBay account to generate more turnover per ad spend.
Automatic shipping systems help to streamline post-sales processes. By choosing the right courier for the right order and sending items in the most cost-effective way possible, it will mean lowering your expenditure for every sale you make. Sometimes, you’ll want to send packages together in a bundle while other orders might require a more direct, door-to-door service. Either way, automation will help to lower your costs, especially when international shipping is needed or when you’re sending goods that need to be monitored in transit with proof of delivery on arrival.
Automated Drop-Shipment Ordering
Businesses that operate on a drop-shipping model will not necessarily fulfil the orders they receive. This mode of selling on eBay requires entrepreneurs to have suppliers who can deal with order fulfilment on their behalf. All too often, however, manual work is needed to inform your supplier every time an order is processed by eBay on your behalf.
With the right automation tools, however, your orders can be turned into purchases instantly so that your supplier is immediately informed of what to ship and where to send it. By cutting down on basic admin, you can save money and boost profits. Even better, this form of simplifying your eBay order administration will save time, helping your customers to receive their goods sooner than would otherwise be the case.
Automated Customer Responses
Automatic replies to customer orders are nothing new. Whenever you receive an email notification from a new customer, it isn’t hard to generate a response with standard wording thanking them for their order and advising them that it will be processed. However, modern automation tools go far beyond this level of sophistication.
Today, you can use automation to tailor your response without having to do anything. Your emails and written responses can be made to address the person who placed the order personally while the content of the email could also convey individualised information, such as confirmation of the ordered goods and an estimated delivery schedule. Because you won’t have to confirm orders or even deal with follow-up enquiries from your customers, you can focus on other business activities and even operate with fewer employees, thereby lowering your administration costs.
Automated Returns Processes
Dealing with customer returns through eBay is important for your brand reputation on the platform. Make too many slow refunds or mishandle returns and your ratings could drop significantly. Even worse, you can get bogged down in shipments and customers who have not packaged their returns properly. To save time and money, automating processes like sending out customers’ returns documents that they can stick onto their packages is a good idea.
In turn, this will boost customer confidence and lead to more orders in the longer term. This is particularly important for international customers for whom language barriers might be an issue. With automation, you can produce everything needed in the right language for each client.