Tips for Automating Your eCommerce Business

eCommerce Business

One of the many advantages that come with operating an eCommerce business is the fact that you can automate a lot of repetitive workflows. For example, you can use a platform that automatically integrates with shipment carriers to calculate rates and ensure you’re making the best shipping decisions.

That’s just one of the many places you can automate your business, and then, once you have reliable and automated workflows in place, you can focus your attention on the tasks that grow your business, like effective marketing and advertising.

The following are things to keep in mind for automating your online retail business as much as possible.

Identify the Areas Best Suited to Automation

Ecommerce businesses are going to have different workflows and, therefore, different needs as far as automation. You want to think about your specific business, what you sell, and your targeted customers as you figure out where to put your attention for automation.

For example, if you make the products you sell, then this is something you’re probably not going to be able to automate, so you’ll focus on other areas and then spend your time creating beautiful high-quality products. On the other hand, if you’re a dropshipper or white labeler, you can automate nearly everything and then just think about how to scale up your advertising and marketing.

You also want to think about your preferences. If you’re good at one area of your business, but there’s something else you don’t enjoy or don’t excel at, automate those tasks you find burdensome first and foremost.

Some of the places where you might be best able to automate include:

  • Fulfillment—this is a big one, and along with automating this area of your business, you might do the same to manage your inventory levels. For example, you could set up your business so that out-of-stock items are automatically unpublished. On the other end of that, you might automatically re-add out-of-stock products to your store when they’re available again.
  • Customer loyalty automation means you can tag your high-value customers automatically. Then, you could know when to send a personalized thank you message or trigger discounts or certain shipping rules when a customer is appropriately tagged.
  • A high-risk order can be problematic for your business, but with automation, you can instantly flag it.
  • Automate sales or promotions, as well as various price changes as determined by the time periods you set.
  • There are email marketing tools so you can set up automatic messages to be sent out based on the triggers you set.

Below, we go into some of the more specific tasks to consider automating.

Abandoned Cart Emails

So often, customers will add items to their cart and not end up buying them. Estimates show that nearly 75% of all carts are abandoned online, so it’s a big challenge for online retailers.

You can automate reaching out to customers who have abandoned carts. A lot of online platforms, including Shopify, have built-in tools so you can send cart recovery emails.

If your eCommerce platform doesn’t offer a solution to automate abandoned cart emails, there are other options you can integrate with your store. You have the option to use A/B testing with a lot of these solutions, so you’re figuring out what works in your messaging and what doesn’t.

Loyalty Programs

Loyal customers are incredibly valuable to your business. You want customers to keep returning because it’s less expensive than getting a new customer. Relationships take time to build, and that’s where automation comes into play.

You can set up your loyalty program, and then it will automatically track and reward customers when they buy from you.

Shipping and Fulfillment

The more you can automate shipping and fulfillment, the better it’s going to be for you as you run your business, but also, the better it’ll be for customers. There are a wide variety of ways you can automate in these areas.

For example, when you use shipping and fulfillment platforms, you can print off your labels wherever you are, ship multiple products at once and see real-time cost estimates for shipping.


Marketing is an area that you will probably want to pay more attention to when you have other workflows automated, but there are also aspects of this part of your business that you can automate.

Marketing automation can occur at any point in the cycle, from planning and implementing to managing your marketing tasks, especially those that are time-consuming but can improve ROI.

The use of automation in marketing tasks can help you identify new streams of revenue and both cross- and upselling opportunities for your store.

Specific ways to automate marketing tasks include:

  • You can use dynamic content as a way of improving customer engagement. Dynamic content references when you customize your content to your visitors. Dynamic content could mean that the images and content on your pages are adapting to the behaviour, data, and characteristics of your users. You can then reduce bounce, increase conversions and create more personalized experiences.
  • We talked about abandoned cart emails above, and this can also fall into the category of marketing automation. You can send a series of abandoned cart emails so that customers know they can pick up where they left off with your store.
  • If you haven’t had a customer make a purchase from you in a while, you can set up targeted email campaigns to win back their business. You can automate email campaigns that are triggered based on certain criteria, such as not having been active on your site for a certain period of time.
  • If you have old leads that at some point showed interest but you since have lost touch with, you can reach out to them with automation. For example, maybe you offer discounts with a dynamic expiration date.

Finally, customer service is always a good place for automation, and a great starting point is chatbots. Chatbots let you interact with customers anytime and deliver a very personalized experience at the same time. The more chatbots interact with a user, the more personalized the delivery becomes.