How to Leverage Robotic Process Automation to Rise Above Your E-Commerce Competitors
Automation is helping merchants take a large cut of the $4.2 trillion pie that e-commerce represents today. Facebook has already integrated automation in some way or another to its marketplace through features like automated seller responses, and robotic process automation (RPA) systems are making platforms like Amazon.com and Shopify capable of reading and responding to more than 20 million reviews over a period of 60 days.
The amount of data that shoppers provide by visiting e-commerce websites like Amazon is huge. Starting from the amount of time that they spend on the page, to the number of images they click or how far down the page they scroll to, the data keeps mounting. Processing these overwhelming amounts of data manually would be a nightmare. Luckily, a system like RPA can easily automate these processes and empower your e-commerce store with other powerful functionalities.
If you're not sure what exactly RPA is or how it can benefit your business, read on.
Running Faster and Smarter
RPA is all about speed: speed to market information, speed to adapt, and speed to implementation. If you're a brand on a platform like Amazon, you have to extract relevant data that applies to particular products so that you know where a product stands in comparison to others.
RPA exerts speed when it comes to pulling out trends, reacting to them, coming up with a quick solution, finding out what's growing in sales and, ultimately, making an action happen. And the best part? It doesn’t require any human effort or interaction whatsoever. RPA operates based on your internal algorithms set up with the knowledge of best practices to perform optimally in each situation.
Introducing RPA to your toolbox can help you dominate the e-commerce space by becoming more adept, quicker and much smarter in processes such as extracting specific product or customer information and handling common queries.
Report Directly to the E-Commerce Platform
Big e-commerce platforms like Amazon are bound to run into problems with their platforms. For example, when a third party changes information on a brand owner’s page, a random assortment of different products or different pack sizes may appear on the page. This leads to an overall bad experience for the consumer.
RPA can cross-examine the page and identify such anomalies, after which it can act and submit the correct information to the e-commerce platform directly. The RPA flags the issue immediately and takes the necessary steps to resolve it. After that, the automation informs you about the resolution via a simple notification, giving you full transparency into its actions while providing you with an advantage over your competitors with an up-to-date product page.
RPAs can help in several tasks that usually cost in overhead, like report pulling, reformatting, and crawling information for trends, which vendors in e-commerce platforms can use for faster and more efficient market analysis.
RPA for External Service Providers
In most cases, e-commerce giants like Amazon use their RPA from a reactionary standpoint only. Such platforms deploy RPAs that keep working in the background to identify pricing in the market and match it with their offerings. This way, they ensure they’re competitive across all their channels and all their products.
Therefore, while most vendors out there have some form of RPA implemented, it’s not necessarily at the level that it could be. Vendors should harness all of its benefits to execute real-time actions on diverse tasks, including automated responses, to ensure they provide seamless customer experience and secure high retention levels.
Concentrate on Customer Service
Many might see RPA as a replacement of human workers, but that’s not the case. While automation brings a certain shift in employee responsibilities, it allows humans to focus on more refined and complex duties. The kind of tasks RPA takes care of mostly involves maintenance rather than growth — tasks that are otherwise a burden on the overall company.
The RPA system can automatically respond to customer reviews, meaning that if a negative review appears, the RPA will extract it and tailor an appropriate response. At the same time, it will also inform the vendor internally about the negative review of the product. Not only does this enable the vendor to intervene on time to deliver great customer service, but it also allows it to better understand customer preferences and inform future product development.
Start Small and Simple
If it seems overwhelming to suddenly switch to a RPA, it’s a good idea to start small. You can start with a program that's going to make your life a little bit easier, even if it cuts five seconds off of a task.
Keep it straightforward, and then reinforce that algorithm or build upon your RPA. After you implement the RPA, keep learning, recreating, and re-enforcing it. By starting simple, you can build on existing processes over time and make sure that you advance a scalable system that can be sustainably maintained.
RPA systems are helping big e-commerce platforms to easily automate huge amounts of data. Not only does RPA speed up processes, but vendors on a platform like Amazon can also use it to extract relevant data applying to particular products. While the automation won’t put your business on autopilot, it can ensure that while you still have both hands on the wheel to steer your e-commerce, the pace is fast and the course is much better.
Founder and president of UpstartWorks, an e-commerce consultation service, Rohan Thambrahalli has made it his goal to develop a culture that embodies the builder who delivers best-in-class value to customers and partners.
Founder and President of UpstartWorks, an eCommerce consultation service, Rohan Thambrahalli has made it his goal to develop a culture that embodies the builder who delivers best-in-class value to customers and partners. UpstartWorks is Rohan’s greatest personal and professional achievement, it was his vision from the beginning to start a company that could provide vendors the reach, technology, scale, and capabilities to compete with the best brands in the world.