Is Automating your eCommerce business possible? If so, how do you go about it? Let me tell you a little bit about my story.
I have always been really passionate about health, and on my journey to always maintain the highest level of health, I have had many detours, valleys and some really high peaks. I have been Lacto-ovo Vegetarian (eat some animal products, i.e. milk, eggs, etc), then moved to a Paleo based diet (lots of meat, no dairy, and a lot of vegetables and no grains), Keto (high fat, low carb, moderate proteins) and now finally I am a vegan.
I’m not going to comment on the positives or negatives of these diets, however, the first question everyone asks you when you become vegan is, how do you get your protein?
Protein and Automation ?!?
It is the type of question that gives you a moment to pause and wonder where I get my protein from. So, I started doing a bit of research and I found this movement amongst professional athletes all becoming vegan. They looked super strong and even exceeded their peers in performance and recovery. So, I figured they must be getting their protein from someplace, as it is almost impossible to maintain peak performance without protein to support your muscular system at the very least.
Low and behold after a few weeks of research and trial and error, I found there are tons of protein sources and meat consumption is second-hand protein consumption. Vegans get protein right from the source, rather than having a herbivore eat the vegetable matter and then we eat them.
Anyway, cutting a long story short, I decided I wanted to help anyone who wants to go on a vegan diet. I would get as many different vegetarian protein sources, so they could answer the question and also affordably be able to get their basic daily protein requirements, whether they are an athlete, someone who wants to lose weight or just someone who is happy to maintain themselves.
I would need to keep my overhead costs down. The only way I knew how to do this as a business owner is to use automation. I will be teaching you how to do ecommerce automation in growing your business. My leverage was I know how to build such systems, and with my wife Jeri, we went about building this system.
The system we finally decided to use to build your e-commerce business automation workflow was a combination of three solutions. We used Shopify for our e-Commerce platform, Locate to manage our inventory and ShipStation to manage dispatch and logistics.
When you automate these three systems you could pretty much streamline all the repetitive time-consuming activities, and you are only left with physically packing the stock.
The sales process on an ecommerce store and online businesses are automated using Shopify and its many plugins which can basically act like a shop assistant for you. Suggesting similar products, assisting in comparing and sorting through products that match your criteria. In the automation world, you can do almost everything. Even automating emails, social media replies, automatically sending abandoned cart emails, & implementing live chat for real time buyers while they are filling out their shopping carts.
You also have a sales chat function that can be automated to give standard answers or directly connect to your Facebook messenger so that you can assist them, wherever you might be. Further to this, you can set up email marketing and even SMS if needed to remind customers when specials are on and when they might be running out of protein/products.
What an online store ends up saving me is a physical store, sales staff, and all the associated overheads. Store fit-outs can cost upwards of $100k, as opposed to setting up a Shopify which depending on how many products and the size ranges from $15k to $50k which is still half the costs without the ongoing overheads of staff and stores.
In some of the repetitive tasks, I think the automated marketing is now superior to having an individual physical store with high risk given the fact it cannot be changed in an instant based on customer’s needs. As much as you can have a messenger service to help with customer inquiries, having an actual person is impossible to replace. If you are looking for a good customer service for your customers, having an actual person or a good customer support leads to a beautiful customer experience.
Locate is your inventory management superstar organising the purchasing of stock, sales (all sales channels, ie e-commerce, Amazon, eBay, etc).
The amount this saves in time is phenomenal. If Shopify is the external, Locate is the brain of the system that everything connects to. The time saved is enough to not have a sales/admin person data entering orders and checking over them constantly.
As Locate automates all the connections and streamlines the entire ordering process. The money saved with a system like this in labour is significant. Instead of requiring a channel manager for each sales channel, you just need one person to oversee the entire sales process.
What this allows me to do is grow to a significant size before requiring staff to manage this process, as I could pretty much do it myself until we are turning over a quarter of a million in sales.
ShipStation is my distribution platform that is the legs of the organization, printing out labels for freight. Updating the sales status on the fly, doing all the little things that take a considerable amount of time when you have to do it manually. What it does is reduce packing time significantly and adds that final panache, like sending the customer an automated tracking number and updating them on there sales order status. ShipStation works with Locate to achieve these automated functions.
This is a summary of what automation can do, and how much money it can save you. If you want to find out how we can automate your eCommerce business, don’t hesitate to reach out, we love working on eCommerce business, it is at the heart of what we do.