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Automation in E-commerce: How to Get Started

Shiraz

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E-commerce

Opening an e-commerce website is easier than ever. There are platforms to choose from, payment gateways to integrate, and more tools to help get the site up and running. You also have the freedom to choose how you want to set up your e-commerce site, with both self-hosted and managed options widely available.

Getting the online store up and running, however, is far from the only thing you need to do. In order to achieve e-commerce success, you also need to deliver good products, fine-tune the user experience and complete a wide range of other tasks in a timely manner. It is not uncommon for e-commerce growth to be hampered by an inability to do these things effectively.

There are two solutions to the bottleneck. You can either expand your team and turn a simple e-commerce store into a complex operation, or you can automate certain tasks to remain lean and efficient. In this article, we are going to discuss how you can get started with the latter.

It Starts with the Platform

The e-commerce platform you use will greatly affect your ability to automate mundane, repetitive tasks. Not all e-commerce platforms are created equal and you want to pick one that suits your long-term goals best. Shopify, for instance, simplifies the creation of an e-commerce store, but you get limited expandability and customization in return.

On the other hand, there are platforms like WooCommerce – running on top of any WordPress installation – offering more flexibility. As a tradeoff, it takes slightly longer to get the e-commerce site that you want up and running. You also need more technical skills (or help from WordPress and WooCommerce developers) to customize the site.

However, those tradeoffs are well worth the benefits you get in return. Since you are running a self-hosted e-commerce site, you have complete control over the platform and the information gathered by it. This means you can automate more things without running into issues, allowing you to focus on growing the site’s customer base.

Start with Simpler Tasks

A lot of the tasks can be automated directly on the e-commerce platform. Simple tasks such as sending a confirmation email, managing orders, and deliveries, and even printing shipping labels can be automated using built-in features of your e-commerce platform.

Since simpler tasks are the easiest to automate, they are the tasks you should automate first. Instead of relying on manual work, you get to automate inventory and order management from the beginning. What you are doing is setting up the e-commerce business for success.

Automate Emails

Next, you want to automate email-related tasks, starting with the delivery of welcome emails to new users. Keep in mind that not all new users register on your site to make a purchase. Sometimes, they just want to use the wish list tool or seek information about discounts and special offers.

This is an opportunity you should not miss. Automate the sending of a welcome email to new users. Have the content of the email set to the latest promotional offer or simply offer new users exclusive discounts on their first purchase.

Other emails, including those sent to users with abandoned carts or wish list items, are just as easy to automate. You can use third-party tools like Mail Jet and Active Campaign integrated seamlessly with your e-commerce platform to handle these tasks.

Use Bridging Services

While there are a lot of plugins and services that can help you automate different tasks associated with managing an e-commerce business, not all of them can be integrated directly with the platform you use. Sometimes, it is necessary to use apps or services that bridge the gap between the two services.

For example, you can automate the creation of tasks on Kanbanize whenever new orders are received on your site by connecting the two platforms. When you incorporate Agile planning to how you manage inventory and purchase orders – as well as other tasks – integrating the two becomes an important thing to do.

You can also integrate Kanbanize with other platforms like Salesforce. Information can be synced seamlessly across the multiple tools you use so that you can further simplify workflows on each tool without having to deal with information gaps.

Focus on User Experience

One thing to note about automating mundane and repetitive tasks is the impact that automation has on user experience. When you automate repetitive tasks, you can significantly boost response time, which will then boost user satisfaction levels. Eliminating the need for human input also reduces the risk of human errors.

Naturally, speeding up response time isn’t the only thing you can do with automation. The personalized (automating) welcome email mentioned earlier is a good example of how simple automation can make customers feel very special.

There are countless other tasks that you can automate for the same purpose. Find pain points in the customer journey and figure out ways to simplify – and automate – them. As you unravel bottlenecks across your e-commerce operation, you will see customer satisfaction levels slowly going up.

Don’t Forget Data Processing

Last but certainly not least, you want to automate the processing of data and metrics you gather from the e-commerce site. This is an important part of the process for two reasons. First of all, the data gathered by your e-commerce platform and other tools are crucial for producing insights about the customers. The more you know your customers, the better you can serve them.

Secondly, automating analysis of data helps you direct your energy towards utilizing valuable insights to grow your business. Rather than checking the inventory of your products manually, you receive alerts as well as information about purchase trends and other useful insights. Do you see how valuable these insights can be to the success of your business?

Automation is how you grow your e-commerce business without expanding the team or investing more resources. With the tips and tricks found in this article, getting started with automating parts of your e-commerce business is certainly easy. You know exactly which tasks to automate and how to automate them.

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Suit Filed against YouTube for Discrimination

Shiraz

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YouTube

As per a federal lawsuit filed on Tuesday evening, YouTube has been accused by a group of LGBT video creators for discrimination, by suppressing its content, restricting its ability to sell advertisements and culling its subscribers.

YouTube is by far the world’s largest video streaming site, with nearly 2 billion monthly viewers, the allegations against it state that it enforces its policies unevenly and gives a pass to producers who have larger audiences, though their content is hostile to gay, lesbian or other communities.

The discrimination alleged in the lawsuit is “embedded in the business model” of YouTube, said Peter Obstler, the lead attorney for the plaintiffs and a partner at law firm Browne George Ross, in an interview on Tuesday evening. “By controlling an estimated 95 percent of the public video communications that occur in the world, Google and YouTube wield unparalleled power an unfettered discretion to apply viewpoint-based content policies in a way that permits them to pick winners and losers.

The suit which is filed by 5 LGBT creators, in the federal court in San Jose, states that YouTube deploys “unlawful content regulation, distribution, and monetization practices that stigmatize, restrict, block, demonetize, and financially harm the LGBT Plaintiffs and the greater LGBT Community.

YouTube spokesperson Alex Joseph said, “Our policies have no notion of sexual orientation or gender identity and our systems do not restrict or demonetize videos based on these factors or the inclusion of terms like ‘gay’ or ‘transgender’.” He also said they quickly remove content which includes hate speech and also terminates the account that runs afoul of its policies.

According to the suit, Google “used their monopoly power over content regulation to selectively apply their rules and restrictions in a manner that allowed them to gain an unfair advantage to profit from their content to the detriment of its consumers.

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Some Gmail Users Faced Problems While Using Their Gmail Account; Service Restored Shortly

Shiraz

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Google

Some Gmail users in India were having issues in sending, refreshing, and receiving emails on their Gmail account. Luckily, the company sorted the problem shortly. Though this happened for a short amount of time to several Google users in India, it created frustration among them.

Gmail service has already been restored for some users, and we expect a resolution for all users within the next 1 hour. Please note this time frame is an estimate and may change,” Google said to the users. However, the thing only happened to the Google enterprise GSuite users. And there is no other information about disruption available on other Google services like Google Drive or YouTube.

Google said earlier on the same day, “We’re investigating reports of an issue with Gmail. We will provide more information shortly. The affected users can access Gmail, but are seeing error messages, high latency, and other unexpected behaviors.

Gmail is the number one email service in the world that most of the world’s population rely upon. And encountering issues like this once in a while send the users to frustrated mode, for sure. However, since Google was able to figure out this issue and sort it shortly after that, it didn’t do much damage to the business or people’s work. And the last similar thing that happened was in June with YouTube, Snapchat, Gmail, Nest, Discord, and some other web services in the US.

Also, they revealed information about the temporary blackout of Gmail services. It could be the issues with Google’s Cloud service that powers other apps rather than Google’s web services.

Did you come across similar issues earlier? How was it like?

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