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Streamline Ecommerce Operations: Top 9 Tech to Master in 2023

Streamline Ecommerce Operations: Top 9 Tech to Master in 2023

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Last Updated:  
June 2, 2023

Operational technology in eCommerce is like the foundation of a house. Without the proper materials and support, any structure built on top of it will be weak and unstable. Just like a house needs a sturdy foundation, successful eCommerce businesses need the right operational technology solutions to thrive. Operational technology provides a backbone for efficient order management, inventory control, and customer service.

That’s why in this guide, we’re presenting a beginner's guide to operational technology solutions for eCommerce businesses. Let's get started!

Inventory Management Systems

If you're looking to kick your eCommerce operations up a notch, start by investing in an inventory management system (IMS). Think of an IMS as your trusty sidekick—it tracks the ins-and-outs of inventory on a real-time basis and provides you with up-to-date information about what's in stock.

This allows for:

  • improved inventory accuracy
  • cost savings due to reduced overstocking
  • streamlined inventory replenishment processes
  • reduced labor costs from manual stock tracking
  • and better decision making.

Popular IMSs include Brightpearl, which offers a suite of services which are well-suited for small and large businesses alike.

5 Tips For Implementing an IMS

When implementing an IMS, here's what you need to ensure:

1.  Integrate With Your Existing Systems

Ensure that your IMS will integrate seamlessly with other systems you may be using, such as accounting and customer relationship management (CRM) software.

2. Streamline Your Processes

Organize and automate processes related to inventory tracking, such as stocking levels or product information entry, to reduce manual errors and improve accuracy.

3. Monitor Inventory in Real-Time

Having the ability to track inventory levels in real-time will make sure your customers never miss out on a product they want and you don’t incur additional costs due to overstocking or wastage.

4. Communicate With Your Vendors

Set up an efficient communication system with your vendors so that they are kept in the loop about any changes to your inventory and can provide timely re-stocks when needed.

5. Train Your Team

Once you have set up an IMS, make sure your team is adequately trained in its use. This will ensure smooth operations and full utilization of all its features.

By investing in an IMS, eCommerce businesses can take their operations to the next level and increase efficiency while reducing costs. With the right system in place, you'll be off to a great start.

Order Fulfillment Systems

If you're looking for a reliable way to manage orders, an order fulfillment system (OFS) is exactly what you need. An OFS allows you to track and manage customer orders from start to finish—from receiving the order all the way through delivery.

Order fulfillment systems provide a number of benefits, such as:

  • improved accuracy and speed of order fulfillment
  • reduced costs associated with errors and delays in delivery
  • enhanced customer satisfaction due to timely order processing

Popular OFSs include Shipwire and Shopify Fulfillment. When selecting an OFS, consider your current operations and make sure the system you choose is tailored to meet your needs.

5 Tips For Implementing an OFS

When implementing an OFS, here's what you need to ensure:

1. Automate Processes

Automating processes associated with order fulfillment will help minimize manual errors and reduce costs associated with order processing.

2. Monitor Tracking

Integrate tracking features into your OFS so that you can monitor the status of orders in real-time. This will help ensure that orders are fulfilled on time and customers know when to expect delivery.

3.  Streamline Payment Options

Integrate payment options such as credit cards and PayPal into your OFS to facilitate quick, easy payments.

4. Set Up Real-Time Alerts

Set up real-time alerts so that you can be notified of changes to orders, such as delays or cancellations. This will help ensure timely order processing and avoid customer dissatisfaction.

5. Again, Train Your Team

Your team should be familiar with the OFS you choose and how to use it efficiently. This will ensure that all processes run smoothly and your customers get the best experience possible.

An OFS is a great way for eCommerce businesses to improve order accuracy, reduce costs associated with order processing, and increase customer satisfaction.

Logistics Technology

Logistics technology is an integral part of eCommerce operations. It refers to software solutions that help track and manage shipments, inventory levels, and delivery times. Logistics technology provides a number of benefits such as:

  • improved tracking accuracy
  • faster delivery times
  • reduced costs associated with order fulfillment and returns
  • and improved customer experience.

Popular logistics technology solutions include ShipStation and EasyPost. When selecting a logistics technology system, consider the features that are most important to your business and make sure you select the solution that best meets your needs.

5 Tips For Implementing Logistics Technology

To help you get the most out of logistics technology, here’s what you need to ensure:

1. Set Clear Shipping Policies

Creating clear shipping policies is essential for customer satisfaction. Make sure customers understand expected delivery times and any costs associated with their purchases before they place an order.

2. Track Inventory Levels

Integrate tracking features into your logistics technology platform so that you can keep track of inventory levels in real-time. This will help ensure timely re-stocking of items and avoid customer dissatisfaction due to out-of-stock products.

3. Automate Order Fulfillment

Automating all eCommerce operations can save you time and money.  Automation will also allow for more accurate tracking of orders, which can reduce costs associated with order fulfillment.

4. Monitor Transportation Providers

Monitoring transportation providers is essential for accurate delivery times and cost savings. Integrate features into your logistics technology system so that you can monitor the performance of different shipping carriers in real-time.

5. Team Training

Your team should be familiar with the logistics technology system you choose and how to use it efficiently. This will ensure that all processes run smoothly and your customers get the best experience possible.

Take your time to establish the right logistics technology solution for your business and you’ll be rewarded with avoiding supply chain issues, reduced costs, and increased customer satisfaction.

Customer Service Technology

The customer is the heart of your business - so it’s important to keep them satisfied and provide high-quality customer value. That’s where customer service technology comes in. Customer service technology is any type of software or system used to facilitate communication between you and your customers.

Popular customer service technologies include live chat, automated email systems, VoIP phone systems, and help desk software. These tools are designed to help streamline customer support operations and improve the overall customer experience.

Benefits of using customer service technology include:

  • increased efficiency
  • lower costs associated with customer support
  • improved customer satisfaction
  • reduced response times for inquiries
  • automated processes for mundane tasks.

When selecting a customer service technology platform, make sure it meets your specific needs and integrates with other systems, such as CRM software.

5 Tips For Implementing Customer Service Technology

Here are a few tips to get the most out of customer service technology:

1. Set Up Automated Responses

Setting up automated responses for common inquiries is a great way to save time and resources. This will help customers quickly get the answers they need without waiting for someone from your team.

2. Streamline Support Channels

Make sure all customer support channels are easily accessible and easy to use. This includes everything from phone, email, and social media messages to live chat conversations and online FAQs.

3. Make Use Of Analytics Tools 

Analytics tools can help you track your customer service performance and measure success. These insights can also be used to improve customer service operations or develop new strategies for reaching customers.

4. Connect With Social Media

Social media is an important channel for connecting with customers and providing support. Make sure your customer service technology integrates with social channels so that you can respond to inquiries quickly and effectively.

5. Monitor Performance

Regularly monitor the performance of your customer service technology platform and make adjustments as needed. This will ensure that your system is optimized to provide the best possible experience for your customers.

Customer Service Technology is essential in today’s eCommerce world, offering an improved customer experience resulting in increased brand trust and increased customer retention. With the right system in place, your customer service operations will be streamlined and your team can focus on more productive tasks.

E-Wallets

With the explosion of online commerce, e-wallets are becoming an increasingly popular way to pay. An e-wallet is a digital payment system that stores your financial information and lets you make purchases online without having to enter card details each time. It is forecasted that by 2025, 53% of all eCommerce transactions will be done via an e-wallet. 

Benefits of using e-wallets for ecommerce transactions include:

  • improved security
  • convenience
  • speed
  • and more control over your finances.

With an e-wallet, you don’t need to worry about entering credit card numbers every time you shop - they are all stored securely in one place. Plus, most e-wallets can be integrated with other operational technology solutions such as inventory management and logistics systems, allowing merchants to streamline their operations even further.

E-wallets also provide customers with more control over their finances, allowing them to track their spending and set budget limits. This can help prevent customers from overspending and make it easier for them to keep track of their expenses.

Overall, e-wallets are a convenient and secure way to pay online and can offer merchants additional benefits such as improved operational efficiency. They are becoming increasingly popular among both consumers and merchants, making them an essential part of any successful ecommerce operation.

AI & ML

Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) are quickly becoming a mainstay in the ecommerce industry.

AI is the ability for computers to mimic human behavior when performing tasks, while ML uses algorithms that learn from data sets to analyze patterns and make predictions without being explicitly programmed to do so.

The benefits of using AI and ML in eCommerce operations include:

  • improved decision-making based on data analysis
  • enhanced customer experience by providing personalized
  • recommendations and product suggestions
  • increased efficiency by automating tasks such as order fulfillment, inventory management, and customer service
  • reduced costs by eliminating manual labor

These benefits make AI and ML essential for any ecommerce business looking to optimize their operations. Popular AI and ML solutions for ecommerce businesses include Triple Whale's Lighthouse - an AI tool that helps ad marketers analyze ad performance, generate new creatives and publish ads to Facebook.

It’s important to note that while AI and ML can be powerful tools, they should not replace human interaction altogether. Although machines can automate many tasks and provide valuable insights, only humans have the ability to truly understand user behavior. Therefore, it is recommended that an appropriate balance between automated systems and human agents be maintained in order to best serve customers’ needs.

5 Tips To Implementing AI and ML

Implementing AI and ML into your eCommerce business can be a daunting task. To ensure successful implementation, follow these tips:

1. Assess Your Current Operations

Take some time to assess and map out your existing operations to identify which areas can be improved with AI and ML technology. This will help you understand how these technologies can benefit your business, as well as determine the best implementation strategies.

2. Understand Your Customer Base

Knowing who your customers are and what they need is key to providing them with the best experience possible. Make sure to research customer profiles and consider their needs when selecting technology solutions for your operation.

3. Start Small

Don’t try to implement everything at once; instead, focus on one or two core tasks that AI and ML can optimize before moving onto other areas of improvement. This will allow you to gradually introduce new technology and avoid overwhelming yourself with changes.

4. Consider the Cost vs Benefits

Evaluate your budget and consider if AI and ML are worth the investment – some solutions can be quite expensive, so make sure you’re getting a return on your investment before committing to any solution.

5. Get Help from Experts

If you’re feeling overwhelmed or don’t have enough expertise in-house, reach out to external consultants who specialize in AI and ML implementations for eCommerce businesses. They can provide valuable insights that will help ensure successful implementation of these technologies.

Using AI and ML technologies in an ecommerce operation can revolutionize operations, improve customer service, and drive sales – but only if implemented correctly. By following these tips, you can ensure that your eCommerce business is leveraging AI and ML technologies to their fullest potential.

Chatbots and Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs)

Chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) are becoming a mainstay in the ecommerce industry. They provide customers with 24/7 customer service and can be integrated with other operational technology solutions, such as inventory management and logistics systems. 

On top of that, AI and ML technologies have changed the way businesses operate by providing personalized recommendations and product suggestions for consumers, automating many tedious tasks, improving decision-making based on data analysis and more.

5 Tips of Implementing Chatbots and Intelligent Virtual Assistants (IVAs)

To make sure you get the most out of these tools, follow these strategies to properly implement chatbots and IVAs.

1. Identify Your Customers’ Needs

The first step is to understand what your customers need and expect from their customer service experience. To do this, create customer profiles that provide insights into the types of interactions they are looking for. This will help you determine the type of chatbot or IVA best suited for your needs.

2. Design an Engaging Dialogue

Designing a dialogue is key to making sure that customers have a positive experience with your chatbot or IVA. Remember to make the conversation engaging by using natural language and injecting humor into it where appropriate – this will make customers more likely to interact with your bot.

3. Test It Out

Make sure to test out your chatbot or IVA before launching it, as this will help you identify any issues and make sure that it is working properly. Testing should be done in a variety of ways to ensure that the chatbot or IVA is effective across different use cases.

4. Monitor Performance

Once your chat bot or IVA is up and running, it’s important to monitor its performance on an ongoing basis to make sure that it is providing customers with the best possible experience. Keep an eye out for any customer feedback and address any issues right away.

5. Use AI and ML Technologies

AI and ML technologies can take the customer service experience to the next level by providing personalized recommendations, product suggestions, automated responses and more – all based on customer data. Consider integrating AI and ML technologies into your chatbot or IVA to provide an even more efficient and personalized experience for customers.

By following these five tips, you’ll be able to ensure that your ecommerce business is leveraging the power of chatbots and intelligent virtual assistants (IVAs) to the fullest potential. With their help, you can maximize customer service efficiency while providing customers with a better overall experience.

Warehouse Automation Technologies

Warehouse automation technologies are becoming increasingly popular in the ecommerce industry. By introducing robotic and autonomous processes into warehouse operations, businesses can improve efficiency and accuracy while streamlining their supply chain processes.

Common examples of these technologies include automated storage and retrieval systems (ASRS), automated guided vehicles (AGVs) and more.

The introduction of automation technologies into warehouse operations offers multiple benefits to ecommerce businesses:

  • Increased Efficiency: Automation technologies allow for faster throughput times due to the decreased manual labor involved, leading to improved efficiency throughout the warehouse process.
  • More Accurate Data Collection: Automation technologies provide real-time data on inventory levels, product locations, order fulfillment and more, allowing for better decision making based on accurate data.
  • Reduced Operating Costs: Automation technologies can help reduce operating costs by reducing the need for manual labor and increasing process accuracy.

In addition, warehouse automation technologies can be integrated with other operational technology solutions such as inventory management or logistics systems to provide an even more efficient workflow.

5 Tips of Implementing Warehouse Automation Technologies in Ecommerce

Five strategies to help you get started with implementing warehouse automation technologies in your ecommerce business include:

1. Evaluate Your Needs

The first step is to evaluate your ecommerce business’s needs and determine what types of automation technologies are best suited for your warehouse operations. Consider the size of your warehouse, type of products you store, customer service goals and more.

2. Develop a Plan

Once you have identified the most suitable automation technologies for your needs, develop a plan outlining how they will be implemented and integrated into the existing system. This plan should include details on the hardware, software and personnel required for implementation, as well as any potential costs associated with it.

3. Install Necessary Equipment

Once you have developed a plan for implementation, order and install all necessary equipment and software. This includes any robotic or autonomous machines, sensors, conveyor systems, etc.

4. Test and Monitor Performance

Before launching the automation technology in your warehouse, test it to make sure that it is working correctly. Once you launch it, it is also important to monitor its performance on an ongoing basis to make sure that it is providing customers with the best possible experience. Keep an eye out for any customer feedback and address any issues right away.

5. Integrate with Other Technologies

Finally, consider integrating your automation technologies with other operational technology solutions such as inventory management or logistics systems to provide an even more efficient workflow. This can be done through APIs or other integration methods.

By following these five tips, you can successfully implement warehouse automation technologies in your ecommerce business and maximize customer service efficiency while providing customers with a better overall experience.

Cloud-based Technology

Today, everything is in the cloud—including ecommerce operations. Cloud-based technology is an increasingly popular solution for businesses looking to streamline their operational processes and take advantage of cost savings.

Cloud-based technology allows businesses to:

  • access applications and data from any device with an internet connection
  • eliminate the need for hardware and software installations
  • scale as your business grows
  • offer lower upfront costs than traditional on-premise solutions due to reduced operational and maintenance requirements

A popular cloud-based solution for ecommerce businesses is Cloud Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems.

5 Tips for Implementing Cloud-Based Technology in an Ecommerce Business

When implementing cloud-based technology in your ecommerce business, it’s important to consider the following tips:

1. Research Different Solutions

Do your research to determine which cloud-based solutions are right for your business needs. Consider features such as scalability, cost and ease of use when choosing a solution.

2. Find the Right Provider

Once you have chosen a cloud-based solution, make sure to find a reliable provider with good customer support that can help you get set up quickly and efficiently.

3. Migrate Data Carefully

When migrating data from existing systems to the new cloud-based system, be sure to do it in a secure manner and follow best practices for data migration.

4. Educate Employees

Make sure all employees are properly trained on how to use the new cloud-based technology, as this will ensure a smooth transition and reduce operational errors.

5. Monitor Performance Regularly

Once you’ve implemented the solution, monitor its performance regularly to make sure it is meeting your needs. If there are any issues, work with your provider to address them quickly and efficiently.

By following these tips, you can ensure that your ecommerce business is taking full advantage of cloud-based technology and optimizing operations while providing customers with a better overall experience!

Best Practices for Implementing Operational Technology

Here  are some best practices to keep in mind when implementing operational technology in your ecommerce business:

1. Define Your Operating Model

The first step is to define your operating model, which should include a clear understanding of how the technology will be used, who will use it, and for what purpose. This will help ensure that you choose the right technology and set up effective processes for implementation.

2. Focus on Security

Security should be a top priority when selecting and implementing any type of operational technology solution. Make sure to research vendors thoroughly and select those with robust security measures in place. Additionally, make sure all employees are properly trained on security protocols and processes.

3. Choose Scalable Solutions

Select solutions that are designed to easily scale as your business grows. This will help ensure that you don’t outgrow the technology and have to switch providers or invest in additional systems.

4. Monitor Performance

Once the technology is in place, monitor its performance regularly to make sure it is meeting your goals and objectives. If there are any issues, work with your provider to address them quickly and efficiently.

5. Leverage Automation

Where possible, leverage automation to streamline operational processes and reduce manual errors. Automated systems can help increase efficiency, accuracy and productivity while reducing costs in the long run.

Implementing operational technology can be challenging, but by following these best practices you can ensure that you are taking full advantage of the technology and scaling operations in your ecommerce business.

Conclusion

Operational technology is an invaluable asset for any ecommerce business looking to optimize operations, increase efficiency and enhance customer experience. When implementing operational technology, it’s important to be mindful of best practices such as researching solutions, focusing on security, choosing scalable solutions and leveraging automation where possible. By following these tips, you can ensure that your business is taking full advantage of the power of operational tech!

As we have seen in this article, investing in the right operational technology can help propel your ecommerce business forward – so don’t delay, start adding operational technology to your business today!

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266 N 5th Street, Columbus OH 43209