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We will use this space to share with you the latest developments on what we do at Youstice. We will also invite various experts to speak their mind about a number of topics, such as online dispute resolution, as well as the latest trends in issue management, e-commerce and technology, among others.

Why automation is necessary for your small online business

It's a dog eat dog world out there for the small e-shops. According to Ecommerce Europe 2014 report, there are more than 645 000 estimated online businesses in Europe.1 That means vast competition, little-to-no chance of quick brand awareness and minimal budget. It's make it or break it time for small online businesses and every penny counts. This is why it’s worth considering automation as a tool for better business results.

Automation - or automatic control - is the shorthand term for using various systems and apps instead of straining your human resources with repetitive tasks. What are the three main reasons your e-shop should go automatic?

1. Automation saves money

Using apps to resolve repetitive processes not only helps your staff to focus on more complex issues, but also saves you a lot of money. Research shows that automating in e-shop decreases administrative costs by 40% on average.2

This makes sense for any savvy business-person. Due to automation, your personnel can solve issues faster, thus being more cost-effective with their work-time and that results in better overall fiscal outcome. Also, thanks to having apps or system in place, you save a lot on expenses on red-tape.

2. Automation shortens response time

According to 2011 study, only 50% of customers give a brand 1 week to respond to a query before they stop doing business with them - for good. Others dissolve the relationship with brand much sooner.3 This proves your response time is one of the deal-breakers for your customer base.

Using apps with option of notification can speed up the process of responding to your clients. To name a few great examples, we recommend LiveAgent for online chat, HootSuite for social media and Youstice for claim management.

       

3. Automation prevents mistakes

When you do things by hand, they are subject to human error. For example, someone can put down the wrong quantity or wrong colour. Using an app with standardized set of icons and action buttons can help eliminate mistakes caused by a short attention span or decreased focus. When you minimize the numbers of mistakes and mishaps, your customer is going to have more positive experience and your reputation is going to get a boost for providing seamless customer service.

If all of this is a bit abstract for you, let's have an example: Say you run an online book-shop and your customer received wrong book. Without automation, this would mean not only having an initial negative experience of his order going wrong, but also having to undergo lengthy process of tracking down your contact details, writing up an email with the details and waiting for your response - all the while feeling negatively impacted, hurt and skeptical of your brand.

With automation, your client just opens a claim management app on your website – for example Youstice – logs in, ticks a few boxes and hits send. Claim is filed and customer service staff in the online bookshop is notified immediately by e-mail. All of that in a few minutes, thus minimizing the negative psychological experience of shopping issue damage control.

What does that say about automation? It will help you keep your customers and prove you are a trustworthy e-shop.

If you are interested in online tools that save your time and improve your workflow, we've made a list of the best automation apps we've come across. Do you have any recommendations? Let us know in comments below!

1https://www.ecommerce-europe.eu/facts-figures/free-light-reports

2http://sherpablog.marketingsherpa.com/marketing/how-automation-transformed-online-business/

3http://www.rightnow.com/files/analyst-reports/RigntNow_Customer_Experience_Impact_Report_North_America_2011.pdf

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