Ecommerce success takes strategy, experimentation, patience, and a lot of grit. But that doesn’t mean you have to do everything yourself.
One key to success is having tools that can take busywork off your plate so that you can focus on growth. Ecommerce automation software is one of those tools. And it can make manual, tedious tasks automatic by connecting your stores to your accounting solution.
Trusting technology to help your ecommerce business run on its own can be intimidating. But it’s a necessary step in business growth, especially if you’re a one-person show or managing a small team. Knowing when to bring in automation can be challenging. But if any of the following apply to your business, it’s time to switch.
You’ve moved from spreadsheets to accounting software
If you’ve graduated from spreadsheets to accounting software like QuickBooks, you’ve already benefited from SaaS technology. Accounting software has many useful tools that can make your books simpler and tidier.
But you’ve probably realized that even accounting software requires time-consuming manual data entry. And with manual entry comes the risk of error. Accounting automation can do those tedious, repetitive tasks for you.
For example, automation can sync details on a schedule you choose, so you don’t have to add details for every order manually. An automated sync can prevent mistakes and errors that can throw off your books and be difficult to trace later.
You fill more than 100 orders per month
One of the attractive things about selling online is that you can start small and grow as you discover what works for your niche or ideal customer. But scaling is difficult when you’re doing everything on your own.
There are lots of ways to use automation in your ecommerce business. But if you’re already filling more than 100 orders per month, consider using it to free up your valuable time. Essentially, ecommerce automation can take you from basic bookkeeping to inventory, pricing, purchasing, and shipping automation as your needs change.
Let’s take a look at what needs to happen every time someone places an order. If you’re not using a third-party logistics (3PL) company, you have to pack, process, and ship each order yourself. That means adjusting inventory on your store and your accounting software, posting order details, finding the best shipping rates, and keeping customers informed of their order status.
Automation takes care of the tedious work for you, short of actually placing an item in a box and delivering it to a carrier. Automation pulls customer information into your accounting system automatically, finds you the best shipping rates, generates shipping labels and purchase orders, updates customers on the status of their orders, and more.
You run a multichannel operation
Opening one online store takes guts, let alone two or more! A multichannel retail strategy is imperative to meet customers wherever they’re shopping online. But when you add a sales channel to your retail strategy, you have to manage twice the data.
Automation can help multichannel sellers in two important ways: syncing transactions and gaining performance analytics. First, ecommerce automation tools were made for multichannel sellers. These tools connect your stores and marketplaces to your accounting platform. You never have to add order details manually again.
Second, any automation tool that gives you a panoramic view of your business performance and profitability is vital to multichannel success. Understanding what channels are performing, what products perform best on what channels, and their overall profitability will give you critical insights for strategic planning.
Some tools offer ecommerce channel intelligence add-ons. But even without an add-on, a good tool can show you more than just customer details. You should be able to see profitability details such as gross revenue, payment processing fees, gross order profit and loss, shipping fees, and more for each order. That way, you can see the total net profit or loss for an item sold in any channel.
You’re doing your own bookkeeping
Even established ecommerce merchants can adopt many roles to keep the business going. So if you’re processing, packing, and shipping orders on your own and acting as your own bookkeeper, it’s a good sign you’re ready to automate.
And as we’ve learned, accounting automation can take a lot of tedious, manual tasks off your plate. You can be your own accounting department and still benefit from automation. Let’s say you’re ready to post the day’s orders to your accounting system.
Instead of posting orders individually, you can configure your automation tool to post all orders from a given period on a schedule. All the information will appear in your accounting system exactly as it was in each order in a fraction of the time.
“If you can have the automation do 90% of it and you’re just doing the last 10%, you’re going to give yourself time back,” said Jody Padar, The Radical CPA. “And you’re going to save yourself a lot of headaches because you’ll get this stuff done.”
You’re managing inventory in a separate app
Inventory management in ecommerce is essential to several key functions. It can help prevent overstocking and overselling, dramatically affecting your bottom line and your customers’ satisfaction.
True inventory efficiency comes down to the tools you use to manage it. So if you’re still managing inventory manually or in separate apps — and you’re a multichannel operation — it’s time to automate.
For example, automation can sync one less item than the quantity in your accounting platform as the quantity to the sales channel. So if you have 100 items to sell, automation can sync 99 to your store and alert you when you’re close to selling out. Capabilities like this can give you time to restock and prevent shipping delays that can hinder customer loyalty.
Switching to automation nearly doubles online order revenue
If time, bandwidth, and focus are holding you back from selling more, automation can help. And if you’re just at the cusp of significant growth, it may be a critical tool in your path to success. Consider what it did for Jordan’s Skinny Mixes.
Jordan’s Skinny Mixes is the leading manufacturer of low-calorie cocktail mixes, sugar-free coffee syrups, and many other specialty beverage items and gifts. But as the business took off and online orders came in, owner Jordan Engelhardt realized she and her team were buried in busywork.
The search for the right solution ended when Jordan found Webgility’s QuickBooks Desktop connector, which could sync the accounting platform to Shopify. More than just a bridge between apps, the solution eliminated tedious and time-consuming manual data entry from their bookkeeping processes. Meanwhile, accurate inventory management reduced operational errors that slowed progress.
By letting technology handle the busywork, Jordan and her team could put more time and energy into business growth and improved customer experiences. As a result, the company could test new marketing strategies that added over $3 million in annual revenue and saw a 19% increase in abandoned carts recovered. Once the company adopted automation, it saw order volumes increase 75% year over year.
Growing an ecommerce business isn’t easy. But if you’re strategic about the resources you put in place, you can focus on revenue-increasing activities. Flexible automation can help you with accounting and operational tasks that require time and energy.
Webgility is top-rated ecommerce automation that empowers businesses to thrive in ecommerce by integrating their systems, automating their operations, and delivering powerful insights. Move faster, make better decisions, and win.