Partner Article by Ross Boguslavski, Managing Director at Pitaron
Automation is key for any large or small businesses looking to succeed in today’s world. But how can it help those who have yet to take advantage of the modern sub-systems and subscribed tools?
There is no single piece of software that will deliver a seamless automation for your business. Only a network of the top solutions can give your business fully automated status. By having a trusted network in place, you’ll undoubtedly save time on day-to-day tasks.
In this article, we are going to share four of our favourite automation tools that will benefit your business in 2018.
Linnworks – Order management system
Linnworks is, without doubt, one of the major players in the order management solutions space. It allows you to group all of your selling channels in one easy to access place. You’ll also be able to list your products on all marketplaces from a single inventory list.
Use automated rulesets on your daily orders to make service assignment more efficient. By creating a set of conditions based on categories such as weight, measurements or specific products, you’ll be guaranteed that customers will receive their shipments via the most cost-effective courier service.
How about custom designed templates and emails? These can be sent when you process orders which will improve your response times and fulfilment levels like you wouldn’t believe.
Linnworks will allow you to manage inventory and stock control across all channels. That way, you’ll always show the correct stock levels, resulting in a positive buying experience. You can set boundaries for how much stock is shown at any given time, making sure that no customer abandons their shopping cart because of an “out of stock” warning.
For wholesalers and dropshippers, you can take automation even further. Simply customise the Linnworks system to re-direct orders to your suppliers and receive automated stock-level updates on the hour. Once a product is updated, the Linnworks system will reflect these changes.
Hootsuite – Automate and schedule social posts
Hootsuite allows you to automate and schedule social media content to help your business achieve more engagement.
It’s user-friendly too.
From a single dashboard, you can post to all social media channels and check the analytics to see what ones are performing the best. You can also check the behaviour of your audience to ensure you post at the optimum times.
It’s also possible to set up and view automated reports on your social profiles, seeing which content is helping to grow your audience. It really is an excellent collaborative platform for posting social content on Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and more.
By scheduling your posts across different social media channels, you can target specific groups and re-use content across platforms. That way, you can make sure your content hits the right channel, at the right time.
Automate your research in the Twitter-sphere and elsewhere by creating multiple “streams” for the most popular #hashtags in your sector. That way, you can ensure you always stay at the forefront of the social conversation by following the trends that matter to the success of your business.
Parcelhub – Automate your label production with free bespoke delivery management solutions
By using Parcelhub you’ll be able to gain access to 20+ domestic and international carriers at ‘pooled volume’ discounted rates. They actually ship 500,000 parcels per month for many different retailers, brands and wholesalers so it’s a tried and trusted method. But by far the main benefit of Parcelhub is that it takes away time-consuming processes such as manual label production, allowing businesses to focus on things that matter like promotions.
And with volume pricing offered on global couriers like DHL Express, UK Mail, and Parcelforce, you’ll instantly save money by shipping in bulk by accessing discounts offered by their carrier partners. The great thing about this shipping platform is that it can be easily integrated with most modern order management solutions – like Linnworks – to create a one-stop location for handling all business orders.
Asides from delivery management and reduced pricing, they can also take control of your order fulfilment process. By taking advantage of this type of automation, it can have a positive effect on your seller reputation as customer parcels will arrive much faster, increasing your metrics for successful deliveries.
With UK based customer service teams to handle any queries or full end-to-end tracking of your parcels, you can be safe in the knowledge that your shipping service is fully optimised for everyone who uses it.
MailChimp – GDPR compliant email marketing automation
This is an invaluable tool for scheduling your email content in the post-GDPR landscape.
And the great thing? It’s free for small businesses with automation tools available to use, including sign-up forms, GDPR forms creating, and drag & drop HTML design.
If you use MailChimp to automate email marketing for your business, you can place them into categories depending on where or how they signed-up. You can even see what subscribers are active (and more likely to respond) rather than attacking the whole list.
Other features include the ability to create and automate customer email notifications like follow up emails or purchase order confirmations. By using the A/B testing method you’ll be able to see which one has the best open percentage. With integration available for a host of popular platforms, this tool can easily link together with your current eCommerce solutions.