The COVID-19 pandemic closed businesses the world over. This opened an opportunity for eCommerce businesses to expand and provide their customers with different product variations from the comfort of their homes.
Through the restrictions, eCommerce businesses remained in operation. This saw businesses that had never thought about selling online set up shop to try to adapt to the changing times.
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With every business setting up an online shop, the adoption of automation and artificial intelligence (AI) was accelerated. This gave birth to innovations and automation trends that are now driving the eCommerce industry. Some exciting eCommerce automation trends to watch out for in 2022 include;
1. Returns Management
A large number of eCommerce businesses have no idea when their customers are returning products, why they are returning, and when the products will get back to them. They even do not know if they need to offer a refund or change the product.
Can you imagine the problems that such eCommerce businesses go through facing the challenge of product returns? Are they even going to put such products back on sale or what are they going to do with them?
This is something you should not be worried about in 2022. You can implement the use of an automated returns portal to manage your returns. Such a portal allows your customers to make arrangements for their returns with reasons for the returns. This way, you can make the right decision even before the product gets back to you.
2. Order Processing
Handling order processing manually consumes a lot of time and can lead to delays. In addition to time wastage, it is also prone to human errors such as sending the wrong package to a customer.
Today, eCommerce businesses are doing everything they can to eliminate the manual processing of orders. When processing an order, for instance, you might have to handle things such as shipping depending on the delivery date or the weight of the product.
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You do not need to be doing this work manually in 2022. You can use an automation tool to handle all your order processing requirements. With these tools, you can set the rules and let them handle everything else automatically for you.
3. Dropshipping Automation
The dropshipping business has been in existence for many years. It is a form of business where a seller sets up an online store, accepts orders from customers, and delivers the products ordered even though they do not keep the products themselves.
This is a tedious business that consumes a lot of time especially when handling orders and checking for them from your suppliers. Fortunately, with technological advancement, you do not have to worry about all the processes on your own.
This is because of dropshipping automation applications such as SparkShipping that allow you to connect to your suppliers and automate processes such as updating inventories, uploading products, and sending and tracking orders.
4. Machine Learning, Artificial Intelligence, and Analytics
eCommerce stores use warehouses to keep their products. This is not going to change. However, the warehouses are getting bigger and more important. This is because of more orders, products, and a larger catalog to take care of.
Today, some eCommerce businesses are leaving the responsibility of predicting the demand for their products to their warehouses. They are using innovative solutions that improve capacity and layout, manage replenishment, and anticipate the levels of their stocks.
These solutions use predictive analysis together with modeling, data mining, and big data to predict the future using historical trends. Together with machine learning and artificial intelligence, eCommerce stores are taking predictive analytics to the next level.
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5. Use of Robots in Warehouses
Well, it is 2022 and technology has advanced so much to a point where businesses are now using robots to take care of some manual tasks that were initially handled by humans. The eCommerce industry has not been left.
Some stores are now using robots in their warehouses to ease the work done by their staff, especially order pickers. When picking an order, a robot can be instructed to pick the order from the warehouse and deliver it to the picker.
Others have set up several robots, called co-bots on the path of pickers to assist with order picking. For instance, the picker takes the product from where it’s placed, gives it to the first co-bot, then heads out. The co-bots will pass this order to the last one and the picker can take it from there.
With these automation trends, we are going to see major changes in the eCommerce business.