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How To Use Automation To Enhance Your E-Commerce Business

By FedEx | November 3, 2023

Great online purchase fulfilment is one of the secrets to e-commerce success. Automated tools can help you ship more efficiently, freeing up time and resources to focus on other parts of your business.

Did you know that retailers are carrying out hundreds if not thousands of small daily tasks that can take around 5 to 10 minutes each? Added up, that’s a serious impact on productivity, and a risk to small business growth.

The more tasks there are, the higher the risk of human error – which can result in extra cost or negatively impact the customer experience. With delivery a key part of the online shopping experience, one mistake can lead to a bad review or loss of customer retention.

Order fulfilment can be a painstaking process for SMEs

Time spent on the fulfilment of online purchases often leaves businesses with less time for other activities, including business strategy. Some small businesses spend about 500 hours per year managing their freight shipments. 42% say they are spending over two hours on each individual shipment.
Employees stand around a table with design plans and virtual interfaces

And for many SMEs, especially those starting out, creating international shipments is a daunting process. In an increasingly fast-paced e-commerce environment, SMEs need to get quickly up-to-speed with customs clearance, shipping costs and delays, paperwork, and more.

RELATED: Delivery: Are Asia’s SMEs Doing It Right?

Using flexible, automated tools to simplify e-commerce shipping

From single-package shipments to multi-package freight, e-tailers need the hit on the right flexible solutions to enhance operational efficiency.

One such tool is FedEx Ship Manager (FSM), an automated solution that helps you ship all your packages and pallets with one system in less time. Businesses can schedule pickups, track status, instantly generate commercial invoices, combine and maintain shared address books and print labels for multiple orders all in one click.

Unlike some shipping solutions, it’s easy to use right away and doesn’t require in-depth tech training.
Asian female SME scans FedEx box and prints labels

In the AMEA (Asia Pacific, Middle East and Africa) region, we recently launched an upgrade to FSM to enhance the online shipping experience for our customers.

With this upgrade, e-tailers can now synchronize their Shopify, BigCommerce, WooCommerce and Prestashop stores with FSM – with more e-commerce platforms and marketplaces to be added in the near future. This is great news for the many SMEs who sell on these highly popular platforms.

RELATED: 5 E-Commerce Features Your Online Store Needs

How automation benefits your business

Digitalized tools like automation are meeting productivity challenges head-on. Automation can save e-commerce businesses valuable time and resources, while making workflow processes faster and more efficient.

Automation tools can also help streamline routine, day-to-day e-commerce tasks like creating the shipment labels – complete with delivery tracking codes – needed for every single package sent to customers.

Beyond offering operational efficiency, they can also have a positive impact on your brand reputation and your bottom line. If online order fulfilment is flawless, consumers can rely on your brand to deliver, leading to repeat purchases and brand loyalty.
FedEx Express package box sits on a table in the office

For e-commerce businesses and SMEs, automation can certainly be a game changer for those looking to scale up fast.

RELATED: 3 Reasons Automation Is A Game Changer For B2B SMEs

Ultimately, better use of your energy and effort can free you up to focus on bigger and better things. There’s more time to invest in staff training, talent recruitment, negotiating with suppliers, sales and marketing, and product development: all of which directly helps your business grow and expand.

Looking for more tips on time-saving e-commerce tools? Head over to our e-commerce page for more useful insights for small business owners.
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