Giles Thomas, Author at Acquire Convert
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9 Ecommerce Automation Opportunities For Stores [2024]

Ecommerce Automation

Today, savvy entrepreneurs recognize that welcoming automation with open arms is not only advantageous—but essential to staying competitive.

In this article, we invite you to explore the remarkable potential that automation holds for your online store. From streamlining inventory management to optimizing customer support, you’ll learn how to leverage automation to revolutionize your e-commerce enterprise.


Coming right up are nine potential automation opportunities you can use today to optimize your store. 

Inventory management and planning

Kicking us off is inventory management and planning. 

This a great place to start, as this area holds perhaps the most potential for introducing automation. 

You know how important a role inventory plays in your business. Keeping track of stock levels, forecasting demand, and ensuring timely restocking are all vital to running a smooth operation.

Traditionally, inventory management has been a labor-intensive and error-prone process. Have you spent countless hours manually updating spreadsheets and reconciling stock? Grappling with inventory discrepancies can quickly become overwhelming. But, with automation, these challenges can become a thing of the past.

Imagine a system that seamlessly syncs with your online store that delivers real-time visibility into your inventory levels. Automation allows integrations with your suppliers to streamline your ordering process. Automate stock replenishment, trigger alerts when items are running low, and even analyze historical data to forecast demand more accurately. 

If you want to take a holistic approach, you should consider a more efficient inventory management process with cloud ERP solutions. This is because it provides a comprehensive suite of tools and functionalities that integrate various business processes (such as inventory management, order fulfillment, and finance) into a centralized system accessible through the cloud. 

Leveraging cloud ERP solutions helps to save you time, reduces costs, and minimizes the risk of stockouts or excess inventory.

Inventory management and planning


Order fulfillment process

Next up, let’s consider how you can automate your business’s order fulfillment processes.

Ensuring accurate and timely order processing, packaging, and shipping is paramount to delivering exceptional customer experiences. Automation brings excellent opportunities to streamline and enhance your order fulfillment operations.

Depending on which platform you choose to work with, by automating your order fulfillment process you can benefit from features like batch label printing and automatic order importing. This has two benefits, firstly, it makes your process less labor intensive and secondly, it reduces the chance of human error and misplaced orders. 

This is another instance where you might want a more integrated system. As you can combine your order preparation, delivery, packaging, and shipping with other parts of your business, such as customer service. Helping you to provide a better service overall by supplying your customer service teams with the right information. 


Customer support and satisfaction 

Exceptional customer support is the cornerstone of any successful ecommerce business.

Beyond the immediate benefits, automation also facilitates order tracking and customer communication. For instance, automatically update customers with shipping information, including tracking numbers and estimated delivery dates. This proactive approach enhances transparency, builds trust, and reduces the likelihood of customers inquiring when their orders will arrive. 

Including automation in your customer support workflows enables you to automatically assign, prioritize, and track customer inquiries to guarantee timely responses and resolution. This organized approach reduces the risk of customer inquiries falling through the cracks and makes sure that every customer receives the attention they deserve.

A great use case for automation is to engage with your customers to gather valuable feedback. Send automated surveys or feedback forms post-purchase or interaction to let customers share their thoughts and insights. 

You can then combine this data with a Sage ERP ecommerce software or with a customer relationship management (CRM) software. This will make your data more valuable by collecting it all in the same place. Also, by integrating it with project management tools like Asana you can streamline collaboration and make more informed decisions about your business.  

Customer support and satisfaction


Personalized marketing

To stand out in the saturated ecommerce market, think about introducing personalized marketing via automation. 

Personalized marketing has emerged as a powerful strategy to engage customers on an individual level, cater to their specific preferences, and deliver tailored experiences that resonate deeply.

Automation gives your business the power to offer personalized recommendations based on your customers’ browsing histories, purchase behavior, and demographic information. Analyze vast amounts of data in real-time to understand your customers’ preferences, interests, and buying patterns. Armed with this knowledge, you can create highly targeted and relevant marketing campaigns that speak directly to each customer’s unique needs.

One way to use personalized marketing to your advantage is to upsell products to generate more revenue and increase average customer spend. When you know more about your buyers via automation, this is straightforward.


Purchase, payment, and checkout 

The purchase, payment, and checkout process is the culmination of a customer’s journey with your ecommerce store. 

It’s the moment when they make a buying decision and complete a transaction. Ensuring a smooth, secure, and convenient experience at this stage is crucial for maximizing conversions and driving customer satisfaction.

With automation, you can enhance the user experience by implementing smart search functionalities, personalized product recommendations, and intuitive navigation. This reduces friction and enhances discoverability, guiding customers toward finding the products they want effortlessly.

Automation also plays a pivotal role in simplifying the payment process. By integrating with secure payment gateways, you can offer a variety of payment options—such as credit cards, digital wallets, or alternative payment methods. Quick and secure transactions enhance customer trust in your store and minimize cart abandonment.

The checkout process itself can be optimized through automation to minimize barriers and improve conversion rates. Intelligent checkout systems can automatically populate shipping and billing information based on customer profiles, saving them time and effort. 

Additionally, automation can calculate accurate shipping costs and taxes in real-time, ensuring transparency and preventing surprises for customers during the checkout process.

Order fulfillment process


Shipping and logistics

Automation offers transformative solutions that streamline shipping processes, enhance visibility, and drive operational efficiency.

With automation tools, you can compare rates from different shipping carriers, select the most cost-effective options, and negotiate favorable shipping contracts. Automated rate shopping helps to guarantee that you are providing competitive shipping prices to your customers while minimizing expenses for your business.


Returns and refunds 

While providing hassle-free returns and refunds may seem challenging, automation offers powerful solutions to streamline this process, enhance customer satisfaction, and make sure your operations run smoothly. 

Automation simplifies the returns and refund process, enhancing customer satisfaction and ensuring smooth operations. Customers can initiate returns online, effortlessly generating return labels and facilitating the authorization process. 

Automation enables automated return evaluation based on predefined rules, reducing manual intervention and ensuring fair evaluations. Efficient refunds are initiated automatically upon receipt and inspection of returned items, eliminating manual processing and ensuring timely reimbursement.

Efficient refunds are crucial to customer satisfaction. Automation can accelerate the refund process by automatically initiating refunds upon receipt and inspection of returned items. This not only eliminates manual refund processing and reduces errors but also secures timely reimbursement to customers. Meaning they’re more likely to shop again with your company. 


Analytics 

Comprehensive automation tools automatically collect and analyze ecommerce data from various sources, including website traffic, customer interactions, sales transactions, and marketing campaigns. Integrate analytics tools and platforms to consolidate data from multiple channels to gather a holistic view of your ecommerce performance in one centralized location.

Free to use image sourced from Unsplash

Automation enables real-time data tracking. You can monitor key metrics and performance indicators instantaneously by automatically generating reports, dashboards, and visualizations. This gives you the information in a clear and digestible format, saving time and eliminating manual data manipulation, and allowing you to focus on interpreting the insights to make smart, data-backed decisions about how to grow your ecommerce business.


Website management

The final area to discuss for automation opportunities is your business website. 

Your website is the digital storefront of your ecommerce business and serves as the primary touchpoint for your customers. Effective website management is essential for delivering a seamless user experience, driving conversions, and maintaining a strong online presence.

Combining automation with your website means you can automate routine tasks—such as content updates, product listings, and inventory synchronization. Integrate your website with content management systems (CMS) to manage inventory levels and pricing. This eliminates the need for manual updates and makes sure that your website reflects accurate and up-to-date information at all times.

Because website performance is crucial for both user experience and search engine optimization (SEO), automation can help you monitor and optimize website performance. Automate tasks such as website speed testing, error detection, and performance optimization to make sure your site runs smoothly and to work towards increasing your ecommerce traffic. 


Ecommerce automation opportunities

Ecommerce automation presents a world of opportunities for online stores to enhance efficiency, productivity, and customer satisfaction. 

From inventory management and planning to order fulfillment, personalized marketing, and shipping logistics, automation streamlines key processes, saves time, reduces errors, and drives operational excellence.

With the repetitive, time-consuming aspects of inventory management taken care of, you can focus on expanding your product offerings, improving customer experiences, and scaling your business to new heights.

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[2024] Shopify vs GoDaddy for Ecommerce: Which is Best?

 


Shopify vs GoDaddy: Background

Shopify vs GoDaddy

GoDaddy started life in 1997, in Phoenix, Az. Founded by entrepreneur Bob Parsons, it’s now a household name with over 21 million customers, over 80 million domain names and more than 6,600 employees worldwide.

While GoDaddy has steadily added new strings to its service offerings over the years — beyond simple domain name registrations to hosting, websites, email and so on — it now appears to be ramping up its online store efforts.

The company has had an ecommerce service offering since 2015 but its latest offering is more advanced, providing a true out-of-the-box store builder solution.

Shopify vs GoDaddy Shopify

Shopify, on the other hand, has focused on ecommerce stores since its inception in 2006. That’s all it does. It was purpose-built from the ground up as a complete ecommerce solution for store owners with no coding expertise or team of developers at hand.

The platform saw phenomenal growth during the pandemic in 2020 and 2021 but even before then, it was ramping up its growth.

It’s now regarded as one of the best (and biggest) ecommerce platforms around, providing solutions not only for big brands like Heinz, Red Bull, Jenny Craig, Red Bull and Kylie Cosmetics but also for smaller boutiques, dropshippers and growing stores.

Shopify is now more than a simple store builder. It’s a true multi-channel solution provider integrating all sales channels into one convenient and centralized operating system and backed up with plenty of back-end management, alongside content creation and marketing tools.


Shopify vs GoDaddy: Market share

GoDaddy lays claim to over 41 million websites that use its services in some form, with around 17 million currently live websites and around 1.9 million websites using GoDaddy’s Website Builder product.  It is a truly global player, operating worldwide.

However, when it comes to ecommerce, the GoDaddy Online Store has much more modest numbers. 

Just under 4,000 live websites use GoDaddy Online Store — almost all in the U.S. UK, Canada or Australia.

By comparison, Shopify has over 4.1 million live stores across the world, including 2.7 million stores in the U.S. Over 21,500 of the world’s top one million websites and almost 400 of the world’s leading 10,000 websites use Shopify.

While a good proportion of Shopify platform merchants are based in the U.S., Shopify merchants are active in more than 175 countries.


Shopify vs GoDaddy: Main features

Ecommerce stores not only need to look good. They need to create a seamless shopping experience.

How do GoDaddy and Shopify shape up when we consider their standout features?


Standout features of GoDaddy

Seamless and affordable email marketing integration

GoDaddy allows 25,000 emails per month to be sent on its Premium/Commerce plans and 100,000 on its Commerce Plus plan. It also provides email subscriber sign-up forms and email list segmentation to aid with email marketing campaigns.

Fast and easy to use

Shopify vs GoDaddy GD Editor

Few website builders are as easy to use as GoDaddy’s

GoDaddy’s editor allows easy click-and-edit customization of pages — you can add your own copy into any of the pre-loaded text boxes or add/delete a text box with a simple click. You can also easily drag and drop images from your computer and use the media uploader to upload them.

Free templates/themes

All templates available on the GoDaddy platform are free to use and come as part of the deal. Sometimes, with Shopify,  paid themes are like paying a “hidden” setup fee. 

Despite being free, GoDaddy’s templates are professional and stylish and you should be able to find the look and feel you want.

Shopify vs GoDaddy GD Zinnea Theme

Partnership with WooCommerce

In 2019, GoDaddy announced a partnership with Automattic (the parent company of WooCommerce) to improve its ecommerce offering.

WooCommerce is a serious competitor of Shopify and we expect to see more developments between GoDaddy and WooCommerce to strengthen their ecommerce offerings. 

GoDaddy’s managed WooCommerce Stores solution was announced as recently as December 2022, streamlining the process of managing a WordPress online store.


Standout features of Shopify 

Advanced sales features

With Shopify, store owners can sell across multiple sales channels all from a single centralized hub. 

It provides powerful opportunities for international cross-border selling online and all plans except the Starter plan provide a more sophisticated point-of-sale (POS) option than GoDaddy — with free hardware/software for offline stores and automatic inventory syncing.

Shopify vs GoDaddy Shopify POS

Shopify’s social media tools make it easy to start selling on Facebook and Instagram, as well as Amazon, Walmart, Google, Pinterest, Snapchat, and in-person.

Integration with over 100 payment gateways, an impressive multilingual setup and the ability to sell in multiple currencies out of the box also aid international sales for stores with big ideas.

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)

Shopify allows almost complete freedom when it comes to your site’s SEO — you can configure URLs, redirects and page titles and you have tools to improve site speed (a key ranking factor).

The options with SEO are more advanced than with GoDaddy, where the Basic plan does not even give access to any of the main SEO features.

Integration with many apps

One of the main reasons to use Shopify is that it works well out-of-the-box — but beyond what’s in the box, there are plenty of tools to provide extra functionality if needed.

Shopify vs GoDaddy Shopify App Store

Access to over 6,000 apps on the Shopify app store provides help with everything from store design, marketing/conversion, and finding products to selling products, orders/shipping and store management.

Most are easy to install and many are free to use.

Quick-loading pages

Slow page loading times will damage the customer experience and ultimately, kill your store. Shopify store pages load fast and the platform provides a store speed report that can help you further optimize load times. 

Multiple payment gateway options for customers

Shopify offers its in-built payment gateway (Shopify Payments powered by Stripe is available in 20 countries around the world) or integration with over 100 third-party payment gateways for accepting customer payments—from Google Pay to Bitcoin.

Shopify vs GoDaddy Shopify Payments


Shopify vs GoDaddy: Customer support

Shopify provides excellent 24/7 customer support by email, live chat and phone (available in most of its main markets) for all plans. 

The Shopify system forces you to look for a solution to your problem from the online Help Center search resources before contacting a real person for support — a potential annoyance for some merchants.

Shopify vs GoDaddy Support

GoDaddy also offers the type of comprehensive support you might expect from a leading global internet company: live chat and phone support across all its plans, with phone support 24/7 in most regions.

There are also support accounts on Twitter and, WhatsApp (in some regions) and 24/7 SMS support in the US.

GoDaddy’s resource center includes video and article tutorials but the one problem with using these online resources is that there are so many GoDaddy products that it can be difficult to find precise information about the online store product.

Customer support may be one area of the Shopify vs GoDaddy battle where GoDaddy comes out on top.


Shopify vs GoDaddy: Pricing & Plans

When considering the costs of running an ecommerce store, there are monthly charges and additional fees to factor in.


Monthly fees

Shopify and GoDaddy both charge monthly fees but, unlike Shopify, GoDaddy offers a free mobile-friendly website option with support and marketing tools — but this has no ecommerce functionality.

To sell products online, you’ll need the Commerce or Commerce Plus plan. Here are the paid Website Builder plans currently offered by GoDaddy:

Shopify vs GoDaddy GD Pricing

  • Basic: $9.99/month
  • Premium: $14.99/month
  • Commerce: $16.99/per month
  • Commerce Plus: $29.99/month 

These prices are based on making an annual payment. The Basic plan renews 12 months later for $11.99/month, the Premium plan for $21.99/month, the Commerce plan for $24.99/month and the Commerce Plus plan for $44.99/month. So, effectively, GoDaddy offers a discount for the first year you commit to.

Shopify plans are more expensive and are detailed as follows (based on paying annually):

Shopify vs GoDaddy Shopify Pricing

  • Basic Shopify: $17/month 
  • Shopify: $44/month 
  • Advanced Shopify: $266/month 

NOTE: at the time of writing, Shopify’s Basic plan was being offered at $1/month for the first three months. This makes the average monthly price (paid annually) for the Basic plan $17 instead of the normal $19.

Additionally, Shopify provides alternative plans for beginners and enterprise clients:

  1. A Starter plan for $5/month that enables a Shopify “buy” button on an existing site or Facebook 
  2. Shopify Plus plan starting at $2,000/month (enterprise clients)

NOTE: at the time of writing, Shopify’s Starter plan was being offered at $1/month for the first three months. 

All Shopify plans provide unlimited products. Products are limited to 5,000 with the Commerce account on GoDaddy.

There is no enterprise or custom version with GoDaddy and while point-of-sale devices are available, they cost extra (they are free with Shopify).

Note that only two staff accounts are provided with Basic Shopify. The Shopify plan provides five accounts and the Advanced plan up to 15.

Shopify offers a three-day free trial while you can try GoDaddy free for one month.


Additional fees

GoDaddy offers 100+ mobile-friendly designs for its website builder and you can start building your website for free (if you want the ecommerce features, you’ll need to upgrade to one of the appropriate paid plans).

Shopify vs GoDaddy GD Themes

With Shopify, there are currently only 11 free themes and 100 paid premium themes. The paid themes range from $200 to $300 from Shopify or around $30 to $100 from third-party sites.

Shopify Pay is available in 20 countries so there’s a good chance that you can avoid having to use another payment gateway. If you do use a third-party gateway, Shopify offers integration with over 100 gateways and charges additional fees of between 0.5 percent and 2 percent per transaction depending on your plan (plus credit card processing fees of 2.4%+30c to 2.9%+30c).

GoDaddy Payments charges a credit card processing fee of  2.3% + 30c per transaction — but this service is only available in the US. If you need to use a third-party gateway with GoDaddy. there are no additional GoDaddy charges but you are much more limited with the choices — and you’ll still pay the standard credit card processing fees using either PayPal, Stripe or Square.

The other pricing factor to bear in mind with Shopify is the additional cost of paid apps if you choose to extend the functionality of your store as many Shopify merchants do.


Shopify or GoDaddy for your online store?

Some solopreneurs and small business owners may consider GoDaddy for their ecommerce stores. The low monthly pricing is certainly an attraction — but this will need to be balanced with the clear limitations of the platform.

For most ecommerce business owners with ambitions of creating more than a basic store (or selling in more than one language and one currency), Shopify is the best option. 

The flexibility and scalability of the Shopify platform are geared up to serve a wider range of businesses: from dropshippers to small-to-medium-sized ecommerce stores and larger enterprises.

Even if the $1/month Shopify deal has ended by the time you sign up, it’s still great value.