Three Ways to Boost E-commerce Revenue with Email Automation
The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic has more people shopping online. In the third quarter of 2020, adjusted U.S. retail e-commerce sales amounted to over $209.5 billion. Ecommerce businesses dealing with high volumes of emails must meet the rapidly growing expectations of quick email responses seamlessly. According to HubSpot, email is the most used form of communication for customer service. A backlog of unanswered emails can swell quickly, and it’s critical that businesses maintain a high level of customer service to avoid customer dissatisfaction and lost revenue.
In 2020 alone, more than 3 billion emails were sent and received each day, and the use of email is expected to grow 2% – 3% each year through 2023. Email automation allows for businesses to solve the issues of email overload while increasing response time. Unlike an auto-reply email that generates a passive, generic response, email virtual assistant technology proactively assists agents by providing a customized email response to the specific issue or issues described in the customer’s email.
With email automation, organizations can boost e-commerce revenue by saving agents valuable time, increasing loyalty and repeat purchases, reducing online shopping cart abandonment, and ensuring high support standards.
Save Time and Money
Responding to emails in a timely manner can fall to the wayside, especially when agents dedicate their efforts to more difficult live interactions. On average, it takes live agents more than five minutes to read, digest, and respond to a customer’s query properly. This processing time results in an average cost of $5.50 per email. In fact, the cost of time spent on emails can be as much as $30,000 per year per agent.
However, with automation, emails can be processed for only $1.50 per email. If an organization uses automation to process 10,000 emails per month, it can save around $40,000 per month.
Email automation technology uses natural language processing (NLP) technology to identify the issue or issues described in the email. It then applies artificial intelligence (AI) to automatically generate an email response based on actual replies from top-performing human agents. Relying on AI, the technology can “learn” from changes or adopt new language that human agents make or add to the emails. It then attaches a goodwill compensation by using a goodwill calculator that is based on predefined parameters. The final step requires less than one minute of time from agents, which is spent reviewing and sending the personalized and automatically generated emails.
Increase Loyalty and Repeat Purchases
There is a direct correlation between positive brand experience and customer loyalty. When customers feel valued, the odds of repeat purchases increase. Research shows that nearly 70% of customers would spend more money with a company that has excellent customer service.
In a time of such uncertainty, it’s imperative that organizations make their customers feel cared for as customer interactions represent high-stakes, high-risk moments along the purchasing journey. Replying as quickly as possible to resolve the customer’s issue demonstrates that you value their time and their business, building loyalty and lifetime value.
Avoid Cart Abandonment
Email automation provides a quick way for customers to find answers to their questions. According to Forrester Research, over half of U.S. shoppers will abandon their online carts if they can’t find a quick answer to their questions. Similarly, the average e-commerce cart abandonment rate is around 78%.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, customers have shifted their shopping behaviors to focus on e-commerce. In May 2020 alone, online sales rose to $83 billion, which is a 77% increase from the year before. Given that customers can shop online at any hour, the expectation of around-the-clock responses grows. If these expectations aren’t met, most customers will abandon their carts.
Automation helps avoid cart abandonment by using AI technology to respond to incoming customer emails with a real answer and not a generic confirmation message. Using this AI technology provides customers with fast responses at all hours of the day. It’s nearly impossible to have a live agent available at all hours of the day and AI technology helps meet customers’ needs.
Ensure High Support Standards (Even During Busy Seasons)
During the holidays and other busy seasons, customer service teams seek outside help by outsourcing or hiring more customer service agents. Email automation provides flexibility to meet demand, even during the busiest of times. Email automation rises to the challenge of handling the inevitable influx of emails. No matter how busy the season may be, customer service teams will be able to keep email backlogs low and response times short, keeping your customers happy.