Automation could be the Answer to Powerful Growth in your eCommerce Business
We are in the midst of an ongoing revolution in artificial intelligence, and in automation more broadly. Jobs which were once performed by people are now, increasingly, being performed by machines. And this transition is taking place more quickly with every passing day.
Economic circumstances, like the dip in labour supply following the coronavirus pandemic, might accelerate the pace of change still further – but this is a longer-term transition to an entirely different sort of economy.
Certain sectors might benefit from automation right now. Among these is eCommerce.
What is automation in eCommerce?
Running an eCommerce business relies on many tasks being performed. These can often be repetitive, dull, and time consuming. Tasks of this nature are best left to machines.
What forms might eCommerce automation take?
The launch of a new product can be a tricky and complicated process. Not only does the product in question need to be added to the storefront; it also needs to be advertised through a diverse range of targeted channels. Automation will remove much of the administrative work from this process, and ensure that errors and downtime are kept to a minimum.
The modern customer expects packages to be delivered as quickly as possible. But they also expect to be kept informed at every stage of a given package’s progress. If there are hundreds of items out for delivery at any one time, then tracking these might be a full-time job. If there are thousands of them, this might be impossible.
Identifying high-risk orders
Sometimes, your system might receive an order that anyone could recognise as a risk. If dozens, or hundreds, of the same item are to be delivered to a domestic address, then this might be cause for concern. But an artificial intelligence might be able to identify more subtle forms of risk, and pick out potential fraudsters using modelling and statistics.
The Covid-19 pandemic means that warehouse operators will find themselves unable to come into work. This is likely to kick the adoption of robotic alternatives into overdrive. Robotic Process Automation is an increasingly important pillar of the online shopping industry – and it was likely to become ubiquitous even before the intervention of world events.
Settling on just a single courier can often lead to wasted money in the long-term. By instead considering a range of options, you’ll be able to identify the cheapest, and thereby limit your spending on shipping – which will constitute a sizeable portion of your variable costs. You can perform this comparison via services like Parcel2Go.
Identifying high-value customers
A minority of customers can often make up a majority of an e-commerce business’s income. And, in the case of some businesses, this is especially likely. Artificial intelligence allows these customers to be flagged automatically according to pre-selected criteria, so that they can be targeted later by tailored advertising. Retaining these customers can be hugely important for small businesses, particularly during trying economic times.
The Ultimate Guide to the Essential Social Skills in Business
Effective communication and strong relationships are essential for success in the workplace. One factor that can greatly influence these qualities is emotional intelligence, often abbreviated as EQ. EQ refers to the ability to identify, understand, and manage one’s own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. Research has shown that individuals with high levels of EQ are better equipped to handle stress, communicate effectively, and work collaboratively with others (Chamorro-Premuzic & Sanger, 2016).
Research has consistently shown that emotional intelligence (EQ) is an important predictor of job performance and success in the workplace. EQ is comprised of a set of skills that allow individuals to recognize, understand, and regulate their own emotions, as well as the emotions of others. In addition, individuals with high EQ are better able to communicate effectively, build relationships, and navigate complex social situations. As a result, they are often viewed as effective leaders and collaborators, and are more likely to achieve their personal and professional goals.
In fact, a number of studies have demonstrated the significant impact that EQ has on job performance and success. For example, one study of 85 upper-level managers found that those with higher EQ scores were rated as more effective leaders by their subordinates (Law, Wong, & Song, 2004). Another study of 151 employees found that those with higher EQ were more likely to be promoted within their organization over a five-year period (Carmeli, Brueller, & Dutton, 2009). These findings highlight the importance of EQ in the workplace and suggest that developing these skills can lead to significant benefits for both individuals and organizations.
According to a study conducted by TalentSmart, a leading provider of EQ assessments, EQ is responsible for 58% of success in all job types (Bradberry & Greaves, 2009). In contrast, IQ only accounts for about 4% of success in the workplace. This suggests that EQ is a crucial skill set for individuals in any professional field. Fortunately, EQ is a skill that can be developed and honed over time with practice and awareness.
There are several key components of EQ that are particularly important for success in the workplace. These include:
Self-Regulation: This refers to your capacity to recognize and control your emotions. Sometimes treating them when they arise may be necessary. Understanding how to manage your anger is essential. However, it can also cover how to control the feelings you’ll experience.
Self-Awareness: This implies recognizing and understanding your own feelings. Do noisy places make you nervous? Do other people talking over you make you angry? Knowing these truths about yourself shows that you are working on your self-awareness. Being conscious of yourself is necessary for this phase, which can be more complex than it sounds.
Socialization: This category focuses on your capacity to manage social interactions and direct relationships. It doesn’t entail dominating others but knowing how to work with others to achieve your goals. This could entail presenting your ideas to coworkers, leading a team, or resolving a personal disagreement.
Motivation: Strong motivators include external forces like money, status, or suffering. Internal motivation, however, plays a significant role in Goleman’s concept. By doing so, you demonstrate your ability to control your cause and initiate or continue initiatives of your own volition rather than in response to external demands.
Empathy: It’s equally critical to be sensitive to others’ feelings. This may entail learning to identify different emotional states in individuals — for example, can you tell the difference between someone at ease and someone anxious? — but it also requires comprehension of how other people may react to their current situation. Empathy is one of the essential traits in business and business leadership.
A thought leader in this space, Michael Ventura has built a career advising organizations on the importance of emotional intelligence in the workplace. In his book, Applied Empathy, Ventura highlights the value of empathy in business and provides strategies for developing and applying this skill set. With two decades of experience as a leader, facilitator, and educator, Ventura’s work has made impact in with prestigious institutions such as Princeton University and the United Nations as well as corporate clients such as Google and Nike.
Through his work, Ventura advises leaders to focus on the development of EQ in order to help individuals improve their communication, collaboration, and leadership skills, ultimately leading to greater success in the workplace. Experts like Ventura continue to support the growing body of research on the value of EQ in business, and the evidence that organizations who invest in the EQ of their teams help to create a more empathetic and successful professional environment.
And it’s worth noting that EQ isn’t just important for individual success in the workplace, but also for overall organizational success. A study by the Center for Creative Leadership found that EQ was a better predictor of success than IQ or technical skills in the workplace, and that teams with higher levels of EQ tend to be more effective and productive (Boyatzis, Goleman, & Rhee, 1999). By cultivating a culture of empathy and emotional intelligence, organizations can improve their overall performance and create a more positive work environment for their employees.
In conclusion, emotional intelligence is a crucial component of success in the workplace, and individuals and organizations alike should prioritize the development of these skills. The ones that do not only develop a leading edge in their category, but also become a meaningful place to work for their teams. And in today’s rapidly changing talent landscape, the retention of highly capable, emotionally intelligent leaders is one of the greatest keys to unlocking success.
Boyatzis, R. E., Goleman, D., & Rhee, K. S. (1999). Clustering competence in emotional intelligence: Insights from the emotional competence inventory (ECI). In R. Bar-On & J. D. A. Parker (Eds.), Handbook of emotional intelligence (pp. 343-362). Jossey-Bass.
Bradberry, T., & Greaves, J. (2009). Emotional intelligence 2.0. TalentSmart.
Chamorro-Premuzic, T., & Sanger, M. N. (2016). Does employee happiness matter? Journal of Organizational Effectiveness: People and Performance, 3(2), 168-191.
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