Robotic process automation (RPA) is a software technology that makes it easy to build, deploy, and manage software robots that emulate human actions interacting with digital systems and software. We will discuss the top 8 RPA use cases below.
The traditional methods are not only applicable in the market now, but we need some other ways also. Every industry is complex and facing challenges because of changing customer demands, to provide user satisfaction. RPA in retail and e-commerce can automate and improve the workflow of most of these repetitive tasks like customer engagement, inventory management, bill generation, and many more. This blog will briefly discuss how RPA helps in retail and e-commerce, use cases in the retail and e-commerce sector.
How RPA helps
Retail and e-commerce have been one of the most prominent and growth-oriented sectors, especially in the emerging markets in the recent past. According to a report by eMarketer, the retail industry is expected to reach a mark of $27.7 trillion in global sales by 2020 and along with the growing opportunities. So, it leads to a rapid increase in the competition among different players. The retail and e-commerce industry has been using newer technologies for automation to smoothen their processes and gaining growth to overcome various challenges.
There is no denying that there are repetitive tasks in retail and e-commerce. It is a complex supply chain that has several additional costs that keep adding at every stage. When RPA is used in retail and e-commerce, it supports an array of activities like inventory, supply chain, return processing, invoice. RPA also helps with store planning management.
Use cases of RPA in Retail/E-commerce
1. Returns Processing
In e-commerce whenever any order is placed online after it arrived at home if a customer is not satisfied with the product, then he wants to return it. Processing returns manually can be a consuming task. Because there are thousands of customers who are not satisfied and want to return their products. When the return is done manually it can also increase the cost.
RPA can effectively do returns. It can do all necessary changes needed in altering the inventory database and customer billing.
2. Customer Support Management
Customer support is the basis of RPA in retail and e-commerce and provided 24/7. However, one of the direct applications of automation is offering customer guidance through automated bots. As you can provide all-time support to your users through automation.
From order payments to delivery, your RPA bot can send updates to customers to keep them in the loop and to get every update to them. The automated bot can also take feedback helpful to the sales team. Think of all the time and money you can save with it.
3. Product Categorization
Retailers and e-commerce must categorize based on both global and local stock-keeping units. Many factors can be considered based on the different markets to categorize. Customers fail to find numerous products online because of poor product categorization. A study by the Everest Group says that automation can help you to improve product categorization accuracy by 98.5%. So, you can place several products in relevant categories according to customer needs.
4. Demand and Supply Planning
Demand and supply planning used to be a heavy task. They had to gather data, standardizing, and formatting data, running simulations, finding out exceptions, and finally confirming and communicating the plan. These all can be automated with RPA technology. By adopting RPA, the life of retailers gets easy as RPA helps in increasing capacity and asset management, improving customer, gives supplier and employees satisfaction.
5. ERP Management
ERP stands for Enterprise Resource Planning. It includes activities like price changes, billing, account payables, and more. When we use RPA that is when we make it automated then huge human efforts are reduced.
When RPA is used in the warehouse also then it increases the efficiency of your inventory management. RPA will always ensure that you never run out of valuable inventory.
6. Logistics and Supply Chain Management
When logistics and supply chain are managed efficiently, the move of goods from suppliers to consumers, monitoring inventory level and tracking shipping of materials this all happen smoothly, and materials get delivered on time. As communication is very important in the supply chain, automation of emails would keep better communication between customers, suppliers, and distributors. RPA is also helpful to maintain inventory levels so that retailers have enough products and services to meet their demand.
7. Business and Sales Analytics
RPA in sales automates sales analytics when data-based is offered. We get real-time reports on what customers prefer, how is user behavior related to a particular product. Also, we can make a data-driven decision for trade promotions, reducing churn rate, introducing new products, and keep more customers engaged.
Products and services promotion is essential in the retail and e-commerce industry. Manual execution of these activities is costly. Because to do promotion retailers and e-commerce require data. Data is a primary requirement without which it is not going to be possible to prepare promotions.
RPA achieves this task of data gathering and analysis in much less time and that too with higher efficiency. For example, think of an existing company launching a new product that is a laptop in the market. Without knowing the data and user preferences behind that product, it is not possible to fulfill customer’s needs and wants. As the product is as per customer requirements and they have data so they can do sales promotion easily.
The above-listed cases are the most common tasks. There are several other tasks in the industry where human errors can be minimized.
The use of RPA eliminates the need of performing a lot of manual tasks. According to stats, more than $2 trillion can be saved if half of the tasks done by humans are automated. So make full use of RPA for better productivity and lower your cost.