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Ecommerce: Data & Automation Required

Everyone knows that ecommerce is complex. There are an incredible number of moving parts that happen with each brand and every one of their items. Whitebox is designed to streamline this complexity through automation, improving the flow not only for our clients but also for ourselves.

 

We spend a lot of time thinking about ecommerce complexity, and how to confront it. In fact, we even made a diagram to show this. Check it out.

 

 Whitebox 2020 Vision

 

Often times, when we pull out this diagram, it doesn’t always clarify what we do. People scratch their heads. And you should scratch your head – that complexity is why we’re writing this post. These days, many sellers are on the lookout for services to make their lives easier, and there are many options to choose from. We differentiate ourselves by focusing on this entire diagram – the software, analytics and data between the factory door and the customer’s door.

 

Think of this post as a sort of long-winded caption to this diagram and an explanation of why ecommerce automation is the future. And in turn, this should prove why complete automation like you see on this chart isn’t just much easier on you, it’s the best way to achieve success.

Data In, Data Out -- ALL the time.

 

One of the most frequently used words in our handy diagram is “data”. No surprise there, given how much of it is around. If Whitebox is a sandwich, data is our meat and automation is our mayo. It’s only with both that everything comes together.

 

Now, you might be wondering: why can't each seller pull their own data themselves? Well, you could, but it just wouldn’t be as effective as Whitebox’s data. Every ecommerce sales channel – from Walmart, to Amazon, to Ebay, to Shopify – is constantly shifting, constantly using data to refresh their product rankings. At the same time, each of your products is producing its own data – to do with shipping, reviews, inventory levels, keywords and more.

 

At Whitebox, our AI is collecting that data and using it to make decisions about your products. But of course we aren’t only collecting your data, we’re also collecting data from every single one of our clients. And when you put all that data together, it starts to get bigger. With bigger data, you get a clearer understanding of the best ways to grow profit and lower costs.

 

Decisions, Decisions

 

Looking at this diagram of Whitebox’s product, it’s easy enough to guess that the process involves making a LOT of decisions, all of which stem from that data that’s flowing into our AI. Some of the decisions being made include:

  • Which marketplace has the best conversation rate?
  • When do you replenish inventory?
  • When do you run an ad? For how long? How much should you spend?  
  • Which ads have the best Return on Advertising Spend (ROAS) on which sales channel?
  • When do you raise a price? Lower it?
  • What are the best logistics options?

Let’s pause for a second to ask a question: Would you want to be responsible for making all these decisions yourself? For multiple products that each interact with the customer in their own unique way? The answer, we’re sure, is “Heck No!”... or it should be. No human should or can handle all those decisions.

 

Each decision relies on things like seasonality, the size of your product, where in the country people are loving it the most, and so many other factors. And to be the very best, these decisions should not just be made just once or twice a day, but every single minute.

 

What is data’s best friend? More data

 

In ecommerce, nothing should exist in a vacuum. Each of these hundreds of decisions that are being made each day – whether to do with logistics, marketing or advertising – are going to be much stronger if they are made with as much data in mind as possible. Your keywords need to be talking to your ranking need to be talking to your advertising need to be talking to your warehouse need to be talking to your sales history…. You get it.

 

It may help if you think of your ecommerce process as an ecosystem. Just like in nature, no individual organism exists without some relation to all the other organisms in a given system. If one type of animal begins dying off, the repercussions extend well beyond that population and can begin affecting the ecosystem in totally unexpected ways. Take the example of wolves in Yellowstone. The same goes for data. Miss one important element, and you have an incomplete picture. That incomplete picture could be the difference between stagnation and growth.

 

To break it down in the ecommerce realm, let’s take the decision of where to direct traffic from a newsletter as you work to sell your newest product: BBQ chicken crackers. Amazon, Walmart, or eBay? Each of these has a different commission AND different shipping rates. You might think you can just solve this with some simple math but WAIT! there are more factors: maybe Walmart is cheaper on commission, but has a poor conversion rate for crackers and pricier shipping. But then Amazon charges more to store the crackers in their warehouse and people don’t trust eBay to buy crackers anyway. Then, Walmart has a lower return rate.

 

The list goes on. Oh yeah, and it will probably be different next week.

 

Complete Ecommerce Automation is the future

 

The bottom line here is that an inclusive, all-in-one automation package is one of the best ways to support your ecommerce. While it may be possible to put together a selection of other companies to take portions of the ecommerce process off your plate, the fact that their individual systems and yours are not speaking to one another is a missed opportunity.

 

The completeness of our services is what makes us such a powerful automation solution for your ecommerce. Because we handle every step of the ecommerce process for multiple verticals, we have a unique data set that others don't have access too. This complete and unified data set gives us distinct opportunities to grow sales and lower costs with better advertising, dynamic marketing and ultra efficient logistics. As the old saying goes: there is strength in numbers. And automation is all about numbers.