Robotic Process Automation -eCommerce Business

Over last two decades, eCommerce Industry has clearly changed the way Business is transacted for a wide range of spectrum, from B2C to B2B, from local to global market and from products to services spanned across almost all the Industrial sectors. The new sectors are continuously getting added under the purview of eCommerce, transforming the complete Business ecosystem. Increasing trend of the Industry is getting solidify every other day and expected to be one of the major levers being utilized by all Industrial sectors.

The key success factor for any eCommerce enterprise would be to optimally apply their Business and Digital strategies to strengthen Customer experience, Vendor experience, innovative Product catalogues / competitive Pricing and internal Business operations.

Post COVID era, when the Industry is expected to experience exponential growth, it is extremely important especially for small & medium scale eCommerce players to gear up their strategies to uplift all the above four tenants of Business.

An overview – Robotic Process Automation Technology

Robotic Process Automation (RPA) is defined as the IT layer interacting with existing IT applications by leveraging “Software Robots” which mimics the way human agent interacts with the system to execute any business process. Till the time, interaction rules with existing IT applications are defined, RPA technology can successfully be applied. This essentially means all the business processes which are manual / repetitive in nature, having high volumes with defined business rules are ideal candidates for Automation.

In past few decades, Business Process Transformation has been one of the strategic focus areas for most of the Business Houses, primarily to enhance their productivity & efficiency. This also helps them laying foundation of growth & new opportunities at the same time. After successfully leveraging strategies like, outsourcing, low cost locations & Business process optimization, now the focus is on “Profit maximization”, “customer satisfaction” and direct impact on “Business metrics”. RPA technology comes handy to address this shift in strategy.

Key Benefits of RPA Technology

Increased Productivity & Efficiency

Increased & Guaranteed Quality

Improved turn-around time

Zero change in existing IT Applications

Enhanced Data security

Enhanced Traceability

High scalability

Key Benefits of RPA Technology

While productivity / efficiency improvement is one of the key direct benefits of RPA Technology, there are many other significant benefits which makes it even more interesting for both Business and CIO organizations,

  • Improved quality, data security & data traceability enhances the over-all operational efficiency.
  • Improved turn-around time resulting into high customer satisfaction.
  • Zero change in existing IT drastically reduces the time for Implementation.
  • Improved analytics capability by leveraging opportunity to store structured data passing through digital channel of RPA.
RPA to Intelligent Process Automation

RPA Technology typically differentiate itself with other technologies like scripts, macros & screen scraping by providing whole lot of capabilities like over-all orchestration, e2e process mapping, surface integration, exception handling, etc. But the true power of term, “Robot” in RPA is now getting realized by adding more intelligence towards execution.

After stabilizing core UI / Surface integration technology, Industry is now moving towards adding adjectives like “Intelligent”, “Smart”, etc. to the Automation world, specifically by adding cognitive layer to it. Automation execution is slowly becoming more predictable with in-built cognitive & sophisticated algorithms-based features. Cognitive optical character recognition, natural language processing & machine learning are few technologies when clubbed with RPA provides a wide spectrum of solution patterns covering most of the scenarios.

Potential Applications of RPA – eCommerce industry

Customer Experience

  • Personalized notification / information on desired products
  • Collecting and analysing Customers feedback
  • Proactive follow-ups by pushing relevant information to avoid lost opportunity.
  • Improved customer interaction mechanism by automating call centres and implementing other means of communication like chat bots, emails, etc.
  • Timely returns processing

Vendor Experience

  • Vendor onboarding Vendor
  • communication / notification
  • Vendor queries management

Products & Pricing

  • Product catalogue creation
  • Product categorization based on customized product mapping rules.
  • Competitive pricing analytics by evaluating direct competitor’s data, and pricing / discounting strategies.

Internal Business Operations

  • Finance & Accounting – by automating multiple mundane processes around Procure-to-pay, Order-to-cash and Record-to-report.
  • Supply Chain Management – by providing real-time updates to Customers and by effectively managing communication among supplier, consumer, and logistics provider.
  • Marketing – by automating campaign management processes, sending bulk-emails, etc.

In summary, eCommerce Industry is riding on its next wave of Business Transformation by leveraging disruptive Technologies like RPA. “Disruption” is the reality of today’s Business and is keeping them on their toes to continuously innovating the way they operate. Rapid evolution of Technology is adding catalyst to the “Disruption” factor. Time has now come for all small and medium scale eCommerce players to take head-on competition with big fishes like Amazon & Alibaba of the global market, by applying low-cost, yet effective strategies.

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