Automated content creation in e-commerce with RPA

Damian Andruszkiewicz

With drastic changes in 2020, many companies realized that they cannot compete with other brands effectively without a strong online presence. But starting and scaling up new e-commerce is not easy, as data quoted by Forbes and Huff Post prove - around 90% of e-commerce start-up businesses fail within the first 120 days. The two main reasons for failure are poor online marketing performance and an overall lack of search engine visibility. In this article, we will show how Enterprises can use Robotic Process Automation software to speed up content creation and assure high quality.

What is Robotic Process Automation (RPA)?

Robotic Process Automation in e-commerce example

RPA, or Robotic Process Automation, is the name given to software that can perform tasks at the user interface (UI) level. Robots can do anything that employees do and free them from tedious, mundane, and time-consuming tasks.

RPA software is beneficial to perform repetitive tasks that have to follow a specific set of rules. Additionally, as increasing use is being made of AI, companies utilize robots to automate both front-office and back-office tasks.

Enterprises in multiple industries are benefiting from RPA by accelerating back-end processes. According to Office Worker Survey, conducted by UiPath, 67% of global office workers feel crushed by doing repetitive tasks. They would like to automate many of them, including e-mails, data input, creating datasets, scheduling calls and meetings.

Robots help fill out records and documents and can be used to:

  • send automatic notifications,
  • make schedule entries,
  • transfer data between systems,
  • create documents,
  • as well as for reporting, controlling or ensuring data compliance.

The implementation of RPA requires preparation. Before replacing human workers with bots, it is essential to analyze the development model and the areas where RPA will optimize costs and working time to deliver the desired business results.

If you want to know more about RPA and its implementation, read our article “What is robotic process automation (RPA)?”.

What is content creation in e-commerce?

In the most general terms, content in e-commerce is material created to attract potential customers, show features of products or services. On a basic level, it would be a product category page and product description, but content marketing includes also various webinars or tutorials, social media posts, blog posts, and all other information published for marketing purposes.

How important for e-commerce is to create compelling content? According to a study released by Episerver, it is crucial. The “Reimagining Commerce” report found that:

  • 98 percent of consumers have been dissuaded from completing a purchase because of incomplete or incorrect content,
  • nearly a third (32 percent) of consumers are being dissuaded every time,
  • over a third of shoppers (35 percent) feel brands do a poor or very poor job of customizing the online shopping experience.

This report proves that creating appealing content is extremely important for e-commerce sites as customers usually do not have experience with the product before purchase and all information about items needs to be delivered on the site.

This requires high-quality photographs, short-form videos, detailed descriptions, and specifications to shape the shopper’s perception of the product.

And how effective is content marketing?

content marketing in e-commerce example

Source: https://monetize.info/

Managing all of this content for an entire product inventory is a complicated task, and enterprises can use automation to streamline as many aspects of the content marketing process as possible.

Now let’s dive into the detailed options to use Robotic Process Automation for cogent creation and management in e-commerce.

How e-commerce can use RPA for content creation?

Using RPA for content creation in e-commerce example

Large e-commerce websites, with hundreds or thousands of products, struggle to keep listings up to date with the information that customers need. Adding new product listings is a repetitive task, time-consuming and error-prone, and to scale up, a company usually needs to find additional content specialists that can keep up with creating new pages and updating existing content.

Content creators are working with Content Management Systems (CMS), that are using data sourced from many different locations. This entire process can be largely automated, as RPA software is perfect for pulling the information from various predetermined data points and inputting them into the correct fields.

Of course, this will not replace content specialists, but will drastically decrease their workload, and allow them to focus on optimizing content for search engines or working on blogs for example, where more creativity is needed.

Robotic Process Automation software, thanks to its flexibility and interoperability can be used by e-commerce companies in areas such as content generation, distribution as well as measuring team and content performance.

Specific use cases might include:

  • automated product categorization,
  • managing product information in various systems and platforms,
  • sharing unified product data between teams,
  • managing content through the product lifecycle,
  • unified management of digital assets,
  • easy data import and export,
  • simple integration between e-commerce tech stack elements.

Automated product categorization with RPA software

Steps of product categorisation  in e-commerce with RPA and AI examples

E-commerce platforms that sell millions of products need to be structured in a way that will allow customers to find items that they are interested in, preferably as fast as possible.

Customers have less and less time and attention to spare looking for a product, and if it would be categorized in a way that will make it hard to find, they will look elsewhere.

Having a product categorized not only by type but also various other features increases the chance of it being found by the customers, leading to more sales and e-commerce success.

RPA combined with AI capabilities can categorize items based on product mapping rules, customized at the stage of implementation. Data about products can be captured from various sources, including uploaded pictures.

RPA will automatically detect multiple product features, giving much more options than only the general category to be assigned, for example, color, size, pattern, brand, technical specifications, and much more.

Additionally RPA software can cross-check such information in multiple sources, to assure that they are correct.

Managing product information in e-commerce with RPA

Product information management  in e-commerce with RPA examples

Effective management of product information is crucial for any e-commerce, regardless of business size, but as the business grows, so does the amount of data about products. With available inventory being the only limit, e-commerce companies can scale up and sell products online through multiple channels.

Robotic Process Automation software can help with managing product information through:

  • Automatically collecting data about product features from suppliers and adding them to CMS in a pre-determined way, allowing faster and unified content creation,
  • Easy scaling up when product line grows - mapped and implemented processes can be executed fast without changes for 100, 1000, or 10 000 products, and in case of modifications of items, RPA is flexible and the process can be updated quickly,
  • Managing complex data in case of sophisticated products - speeding content creation time in case of items with complicated specifications (like electronics or manufacturing parts with multiple features),
  • Unifying product information between sales channels, assuring that the same product data are displayed on the company own website, on marketplaces, or social media platforms, if the company sells products also there,
  • Modifying product data for a specific market - for example by creating size charts for clothing or shoes, and automatically calculating sizes, or changing capacity units,
  • Integrating information transfer between platforms without the need of programming or buying additional software.

With one software able to enter, capture and compile data from all of those sources, without the need for complicated and costly programming work, managing product information can be faster and easier, allowing employees to focus on more demanding tasks.

Sharing unified product data between teams in e-commerce with RPA.

Data sources that RPA can access  for data collection and transfer example

The success of an e-commerce platform requires combined efforts of many people responsible for marketing, product development, photography, copywriting, SEO, and much more, with some of these contributors working in-house or as external partners.

Making sure that all of these teams are on the same page and have access to accurate, up-to-date product data in real-time is one of the major e-commerce challenges.

RPA can help enterprises in finding, correlating, and synchronizing every product data point, from any source, easily and fast, as no dedicated software development is necessary.

RPA can be used to compile product data from various sources, such as:

  • Manufacturers,
  • Suppliers,
  • Warehouses,
  • Translation agencies,
  • Legacy systems,
  • Procurement systems,
  • Photographers and marketing agencies,
  • SEO agencies,
  • Data suppliers,
  • Content delivery networks (CDNs).

Effective product information management is necessary, but with growing scale, it becomes challenging. Automation can help to solve some problems that content creators are facing, assuming that everyone will be working with the most accurate data and without the need to buy another software, dedicated especially to sharing product data between teams.

How to manage content through product lifecycle with RPA?

E-commerce companies are struggling to find a balance between quick product launch and introduction, and quality. Creating accurate and attention-grabbing listings for new products takes time, but if it takes to long, enterprises can lose days, weeks, or even months when products could be already available for purchase.

RPA can be used to quickly create and then modify content in all product lifecycle phases:

  • Development - in the research phase, before the product is introduced to the market, RPA can help especially with streamlining communication between teams, and publish first product mentions, such as consumer research results or testimonials in multiple channels,
  • Introduction - software can be used in automating advertising and marketing campaigns, coordinating multiple publications to build product awareness, and reaching out to potential customers for example with e-mail campaigns,
  • Growth - in this phase companies usually open new distribution channels, add more product features and support services. Automating information about those product features can be a huge boost, as it can be done with RPA faster and more effectively than manually by employees,
  • Maturity - when sales begin to level off, companies usually change prices more frequently to stay competitive. They also can use RPA to quickly modify product descriptions based on experiences from earlier phases,
  • Saturation - at this stage companies can benefit from the use of RPA through a thorough analysis of competition offer and content, to quickly respond to changing prices or features. With the possibility to use RPA for web scraping, it can be a real-time saviour for e-commerce platforms in tracking competitors content efforts,
  • Decline - in case if product enters the decline phase companies need usually to implement new advertising strategies, reduce prices and add value. As above, RPA is a perfect solution for doing this quickly, to make sure that we are responding to market changes on time.

With the flexibility that Robotic Process Automation gives, companies can quickly respond to changing market conditions, create new content and distribute it to multiple channels and platforms with ease.

Managing digital assets in e-commerce with RPA

RPA use cases for  digital assets management in e-commerce example

Content marketing requires different digital assets such as lifestyle photographs, brochures, how-to videos, or diagrams, depending on the product type and customers profile. Companies that have produced multiple variants of those assets can quickly adapt to changing trends and customers behavior.

Having such diversified content at your disposal is essential for effective marketing, but with more assets in various formats, also the amount of time is needed to assure that it is organized and quickly accessible for stakeholders to use rise.

E-commerce companies can use RPA software for example to:

  • Capture digital assets in various formats from multiple sources,
  • Change file format, especially in case of graphics and photographs, if needed,
  • Copy and store files in one place,
  • Automatically notify all team members when files are modified,
  • Update files in all sale channels without the need for employee intervention,
  • Gather data about the effect that updates will have on sales and compile them into defined reports, to give quick insight to the marketing department.

With digital assets easily accessible and organized in a logical manner, e-commerce companies can easily conduct A/B tests and track effectiveness in one place, create new listings and update existing ones in case of trend changes, to adapt to changing market effectively.

Supporting data import and export in e-commerce with RPA

E-commerce platforms use a multitude of tools to create and market products. With numerous teams working on the same content at different stages, it’s important to protect the integrity of data as it is shared across systems.

Importing and exporting data can be time-consuming and is a good candidate for automation thanks to:

  • Reducing human role in import/export process, allowing employees to focus on more creative tasks,
  • Reducing data entry errors caused by human mistakes,
  • Automated data storing in one source and easy synchronization across other systems.

By working on User Interface (UI) level, Robotic Process Automation software can be quickly implemented and used for data exchange, without a need to buy dedicated software or build custom applications, effectively reducing not only time to launch the final solution, but also saving money from the development process.

How RPA can help with the integration of e-commerce tech stack elements?

Integrated data exchange in e-commerce with RPA example

As mentioned, Robotic Process Automation software does not require programming integration with systems used already in the company, as it works on User Interface (UI) level and can interact with other software the same as employees do, only much faster and without a need of a break.

This characteristic allows e-commerce companies to use RPA right away, without building dedicated integrations between various applications, in many cases including legacy systems.

RPA software can be used to integrate data exchange between multiple sources, including:

  • CRM system,
  • ERP system,
  • Historical sales data storage,
  • CSV/XLS files,
  • Printed documents with the use of OCR software,
  • E-commerce platforms.

All information then can be displayed in a unified way and used by sales and marketing teams.

How we can support RPA implementation in your company?

RPA consulting and implementation services GGS IT Consulting

With our experience from working on complex projects, as RPA consultants we are able to guide your company through the entire process of RPA implementation, from creating a strategy, discovering processes, designing optimal configuration, testing, up to full-scale use, and effectiveness monitoring.

GSS IT Consulting experts can support e-commerce businesses in starting or scaling up digital transformation with RPA through:

  • defining strategy,
  • analyzing, understanding, and documenting business processes,
  • setting up operating models,
  • identifying technical infrastructure requirements to deploy automation solutions,
  • educating employees and helping to create an “RPA-friendly” environment, where each team member looks for more automation opportunities to support company transformation,
  • creating and documenting test scenarios and procedures to ensure optimal configuration,
  • training our clients on building, operating, and maintaining automation solutions,
  • helping to solve issues that arise in day-to-day operations with RPA software,
  • further support of the implementation of any type of automation technologies by the company,
  • helping to plan and set up Centers of Excellence or Process Mining Hubs, to boost up automation efforts.

If you are wondering how to improve the product launch process with RPA, get in touch with one of our consultants. You can book a free 30 minutes consultation with us and we will help you identify your needs and pick the right technology to match your challenges.

After completing the form, we will arrange a call at a time convenient for you. During the call, our consultant will suggest how to approach the Robotic Process Automation initiative in your Company.

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