How to automate your e-commerce business

Andrea Piacquadio
How to automate your e-commerce business - woman working on a laptop in a low deck chair, yellow sun dress, right by the ocean

Working from anywhere while your business runs on autopilot – it’s every entrepreneur’s dream. Here are some tips and tricks so you can learn how to automate your e-commerce business and get one step closer to that reality.

Starting an e-commerce business can be more intensive than many realise; from design and sourcing product, to choosing your platform, it can be an endless to-do list. But once your business is up and running, there are many ways you can avoid being constantly engaged with your business.

Whether you aspire to become a digital nomad and promote a better work life balance or simply want to automate your e-commerce business to increase efficiency and improve accuracy, here are a few ideas on how you can do so.


I’m sure you’ve heard this before; if you are spending copious amounts of time on routine tasks that can’t be automated, it may be time to outsource them. Design tasks can be outsourced on Fiverr or Upwork. If you are using Amazon FBA, make use of their Dispatched by Amazon program. If you’re not, it may be cheaper to hire someone in each country to receive bulk orders and dispatch than it is to internationally ship each item separately.

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This way, you can also access specialised skills that may not be available to you in-house. For example, outsourced graphic designers and software developers have the relevant knowledge and experience to deliver great results while allowing you to take a step back from operations.


One of the easiest and most effective ways to automate your e-commerce business is through its accounting. Many industries require minimal accounting, but e-commerce isn’t one of them. You will need to feed in information from each selling platform, account for the myriad of fees from each one, plus shipping, plus stock levels, plus payment processing fees… then there’s the headache of international tax requirements. Each country you sell in has different requirements for VAT and many require you to register even with a zero threshold.

Xero is made from the ground up for e-commerce and is a very affordable option that is scalable to your business. By making good use of Xero’s integration marketplace, you can have all your transactions import themselves from your selling platform and code themselves accordingly.

The next step is to hire an e-commerce accountant. This may seem optional but with monthly flat fees, you will save yourself time (and therefore money!) while making sure you are compliant as your business scales.

Find out more about our services.

How to automate your e-commerce business - woman working on a laptop on a comfy minimalist bed

Administrative tasks

Admin: that thing we always put off until we no longer can! But it doesn’t have to be that way. Make your admin simplified by using a program such as Zapier. It links two (or more!) unrelated programs that don’t have in-built integration, dramatically cutting down the time it takes for tasks to complete. For example, if you have a Shopify store, you can automatically send those people to your mail client (i.e. MailChimp, ActiveCampaign etc.), tag them with the relevant tag and send a campaign, while also loading them into your CRM (i.e. HubSpot, SalesForce etc.).

You could also send orders to be processed to a to-do list such as Trello or Todoist. Or you could send a TrustPilot invite periodically.

The options are immense, and they are constantly adding new integrations. If you use two apps that don’t integrate stop wasting your valuable time and automate. Downsizing your admin time is one of the most effective ways to automate your e-commerce business.

Why should I automate my e-commerce business?

When you choose to automate your e-commerce business by outsourcing accounting and administrative tasks, you can benefit from several benefits. Automating your e-commerce processes can help eliminate time-consuming and repetitive tasks and simplify the processes.

By leveraging the tools, software, and technology available to you, you can optimise the running of your e-commerce store, so it runs more efficiently and effectively even when you are not there to carry out manual processes.

Benefits of automating your e-commerce business

Automating your e-commerce business can present a wide range of benefits including cost and time savings as discussed. Not only this though but automating your e-commerce business allows you to work from any location in the world while your business continues to run seamlessly.

Additionally, automation can increase efficiency, reduce human error, accommodate for growth and seasonal fluctuations, provide real time data insights, and ensure 100 per cent compliance with industry regulations.

Other benefits of automating your e-commerce business include:

  • Improved inventory management
  • Faster order fulfilment
  • Integration with third-party platforms such as Xero
  • Improved customer experience
  • Reduced cart abandonment
  • Data driven insights and decision making

Next Steps

We are huge advocates for automation and believe that as e-commerce is on the cusp of technology, we should embrace it wherever possible. If you would like help switching to Xero and maximising the amount of time you spend not doing your accounts, get in touch with our team of e-commerce accounting experts.

Why choose Unicorn Accounting?

Ensure you keep on top of your finances and tax obligations by outsourcing to an accountant. This means that you don’t need to worry about your end of year accounts, payroll, or bookkeeping requirements.

At Unicorn Accounting we are e-commerce accountants who help make your online business a growing success. We offer e-commerce accounting advice, financial management, bookkeeping, cash flow statement, and tax filing services to support and scale your business.

Our team of accountants and Xero-certified advisors have experience working with both small start-ups and family-run online stores to large-scale, international retail and e-commerce brands.

If you’ve got an online store, we have the best solution for you. Providing you with a financial arm to your business through our sector experience, and skills with innovative technologies. To see how we can help you maximise the scalability of your e-commerce brand all year roundget in touch with Unicorn Accounting today. Or click here to get a free quote.

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