Most business procedures in today’s digital environment include websites and online apps, whether it’s inventory control, order processing, new user registration, or marketing campaign management. With growing internet usage and online traffic, manually performing these repetitive web tasks has become inefficient. This is where web automation may help. In this post, we’ll look at what web automation is, how it works, the main benefits, and popular applications.
What is Web Automation
In short, web automation is the act of automating operations and processes that occur on websites and web applications. It entails developing a software robot or bot to mimic human behavior and execute operations such as filling out forms, clicking buttons, and interacting with web pages in the same way that a real person would.
Web automation is different from web scraping, which is the process of extracting data from websites without interacting with them. Web automation, on the other hand, actually controls the browser to perform tasks on the web. It does this by using technologies that can manipulate browsers such as Chrome and Firefox programmatically via APIs.
Some common actions performed through web automation include – logging into accounts, searching domains, extracting structured and unstructured data, uploading files, filling online forms, clicking buttons and links, handling popups and notifications, managing cookies, and browsing sessions. The automation runs headlessly in the background without any user interface.
Web Automation and RPA
Web automation is often used along with Robotic Process Automation (RPA). While RPA assists with automating backend processes and system tasks, web automation handles the frontend tasks related to websites and browsers. They can work together to accomplish complete process automation across digital and old platforms. RPA technologies enable the development and orchestration of web robots or bots for automated web interaction.
Benefits of Web Automation
Web automation may help your firm obtain a competitive advantage by increasing productivity, lowering expenses, ensuring quality, and scaling processes.
Significant Time and Cost Savings
The significant time and money savings that come with automating online procedures are one of the main benefits. Manual execution of repetitive website tasks like data entry, form filling, account creation, etc., can be time-consuming. Additionally, it takes time and energy away from tasks that are more strategically important.
Web bots are capable of performing these routine activities at super-human speeds without breaks or fatigue. Even repetitive tasks that would take hours if done manually can be completed within minutes through automation. And that frees up employee bandwidth to focus on higher-value work. Since the bots work 24/7 without any overtime costs, organizations save greatly on labor expenses with automation running in the background. Some companies have reported a 30-50% reduction in operational costs after implementing web bots.
Ensured Accuracy and Consistency
When humans perform the same tasks day after day, errors are inevitable. People can make mistakes due to distractions, fatigue, or negligence. But web bots are programmed to follow the same steps faultlessly every single time without any room for human errors. This leads to exceptional operational precision and consistency.
Bots ensure all the necessary validations and checks are done correctly before form submission or data entry. They also notice and manage exceptions correctly and without variations, which is a challenging task for humans. As a result, web automation reduces mistakes, leading to higher quality and fewer rejections. It adds much-needed dependability to repetitious website chores.
Scaled Operations and Capacity
While manual efforts can only handle a limited volume based on available resources, automation has virtually unlimited scalability. Even during peak traffic periods or sudden surges in workload, bots can seamlessly scale up to support the demand at optimum speeds without any downtimes. All this is achieved without recruiting additional human resources.
Some examples include handling exponential volumes during online campaign promotions, sales periods, or after website features go viral. Automation empowers round-the-clock availability and guarantees of fastest response times even during dynamic workloads—something not possible through conventional methods.
Web Automation Use Cases
Online Order Processing
A leading e-commerce brand handles thousands of daily orders across 200+ countries. Manually processing each order with all the required validations and tracking would be nearly impossible. With bots automating order placement validation, payment processing, order confirmation, shipping updates, and delivery tracking, the company has been able to scale operations exponentially.
The admissions department of a university was struggling to keep up with the burgeoning applicant workload. Automating the entire online application process from form filling, and document uploading to payment collection has helped them reduce application processing time from weeks to hours! Now hundreds of applications can be processed simultaneously.
Student Enrollment Gone Digital
A learning management system wanted to simplify student registrations at their hundreds of partner colleges. They created bots that retrieve class schedules from college websites, allow students to auto-select classes, and process payments all at once, which not only enhanced the user experience but also increased enrollments.
Automating Marketing Campaigns
By building bots that scrape competitor data, analyze user preferences to personalize communications, and post automated social updates, a SaaS startup was able to run various campaigns with minimal human intervention. This led to improved lead volume, higher conversions, and expanded digital presence.
An investment bank automated data extraction from various financial websites and news portals to generate insightful daily reports on market trends, competitor analysis, and custom data visualizations for its traders and advisors. This transformed their research and decision-making process.
Automated Testing for Superior Quality
With web testing bots, a leading software company can run thorough validation of their web apps after every release within minutes compared to the weeks it took previously with manual testing. This has enabled them to achieve a bug-free experience for users.
By automating repetitive online actions, web automation offers enormous potential to streamline operations, speed up corporate processes, and alter consumer experiences. As more processes go online, its function will grow in tandem with new technologies like AI, ML, and RPA. Organizations now have the chance to achieve digital transformation by streamlining work with a strong combination of RPA and web bots. Try Octoparse RPA today, and bring your business to the next level from now on!