Some automated online businesses include sites that sell digital products, online drop shipping companies, product manufacturers that sell through Amazon.com fulfillment and affiliate marketing websites. Each business type uses tools to automatically handle the processing of orders, collection of payment, notification to customers and the shipment of goods.
Automated online businesses incorporate various procedures to reduce the amount of human interaction necessary to complete daily tasks and generate income. For example, many product manufacturers use the Amazon.com fulfillment program to manage the ordering and shipment of goods, as the manufacturer only has to send the product to an Amazon.com facility. From here, she creates the appropriate product listings on Amazon.com and then allows the Amazon.com warehouse to ship all orders and collect payments, requiring no further action from the business. Many online retailers also use a system called drop shipping to achieve a similar effect, wherein the retailer creates the sales site but contracts the manufacturer to handle all shipping services.
It is also possible to create an automated online business that sells a specific set of digital products, such as original books or music. When a customer purchases an item through these sites, the system automatically emails her a digital copy of the product, thus requiring no direct action from the creator or site owner. Affiliate marketing is also popular for online automated businesses, as it is essentially a form of direct advertising for another product.