Demystifying Shopify Automation: Tips for Boosting Ecommerce Sales
Each day, ecommerce retailers execute hundreds, if not thousands, of small-scale tasks that take between two and five minutes. Completing these tasks doesn’t seem like a significant time waster when considered individually.
However, compile the time it takes to complete these tasks together, and you’ll see how much they block productivity and growth. Experts recommend spending time and resources focusing on improvements that fundamentally change how your business operates instead of concentrating on incremental change.
Through Shopify automation, you can give your business the gift of time. On top of that, you can refocus on high-value work, such as perfecting supplier relationships, training staff on fulfillment processes, HR challenges, sales and marketing, customer retention, and more.
Keep reading as we discuss how Shopify automation can streamline costs for ecommerce business owners, allowing you to focus more attention on what counts.
What Is Ecommerce Automation?
As a business scales, the repetition, complexity, and demands do, too. Systems that worked fine before begin to show inefficiency and break down. Many businesses create time-consuming workarounds in response, wasting time that could be spent on more urgent tasks. Other companies will hire more people to keep up, causing them to waste even more resources.
Ecommerce automation is using integrated software to convert processes, tasks, or campaigns within your business to intelligent “automations” that execute when triggered. Shopify automation is a common way for ecommerce businesses to do more with what they have.
The Benefits of Shopify Automation for Ecommerce
In the past, automation was a foreign concept for small business owners. Typically, only large enterprises could afford to spend the money on developers required to integrate apps with APIs and custom workflows. Thanks to the Shopify App Store and existing integrations, Shopify store owners can easily automate daily tasks and workflows.
But why automate in the first place? There are several benefits of Shopify automation for ecommerce businesses.
Automation helps save time for your business overall and allows you to dedicate your personal time to what you’re good at instead of on simple, repetitive tasks.
Automation allows employees to focus on other aspects of their job, freeing up time to be redeployed elsewhere or reducing their workloads.
Paying an employee to do a job that you could easily automate is essentially money down the drain. While you’re paying a skilled employee to enter product or order data into a spreadsheet, your closet competitors have already automated this process. They’re completing the task more quickly—for less time and resources.
If you’re paying your employees a premium, you want them to address more complex tasks as needed. A customer service manager, for example, might spend several hours a day entering customer order data manually. By automating this work, you can alleviate this time-draining task. Your customer service team can spend more time focusing their energy on more skilled labor, such as customer follow-up and ensuring satisfaction.
Fewer Mistakes With Less Manual Work
Manual tasks are laden with human error, which can have disastrous consequences for your business and customer experience. A single typo could lead to customers getting 50% off instead of 5%. Customers can receive the wrong item—or never get their order—if the person creating shipping labels gets distracted and types the wrong order number or address.
With the right apps in place, it’s possible to automate nearly all manual tasks, which will improve your team’s productivity and reduce error. When considering the time lost to human error, you must also factor in the time you and your employees spend fixing it. You can keep mistakes to a minimum and ultimately improve your bottom line through automation.
Automation helps improve your efficiency, which means you perform faster for your clients. More time spent on marketing your business and executing orders means customers will place more orders—and spend more money!
Shopify Automation Workflow Examples
Now that we’ve talked about the benefits of automating your Shopify store, what does an automation workflow look like? Here are some examples of workflows you can automate for your ecommerce store.
Looking to increase average order value? Consider automating workflows related to upselling, such as personalizing product recommendations for customers. You can:
- Send emails to cross-sell products complementary to items in their cart or in a previous order. For example, when a customer places an order, it triggers an email campaign with new product recommendations related to what they just purchased.
- Send customers an SMS message with an upsell offer. After a customer orders, consider an SMS marketing strategy and send a message with a discount code to encourage repeat purchases.
Shipping and Fulfillment
You can better manage your inventory levels, more efficiently pack orders, and speed up delivery rates with shipping and fulfillment automation. Some examples of automated shipping and fulfillment workflows include:
- Automatically pausing advertising when inventory starts running low for a specific item. Suppose you’re selling a lot of a particular product and are in danger of running out of stock. In that case, you can set a workflow to automatically turn off marketing efforts for a specific product at a certain inventory threshold.
- Sending a notification for low stock when inventory drops below a specific number. You don’t want to sell products you don’t have, so set a workflow to trigger when inventory falls below a certain number. You can have an email or text sent to your team when it’s time to reorder stock.
- Warning a customer that inventory is low, so they should buy fast. FOMO can be a powerful incentive for customers who hesitate to pull the trigger and buy your products. You can send an automatic email or text reminder to customers once inventory for a specific product reaches a certain threshold. This can be the simple nudge they need to follow through with a purchase.
- Routing orders to multiple suppliers and internal warehouses by costs, location, and more. When you have a choice, intelligent order routing can make all the difference—and save your profit margin. With the right integrations, the opportunities for optimizing ecommerce order fulfillment are endless—such as routing orders by weight, supplier preference, or distance from your customer.
You can spend less time answering customers’ questions and more time improving other areas of your business by automating customer support workflows. A few examples of automated customer support workflows include:
- Setting up order confirmation emails. This one is pretty standard, but order confirmation emails are a great example of automation at work. When a customer’s order is processed, send them an email to confirm their purchase and expected delivery date to improve the user experience.
- Asking customers to place a product review after they receive their order. Customers who are happy with their order are likely to leave a positive review when prompted, but many business owners miss out on the opportunity. You can set up a workflow to send an automated email or SMS to a customer once their order is marked delivered, asking for a review.
- Sending an email to a customer when their order is tagged. Sometimes it is necessary to tag an order for reasons such as shipping delays, out-of-stock notifications, fraud detection, and more. You can set up an automation to notify a customer once their order is tagged with information specific to that tag.
Many growing Shopify store owners are focusing on marketing automation, especially when it comes to improving conversion rates and increasing ROI for marketing campaigns. You can automate marketing tasks in several ways, including:
- Rewarding your customers with a discount code for referrals. Referral marketing is easy, especially when automated. Simply create a workflow to collect friends’ email addresses when a customer makes a purchase, then send them discount codes with product suggestions based on their friends’ orders.
- Sending coupons when tagging customers. You can segment customers in an endless number of ways with tags. For example, if a customer submits a negative review, tag them as an unhappy customer and automatically email them a coupon to encourage them to improve their rating of your store or product.
Invoices and Accounting
With the right ecommerce integration software, you can automatically reconcile invoices to purchase orders to create robust accounting reports. For example:
- Set alerts to be notified when the cost of goods sold (COGS) doesn’t match. If you’re not aware of costly mistakes, you can’t fix them. You can set alerts to notify you when expected COGS doesn’t match up with what you paid.
- Push accounting data to your accounting software. We all make mistakes, so manually entering data into your accounting software is risky. Set up an integration to automatically push purchase order information into your existing accounting software, such as QuickBooks, so your data is always correct.
With accounting automation in place for your Shopify store, you measure which products, sources, and marketing efforts are the most profitable.
It’s Time to Automate Your Shopify Store With Flxpoint
There are actual costs associated with not automating your business. By implementing a Shopify automation tool, you can scale your store to new heights while reserving your team’s time for critical projects. When you automate simple and complex tasks, you can keep up with the competition and grow your ecommerce business even more.
It’s time to get to work and reap the benefits of automation for ecommerce. Talk with an expert to start automating your store today.
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