Shopify Flow Automation

SHOPIFY FLOW – How to use Shopify automation with real-world case studies.

by Allen Burt
September 22, 2020

What happens when your product inventory is low?

Or when a customer becomes a VIP by repeatedly buying?

How about when a customer leaves a negative review because they are unhappy?

These are all incredibly important things for you to know about.

Yet too many brands let details like this slip through the cracks and miss an opportunity to make sure customers are heard and appreciated, and problems are solved.

So how do you do it right?

Setting up automatic, reactive “templates” using Shopify Flow is both simple and a great way to make sure your business thrives and your customers are promoters.

Shopify Flow is a platform that makes it easy to automate tasks both in your store and a number of apps you are probably using.

Here’s how it works:

  1. You choose from a library of templates or use Shopify Flow to customize a workflow for your business. For example, you can automate the buyer experience, manage your marketing and segmentation, easily track and reorder inventory, manage orders and reduce risk, reward loyalty and send out promotions.
  2. Sync your favorite apps (Shopify Flows works with dozens of apps, including Asana, Klaviyo, Trello, etc.) and integrate it with your Slack channel, email, and HTTP requests.
  3. Relax and let Shopify Flow do the work so you can get more done, faster.

It’s really that easy.

Shopify automation templates basically work like this: if “this” happens, then “that” will automatically happen as a result.

For example, say a customer makes a second purchase and you want to thank them with a reward. You can use Shopify automation to send an email to this customer with a discount code for future purchases.

So how should you be using Shopify automation? With Flow, there are countless automations that can be created.

At Blue Stout, we recommend these automations as MUSTS:

1) Get notified when product inventory is low



Running out of a product that’s in demand is just bad inventory management.

Shopify templates give you several ways to learn when stock is getting low. For example, one template will send you an email when inventory falls below a certain threshold, which you choose.

There are also other ways you can be notified of low inventory when you use Shopify automation:

  • 

Automatically add a card to a Trello board when inventory drops to a certain number
  • Initiate a reorder with when a product has low inventory by sending an email to your vendor

Customers don’t like to see “out-of-stock” notifications and in many cases will take their business elsewhere when they do. Don’t let inventory issue take away from your profits.

 

2) Remove out-of-stock items from your site



To my last point about how shoppers hate learning that products are out of stock, Shopify allows you to temporarily remove these items from your shopper’s view.

This means you can set up the automation to hide out-of-stock (or low stock) products from your online store and automatically republish when they’re back in stock.

This way your customer doesn’t have a sense of what they are missing, only what’s available, which is a much better experience for them.

 

3) Re-order products based on demand



Sometimes good inventory management includes NOT reordering a product.

Many products have a lifecycle and if sales are dropping (or were never great to begin with) you can set up automation to help you make sure you only re-order in certain scenarios.

For example, there’s a template that will notify you if a certain out-of-stock item has 10 customers waiting for it to be restocked.

By knowing the level of demand for a product, you can decide whether it’s worth restocking it.

 

4) Segment customers by purchase behavior



At Blue Stout, I talk a lot about how important breaking your customers into segments is. You need to know your customers so you can personalize their experience with your brand as much as possible.

By simply setting up this Shopify template you can tag customers by their buying preferences and then use that info to create personalized, targeted marketing emails.

 

5) Tag orders by the payment gateway



Not sure if you are offering the best payment options for your customers? Shopify Flow lets you tag new orders with the payment gateway that was used to capture the customer’s payment.

Seeing how customers are using your various payment options, and more importantly, how it affects sales and conversions is critical information to know if you want to offer the payment options that help customers buy faster and easier.

 

6) Tag orders by sales channel



Sales Channel is HUGE. You want to know what channels are driving the most sales and what channels drive sales of different products.

Why? You need this info to intelligently talk to your customers and market the right products to them at the right time.

 

7) Tag and track conversion of customers who order samples



If you’re spending the money to send out samples you need to know if the expense is worth it.

This template allows you to segment the customers who ordered a sample to see if they ended up buying at full-price later.





8) Get a daily email with top store searches



Do you know what your site’s visitors are searching for? I’ve met with many brand owners who don’t have a clue.

Sure, they might know their bestseller, or maybe even the top five items based on sales.

But what customers are buying can be different from what they are searching for.

What’s the value in knowing what shoppers are searching for on your site?

For one, you might learn shoppers expect you to sell a certain product that you aren’t, meaning if you add that product there’s money to be made.

It can also show you how customers refer to a product, allowing you to fine-tune the algorithm that powers the search results by adding additional keywords.

 

9) Get notified about negative reviews 



Unhappy customers will broadcast their dissatisfaction louder and farther than any happy customer will praise you.

So you need to take action when a bad review appears and work to resolve the matter asap. To this end, Shopify has several templates to help you.

For example:

  • Get notified when you receive negative reviews. Get an email when you receive a negative review in Stamped.io reviews.
  • Email customers who write negative reviews. This automation allows you to use Klaviyo to track when a customer submits a negative Yotpo review and reach out to them with an email offering support.
  • Create a support ticket when you receive a negative review. Want your customer service team to research the issue further and reach out to the customer? Use this template to automatically send a ticket in Gorgias when a negative Stamped.io review is spotted.

 

10) Email logistics team when orders need to be expedited



When a customer pays for speedy shipping you want to make sure you aren’t the cause of a delay.

It’s super easy to set up a template so that the order is tagged and an email is sent to your shipping team so they know that the customer has paid for expedited shipping.

 

11) Send browser push notification for specific product releases

This is a great one for marketing. This automation allows you to shoot a push notification to all of your PushOwl subscribers when you launch a new product, a limited edition, etc.

All you need to do is add a “Push notification” product tag to an item and set up this template, and your customer base will be notified.

 

12) Send browser push notification when order is shipped

Most customers will be impatiently waiting to receive their order and will want to know exactly where their shipment is.

Don’t make them reach out to your customer service or wonder — send a browser push notification to any PushOwl subscriber when their order has been fulfilled.

 

13) Text a discount code after 2nd order

Getting a repeat customer is a big win, so don’t celebrate alone.

Thank this customer with a discount code for their next purchase.

It’s as simple as setting up a template so that when your customer buys that second time, they receive a text message (using SMSBump) with the savings code.

 

14) Issue a gift card to a customer after 3rd order

So your customer has ordered for the third time?

This is big — you are building a megafan.

Don’t make the mistake of taking this customer for granted. Set up an automation to issue and email a gift card to the customer with GiftWizard.

 



15) Reward loyalty points 

Customers love rewards.

Build in a loyalty point system for your site and then let Shopify automation help you dole out the points. For example:

  • Add points in Swell Rewards when a customer completes a survey through Enquire Post-Purchase Surveys
  • Add points in Swell Rewards when a customer requests to be notified when an out-of-stock item is back in stock.

 

16) Personalize store experience for VIP customers

One of the things I love most about Shopify is that it really allows you to easily create a system of automatic rewards for your best and most active customers.
For example, you can give VIPs a personalized store view when they spend over a certain amount.

Why? It gives you a chance to market select items to this customer and share with them, based on previous purchases, products that they might like.

 

Final Thoughts

At Blue Stout, we are big believers in the power of Shopify Flow automation.

Honestly, too many entrepreneurs and their teams are spending way too much time dealing with issues that could be handled faster and better with automations.

Why spend effort you don’t need to?

Well-used automations can help you boost sales and grow customer loyalty. Plus, you will truly know your customer, which is going to make marketing to new customers so much easier.

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Allen Burt Allen Burt is the CEO & Founder of Blue Stout. A design and development agency that builds applications to power commerce and drive user engagement. Follow him on Twitter.