How to Save Time (And Sanity) With Shopify Plus eCommerce Automation
These three eCommerce automation tools could save you hours every week and give your customers a far better experience. Even better? They’re all free.
“I just don’t have enough to do,” said no marketer or business owner EVER.
We know you’re up to your knees in deadlines and your to-do lists are a mile long. To deal with this, you can just buckle down and put in the extra hours, or, you can cheat the system.
Well... don't necessarily “cheat” the system. But you should DEFINITELY start taking advantage of automation. Imagine if you could:
- Make that yoga (or CrossFit... or spin… or whatever) class
- Catch a game or actually see that show that you always miss
- Have a nice date at a reasonable hour with your spouse
The good news is, you can do all of these things if you have a Shopify Plus store! You just need to learn more about Launchpad, Flow, and Custom Scripts.
Below, we’ll walk you through each of these tools, how you can use them to get your life back, and how they’ll make your entire eCommerce business better.
You don’t want to miss out, after all, since this is what other Shopify Plus owners are achieving with eCommerce automation:
Shopify Launchpad allows you to automate and schedule sales, events, and content changes. This means you’ll be able to:
- Launch a storewide flash sale at 8:15 pm on Thanksgiving Day. Schedule the content, the discounts and then go Mom’s without having to sneak out right before dessert. Believe it or not, Launchpad will turn the sale on AND off for you, at the designated times you pre-schedule.
- Offer a super-special product for a limited amount of time. You can schedule that product (and its price and all related content) to be available for a limited period of time only. The entire checkout process will be customized for this promotion, and it will turn off by itself, exactly when you set it to.
- Change the whole look of your site temporarily. This way, you can dress your site up for the holidays, and later return it to its regular look without ANY manual intervention.
- Manage all your refunds. This one’s going to be hard to let go of. After all, manually processing refunds are everyone’s favorite part of being in business… KIDDING!
Launchpad lets you control product visibility, Shopify scripts, themes, and discounts, so they appear and disappear exactly when you want. Take it a step further and coordinate it all with a targeted email or social media campaign, and you’re well on your way to becoming an automation guru!
Oh, and best of all? IT’S FREE! If you’re a Shopify Plus user, Launchpad is already available in your account:
Tired of managing your store’s inventory? Is it getting to the point that every time you run out of an item, it’s a fire drill to pull it from the site, manage the backorders, turn off any advertising you’re doing for that product, and place a new order to get more of said item?
Well, the good news is, you don’t have to do any of that ever again. Shopify Flow can automate the whole process for you:
- Activate whenever inventory gets low
- Remove the SKU from your site the instant you run out
- And even place a new order to get the item back in stock
Shopify Flow works off of workflows (logically enough) so that you can set it up based on events, triggers, or conditions that occur in your Shopify Plus store.
But hold up, because backorders are only one of its many tricks. Shopify Flow can also:
- Tag a customer that meets certain criteria (either as a high risk for returns, or maybe a high-value customer you want to be extra nice to)
- Automatically add a high-paying customer to your VIP list so that they get special promotions and early access to new products
- Identify and tag products based on their title or SKU
- Send an email, post to Slack, and change product pages
- Monitor actions so that your automations don’t get out of control
And the coolest thing about this? It takes minutes to set up, and it’s free (for Shopify Plus users)!
Here’s a video tutorial on how to set up a workflow that will activate when an item goes out of stock, automatically sending an email to the vendor with the out-of-stock SKU’s information. It will also send an email to your marketing department or digital agency so they can turn advertising off for that out-of-stock item.
A Shopify hackathon? It’s been done – for your benefit. With some coding skills (or none, just keep reading), you can automate almost anything in your Shopify Plus store.
Here are just a few of the things you can do with Shopify Scripts:
- Offer a buy one, get one free discount
- Offer a discount for new customers
- Calculate value-added tax (VAT) rates in Europe
- Offer in-store pickup for customers in a specific area
You can also use pre-written scripts (like the 15 here), and just cut and paste your way to eCommerce automation.
Here’s an example of a custom script in action, where this customer qualified for a free gift with purchase when they clicked “Add to Cart”:
Can’t find a pre-written script for what you want to do?
- If you have coding skills: check out the Shopify Help pages about creating and enabling scripts.
- If you don’t have coding skills: we’ll help you! Get in touch with us today for all of your Shopify Plus needs.
In conclusion, can we all agree on the importance of eCommerce automation? It doesn’t take much time to set up, you just need enough time to experiment with a couple of automation sequences so that you can roll them out with confidence well before Black Friday.
If the holidays this year are anything like last year for eCommerce (16.4 percent growth, anyone?) we figure you’ll probably appreciate even a few extra hours each week, especially during that last week in November. Good luck everyone, and Happy Holidays!