The Role of Shopify Apps in Automating Your E-commerce Operations

Merchants and people involved in retail must execute many repetitive tasks that take up to five minutes each. At the end of the month or year, this results in a noticeable loss of time. How can this waste be avoided, and how can all ongoing operations be optimized? Here, we discuss how to automate retail operations and which Shopify apps to apply for various fields, from inventory management to order processing, reducing manual effort and increasing efficiency.

Why use Shopify automations

By automating processes in your store operations, you optimize your workflows, saving time and eliminating manual work. What are the other benefits of Shopify automations?

  • Fewer errors: Automation results in fewer errors when dealing with repetitive tasks since there is no human factor. This is especially crucial when dealing with high-volume projects, say when you need to monitor inventory levels. If done manually, mistakes are inevitable since people get tired and cannot sustain the same level of concentration. It’s not a case for automation, though. 
  • Enhanced analytics: Automated data collection allows for storing extensive volumes of information, such as user behavior, and analyzing it much more efficiently than possible without automation. This provides you with deeper insights and a better understanding of your business situation.
  • Customer satisfaction: By automating order confirmations and delivery notifications and providing automated support, you can save time for your customers and contribute to a better user experience. If done properly, marketing automation, such as emails about abandoned products, sales, and discounts, can help customers make informed decisions and eventually become satisfied with your products’ communication.
  • Fast scaling: As your business grows, you will need more complexity, demands, and data to operate, which could result in new hires and staff overload. Shopify automation elevates your scalability by providing you with tools that facilitate repetitive tasks. A simple example is chatbots that save time for thousands of support teams and allow you to handle a much higher volume of requests.
  • Reduced operational costs: With Shopify automation, you can optimize your expenses, such as when facing labor shortages. Given that automation saves working hours, it is evident that saved hours result in less total expenses.

How to automate a Shopify store 

To automate operations in a Shopify store, you need to either use listed apps or leverage Shopify application development. We’ll discuss this in more detail later, but first, let’s find out for which areas automation should be applied to get the most out of it.

Inventory and order management

Retail fulfillment is where automation is most applicable. It’s not only for informing customers about orders or delivery confirmations. Based on the order information, you can apply automation for narrower tasks such as preventing stockouts, flagging multiple orders from a single customer to reduce shipping costs, notifying suppliers when a product is out of stock, and more. 

Customer loyalty

With marketing automation, you have various options for creating loyalty programs to encourage customers to come back for more purchases. The automated loyalty program could involve creating tiers for rewarding customers based on the number of purchases or total amount spent on them. Automation works here by assigning tags to customers, monitoring their activity, and alerting you once a customer has reached some threshold. It’s just an example of automation. You can use numerous tactics to reward and communicate with your customers automatically. 

Product releases and sales

Automation allows you to plan sales activities in advance and schedule them for a specific time and date. The same works for releasing new products. As such activities require the involvement of multiple teams, such as sales, marketing, and tech specialists, scheduling is the best way to eliminate the risk of shifting deadlines.

Personalized discounts and prices

Using automation, you can tailor pricing, discounts, and product bundles based on customer membership tier or order history. It’s hard to imagine doing it manually, while custom apps and features enable you to apply such tactics freely. This is not only another type of rewarding loyal customers but also a way to boost conversions and sales. 

Customer support

As we mentioned before, automation enables you to save the working hours of your employees engaged in customer service. Chatbots that deal with the most frequently asked questions and workflows with emails involved could unload your support team, allowing you to optimize their work for troubleshooting. Besides, with automation workflows, initial requests are typically dealt with faster, leading to higher customer satisfaction.

Which apps to choose for Shopify automation

There are two ways to approach automation for your Shopify store: publicly available workflow automation, Shopify apps, and custom applications developed specifically for your project.

How would you choose between these two approaches?

Public Shopify apps

You can choose from plenty of public Shopify apps to automate your workflows, especially if you use advanced Shopify plans. However, be aware that too many apps are likely to overload your projects. Plus, customizing a public app for your objectives is not always hassle-free since it could work based on different logic. 

Some of the automation apps you can find in the Shopify store are as follows.

  • Shopify Flow
  • React Flow
  • Mechanic
  • Leap Auto Tags
  • Zapier Workflow Automation
  • Order Desk

Apps with robust functionality would require paid monthly subscriptions. You can choose what best suits your situation based on your current needs and budget.

Custom automation apps

Another way to handle repetitive tasks specific to your store is by developing custom Shopify apps. In this case, you have to start the Shopify application development process. Generally, this process requires hiring skilled developers with experience in Shopify app development, creating a list of requirements, and planning the development workflow. By following these strategies, you will get a custom automation app that solves your specific problems without compromising your website performance. The cost of developing custom apps is initially higher than purchasing a public app. However, this investment will pay off in time since a custom app is perfectly adjusted to your business processes. Once set up, it requires minor changes, which is only sometimes valid for public apps.

Which approach you choose is up to you, but we recommend taking advantage of the opportunity to empower your store with automatic solutions. Otherwise, you will lose the competitive edge without powerful Shopify tools to take your business to the next level.

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