5 Effective Tools to Help You Automate Your Shopify Business
Automating any business, e-commerce businesses in particular, helps its owners save money and time as well as increase sales. Automation gives companies real value when they start growing and require larger inventories and more efforts directed to customer retention and support.
Instead of hiring new people to deal with the increased workload and spending money on their salaries and benefits packages, a business can simply take advantage of specialized software that handles the same tasks as, or even more efficiently and costs far less.
Although Shopify is probably the easiest e-commerce platform to set up, new merchants may find themselves at a loss when faced with a multitude of business tasks, from finding products to sell and email marketing to reporting and profit calculations.
Unfortunately, the Shopify core doesn’t provide all automatic business management functions. Not to panic, though. You can find a wealth of tools on the official Shopify App Store. All of them have gone through strict verification and quality checks and can now be safely integrated into your e-commerce website.
The number of apps in the App Store is huge: 3,645 at the moment of writing the post. To save you some trouble, we’ve prepared a review of five apps in five different categories that you can try out to automate some of the most common business processes.
CATEGORY: WORKFLOW AUTOMATION
APP TITLE: Shop Workflow Automation
Before writing a line of code, the app developers had gone to great pains to survey a variety of Shopify merchants on which of their daily routines and workflows could and should be automated. That alone should make Shop Workflow Automation trustworthy.
Consider it your personal digital assistant, responsible for the smooth operation of your shop and promptly responding to any events that need attention.
One of its most appealing features is the automatic removal of out-of-stock items from the store. Simultaneously, the app notifies the store owner that a product is no longer in stock and needs to be restocked. Shop Workflow Automation also conducts the daily monitoring of the stock and redisplays products that it (or the administrator) has removed from the store previously.
Sadly, online merchants fall victim to the fraud of all kinds in 2019, just like they did in the years before. Fraudsters constantly find new ways to cheat and steal. To counteract them, Shop Workflow Automation automatically detects suspicious orders and sends emails to the store owner with the relevant details. This way, the merchant has a chance to study the order carefully before fulfilling it to avoid a chargeback in the future.
CATEGORY: INVENTORY MANAGEMENT
APP TITLE: Simile | Smart Bundles
The Frequently Bought Together bundle you see on many e-commerce websites, including Amazon, is a good way to boost your upselling and cross-selling efforts. You can automatically add a bundle like that to your products too. The Simile | Smart Bundles app performs just this function.
The app looks into your database for past purchases and then applies an artificial intelligence algorithm to create a bundle for each product automatically. Normally, three items are included in a bundle. What’s more, new e-commerce sites with no purchases made yet can have this algorithm applied as well.
With Simile | Smart Bundles you can also add a discount to the items in a bundle, which encourages your customers to buy more products. All of the items in a bundle and only they will get a reduction in price. Once a consumer removes at least one item from a bundle, the discount on the products left in the cart is canceled.
Another feature worth mentioning: as soon as a customer adds a bundle to the cart, they’re immediately taken to the checkout page. This is very beneficial in regards to the speed of the shopping process and contributes to a higher conversion rate.
APP TITLE: Lifetimely: Profit & LTV
How can you make your sales more effective? By analyzing the data about your purchases and adjusting your marketing strategy accordingly. This is where you’ll find the Lifetimely app invaluable.
With this advanced analytics toolkit for Shopify, you’ll be able to track your customer lifetime value and see your best-purchasing customers’ shopping patterns. You’ll also be able to watch your profits in real time by looking at the data from your Shopify store, shipping data, costs, and marketing data (Google, Facebook, etc.) in one centralized location — profit dashboard.
The provided Lifecycle Grid will help you understand your customer base better over time by letting you see what has changed in it. Thus, you can determine the groups of customers that no longer visit your store.
You can also see what products, channels, or categories are more or less profitable and export the customers or segments for the email service of your choice. The app integrates with Google Ads, Adwords, and Facebook Ads.
CATEGORY: ORDERS AND SHIPPING
APP TITLE: MassFulfill
This app should save a lot of your time on fulfilling orders. If you have a large number of files with tracking data, you can upload them to the app and have them fulfilled in bulk instead of adding the data to your orders piece by piece.
Also, if you ship different SKUs from different suppliers or locations, you can specify the SKUs of that place in the file you upload and thus will be able to fulfill only the line items that correspond to the SKUs.
The app developer has provided the Google Sheets integration feature. You can make a spreadsheet with your orders and send it to your supplier. You can easily fulfill the orders the spreadsheet contains.
How do you know you’re going to fulfill the right orders? You can see what is about to happen on the confirmation page, thus completely eliminating the possibility of an error.
Among other notable MassFulfill features are mass tagging by order number and bulk unfulfilling of orders, should you suddenly realize you’ve done something wrong or need to add products to a file.
CATEGORY: CUSTOMER SUPPORT
APP TITLE: Automated RMAs and Returns
There are a number of reasons why consumers return goods to retailers. An item has a defect, its description on the site is different from what it really is, or it is a size too small or too large. The list goes on and on.
Having to accept returns from your customers is something you simply can’t avoid. What you can do, though, is automate this process. The Automated RMAs and Returns app will take most of the load off your shoulders.
Instead of contacting you in person, a customer provides the information about the order, specifies the products they’d like to return, gives the reasons for their decision, and leaves their email address — all through the app.
After that, they get a prepaid label for dropping off their no-longer-wanted items at the shipping carrier you’ve chosen. Emails with relevant return data are delivered to you and the customer. That’s how it looks in a nutshell. However, the feature list is long. Here are some other benefits:
- You can completely customize the messages you send to your customers.
- You can set rules to return goods to a different location.
- You can automatically keep your customers updated on the status of their return at each stage of the process.
- You can export the full list of your returns to an Excel spreadsheet for reporting purposes.
- You can accept money from your customers for return postage via Stripe.
Shopify makes it easy to automate various e-commerce business processes through hundreds of apps on its App Store. If you’re new to this great e-commerce platform, why not start with the tools we’ve suggested above, exploring the rest of your options in the meantime?
If you have any questions related to running your Shopify store, want a unique theme designed to stand out from your competitors, or need a custom app to perform your business-specific logic, The Site Slinger developers are always here to provide the best services on the market.