In 2021, top e-commerce platform Shopify reported a total of 4.61 billion dollars in user revenue, a significant leap from its report of 1.58 billion dollars only two years prior. With over 3.75 million live stores on the platform, Shopify continues to be a major leader in the field of e-commerce. A primary reason the platform has grown so successfully is rooted in the Shopify app marketplace. There are over 6,631 applications in use by 85% of merchants on the platform. With so many to choose from, Shopify business owners have a multitude of options for scaling their business. And one major benefit of utilizing these marketplace apps lies in the wonders of Shopify automation.
We’re going to examine all the ways Shopify automation can save your business time and money. We’ll also take an in-depth look at what sorts of business processes can be automated through Shopify. Soon, you’ll have a strong handle on why more businesses are choosing to automate their e-commerce stores, and why it might be a great next move for your business too.
What can be automated in a Shopify store
In the words of Slack CEO and Founder Stewart Butterfield, “There’s a lot of automation that can happen that isn’t a replacement of humans, but of mind-numbing behavior.”
As businesses customize their e-commerce stores, they’re finding that they can easily automate the time-consuming tasks that were once only done manually. The results? Both faster service and lower costs.
In Shopify, you can easily customize your store with one or several of the thousands of apps in their marketplace. And many of these applications offer free trials and tiered programs, with a range of affordable subscription costs. Here are five different business processes that you can streamline through Shopify automation.
1. Order Fulfillment
Order fulfillment refers to the process that takes place from the second a purchase is made through its delivery to your customer. Without a trustworthy, efficient order process, customers leave with a bad taste in their mouths for your company. Instead, remove any dead air from the order fulfillment pipeline by automating as many tasks as you can. For example, apps like Simple Purchase Orders take all the guesswork out of fulfilling customer purchases. As soon as your customer pays for their items, the app automatically sends a purchase order pdf to the respective suppliers. Plus, the app also includes automated inventory restocking and dropshipping fulfillment.
Easily automate the order fulfillment process with Simple Purchase Orders
2. Inventory Management
Shopify calls inventory management “the heart of a successful retail business”. From production to delivery, the process of managing stock is quite complex. Moreover, the price a business pays when mistakes are made can be catastrophic. This is why automating inventory management is a great decision for your business. From alerts when items are low or out of stock to inventory organization tools, you can automate nearly every step of the inventory management process.
Apps like Back in Stock automatically notify customers when an item they want is available again. This small Shopify automation can add back thousands of dollars of potentially lost revenue to your business’s yearly earnings. By automating your inventory management, you avoid wasting time and space. Moreover, you help to forecast your stock needs for the future.
Another process that saves major time when automated is the task of shipping. Shopify provides numerous automated shipping apps for users to choose from, many with free installation and low tier services. There’s great value in ensuring that your customers have a great shipping experience.
Additionally, your customers want to know what to expect from their shipping experience with your company. In other words, you should be able to give them a clear answer on pricing and a level of consistency with how long it takes to receive their items. That’s why automating this process will boost reliability. In short, it helps your customers feel secure about shopping with you again in the future.
4. Email Marketing
A strong email marketing strategy can be a major win for a business, bringing in new leads and nurturing previous ones. That’s why automating your email marketing can raise your profits significantly. When customers subscribe to your newsletter, you can automate a series of targeted marketing emails to educate them on your product, selling it more effectively. Plus, you can send messages notifying them when items are back in stock and personalizing their email experience based on their interactions with your site.
An automated email software like ConstantContact.com will help you attract new customers and strengthen your relationship with older ones. You easily save the time you’d be spending repeatedly checking on where your customers are in their buyer’s journey.
5. Social Media Posting
If you want a successful social media presence, you generally have to invest significant time and effort into your brand’s online channels. This typically means creating and posting daily content, monitoring all accounts, and regularly engaging with followers. But it’s all too easy for any business to get sucked down the rabbit hole of the endless content creation cycle. And with non-stop demand for more new content, many businesses feel overwhelmed with the cost of keeping up with their competitors.
Fortunately, there are apps on the Shopify marketplace that will help you automate both scheduling and content creation. What normally takes hours to manually create and schedule can now be done in a few clicks. And it’s all thanks to automation from your choice of social media management and scheduling app.
Top 5 tools to help your store make use of Shopify automation
There are so many great options to help you automate your Shopify store. Here are five of our favorites.
The tasks of restocking inventory and placing purchase orders can eat up hours of your time when done manually. So if you’re looking to scale your business, Simple Purchase Orders will give you back that time to focus on other priorities. With this app, you can automate the order fulfillment and inventory management processes with ease. And by automating the process of ordering and restocking, you never have to worry about human error costing you precious revenue (nothing like forgetting to reorder a popular item and paying the price, literally)
Easily Automate the order fulfillment process with Simple Purchase Orders!
If you’re looking for a fantastic app to help you automate your social media content, MeetEdgar is a great option. And it’s touted by successful entrepreneurs like Neil Patel and Darren Rowse as a powerful time saver. Instead of scrambling to come up with evergreen content every day, MeetEdgar automatically repurposes and republishes your content. In other words, you can say goodbye to the constant check in and desperate content creation cycle. Apps like this one are revolutionizing the way that companies manage their social platforms. Plus, with strategies like social selling becoming more popular, social media is definitely a worthy platform to invest in.
If you’re tired of losing revenue when popular items are sold out, Back in Stock has the solution. The app gives your business an easy alert option that tells your customers when an out of stock item is available again. After you’ve restocked the item, interested customers are sent a notification that they can return and make a purchase. Or if you want to build excitement over a pre-sale, Back In Stock helps you connect to customers interested in purchasing pre-release. Plus, the app is customizable to your brand, available in multiple languages, and supports both desktop and mobile view. Most importantly, it will keep track of your product sales data, helping you determine future product stock through e-commerce demand forecasting.
If you’re interested in automating your Shopify dropshipping store, Oberlo can help. This dropship platform helps you search for products on AliExpress, a major e-commerce marketplace based primarily in China and made up of hundreds of dropshipping suppliers with thousands of different products. Dropshipping is a great option for business owners who have low startup capital but still want to offer a wide range of products to their customers. With dropshipping, you only purchase products as needed, so you don’t have to worry about storing inventory or dropping funds on items that you aren’t able to sell. Oberlo makes the endless search for relevant stock easier, finding you ideal stock in just a few clicks.
Saving time on shipping has never been easier with Shippo. This app is a one-stop shop for all your shipping needs. It specializes in providing the lowest prices possible, and the app integrates with shopping carts on top sales sites and tracks all customer shipments. Additionally, you can ship with multiple carriers, both domestically and internationally. By automating your customers’ shipping experience, you save time and gain peace of mind, knowing that you’re giving your customers the best prices and ship times on the market.
Benefits of automating a Shopify store
You may feel some hesitation about investing your time in learning several different interfaces and paying a number of monthly subscriptions. Although it may feel safer to stick with more traditional routes, if you invest time now, you’ll see a great return on your investment in the long run. Consequently, there are thousands of 5 star Shopify reviews for the many apps that help business owners increase productivity without increasing their time spend.
Here are five reasons why you should seriously consider investing time and money on running your business with Shopify automation.
1. Increased efficiency and productivity
By choosing to automate as many processes as you can, you’re working smarter, not harder. Not only are you able to speed up the efficiency of your services, but you’re also increasing the reliability of the process itself. That is to say, there’s no longer any possibility of human error. Most importantly, you’ll increase employee satisfaction and productivity when you take the less enjoyable busy work off their plates. It’s a win-win situation for everyone involved.
2. Reduced costs
When tasks that take a person an hour or more to complete can be done in a few clicks, labor costs drop significantly. Knowing this, there’s little reason to still depend on a person to constantly check inventory, send purchase orders, or post on social media. If you can “set it and forget it,” you save big on the hours a person would rack up doing all these tasks manually.
3. Improved customer satisfaction
Customers today expect businesses to meet their needs fast. According to Digital.com, “53% of online shoppers expect e-commerce pages to load in 3 seconds or less.” With such high expectations from the get go, you benefit from giving your customers an online shopping experience that’s as effortless as possible. The less they have to wait, the more likely they are to return to your store in the future.
4. Greater flexibility and scalability
When business processes that take hours to do manually can be done in a few clicks, your business is able to scale more easily than ever. For example, affiliate marketing app LeadDyno helps users to scale their affiliate programs by automating affiliate incentive payments. This automation makes it possible for business owners to complete a mass payout in less than a minute. Certainly, when you implement processes like this one, you give your business the opportunity to grow beyond manual-only capabilities.
5. Enhanced security
Online scammers are a huge threat to business owners and consumers alike. Protecting your customers from getting swindled is simply good business. It’s nearly impossible to rescue a customer relationship when that level of trust has been breached. Thankfully, Shopify ensures that its platform is PCI compliant, which is a standard of security that protects credit and debit card information. Additionally, it increases safety around customer information to prevent fraud.
Shopify also continues to update its user security to ensure your business data’s safety. Plus, all apps on the Shopify marketplace handle payments through Shopify’s own PCI compliant checkout. In other words, you won’t have to deal with multiple companies handling your customers’ data.
To sum up, Shopify automation is incredibly beneficial to your business’s bottom line. Your business’s scaling potential jumps significantly when you factor in the many apps that can automate sales for you. When you can save time and money, as well as improve both employee and customer satisfaction, the only question left to ask is: what are you waiting for?