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Shopify Flow - e-commerce automation from Shopify Plus

Shopify Plus Advice|04.10.2017

Shopify Flow is next level e-commerce automation for Shopify Plus store owners. Flow allows you to automate repetitive, operational tasks and tighten up your backend process allowing you to focus on growing your brand.

Flow allows you to automate processes such as reordering products when stock hits a critical level, automatically tag customers with a high AOV as VIPs and inform your customer service team via slack or email of high-risk orders.

How does Shopify Flow work?

Flow combines business processes into 3 simple steps:

  1. The Trigger: An Order is placed
  2. The Condition: The order value is over £500
  3. The Action: Automatically tag customer as VIP and Email customer services to include a thank you note

You can layer multiple conditions and triggers, allowing for a complex chain of automated events. This not only frees up time, it ensures you are taking full advantage of opportunities such as rewarding high spending customers or reaching out to new wholesale customers to build stronger relationships.

Great uses for Flow: 

Workflows when an order is created: Make sure your true VIPs are being properly rewarded. Reward high AOV and lifetime spend customers and track and apply tags to customers who convert through targeted marketing campaigns.

Order risk management: Email the customer service or finance team when a high risk order is placed. Or automatically cancel orders from countries deemed high risk or you simply do not deliver to. An email can then be generated for the customer service team to contact the customer and explain why their order is cancelled.

When an order is fulfilled: Encourage and grow business relationships by automatically notifying the team when a new wholesale customer is added. Flow can email your sales representative to get in contact and make a great first impression.

Manage your inventory with Flow: Never run out of popular items again, with Flow you can automatically email your supplier to restock when inventory levels drop below a designated number. Advise your marketing team via slack to pause any product based advertising campaigns until the stock is refreshed. 

Automate collections as new products are added: You can now automate what tags are added to products and automatically include them in collections. If an item has “skirt” in the product description, you can create an automation to include them in the skirt and new collection.

Actionable examples of Shopify Flow:

Reordering Stock:

This flow allows you to do three things when a product stock drops below 5.

  1. Automatically reorder stock from your supplier. You can specify product title and quantity in the email template, as well as include a confirmation request.
  2. Hide the low stock or out of stock item from your product pages.
  3. Send a slack message (or email) to your marketing team to pause any active campaigns regarding this product.

NOTE: Flow includes strong logic options, so it helps when writing conditions to open and close them.  For example, when the stock drops from 6 to 5, an email is sent to the supplier. To ensure that another email is not sent when the stock drops to 4, you must include a closing condition, which essentially means “before this order, the stock was greater than 5”. This ensures your supplier is only emailed once, and not for every inventory change below 5.

Reward High AOV:

As you can see from the example above, it’s pretty easy to construct your flow. Here's how to reward your top spending customers and by creating multiple triggers, allowing you to tier customer loyalty campaigns.

In this example, multiple actions are automated based on the order value.

For customers spending over £300 per order:

  1. The customer is automatically tagged as “Premium VIP” allowing you to segment your data and target future marketing campaigns accurately.
  2. An email is sent to customer service to include a handwritten thank you or free gift with the order number.
  3. The order is tagged with an upgrade to free next day delivery.

However, for those who have spent between £100 - £299.99 you can include a second tier for Silver VIP customers

  1. The customer is automatically tagged as “Silver VIP” allowing you to segment your data and target future marketing campaigns accurately.
  2. A slack message is sent to the marketing team to send a voucher for free next day delivery with their next order.

NOTE: Here again you can see the how the logic flows when you set conditions. By including the condition equal to or greater than £200 and less than £299.99 ensures your Premium VIPs will not be included in activities designed for Silver VIPs.

Flow is a powerful automation tool and has many more applications than the few we have mentioned above. By spending time mapping out workflows for your business, not only could you be saving time, but also capitalising on marketing opportunities. For a full guide and more workflow examples, read the Shopify Plus blog post here.

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