The end goal of any online business is to get more conversions. When you’re running an online store, the metrics that matter is all about the sales you make and it’s only getting tougher to achieve that goal. That’s where Shopify automations come into play.
When you start a small business, you might feel that activities like managing contact lists, sending out communication through email, or following up with customers, can be all handled manually. You might not really think of deploying a software to automate these manual tasks.
But as you grow, things change.
Once you grow in team size and customer base, you will realize that not everything that seemed easy back in the day is possible. The pressure to keep your daily processes organized will mount. You will witness a higher amount of support requirements and an urgent need to meet them and alongside, you will feel the demand to continuously meet the growing expectations of your customers. Think about shorter turn around times on queries!
Simply put, you’ll have a tough time to meet these different requirements and sometimes end up failing to complete even daily processes successfully. Now that will result in your conversions and sales dipping.
When Shopify automations can generate $2 billion in just pre-scheduled sales, imagine what it can do when implemented across different customer touchpoints!
Must-have Shopify automations
Over 50% of companies currently use marketing automation for the simple reason that it saves them costs related to hiring extra manpower, improves accuracy and efficiency levels of their processes, and gives them an edge over those who don’t.
To add to this, 80% of marketing automation users have reported considerable improvement in the number of leads generated. 77% of these users say that they have seen conversions increase to a good amount by deploying marketing automation.
With marketing automation working with you shoulder-to-shoulder, you can stop worrying about manual, routine tasks and focus on spinning great strategies to improve customer engagement and retention rates. Here’s what you should be automating for your Shopify store, right now.
1. Customer support
As your business scales, one of the most challenging tasks on your plate would be customer support. But, managing the large influx of messages and tickets doesn’t have to be a headache. Automation can be a savior for your demanding support.
A customer is no longer happy with a call being answered or an email being responded to in a polite and thorough manner. It is the age of instant and stores need to have not just a satisfying support process but also a prompt one.
So, alongside answering calls, you need to answer them in less than a minute. Alongside replying to emails you need to always be sure of hitting the lowest response time.
In this age, the pace at which customer support queries and communication needs to be handled is quite overwhelming. You can’t help but feel the exhaustion kicking in. To top it off, you have to always be accurate. Sounds tough without some ‘machine-like’ superpower, right? That’s where automation steps in.
There are help desk tools or apps such as Gorgias that eCommerce merchants can use for customer support management. The help desk tool converts customer queries into tickets, automating the entire process so that you never feel hassled.
Instant response coupled with convenience makes for excellent customer experience. This experience is what live chat tools are brilliant at delivering. What’s exceptional about live chat is that even though it’s a machine that you are talking to, interacting with one feels human.
With a bot like Tidio Chat, you can instantly, and automatically address nearly 45% of your most popular customer support queries. That’s a lot of work pressure taken off the shoulders of your support team!
2. Inventory management
Imagine having five product categories on your website, each listing at least fifty or a hundred products. How do you know what’s about to go out of stock? How do you track inventory that is not selling at all?
Not tracking or not being able to efficiently keep track of your inventory could result in higher cost and loss to the store. You could end up losing profits because of lost profits spoilage of overstocked products, untimely shipment, wrong information of inventory amount on the store, and ultimately, due to not meeting customer expectations on time.
Manually updating inventory on your Shopify store can be tiring, time-consuming, and challenging. This can further halt and hamper your supply chain process. To meet the requirements of your inventory, you can easily switch to automation and cut your losses.
Any basic automation tool can help you match the on-hand inventory with online inventory, update product availability on your website automatically, show returns being processed, clearly inform and show what new products have been added to your brick-and-mortar store, etc.
For example, Inventory Planner for Shopify helps forecast inventory requirements based on your current stock data. Similarly, Stocky is another app that helps you manage your inventory based on demand trends. It helps you figure out which inventory is selling rapidly or vice-versa so that you stock it up intelligently.
3. Social media marketing
A large chunk of your inbound marketing or content marketing effort goes into promoting content that you’ve created. The only way that you can make content bring you leads is if you are able to make it reach the right audience first. This won’t happen if you don’t aggressively work on promotion and distribution. And, if you are thinking that sharing one or two posts on any one or two social channels is all that you need to do, you are living under a rock.
Social media marketing has advanced way beyond sharing images and copy of your product or brand on social channels. You need to have the exact information about where most of your users are, what content they like to read, share, and engage with, and how (as well as how much) they buy from social networks. For all this, you need the intelligence that comes with marketing automation.
Optimize social media engagement for your visitors, customers, and repeat buyers by using tools like Buffer for day-to-day social media management. Scheduling your posts on Buffer reduces the legwork considerably for you and allows you to batch your social posts.
You can even put your retargeting ads on social media on autopilot with apps like Shoelace. They make the whole brand experience extremely relevant and contextual for your website visitors by showing them the right ad, just at the right time. They also pay utmost attention to making communication seamless over social media and other channels of marketing.
4. Facebook Messenger marketing
With more than 1 billion active users and over 2 billion messages being exchanged almost every day on this platform, Facebook is absolutely unbeatable. That’s the reason why eCommerce players pounced on the opportunity to sell on Facebook as soon as they got the chance.
Facebook Messenger allows the users of the platform to buy directly through the app. But who is behind the app? Not a real person. Never a real person. Instead, it’s a bot. In fact, today, the total number of bots on FB messenger has shot up to nearly 300,000!
Businesses realize that bots aren’t just great for customer support but hold real potential for improving customer communication. That’s the key ability that you need for running one-to-one engagement on Facebook Messenger. Shopify stores can use an app like Recart, Octane AI or Flashchat to help build their Messenger audience. It promises to convert at least 5% to 14% of your visitors into subscribers.
Consider that you are running a cart abandonment campaign for your FB Messenger users. Using bot enabled FB Messenger marketing, you can send cart abandonment messages instantly or send timely shipment alerts to keep the customers engaged.
Facilitated by machine learning and AI, bots don’t just ensure timely conversations with shoppers, but also enable high personalization to your campaigns.
5. Web push notifications
Broadcast communication from just any platform or channel is no longer welcome. Instead, shoppers prefer receiving messages that are relevant to them, at the right time. Now, you might have sent your shoppers an email a week prior to your seasonal sale but chances are, they might actually miss it simply because they didn’t log into their inbox during that period.
Thankfully, with web push notifications, your communication lands right on their device screen and cannot be missed.
With the multiple use cases that web push notifications provide, you’d be missing out on big opportunities if you run web push notification campaigns without automating them. This holds true especially if you need them to bring you the required engagement rates and sales. Personalizing your web push notifications for loyal shoppers, cart abandoners, dormant users, etc. is all possible with automation.
One of the best features that web push notifications provide is cart recovery. With Abandoned Cart Reminders, you can set up a sequence of reminders that are triggered based on when the shopper abandoned their cart, successfully bringing them back to complete their purchase. Besides this, you can use Shopify Flow to set up highly specific automated notifications based on conditions set by you.
Read about how you can use Shopify Flow with PushOwl and boost loyalty, sales, and keep customers informed.
6. SMS marketing
You’d be surprised how well SMS works to keep your shoppers engaged and will not fail to give results if you use it the right way, with the right marketing automation tool. SMS, will rather, give you better just as good or even better results on your goal with the right strategy.
Data establishes that the open rate for SMS is a whopping 98%! Also, it’s one of the fastest channels of communication. It only takes about 90 seconds to respond to an SMS. Why should one leave it out of their marketing toolkit?
What you should be thinking about though is how exactly to make SMS work for you in times when people are looking for communication to be interesting, purposeful, relevant, and real-time. That’s where automation comes into the picture.
With automation, SMS marketing has evolved for the good. You can easily run personalized and highly targeted marketing campaigns even through SMS. Apps like SMSBump help you create smart automations for cart abandonment, cash on delivery orders, new order flow, customer win-back flow, etc.
7. Email marketing
Email marketing is no longer about sending generic, bi-weekly newsletters to customers. So much is being done over email! From notifying new visitors about the discount that they are eligible for on their first purchase to reaching out to dormant shoppers with interesting deals on specially curated products for them – email is playing a dominant role in everything.
All this work takes special ‘beyond’ human skills. Tons of data have to be culled out, analyzed, and utilized to run marketing campaigns. Furthermore, behavioral targeting is leveraged by eCommerce giants to bring in utmost accuracy in every communication that goes out to the customers. Only a good marketing automation app or tool can help you organize and manage things at such a large scale.
For instance, Klaviyo helps you send messages based on smart segmentation using and combining data from your Shopify store and other leading apps. Take a look at how Klaviyo automates email marketing for your Shopify store so that you can send out absolutely beautiful *AND* contextual emails to your customers.
8. Reviews and ratings
Numbers speak about the power of reviews loud and clear. Nearly 92% of consumers trust peer reviews. And, 90% say that their purchase decisions are influenced by reviews. In the age of eCommerce, it is easy to leverage the trust that people place in reviews by clearly displaying good ratings and customer-generated photos on the website.
However, it isn’t possible to follow up with every customer and track all post-purchase responses manually. An automation engine, on the other hand, is well-equipped to handle this!
You can set up automated emails to follow up and gather purchase responses from your customers. To ensure a response from them, offer them a discount or a freebie. This trick always works.
Most Shopify stores use apps like Stamped.io, Judge.me, Loox and others, that allow you to collect product reviews, ratings, photo reviews, etc. either using communication channels like email and SMS or with a Reviews Widget embedded within your store.
To bring in a sense of order to your payment cycles amidst a rapidly growing customer base, it makes absolute sense to automate your invoicing. Invoicing demands a high level of accuracy and precision and by automating it, you can free yourself of this monotonous routine task.
You can’t afford to go wrong with payments and payment statuses. Automating your invoicing reduces payment request delays, helps you speed up your bank reconciliation statement, understand your cash flows, and manage inventory.
Using Sufio, for example, you can automatically create and send invoices for all orders generated. What’s great about this app is that it helps you design invoices consistent with your brand image, without you having to tinker around with code.
Keeping a track of your customer activities, behavior, and intent is important. Keeping a track of your competitors is equally important. With marketing automation, both these challenging tasks become something that can be done in minutes.
Minus automation, you would never be able to get any information about who your customers and competitors are. It would be impossible to analyze what they are up to, which competitors are growing strong organically, who are your most loyal customers, etc.
Thankfully, with tools like Google Analytics, you can track all customer demographics and behavior-related data. And, tools like SEMRush unfold everything about your competitors in minutes.
To add to this, there are apps like Conversific that uncover customer and competitor insights and make sense out of all the data about them. Or, you could use something more advanced, like Revtap that is powered by AI.
Automation in eCommerce is the step forward, and we hope this comprehensive list has given you the push to give it a go. Let us know how your automation efforts work out!