Shopify Flow is an automation platform exclusively for Shopify Plus members.
It’s a dreamboat for reducing back-office, routine tasks. As well as increasing a Shopify store’s efficiency, it’s a valuable tool for organizing your business processes.
Haven’t heard of Shopify Flow before? Read about it here.
Connectors for Shopify Flow
Now that I’ve skimmed through the basics of Shopify Flow, I can now delve into Connectors.
Connectors are the sinew that holds apps together. In this scenario, Connectors link Shopify to third-party apps, and this between-app workflow reduces a lot of manual tasks.
Shopify created Flow with a focus on store growth. With Connectors, you can automate tasks quickly by setting up triggers that initiate certain actions which we’ll be outlining in a while.
A lot of Shopify stores assume that their business isn’t of a big enough scale to benefit from automation or AI.
This simply isn’t true.
Every business has areas where there is time wasted because algorithms could achieve the same results quicker and with higher accuracy.
Connectors allow you to get optimum use out of all of your apps. By getting them to share data and trigger processes your creating smart business processes that enable you to focus on growing your business (and catching up on the latest developments for Shopify stores here on Elkfox!).
If you want to find out more about Flow Connector capabilities, check out how you can automate your high-risk order reviews here.
Examples of Shopify Flow at work
You can view the full list of apps that currently work with Flow here. If some of your core apps have not made a connector yet, it’s a good idea to check in once in a while as this list is quickly lengthening.
We’re going to go through common apps that are compatible with Flow. You can personalize triggers and actions, but Shopify has also created examples that you can download, follow the instructions and put in place. These are available for all apps.
This app is an excellent example to start off with as it’s easy to visualize the benefits of powering a spreadsheet with automated functions.
Shopify Flow can upload new product lines or update orders to your site seamlessly from your Google Sheets. This automation prevents you having to manually input data into both your spreadsheet and your site. It also prevents any errors when data is being copied over which makes for a streamlined integration process and one less thing to do on a Friday afternoon.
Another feature is that you can track customers who have yet to make an online account with your store.
Inventory management with Back in Stock
No more will you have to miss a sale due to stock out.
It’s at the very time when you really don’t want to an item to be out of stock, like a flash-sale, that it happens. However, when your inventory levels are automatically updated on your Shopify store, you’ll be updated once levels start to drop or you’re about to experience a peak in product sales.
We’ve talked before of our love for this loyalty app, but connecting it directly to your Shopify Plus account takes its customer retention capabilities to a whole new level!
With a Shopify Flow Connector, you have the ability to:
- reward customers for their second order;
- purchase of a specific high-value;
- Orders above a certain amount.
The handiest part of it is that once you set up the trigger and action, you don’t have to lift a finger.
If you haven’t heard of Bronto, it’s a data-driven email campaign manager.
Here are a few examples of what you can achieve when implementing a Flow Connector with Bronto:
Email a birthday discount to your customers.
Add customers who’ve pre-ordered a product to your Bronto pre-order management section.
Add customers who wrote a positive email in Stamped to a Bronto list.
Building a Shopify Flow connector
This really is a piece of cake.
Triggers are the events that get the ball rolling. Triggers exist on the Shopify side of things, not the connecting app.
Here is the list of Shopify triggers you can enable under their three categories:
Draft order created
Inventory quantity changed
Order risk analyzed
Once you’ve set up a trigger, it’s time to set parameters around this trigger. You’ve got to give the trigger more information on what exactly it’s supposed to look out for and when it’s supposed to implement change.
Conditions are IF...THEN statements.
Creating workflows with more than one condition is fine, but you need to pay attention to the order because varying it will provide different actions.
Conditions are checked from the top down and as soon as a condition is met the checking stops.
You can also combine conditions so that an action is only triggered if all conditions are met. Take for example you want to award a customer but only if it’s their fifth order and they’ve spent over a certain amount. You can combine these two conditions so that not all customers on their fifth order as well as those who’ve spent over the specified order value receive the reward.
I know this can all sound a bit confusing, so I’ve added a screengrab to show that the layout is really intuitive!
Here is the final part.
Actions are tasks that have the ability to:
- make changes to your Shopify store;
- send emails;
- Slack messages and
- Create HTTP WebHook calls to external servers.
These are the little coding elves that run around and do all the automated stuff.
Under the same headings as our table outlining the trigger options available on Shopify (above), we’ve got a list of corresponding actions in this table. So, once you’ve selected a trigger, for example, the order trigger: Order Paid and select the order action to be Add customer tags then when a customer pays an order a customer tag is inserted into their customer data.
Actions for order triggers
Actions for product triggers
Actions for customer triggers
Add/ remove customer tags
Add/ remove product tags
Add/ remove customer tags
Add/ remove order tags
Update customer note
Update order note
Update customer note
Here is a bonus article you can head over to if you want to learn how to use Flow to track your repeat customers.
Once you have a few Flow Connectors set up, you’ll wonder what you did before they took care of mundane, routine data input. If you need a consultation to upgrade your Shopify store’s capabilities further, we’re on the other the side of the contact page. We also create blogs for our Shopify merchants so they can thrive as a successful eCommerce business.
*Images via Shopify