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3 Ways to Automate Your Shopify Business This Year

by Mallory Whitfield

February 5, 2019
How to grow business by using technology to automate Shopify.

Running a small business is hard work. As a creative business owner, you wear a lot of different hats and need to manage all sorts of tasks. Luckily, technology is making it easier than ever to outsource parts of your daily business operations, all without hiring more staff! Here are three ways you can use technology to automate your Shopify business this year.

Use chatbots to automate Shopify customer service

Offering a live chat option on your site can be a great way to improve customer service and increase conversions and sales in your online store. But live chat requires you or a team member to be available to answer customer questions. And when you’re a solo business owner or a very small team, that can feel like a big strain on your resources.

This is where chatbots can be really beneficial for ecommerce shop owners. Chatbots use artificial intelligence (AI) to simulate a conversation with a human being, such as a customer service representative. Chatbots can be programmed to answer frequently asked questions and assist your website’s visitors.

You’ve probably interacted with a chatbot at some point by now. Many major brands use chatbots on their websites, Amazon’s Alexa has become commonplace in many homes, and Facebook has been offering a chatbot feature on their Messenger app for a few years.

While most people are comfortable with getting basic customer service or product related questions answered by an automated chatbot, it’s important to still offer an option to talk to a real person if your customer needs to. Chatbots should be used to replace a customer service representative when answering simple questions, but you’ll still need that human touch for more complex needs like product returns or complaints.

One of the simplest ways to use a chatbot with your Shopify store is via Facebook’s Messenger app. You can use this tool to add customized buttons to help answer your customer’s questions about your products, and let them know when out of stock products are restocked. Facebook Messenger can also be used to send your customers information about their order such as order confirmations and shipping details.

Automate your marketing with Kit for Shopify

There are many ways in which automation can make it easier to spread the word about your business. One of the most popular Shopify apps for automating your marketing is Kit.

Kit is sort of like a virtual marketing assistant. It can be used to run your Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns, marketing new products you’ve added to your shop or retargeting potential customers. Kit can also pull reports about your business and post updates to social media for you. Kit is free to use for all Shopify store owners — if you run Facebook or Instagram ads, you simply need to pay for the cost of the ads.

One of our Shipshape Collective members, Molly Alexander, shared her experience of using Kit for her ecommerce business:

“I’ve been using Kit for a few months now and it is great for some things, not so great at others. The things that I’ve found helpful are: asking to post products (not ads, just reminding you to post products. She sets up the post and you can edit the caption or pic if you want, however it’s not very user friendly if you try to do that with your phone), running ads, retargeting ads, she presents you with market research and asks if you want to advertise certain products based on that research. For example, she’ll say, “I’ve done some research and tank tops are in high demand right now”…

I haven’t had a ton of luck with the ads, you definitely need to go in and tinker with them on a PC before they run. You can pick the products and make sure they are cropped to the right size, captions are ok, etc.

One thing I do love is that she asks to send follow up emails to customers that purchase from your store thanking them. I’ve had lots of great response from those.

I feel she’s most useful for reminding me to post regularly and doing things like following up.”

Use email automations to improve conversions and make more sales

If you haven’t already made automations part of your email marketing strategy, this is the year to do so!

Mailchimp can be synced with your Shopify store to create automatic email segments based on your customer purchase data from Shopify. You can utilize ecommerce segments such as Repeat Customers, Potential Customers, or Lapsed Customers and set up automated email campaigns to entice past or potential customers to make a purchase by showing them new products or special offers.

A sequence of abandoned cart emails is another important automation that can easily increase your online shop’s revenue and profits. We recently wrote a post on how to turn website visitors into customers with an abandoned cart email strategy.

Another way to increase conversions and improve sales on your website is through product reviews. Encouraging your customers to leave positive reviews on your product pages is important, but if you try to reach out to every customer one-by-one, it would prove to be very time-consuming. Luckily, this is another place where automations can help. You could set up a Mailchimp automation to send a post-sale email to customers, asking them to leave a review, or you can use an app. The app is one of our favorites for automatically reminding customers to leave a product review.

How will you use automations to improve your ecommerce business this year?

Have you used any of these automations in your business? What’s worked best for you? We’d love to hear from you in our Facebook group, The Shipshape Collective.

If you need help setting up automations such as an automated welcome sequence or abandoned cart email sequence for Mailchimp, contact us and learn more about our advanced Mailchimp setup for Shopify.

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