“Work smarter, not harder” is an expression we hear all the time. But applying this philosophy to running your business requires you to occasionally step back and take an honest look at the way you’re doing things. What tasks should you let go of? Where in your processes can you trim the fat to make things move faster?
And while you have a lot of options for ways to get tasks off of your plate, one low-cost, low-impact approach is to automate as much of your work as possible. Automation is perfect for repetitive tasks like moving data from one tool to another—work that must be done but doesn’t have to be performed by a person.
Zapier’s Shopify integrations make automating these types of tasks simple and painless. Below, we’ll introduce you to Zapier and share seven of our favorite time-saving automations for Shopify-powered ecommerce businesses.
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What is Zapier?
Zapier is an automation tool that helps you connect the disparate apps you use to run your business. It’s prebuilt Zaps (automated workflows) let you move data between more than 1,500 different web apps. Best of all, it’s easy for anyone to use: you don’t need any coding experience to set up and use Zaps.
Zapier can help you implement clever ways to streamline different elements of your business:
- Automate routine tasks like manual data entry, saving you time and eliminating human error.
- Consolidate data from multiple sources into one central location.
- Connect apps that don’t normally “speak” to each other, letting you bypass the costs of hiring a developer.
While Zapier does have a free plan that lets you create up to five Zaps and automate up to 100 tasks per month, you’ll need a paid subscription—starting at $24.99 per month—to use Zapier with Shopify.
Note: If your business is powered by Shopify and you’re looking to integrate your store with another app, be sure to also check out our App Store for additional solutions that fit your needs.
Our 7 favorite time-saving Zapier Shopify integrations
The example Zaps below are designed to give you some ideas for how you can use Zapier with Shopify to automate several common ecommerce business tasks.
But since every business uses different apps, processes, and tactics, it’s also worth checking out Zapier’s full library of Shopify Zaps to find additional ideas.
1. Log paid Shopify orders on a Google Sheets spreadsheet
While there’s likely an app for every single thing you need to do to run your business, sometimes you don’t really need all of the features (or fees) of a standalone app. All you really need is a spreadsheet.
Spreadsheets come with features like filtering, formulas, and conditional formatting that make them perfect for analyzing large amounts of data.
And while you can always manually export your paid Shopify orders to view them in a spreadsheet, the Zap below automatically logs all of your paid Shopify orders on a Google Sheets spreadsheet so your data is always available exactly where you need it.
2. Add new customers to your email marketing list
When a new customer makes a purchase, you want to make sure you have a way to encourage them to purchase from your store again in the future. The best way to do that is to get them on your email marketing list so you can share new products and promotions with them.
The Shopify App Store offers integrations with many popular email marketing apps that let you sync your customers to your email list. But if you can’t find the integration you need there, Zapier might help.
Zapier connects Shopify to a variety of email marketing apps so that when people purchase from your store, their email addresses are automatically added to the list of your choice in platforms like Mailchimp, HubSpot, and more.
3. Create invoices in your accounting app for Shopify orders
If you need a way to automatically generate invoices in your preferred accounting app for orders placed in your Shopify store, you don’t have to build each invoice automatically.
While there are various Shopify apps that will integrate with your accounting tool, you can also use one of the Zaps below to auto-generate invoices in QuickBooks Online, Xero, Freshbooks, or Zoho Books when new orders are placed.
And if you use Wave, you can automatically log all new Shopify sales as transactions:
4. Add new orders and support tickets to a to-do list
Maintaining a to-do list can sometimes feel like you’re creating more work for yourself, especially since most of your core business tools probably don’t natively integrate with your productivity tools.
But with Zapier, you can automate task creation, populating the items in your to-do list or a project management tool each time a new order is placed or a support ticket is created on your Shopify store.
For example, if you have a team working on fulfillment or customer support, it might be better to consolidate your tasks using a single project management tool like Trello to centralize your workflow and keep everyone on the same page.
5. Automate parts of your social media marketing
While I wouldn’t recommend a set-it-and-forget-it approach to your entire social media strategy, there are some parts of it you can easily take off of your plate.
For example, you can set up Zapier to automatically post updates on your favorite social media channels when you add new products to your Shopify store:
You can also use Zaps to push updates from one social media channel to another. Say you’re primarily focused on Instagram but also want to keep your Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube accounts fresh. These Zaps will automatically repost your Instagram updates to your secondary social media channels:
And if you run Facebook ads to promote your products, you can also use Zapier to do things like automatically add new customers from Facebook Lead Ads to Shopify or add offline conversion events to Facebook for purchases made through your Shopify store.
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6. Monitor the internet for conversations about your brand/product
The internet is a big place, one that’s rife with conversations. But it’s hard to hear the ones that are relevant to your business through all the noise, especially when these conversations are happening in so many different places.
One way to effectively—and efficiently—monitor the internet for these opportunities is to let Zapier do it for you. You can use Zapier to monitor brand or product mentions on sites like Twitter and Reddit and log all of those mentions in a Google Sheets spreadsheet.
7. Get important updates in Slack
If you prefer managing communications in Slack over email, you can use a few Zaps to get all of your important communications through Slack so you can avoid your email inbox altogether. Want to get a message in Slack when a new order is completed in Shopify? There’s a Zap for that:
And if you don’t want to get an update in Slack for every single order you receive, you can also use Zapier to get a summary of your new Shopify orders on a schedule you specify:
The importance of asking how tasks should be completed
While the above Zaps are a great starting point for finding new and creative ways to automate your work, they’re just a starting point. To make the most of the time you spend on your business, it’s important to always think about how things should be done—not just who should do them.
And while some things require a human touch no matter what, incorporating automation into your processes creates more time for you, and more time creates more opportunities to focus on the bigger picture of your business instead of getting lost in the tedium of routine tasks.