Every day, merchants manage hundreds of small tasks that individually are not major time-consumers. But taken together, they have a huge impact on productivity and, as a result, business growth.
The magic formula is e-commerce automation, which gives you and your employees the most important commodity you have: time. By automating your workflows and processes, you save many idle hours of work and can fully focus on your business.
However, you only get the most out of it if your automation tool integrates with your existing Shopify e-commerce platform. Shopify Flow is just such a solution. The Shopify Flow app is a breeze to use with your Shopify store and is available for Shopify, Shopify Advanced, and Shopify Plus plans. In this article, we will show you how you can benefit from Shopify Workflow Automation, for which scenarios the Shopify Flow app is suitable and provide valuable tips.
Table of contents
What is Shopify Flow?
Shopify Flow is an application that allows merchants to automate their tasks and processes in the Shopify store and in combination with installed apps. Administration is done directly in the Shopify backend. No programming or development skills are required for this. If you use Shopify Plus or the "Shopify" and "Advanced" plans, you can download Shopify Flow directly as an app.
For example, to automate repetitive tasks, you can use Shopify Flow's visual builder to create your own workflow in just three steps that does the work for you and is customized to your business needs. This is based on trigger, condition and action logic, which we explain in more detail in the following chapter. In addition, there are already many out-of-the-box templates that you can easily apply. We will introduce you to some of them later.
Reading tip: Still unsure whether it's worth switching to Shopify Plus? In the article we give you tips.
How does Shopify Flow work?
The basis for your automation is the so-called Shopify Workflows. This requires three important workflow components: Trigger, Condition and Action.
The trigger is an event that initially triggers the workflow. This event can be an internal trigger in Shopify, such as an incoming order. However, a trigger can also be started by a third-party application or app.
You use the condition to define which specific criteria must apply in order for an action to be subsequently started. These are based on the if-then principle and are also only executed if the requirements apply.
Once the condition is met, an action you define is taken in the Shopify store itself or in an app you have installed. From sending messages to retrieving data and using it in third-party apps, it's all there.
In summary, with Shopify Flow you can monitor every event in your store and, if the conditions are defined, set an automated action to be executed as reactions. You can get an overview with example in our table below.
|Trigger||A specific event in Shopify itself or an installed app.||A new order is received via the Shopify store.|
|Condition||A rule that must be fulfilled for a subsequent action to be triggered.||The condition is set to check if the order value is over 200€.|
|Action||An action that is executed in Shopify or an app when the conditions are right.||If the total order amount is over 200€, a specific day is deposited with the customer himself.|
In addition, there are other components that can be used in a workflow:
Variables are used as placeholders for specific information. For example, there are variables for order numbers, SKUs, customer names or even the order price and much more. So-called extended liquid variables can also be used to create messages that contain this information and save recipients the time of research.
Thanks to Connectors, certain apps can be connected to Shopify Flow to extract trigger-based information from the app or send information to it.
Workflows can also be used to create actions that send emails automatically. These are sent by Shopify to previously defined recipients and can also be personalized using variables.
Reading tip: Looking for the best Shopify apps? Our article will help you!
How to create and manage workflows
There are two ways to create an automated workflow. Either manually or with one of the many Shopify Flow templates that you can use directly as a template.
Create a manual workflow
Below we will show you step by step how to create your own automation. Using the Shopify Flow application in your Shopify backend, you create simple workflows, each with one trigger, one condition, and one action. You can also make these more complex by adding additional conditions and actions, or even extending the triggers.
Both triggers and actions can be programmed yourself and thus customized as you wish. Do you need support with this? The team at Latori works with Shopify Flow on a regular basis and is very familiar with programming triggers and actions - learn more about our services.
In the Shopify admin panel, click Settings > Apps and Sales Channels.
Select the Shopify Flow app. If you don't see the app there, also look under Apps in the side navigation of your admin area or install the app via the Shopify App Store.
Click Create Workflow, and then click Select Trigger.
Select the trigger that is right for you and that will start your workflow. To do this, you can search for Order, for example, to view all triggers for orders. For example, the Order created trigger starts a workflow when an order is created.
Now click the plus sign or Then and then click Condition to set the condition.
You have the option of setting just one condition or multiple conditions that must be met. In the drop-down menu, select whether an action is performed, If all conditions are fulfilled or If one condition is fulfilled.
Now add the criteria, such as totalPriceSet, to create the condition that the order value is over 200€.
Click Then and select Action to specify what should be done. The action could be to give the customer a tag with Add customer tags and name that tag.
Optionally, you can add additional conditions and actions using Otherwise, which will be executed, for example, if a condition is false.
Done. Now you can still rename your workflow above and then make it live via the Activate workflow button.
Many of our customers use workflows like this to tag product pages, differentiate employee orders, send out automated emails, or perform other marketing actions in an automated fashion. Asphaltgold and LFDY are two of those customers. Learn all about the success stories of these two brands!
Create a workflow using a template
When creating workflows, you can also access a set of pre-built Shopify Flow templates. These templates leverage triggers and actions in the store or access specific apps and use placeholders. Make sure you have installed appropriate apps through the connector and that you have customized placeholder data. If the workflow sends an email, also make sure that your address is stored.
If you're missing templates within Shopify, you can find numerous apps that connect to Shopify Flow in the Shopify App Store. These offer triggers as well as actions for loyalty programs, customer segmentation, inventory alerts, and more. Nosto and Klaviyo are popular apps that work great with Shopify Flow.
In the Shopify admin panel, click Settings > Apps and Sales Channels or alternatively Apps and select Shopify Flow.
Next, click Create Workflow and select Browse Templates.
Browse through the templates and when you have decided on a template, simply click on it. You will now see the detailed workflows. Check if the template fits your requirements.
Click on Install. After that, you have the option to edit the workflow and assign a different title.
Now activate workflow and you are ready to go.
Your set up Shopify Workflow Automation is not working?
It's possible that certain settings and circumstances are affecting your workflow, causing it not to work properly. If you are unsure, consult a Shopify expert. You may also find the following overview helpful for troubleshooting:
There is no set time for a workflow to complete. They are executed as quickly as possible, but sometimes there can be delays and therefore you may not see anything yet.
Triggers and related actions created in the context of orders do not affect order drafts and vice versa.
If a customer, product, or order already contains more than 250 tags, workflows that use tags as a condition may not execute properly.
A prerequisite for workflows to work is that the triggers must be launched through Shopify Flow or through an app.
We recommend that you test your workflows in advance before enabling them. This will ensure that the data meets your expectations.
Manage workflows in Shopify Flow
After you have created the various workflows, the Flow Dashboard lists all the workflows. Here you can quickly see if a particular workflow is active and when it was last executed.
You also have the option to duplicate, delete or export individual workflows. To do this, simply check the respective workflows and then select Duplicate workflow, Delete workflow or Export workflow. You can share the exported automations with other merchants or create them as a backup copy. Make sure that no personal data, such as the e-mail address, is passed on. After the export, the workflow is available as a .flow file. Also note that workflows can only be deleted if they are inactive.
To import workflows, click Import at the top of the Dashboard and select or drag your file with the .flow extension into the field. The Workflow Preview option allows you to review the workflow before importing it.
Additionally, if you are a merchant using the Flow app with Shopify Plus, you have the Copy Workflow action. This allows you to copy workflows within your organization and use them for other stores. This only works if you have permissions to the Shopify Flow App in the other stores as well and have access to the channel.
Want to commission a Shopify app yourself? Our app development team is ready to help you with words and deeds!
10 Best Practice Templates for Shopify Flow App
The use cases for automated workflows with Shopify Flow are almost unlimited. For example, Flow also has an OpenAI integration that allows merchants to create AI-driven workflows. Below are 10 helpful best practices for different departments in your organization.
Our customer B.O.C. also relies on Shopify Flow, for example, to publish products when a certain inventory level is reached. Learn more in our case study.
In store management, automations can be used for a variety of shipping, inventory, and product-related workflows. For example, when inventory runs low, a workflow can be created to email a supplier and request a reorder. In the same way, products that are low on inventory can be automatically deactivated and reactivated when new stock is available.
Shopify Flow Templates:
With Flow, you can automatically tag customers based on parameters such as order value or sales channel. Furthermore, in addition to segmentation, automations can also be used to, for example, send an email notification to customer service to follow up with a thank you message or to make contact and follow up on returned items.
Shopify Flow Templates:
In addition to Shopify Plus' risk analysis, you can use Flow as a complementary tool to identify high-risk orders in a timely manner. Through appropriate workflows, the order is either automatically stopped or sent to your security experts for review.
Shopify Workflow Templates:
Marketing and advertising
Whether you want to add new products while informing the marketing team to start promotional efforts or evaluate marketing efforts, the automated workflows will save you time.
Shopify Workflow Templates:
From automated missing stock messages, to AI-driven commands, to fraud prevention for high-risk orders, Shopify Flow can help you automate many processes in your business and free up more time. To get started with Flow, it's a good idea to analyze your processes at the beginning. What takes a lot of time? What are recurring tasks? What do you want to keep a special eye on? With the insights you gain, you can create your own workflows or fall back on many sample templates. There is almost nothing that Flow can't do for you.
We would be happy to help you set up and design your flows. Contact us without any obligation.
Frequently asked questions about Shopify Flow
What is Shopify Flow?
Shopify Flow is an application that allows Shopify merchants to automate certain tasks. This is done on the basis of so-called workflows, which are triggered by a specific event (also called a trigger) and subsequently perform an action. This requires the installation of the Shopify app in addition to the appropriate Shopify plan.
How can I create a workflow in Shopify Flow?
For a step-by-step guide on how to create manual workflows or create workflows with templates, check out the post. Go to Apps and Sales Channels > Shopify Flow to get to the app to make all the settings there.
How can I test a workflow in Shopify Flow?
To check if a workflow trigger triggers a previously defined workflow, do the following: 1. Activate the workflow. 2. execute the event that leads to the activation of the workflow. Check your dashboard to see if any recent activities have been recorded for the workflow in question.