Shopify Partners

How and Why to Integrate No-Code Automation into Your Shopify App

how-and-why-to-integrate-no-code-automation-into-your-shopify-app

One of the greatest benefits of being a Shopify app partner is being able to leverage the Shopify App Store to meet merchants who are looking to improve their store operations.

There are many automation opportunities available for merchants on Shopify, but there’s one major issue: most apps improve or streamline only one aspect of running a Shopify store. While there are apps dedicated to marketing, customer service, accounting, shipping, and so on, there really aren’t any apps that can cover all of these areas. In fact, because each app is specialized for certain categories of work, it is impractical for a merchant to choose a new app that can only do a mediocre job in multiple areas.

Most Shopify merchants aren’t developers who can dedicate their time to working with APIs to connect different workflows across their store. Because of this, merchants have to rely on existing integrations between their Shopify apps to create cross-functional workflows. With the complex needs of Shopify merchants, a one-size-fits-all data sync can work, but to truly “win” with automation, merchants need a non-technical way to develop customized workflows across their different categories of apps.

This is where no-code automation comes in handy. No-code automation allows merchants to build workflows without writing a single line of code. It’s a valuable tool to have that’s quickly becoming a hot topic for merchants. Instead of coding workflows from scratch, why not use a drag and drop builder to create automated workflows for your store? This level of customizability is creating a new standard for what merchants expect.

As a Shopify app developer, it is now more important than ever to consider how you can prepare your app for no-code automation. This allows merchants to better leverage data and actions in your app to drive growth for their store and for your Shopify app business. In this article, we’ll go over how to get started with no-code automation for your Shopify app.

Build apps for Shopify merchants

Whether you want to build apps for the Shopify App Store, offer custom app development services, or are looking for ways to grow your user base, the Shopify Partner Program will set you up for success. Join for free and access educational resources, developer preview environments, and recurring revenue share opportunities.

Getting started

no code automation: open laptop sitting on desk displaying code

To get your app ready for integration with a no-code automation platform, you’ll need to create an open API. With an open API and well-written documentation to go along with it, developers of other Shopify apps can build integrations without much involvement from your team. This means you can save precious engineering resources for other internal projects.

It is also worth noting that an open API means that you are making it possible for third parties to use your app’s data and push data into your app, so you should ensure that you have policies in place in case your business requires additional data regulation.

Webhooks

Webhooks allow your app to notify other apps whenever an event happens in your system. For example, Shopify has webhooks for order events, such as when an order is updated, paid for, or refunded. By creating webhooks as part of your public API, you can let other Shopify app developers build functionality that enables your shared merchants to better use your app’s data. In the example mentioned above, the Shopify order paid webhook allows many different apps to create tickets, status updates, or SMS notifications when the order paid event happens.

In a no-code automation platform, a webhook can thus act as a trigger for an entire series of events in a multi-app workflow. Non-technical merchants can then create logic for how they want events in your app to move the right data to and trigger corresponding events in other apps.

API endpoints

In addition to webhooks, it is important to create API endpoints that allow other developers to push and pull data from your app. By opening up POST endpoints, data from other systems can be brought into your app. This can be helpful for syncing data that isn’t generated from your app. For example, if your app specializes in managing rewards programs, it can be useful to bring in customer tag data, order tracking information, or customer support tickets into your system for a more complete customer profile.

Similarly, GET endpoints are a critical part of an open API, as this can allow other developers to leverage your app’s data for persona enrichment or other use cases. This endpoint can enable your users to get more creative with how they’re using your app’s data and functionality.

As you design an open API for your Shopify app, it is important to keep in mind that other developers will be reading your documentation to understand how to use different API endpoints and webhooks. It is critical that you make your documentation easy to understand so that other Shopify apps can develop without needing heavy support from your engineering team. In addition, your team should structure the data that is returned from your app’s API so that variables and concepts can correspond with standards set in the Shopify ecosystem.

“It is critical that you make your documentation easy to understand so that other Shopify apps can develop without needing heavy support from your engineering team.”

Automated workflow use cases and examples

no code automation: Finger pointing at map

Need some ideas of what you can help merchants automate? Below are some examples of the types of workflows that are ripe for no-code automation.

Marketing

Every store needs marketing to reach more customers, so it is one of the biggest areas Shopify merchants spend on. By automating growth marketing, merchants can create personalized campaigns for each customer to help improve conversion rates and see a better return on investment (ROI) for their campaigns.

Where does no-code automation come into play here? Marketers want to streamline their marketing efforts as much as possible while getting more data to create more targeted marketing. Tagging customers, sending out campaign emails, setting up ad campaigns, generating reports, and other tasks can be extremely time-consuming. With no-code automation, merchants can automate many of their routine tasks to focus more on bigger picture marketing projects.

Customer rewards and loyalty

Rewards and loyalty programs offer some of the best retention opportunities for merchants. With no-code automation, merchants can reward customers for actions based on the data coming from other apps. For example, perhaps a merchant would like to reward a customer for leaving a review. In order to automatically track the review to give out points, merchants need an integration between their reviews and rewards apps. If there are no integrations available, then merchants won’t be able to automatically provide rewards points or product samples for reviews.

Shipping and fulfillment

Many Shopify merchants are starting to see the benefits of leveraging shipping and fulfillment as a growth channel instead of a cost center. By offering no-code solutions to merchants, you can help them automate many of their fulfillment processes to speed up delivery times and reduce order error rates.

Customer service

There are many aspects of customer service that are tedious and manual, as many customer inquiries look similar. From automatically generating refunds once a return has been received by their 3PL, to requesting reviews once a ticket has been resolved, merchants can ensure that customer data is synced across all of the different apps installed on a store when their apps work together. That means the merchant can spend less time replying to common questions, and more time focused on product development, marketing campaigns, and other areas of their business.

no code automation: laptop displaying graphs and numbers

Accounting and analytics

With no-code automation of analytics and accounting, merchants can easily pull relevant data from your app and use it in conjunction with data from other apps to create more comprehensive reports for their business. If your app isn’t already synced with popular analytics tools, this is especially useful since it provides merchants with the flexibility to view their data as they please. In addition, merchants can link your app’s events to their team’s internal notification or ticketing systems. For example, merchants can notify their fulfillments team to restock certain products when they hit an inventory threshold in their 3PL.

Tagging

Manual tagging can be incredibly time-consuming. Between knowing what tags to apply, when to apply them, and having to apply tags to each individual profile, it can be a full-time job in and of itself. With a no-code tool, you can help merchants automatically tag their orders, customers, products, and more based on what types of events occur in your app. For example, merchants can tag customers depending on how many consecutive times their subscription has been renewed in your subscriptions app, or tag orders based on which geography they’re in if your app provides shipping data and services. This inevitably saves time and can allow merchants to focus on scaling up their operations with better data.

Making the most of no-code

Now that we’ve covered the many areas in which no-code automation can help merchants, how do you, as a Shopify app developer, get started with using no-code automation to your business’ advantage? Here are some ways your Shopify app can leverage no-code automation to boost user growth or operational efficiency:

Easily partner with other Shopify apps

Partnerships and integrations with other Shopify Apps are some of the fastest ways to offer no-code capabilities for Shopify merchants. For example, SMS marketing is a rising trend for Shopify merchants. If you’re an email app, but don’t have plans to build SMS capabilities, you can integrate with an SMS provider to offer integrated email and SMS workflows for your users.

This allows you to save precious engineering resources to focus on building out more core features for your existing products.

Save time and do more

Your engineers can expand their capabilities without hiring more developers, and replace some work they’re currently doing with automation. For example, instead of writing new code for each integration you want to build between your app and another app, you can leverage an automation platform that already has the desired integration and write code to connect just your own app to the platform. This way, you can access dozens of other apps by writing code for only a single integration.

Centralize work

Your customer success and implementation teams are likely encountering scenarios where they need to develop custom code for a larger client. Instead of creating private apps or dedicating more engineering time to these custom requests, you can use automated workflows that allow your clients to add logic on top of the features of your app.

For example, if your client has multiple Shopify stores they want to sync into one account on your app, you can set up two automated workflows that feed the data into one app account. By creating these automated workflows, you can also ensure that your implementation team doesn’t need to rewrite code. Instead, they can share these workflows with other clients that have similar needs. This helps save time and speeds up implementation and time to value (TTV) for your merchants.

Making processes smoother

The possibilities are endless for Shopify apps that make themselves ready for no-code automation. With no-code automation, you can develop more strategic partnerships with other apps in the ecosystem, create automated workflows that extend your app’s capabilities for your customers, and save engineering resources to grow core app features that are more impactful for your business—all while helping merchants better run theirs.

Build apps for Shopify merchants

Whether you want to build apps for the Shopify App Store, offer custom app development services, or are looking for ways to grow your user base, the Shopify Partner Program will set you up for success. Join for free and access educational resources, developer preview environments, and recurring revenue share opportunities.

Special thanks to our friends at the Shopify Partner Blog for their insights on this topic.
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