COVID-19 has driven a decade worth of eCommerce growth in one year. As a result, eCommerce stores are quickly bogged down with excess demand and non-scalable operations. In order to solve operational problems on platforms, such as Shopify or Bigcommerce, brands need to install dozens of new tools. While each of these new tools can help improve productivity in the long-run, each one requires time to integrate upfront and to incorporate these new workflows in your day-to-day. Ultimately, you’re trading one problem for another.
eCommerce workflows are broken
Running a Shopify store takes a lot of time. When you launch a product, you need to create collections and merchandise them on your site. When something sells out, you need to update those collections. When you make a sale, you need to generate your shipping label and ship your product. If a customer asks for a return, you have to generate another shipping label.
If you are trying to grow your online business, all of a sudden you need to try out a slew of different workflows too. Reducing abandoned carts means generating discount codes and trying email and text campaigns. Upselling existing customers means tagging customers and orders and testing upsell tactics with different segments. Improving reviews means sending out more emails.
Why you need automation
All of this lets you compete in the modern eCommerce marketplace. If you want to drive growth above and beyond your competitors, then you also need to negotiate with your vendors and source new product lines. Unfortunately, most merchants never quite get around to this with all of the other day-to-day workflows they need to manage.
Almost any routine task for your eCommerce store can be automated. You can send out your marketing emails, tag customers, update collections, etc. all through automation tools. Those little tasks that end up sucking up 80% of your time can be broken down into easily repeatable workflows and run by automation tools.
What is Alloy Automation?
Alloy Automation is a no-code automation tool for eCommerce stores and is used by brands like the Baltimore Ravens and Lick Home. Alloy allows you to schedule work that needs to be done whenever a specific “trigger” goes off. For instance, if a customer places a high-value order for your store (trigger), then include a free gift in their order, ship it out via your fulfillment service, tag the customer as a high-value customer, and add them to a VIP email list. Utilizing this level of automation helps you think more about what your business should be doing to grow, rather than what you need to do to get through the day.
Alloy Automation has integrations with over 80 different apps, so whatever tools you use, they can probably offer an automation for it. Additionally, they have a marketplace of pre-built automation workflows that you can select from, saving you time from even needing to develop your workflows. These are some of the most popular ways to use Alloy to automate your eCommerce store.
Automate shipping and return management
One of the most common integrations for Alloy is to handle shipping and returns through integrations like ShipBob, ShipHero, Shippo, Gorgias, and Zendesk. When customers place orders on your site, you are able to automatically generate shipping labels, ship the product, update your inventory data, and update customer support tickets. If you integrate your Slack as well, you can have Slacks sent to you notifying you when orders are placed and fulfilled.
Furthermore, if any customers request exchanges or returns, this can be done automatically via your customer support app and shipping app. During this exchange/return process, you can also gather inputs from the customer about why they are asking for the exchange/return and send out prompts based on those responses. So, if a customer is returning the item because it was too expensive, you could offer them an automatic 10% discount if they keep the product.
Automate marketing and customer loyalty
Functionality that makes Alloy superior to other automation tools like Zapier or Shopify Flow, is its ability to easily tag customers and orders for marketing. Whether you want to tag orders based on fraud prevention or high order value, or tag customers based on repeat purchases, high-value customers, or brand promoters, Alloy makes the workflows easy yet sophisticated.
Tagging your orders allows you to treat them with special attention in fulfillment, like adding in special gifts or notes to high order value shipments. Tagging your customers can help automatically segment customers in your marketing campaigns to target specific customer behaviors.
If you link your Yotpo Loyalty account you are able to automatically communicate with your customers about leaving reviews, sharing your products on social media, and other brand promoter actions. Yotpo will then reward your customers with loyalty points that they can redeem for special gifts, increasing both organic marketing and customer retention.
Automate customer service
As shipping becomes quicker and customer expectations increase, delivery tracking and customer service are important points of differentiation for eCommerce stores. Alloy will link your email, customer service, and fulfillment providers to offer clear up-to-date order tracking for your customers. This best-in-class process will send an order confirmation, shipping confirmation, delivery confirmation, and review request emails or texts to customers, so they can follow their packages every step of the way.
Also, you likely have a variety of different customer service touchpoints, like email, social media, and a chatbot. No matter where your customers reach out to you, you can have Alloy link all messages to your Slack and allow you to reply to them straight from your Slack channel. This will keep you up-to-date on all customers, improve your response time, and eliminate workflows in your day-to-day operations.
Automate custom solutions
If you’re like most eCommerce merchants, you do not have the bandwidth to hire a full-time engineer but would love to get some custom functionality. The beauty of Alloy is that it offers a no-code automation interface. So whether you want to eliminate your Google Sheets file that collects data in a hacked together fashion or you want to try out a new automated inventory replenishment system, Alloy can help make it happen.
Ecommerce does not have to be difficult. If you find ways to automate and eliminate workflows from your daily routine you are able to focus more on your business and less on busywork. Signup for Alloy at runalloy.com and save yourself time and money in minutes.