What is Shopify Flow and How to Use It
If you've been using Shopify for a while and are thinking of upgrading to Shopify Plus, one of the first questions you'll have is what are the new features that come with Shopify Plus? Is it worth upgrading? Well, there's an entire suite of apps and features that come with this package, but today we're going to focus on one: Flow.
In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to understand about Shopify Flow: how it works, how it can help your business, and how to create rules that will save you time and make you more money.
What is Shopify Flow?
Shopify Flow is a powerful tool by Shopify for automating your e-commerce business. It allows you to build rules that trigger specific actions when certain conditions are met. These rules can be simple like automatically flagging or tagging new customers or products, or they can be complex, involving multiple conditions and actions, with filtering options to refine the scope of the rule’s impact.
It’s exclusively available as an add-on for Shopify Plus users, and it allows you to automate tasks like responding to customers who have placed orders or setting up automated email sequences when someone signs up for a free trial.
You can also use it to connect different apps and services together so that they work seamlessly with each other.
This will allow you to do things like:
- Add products from multiple suppliers into your store at once
- Automatically send out emails when specific events happen on your site (like sales or new followers)
- Update product information automatically when changes are made by others
Common use cases for Shopify Flow
As we mentioned earlier, you can use Shopify Flow to automate various aspects of your business. Here are some common uses you might want to explore:
- Customer service: Automate your customer service programs by creating a workflow to respond to customers and send them receipts, shipping updates, and so on.
- Product updates: Use the automation tools in Shopify Flow to create a process for updating products on your website whenever new information becomes available. You can also set up automated email notifications when a product is available or out of stock based on inventory levels or specific events like sales.
- Product launches: Automate product launches so they're consistent and easy. When you're ready to launch something new, just create an automation flow that includes all the steps necessary for promoting the product—and it will take care of itself from there.
- Promotions: Create automated promotions with ease using Shopify Flow's powerful tools for segmenting customers by tags and targeting certain groups based on their interests or other criteria.
How to use Shopify Flow
Flow is an event-based tool that allows you to design automated workflows. This means that Flow keeps tabs on your store for specific events and lets you set up a set of actions that happen automatically when an event happens.
Automations are built using workflow components such as triggers, conditions, and actions, all of which are used in conjunction with each other.
Creating a workflow on Flow is relatively straightforward. It's as easy as 1, 2, 3:
- Setting a Trigger (an event that sets off the workflow)
- Establishing the conditions (the set of rules that the event must fulfill for an action to be taken), and
- Defining what actions (end result of the workflow) should be taken after the conditional statements are met.
Before you make a workflow, you should think about the following points.
- Workflows are executed as soon as possible. But there could be a delay between when a trigger starts a workflow and when its actions finish. There is no set amount of time it takes to finish a workflow.
- Flow treats orders and draft orders differently. Order actions and triggers don't affect draft orders, and draft order actions and triggers don't affect orders. When a draft order becomes a real order, your workflows that apply to orders come into play.
- Workflows with conditions that use tags might not work if there are more than 250 tags attached to the order, product, or customer.
- All workflows must begin with a Flow or app trigger.
- Some fields in the GraphQL Admin API are filled in at different times, especially on orders. Because certain fields may not be populated once your workflow runs, Flow may not have enough data to calculate fulfillments, UTM parameters, or risk ratings. Before you turn on a workflow, test it to make sure that the data is what you expect.
Steps to Creating a workflow:
- Go to Apps > Shopify Flow in your Shopify admin.
- Click the Create workflow button.
- Click Select a trigger, and then choose the trigger that activates the workflow. A trigger is an event that initiates a workflow.
The automation is triggered by nine preset events. They are as follows:
- A draft or live order is created
- An order is fulfilled and paid
- A new customer is created
- An order is analyzed for risk
- A refund has been issued
- A product has been created and
- Inventory has changed (decreased or increased)
- Create a new step by clicking Output. Select the condition that must be satisfied before any actions can be performed. In this section, you define the conditions that an event must meet in order for an action to be executed.
There are pre-designed templates with over 100 rules to pick from, so you don't have to develop these conditional statements. You can modify the conditions as you like.
- Click Then to select the action to be taken if the condition you set is true.
- Click Actions and choose the action that should run based on the condition.
On Shopify Flow, you can choose from a variety of pre-built actions. There are ten Shopify-specific actions and six on third-party apps like Slack, Asana, or Google Sheets.
- This is an optional step, but if the condition you set is false, click Otherwise to add it to your workflow. You can add more conditions or actions.
- Click New Workflow, and then give your workflow a name.
- To begin using your workflow, click Turn workflow on.
Setting up Multiple Conditions and Actions
You can use many conditional statements you want to specify exactly what you want automated.
How does it work? When a trigger starts a workflow:
- The system checks to determine whether it meets the criteria specified in Condition #1. If it does, Action #1 will be implemented.
- If not, it determines if the statements in Condition #2 are true. If they are, Action #2 will be implemented. Otherwise, Condition #3 is considered.
Creating Custom Workflows
You might find that the pre-designed templates don't work for the type of workflow you want to make. You may need to create a custom template in this case. For B2B eCommerce businesses, this is a game-changing feature.
The nice part about developing personalized automation is that Shopify takes care of all the laborious coding for you. To create a custom workflow, all you have to do is select from a pre-built library of triggers, conditions, and actions.
Alternatively, you can also hire a Shopify expert like Webinopoly to come in and help you with creating your custom workflow.
Shopify Flow makes it easy to automate your eCommerce workflows
With Shopify Flow, you can use automation to create complex order fulfillment workflows or product catalogs that update automatically as you add new products. You can even use Shopify Flow to connect to third-party apps in order to send data between them.
If you’ve gotten this far, then you’re probably excited about the possibilities that come with using Shopify Flow. And we don’t blame you! It’s a great tool for automating the day-to-day processes in your store, which can help you save time and money—not to mention give you a better idea of what’s going on in your store at any given moment.
We hope this simple guide has helped you and if you need to build custom workflows, feel free to reach out to Shopify Experts here at Webinopoly.
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