8 Bots to Help Automate Your Business (and Get More Done, Faster)

8 Bots to Help Automate Your Business (and Get More Done, Faster)

How many times have you wished, futile as it is, that you could clone yourself? Or that you could grow two extra arms?

As a busy entrepreneur, you’re likely wearing many hats and working long hours, especially in the early days of your business. Maybe it’s too early to hire staff, or you’re still struggling with delegating to the staff you have. It’s your baby, after all, built from scratch with your bare hands.

But what if you could automate some of your daily tasks, leaving you more time to do what you do best? Enter bots.

We’ve introduced bots for business in the past, specifically chatbots that perform tasks or return information based on a text or messenger “conversations” much like you’d have with a friend. But bots have evolved beyond their chatbot origins, communicating with us through voice, learning and adapting to our needs, and even talking among themselves.

You probably already use bots in your daily life, whether it’s asking Siri for a traffic update, or controlling smart devices in your home via Alexa. Bots can help a weather app talk to a garden sprinkler, or send push notifications every time a post on Craigslist meets your search criteria.

Often, as in the case of Siri and Alexa, bots are given human qualities, with commands more conversational, versus typing in a search engine.

via GIPHY

Yes this is The Future. And not the “robots will steal our jobs then kill us” future (I watch too much Netflix). As bots become more intelligent, their skillsets expand. They’re not only handy for personal tasks—they can be valuable members of your team and help you work more efficiently, too.

That is the real promise of the bots: an army of automated agents, collaborating to work for you, unleashing huge value for consumers and entrepreneurs.

In a growing category in the Shopify App Store, bots help business owners run marketing campaigns, pair store functions with smart devices, and access data via chat.

These 8 bots, bot integrations, and automation tools work with your Shopify store to help you get more done without actually cloning yourself:

1. Alexa

Price: Free

If you have an Amazon Echo, you’re already familiar with Alexa, a virtual personal assistant that can play music or order food, among thousands of other functions.

Now, with the Shopify Alexa app, you can manage your store, too. Ask Alexa about your Shopify store’s performance through a voice interface. Quickly access answers to questions about number of unfulfilled orders, best selling products, inventory levels, or average order value for a specific time period.

Note: an Amazon Echo is required to use this integration.

Install Alexa

2. Kit

Price: free (plus costs associated with paid apps and ads)

Hire Kit to join your team and take over the time-consuming and often confusing task of online marketing.

Kit is your own virtual employee, here to help you perform tasks like setting up and running Facebook and Instagram ads, sending thank you emails, and creating and promoting discount codes. Every day Kit follows up with you via Messenger or SMS text with marketing suggestions. Simply reply “yes” to enable Kit to work for you. Recently, we announced that Kit will now work free for all Shopify store owners.

Kit is an official Facebook Marketing Partner and is also compatible with several apps in the Shopify App Store.

Note: to hire Kit, your store must be on the $29 Shopify plan or higher.

“Kit has been an amazing addition to our business. The app has helped launch our business tremendously through the targeted marketing and wonderfully written product details. Very much worth having with any new business. The Kit team is always very helpful and easily available.”

The Wicked Vault on Shopify

Install Kit

3. Social Share Bot

Price: from $3/month, free 5-day trial

Creating content for all of your social accounts, keeping them active, and engaging with your audience can be a full-time job (and we know your business already has you working overtime). But, well-managed social accounts help drive traffic and build a community around your brand. So, they’re important.

While social bots are easy to sniff out, and you’ll still have to give your accounts a human touch, Social Share Bot can ease some of the burden. The bot creates content for Twitter and Pinterest whenever new products and collections are added to your Shopify store. It randomly chooses from a set of custom messages written by you, in your voice. Customize social posts with product url and title from the app dashboard.

Install Social Share Bot

4. NumbersBot

Price: $9.99/month

NumbersBot gives you easy access to your store’s data on the go. Ask about your sales, conversions, average cart value, and more. Every day, NumbersBot follows up with you via Facebook Messenger or Telegram with current sales reports and suggestions. It also learns from you—the more you interact with the app, the more reports it can provide to you via a simple chat.

Install NumbersBot

5. FB Messenger Remarketing by ShopMessage

Price: free (premium plans available)

Turn your abandoned carts into sales through Facebook Messenger.

ShopMessage uses personalized messaging to automatically contact customers who leave your store with full carts. The bot can bring customers back to your site with a conversation, reminding them of the specific items in the cart, and offering a discount. Track the success of your interactions through the ShopMessage dashboard.

“You can see exactly how much revenue you're getting from the app in real-time, so you can see the awesome ROI for yourself. We saw the sales start to flow in on Day 1.”

Mint & Lily on Shopify

Install ShopMessage

6. Zapier

Price: Free-$100/month

Zapier is a handy tool that acts as a liaison between hundreds of apps, even if they don’t natively integrate.

It allows one app to talk to another and perform tasks based on your instructions, or “Zaps”. These Zaps then activate whenever a trigger action occurs, and can help you monitor brand conversations on social, or manage your inbox automatically. If it wasn’t easy enough, Zapier also integrates directly with Shopify. Drag and drop to connect to dozens of apps like Mailchimp or Salesforce, or even build your own integrations. Zapier can help you stay informed of your store’s activity, even when you’re doing a million other things: get a text when you receive an order, or a message in Campfire each time a new customer registers an account.

“I've used Zapier to automate pushing blog posts to all my social sites. It's freed up loads of time I'd otherwise be wasting.”

Peaches & Eaches on Shopify

 

Install Zapier

7. Simple Shop Automation by Hextom

Price: Free

Simple Shop Automation helps perform everyday business tasks automatically. This free bot can perform actions based on set criteria, cutting out manual workflows. It can even handle complex tasks—combine multiple conditions to trigger a series of actions when all conditions are met.

Example actions:

  • When customers have spent over $1000 cumulatively, tag customers with "VIP"
  • When a product is sold out, hide it from your online store
  • When a quantity of a product is less than 10, increase the price by 20%
  • When an order is updated, send an email with order information to the customer
  • Every Friday at 4:30 PM, send you an email with low inventory products, top 5 bestselling items last week, and weekly sales data
  • Every Day at 6:00PM, email you today's sales report

Install Simple Shop Automation

8. Shoppy Bot Smart Assistant

Price: Free

Like NumbersBot, Shoppy Bot is a concierge data assistant that delivers reports on demand.

Ask Shoppy Bot a question to access your store’s data through over 30 custom reports. Wellen Surf says Shoppy Bot saves the team over 10 hours per week. The Shopify store uses it to access data quickly rather than exporting reports and manipulating the data in Excel. The Shoppy Bot team can also help build out custom reporting solutions for your unique business.

Shoppy Bot integrates with Slack—ask it your data questions using @bot.

Install Shoppy Bot

How do you use bots to automate your daily business tasks? Share your tips in the comments below.

About the Author

Dayna Winter is a Storyteller at Shopify. She follows more dogs than humans on Instagram and isn't a real redhead.

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