Do you want to create your own online store?

8 Time-Consuming Business Tasks—and How to Automate Them Using Bots

Graphic image that reads "business automation apps"

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

Running a fast-growing store takes more than just a great product. As a busy entrepreneur, you’ll often need to spread yourself thin to meet all the needs of your business: communicating with customers, shipping orders, and all of the daily tasks that keep your business running smoothly. Ecommerce automation can help tackle those tasks, leaving you more time to do what you do best. 

Get more done in less time (without cloning yourself) and learn how to automate your Shopify store with apps and bots for every business challenge.

Automate your Shopify store to perform these 8 tasks—hands-free

  1. Eliminate abandoned carts
  2. Automate social media shares
  3. Simplify customer service
  4. Replace manual workflows
  5. “Hire” a smart assistant
  6. Manage shipments
  7. Offer discounts automatically
  8. Automate email campaigns

1. Eliminate abandoned carts

Abandoned Cart Recovery Email

Graphic showing screens featuring functionality of abandoned cart automation app💵 Price: Free to $12/month

Cart abandonment is a real challenge for businesses of all sizes. It can require a lot of time if done manually. This is where Shopify apps can lend a hand.

Put cart recovery on autopilot. Abandoned Cart Recovery Email by Care Cart automatically retargets customers by sending cart recovery emails and push notifications. It also includes a restore cart contents feature, an automated spin game for discounts, and flows for cart recovery email drip campaigns.

⭐️ 5-star review: “Customer support is very helpful. Fast responses and available 24/7! I would definitely recommend this app.” —Electric Dance Merch

Install Abandoned Cart Recovery Email

FB Messenger Marketing by ShopMessage

Screengrab showing functionality of automation app for Facebook messaging 💵 Price: Free (premium plans available)

If most of your audience hangs out on Facebook and that’s where you normally engage with them, take cart abandonment recovery right to the source.

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 code. Track the success of your interactions through the ShopMessage dashboard.

⭐️ 5-star review: “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

Install ShopMessage

2. Automate social media shares

Minta

Screengrab of a social media automation scheduling app calendar💵 Price: Free to $55/month

Content creation can be a full-time job by itself. But many brands need to feed audiences with a steady stream of social posts to keep them engaged and to keep their products top of mind. 

Minta can not only generate social images and videos from plug-and-play templates, it can also automate social publishing, pushing your content on schedule to platforms like Twitter and Facebook. Build your brand kit inside the app so that templates and suggestions are already optimized for your channels. Marketing automation made easy!

⭐️ 5-star review: “The best!!! If I can do it, anybody can. So much fun to make videos with Minta. Customer service is right there when you need them.” —SugarMeLicious

Install Minta

Instagram Feed + Photo Gallery

Screengrab featuring an automated Instagram gallery app's features💵 Price: Free to $49.99/month

Keeping your website content fresh can be a huge task—especially if you’re not releasing new products or marketing campaigns. 

Instagram Feed + Photo Gallery can ensure that fresh content is always being pulled into website pages—every time you post on Instagram. This automation builds customer galleries for your homepage or product pages. Content connects with products featured in the photos or videos, allowing inspired customers to buy directly from the gallery.

⭐️ 5-star review: “Just plugged this into our store and the support was extremely helpful in getting it working with our custom theme within a day.” —Piyama

Install Instagram Feed + Photo Gallery

3. Simplify customer service 

Tidio

Screen grabs featuring mobile view of Tidio automation app's features💵 Price: Free to $49/month

Growing businesses may have several touchpoints for customers to reach out with service questions, feedback, or other requests. Managing all of these channels as a small team can be overwhelming.

Tidio is a chatbot for ecommerce stores that consolidates all of your customer communication into one place. Automate your Shopify store and chat with customers across all channels, including Messenger, email, and live chat. The app also gives brands access to dozens of automations and templates to simplify common customer service interactions. 

⭐️ 5-star review: “We are currently using the app to allow our online shop to become more interactive. We can already see the impact, although we are still at the beginning! Tidio has a great support team!” —AvatariFy

Install Tidio

AfterShip Returns Center

Screengrab of returns portal feature using AfterShip returns automation app💵 Price: Free to $99/month

Returns and exchanges can cause a ton of support debt. For small businesses with minimal customer service support, this process can end up costing a business if the customer experience is slow or painful.

Customer-led returns is one way to speed up the process and ensure customers are happy with you, even if the product wasn’t right. AfterShip Return Center includes a customer return portal you can custom brand to match your website experience. The app has plenty of built-in automations that can generate return labels, send return update emails, and select the best return method based on customer needs. 

⭐️ 5-star review: “We’re an ecommerce brand out of Philly. This app has worked well for us. Simple, our customers find it easy to use. It was easy to set it up and customize. We have used it for a few years, no issues.” —Honey Cloudz

Install AfterShip

4. Replace manual workflows

Shop Workflow Automation

Screengrab of workflow automation app's features💵 Price: Free to $49/month

Hiring capable operations staff to help streamline your business is a luxury that many small businesses cannot afford. But organized workflows can buy significant time for business owners. This is where ecommerce automation shines.

Simple Shop Automation helps perform everyday business tasks automatically—without human error. This free bot can perform actions based on set criteria, cutting out manual tasks and workflows. It can even handle complex tasks—combining multiple conditions to trigger a series of actions when all conditions are met. 

Example actions:

  • When customers have spent over $1,000 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%.

⭐️ 5-star review: “Great functionality for the price, and they are always very responsive when we need help. Perfect app for small store owners looking to automate simple tasks.” —Standing Desk Nation

Install Shop Workflow Automation

Shopify Flow

Screengrab demonstrating a flow functionality of Shopify Flow automation tool💵 Price: Free (Note: only available to Plus and Advanced Plan customers)

Ready to scale? For larger businesses, Shopify Flow can run powerful workflows, automate campaigns, and solve the unique challenges faced by large Shopify-powered businesses. Find preset templates for flows to automate your Shopify store’s tasks: loyalty, inventory, order management, back office tasks, and more.

⭐️ 5-star review: “The new version of Flow is fantastic! The drag and drop canvas UI is much more intuitive than the previous linear version. We use Flow to automate many repetitive tasks like capturing payments after fraud review, sending pick lists, and sending triggered emails based on certain conditions (via webhook).” —Nanoleaf Shop USA

Install Shopify Flow

5. “Hire” a smart assistant

Virtual assistant app demonstrated in a series of windows and pop ups that show the bot's functionality Virtual Inventory Assistant

💵 Price: $99/month (free 14-day trial)

Inventory management is often cited as a pain point for small businesses. Tracking and updating inventory across sales channels or multiple stores can lead to syncing issues and unfortunate out-of-stock scenarios.

Virtual Inventory Assistant is your eyes and ears on the status of your stock. The app’s AI can generate inventory reports, send low-stock alerts, assist with forecasting, and create and send purchase orders to vendors instantly. 

⭐️ 5-star review: “One of the best Apps we’ve used. This App has completely changed our purchasing process. 5 stars from us.” —JM Wholesale Ltd.

Install Virtual Inventory Assistant

6. Manage shipments

Two side by side screengrabs of mobile view of shipping automation appShippingEasy

💵 Price: Free to $159/month

Shipping can be one of the most confusing and time-consuming parts of getting up and running with a new business. It can be a steep learning curve for freshman founders. 

ShippingEasy streamlines every step of the process, from shipping to returns. It organizes all of your shipments with handy filter and sort options. Compare rates and options across carriers and use the app’s automation tools to replace tedious shipping tasks.

⭐️ 5-star review: “This app helped streamline our shipping process exponentially. We sell on Amazon, Etsy, and Shopify and ShippingEasy integrates with all 3 platforms, which saves us a ton of time and money. Plus, their staff is always friendly and very helpful.” —InchBug

Install ShippingEasy

7. Offer discounts automatically

Moonship: Automatic Discounts

Screengrab of a website using Moonship app to offer discounts
Aura Bora website page featuring Moonship discount app. Aura Bora

💵 Price: Free to $19.99/month

How do you know when to send a discount? Often the timing of the offer is critical in converting a price-sensitive customer.

Moonship’s AI-powered discounts use machine learning to understand user behavior and trigger an offer at the right place and the right time. Moonship boasts a 20% to 80% lift in sales for Shopify merchants that use its app.

⭐️ 5-star review: “Amazing app. Amazing support. Extremely easy to install and we saw a lift in our sales from day 1. And what they charge is reasonable. I think this app will really take off—so I’m pleased we got in early.” —OmieLife

Install Moonship

Unlimited Bundles & Discounts

A laptop shows a screen that features a bundles app applied to a demo store💵 Price: Free to $29/month

Managing discounts can be a full time job, from setting them up to sending them out to running discount campaigns.

Unlimited Bundles & Discounts offers customizable bundles and discounts you can set up easily without having to touch code. The app enables you to automate your Shopify store to pop up discounts and bundle recommendations at checkout. You can even schedule discounts for events like BFCM.

⭐️ 5-star review: “Seamless way to add bundled discounts to your product pages. Definitely recommend this for anyone looking to utilize a few more complex discounts.” —NineToFive Fitness

Install Unlimited Bundles & Discounts

8. Automate email campaigns

Shopify Email

Screengrab showing a library of email templates by Shopify Email app💵 Price: Free

Email is still a powerful tool to reach customers, promote new products, share brand content, and drive sales. But creating an email campaign can involve a lot of steps—and take a significant amount of time.

Shopify Email is a free tool that contains drag-and-drop templates to quickly build creative email layouts with no coding required. You can create, send, and track emails from right inside your admin. This Shopify app even has segmentation and automation features, letting you send emails at the right time in each customer’s unique journey.

⭐️ 5-star review: “Simple cost effective way to send out email marketing. Integrates nicely with our website to allow links to our specific drilling and cutting tool products, pages and offers.” —RUKO Shop UK

Install Shopify Email

Automate your Shopify store with baby steps

Don’t install all of your automations at once. There’s still value in overseeing your business tasks as each app gets up and running. You’ll likely need to play with each automation to get them working smoothly for your Shopify store.

Over time you’ll gain confidence that they can do the job without you. Layer on your automations one at a time for a seamless transition to having more time to invest in your business—and yourself.

Ecommerce automation FAQ

How do you automate an ecommerce website?

Automation can be achieved by installing apps or plug-ins that can perform repetitive or tedious tasks, saving you time. These apps range from chatbots to AI-powered discount platforms to inventory management tools.

What does it mean to automate a Shopify store?

The Shopify App Store contains hundreds of apps that integrate seamlessly with the Shopify platform and are designed to increase its functionality. Automating your Shopify store means using bots for business to take manual tasks off your plate and allow you to spend more time growing your brand.

How do I automate dropshipping on Shopify?

There are multiple apps available in the Shopify App Store to help you streamline your dropshipping business. These include top-rated apps like DSers, Syncee, and print-on-demand services like Printful.

What are the benefits of automating a Shopify store?

Ecommerce automation bots and apps have multiple benefits. With a little upfront customization, tasks and workflows can perform in the background, unaffected by human error. These automations can help with everything from reducing customer support debt to sending on-time email campaigns. This leaves more time for founders and small teams to focus on the big picture.

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