So you’ve heard about the power of automation, but you just aren’t sure how it applies to your brand, right?
Yep. I’ve heard this before—many times, actually.
The reason is that it’s hard to think about how eCommerce automation could be helping you until you see a use-case that makes you go, “Ah, yes. I never thought about that before!”
That’s why I’m popping in today. I’m Tina, and I work over at Alloy Automation. In this article, I’m going to teach you some of the ways BigCommerce brands are using automation to save them time and money, all while improving the shopping experience for customers.
If that piques your interest, then check out these seven examples…
1. Get a Slack notification when a customer purchases an order over $500
It’s time to keep track of those VIP customers who are purchasing big orders—say, like, $500 in value or more.
How should you do it? One of the simplest ways is to get a Slack notification in real-time whenever an order of this size is purchased. You can even create a special channel for these notifications to go to. #BigWins
By getting these notifications, you can:
- Celebrate these wins together as a team
- See which products and customers are increasing your AOV
- Give your support team context into which type of customers should get special treatment if they run into issues with their order.
Here’s an example of what this workflow looks like. And if you want to try it for free with Alloy yourself, you can by using this recipe here.
2. Streamline vendor order management
Some brands work with multiple vendors to create and ship products. In those situations, it can take a lot of time to reach out to each vendor every time a new order is placed and manually update a Google sheet with all the correct order information.
I mean, maybe it’s okay if you get five orders a week, but what if you’re getting hundreds? That manual process can take up a lot of time.
What if you had a tool that could automatically break out each individual order by line item, add it to a Google sheet associated with the right vendor, and send a notification to the vendor to add their information?
Hint… Alloy can do this. Essentially, Alloy becomes the vendor order management system.
Using product tags, you can add information to individual products about which vendor it comes from. By adding an “Iterate” logic block, Alloy will review each line item in customer orders to look for those tags.
Here’s an example: let’s say a customer purchases three items. Two of the items come from vendor A and the last item comes from vendor B. After Alloy circles through each item to pull the product tag, it sends an automated email to each vendor.
For the first two items from vendor A, Alloy sends an email notification to ask that vendor to update the tracking information and quantity available. The same thing happens for vendor B, but they get their own email with their specific product information.
Using this workflow, merchants have a Google sheet with each 3pl that automatically gets updated with the right information—and the vendors get an automatic prompt in real-time.
3. Get notified in Slack when an order is shipped
We’re strong believers in using Slack to improve your company’s organization, and one great example of doing this is getting your shipping notifications in real-time.
Essentially, whenever an order is marked as shipped by your shipping app, Alloy will trigger a message to send in your team Slack with that order information. You can also power up this workflow by pulling in additional order data from BigCommerce to get a better understanding of which customers are ordering which products, how much they’re spending, when the order was placed, and more.
This will also help you stay on top of your shipping experience. For example, if you’re taking too long to get orders to customers, you may want to check out where there are hiccups in your process.
Let’s say you’re using ShipStation (one of BigCommerce’s most popular shipping apps). Here’s what this could look like:
4. Reward loyalty points based on subscription pricing model
Now, let’s look at a marketing automation example. Many brands offer subscriptions as a way to upsell customers and drive retention. But what about upselling within the subscription itself?
Trust me, it’s not as confusing as it sounds. One brand is upgrading customers to a higher-tiered subscription by assigning loyalty points based on the dollar value of the subscription. This is a great way to scale your store.
Depending on the pricing plan of the subscription purchased, the customer is bucketed into one of three categories and assigned a certain number of loyalty points. The more they spend, the more loyalty points they earn.
Considering the average order of a customer who uses a loyalty reward in a purchase is 39% higher than a customer who doesn’t, this tiered system is helpful to increase AOV and retention.
One Alloy customer is doing this with Recharge and Yotpo, so when a new subscription gets created, the customer automatically receives a certain amount of loyalty points. For example, if they spend between $41-$100 on a subscription, they receive more points than if they only spend between $1-$20.
Check out an example of the workflow below!
What if the customer refunds their order or there’s a failed payment on their credit card? No problem.
If the subscription ends up being refunded, there’s an additional workflow to take away the loyalty points that a customer had earned from the order:
5. Send a free gift to second-order subscription users
Since we’re already talking about subscriptions, let’s talk about another way you can delight customers with a freebie.
Your subscription users are some of your most powerful customers. For example, they’re
- Proving loyalty to your brand
- Giving you an ongoing, predictable revenue stream
- Increasing the ROI of your acquisition costs
Don’t you think that deserves some kind of reward?
A lot of brands will offer a discount up-front to try and convert the customer—it could be 10% off their first subscription order or a free product. But instead of offering value to visitors who haven’t converted, why not give it to the people who are already loyal to your brand?
In other words, show your subscription customers that you appreciate them by sending a free gift on their second subscription order.
Similar to how you can send a gift to users who may be at risk for churning, you can trigger a workflow from the point users purchase their second subscription order. By pulling in a tag that says which customers ordered twice from Recharge and BigCommerce, a workflow will be triggered to notify your fulfillment team about adding a free gift to those users’ orders.
If you want to get more complex and personalized with it, follow up with those customers via email or SMS after they receive their order and ask if they liked the free gift!
6. Manage and segment customer reviews in Google Sheets
Reviews are essential to your business. They’re how you build trust with potential customers, and you can repurpose them in so many different ways (emails, social media, paid ads… You get it).
But there isn’t always an easy way to aggregate all of your review data in one place.
Unless you’re using Alloy, that is.
In all seriousness, one of the top workflows for BigCommerce customers is as simple as this: triggering a workflow once per day that runs through all of your Yotpo reviews and appends them into Google Sheets.
You can even manage and segment the reviews to make it easy for you to comb through them, look for patterns, and discover opportunities to use these reviews to your advantage.
Of course, we have a recipe that’s ready to go if you want to try it here.
7. Autogenerate purchase orders for product ingredients
Every brand operator knows that logistics is a science and an art... and oftentimes a headache. But there's one workflow we know about that’s making it easier for brands to keep products in stock.
If you’re using BigCommerce as your inventory management system (or another tool in the BigCommerce marketplace), this idea applies to you. Especially if you’re a CPG brand that’s ordering your own product ingredients.
As you may know, it takes a lot of time to source your own ingredients. For example, as a beauty brand, one product alone can have around 25 different ingredients, so it’s difficult to keep track of all of the ingredients for each SKU and their quantities.
To make this process easier, brands can use Alloy to automate their purchase orders.
How does it work?
Starting with a single Google Sheet as your source of truth, include all of the ingredients that you have in stock and the quantity of each.
With Alloy, you can scan that sheet to see if there’s an ingredient that dips below a certain amount. If it does, Alloy triggers a purchase order by creating an invoice in QuickBooks. You can also send your team a Slack notification about the order at the same time.
The only manual work on the brand’s end is to take the PO and send it to the supplier.
Who would have thought logistics could be this easy? We did!
Automation is the secret to working smarter, not harder
These days, there are more tools powering your business than you can probably keep up with. Everything requires its own strategy. If you can connect those tools together—including the important customer data from each—you’re setting yourself up for long-term success.
At Alloy, the goal is simple: make automation accessible to all business owners. By automating repetitive tasks, brands can allow their teams more time to be creatives, innovators, and outstanding employees.
Have no idea where to begin? Get more done in less time with Alloy’s marketplace, which features hundreds of app integrations and ready-to-use recipe cards that may be customized to suit your business's needs.
You can also book a time to chat with our team here if you need help figuring out what workflows and use-cases would be best for your brand.