With over 5,000 apps available in the Shopify App Store, there is no shortage of ways to enhance your capabilities as a Shopify merchant. However, the downside of having so many options is that the more apps you use, the more time-consuming and cumbersome it will get to control each of your apps manually.
Why You Should Leverage Integrations For Your Shopify Store
While it may be feasible to run these apps individually in the short-term, the growth of your business will likely increase the time needed to spend on these apps. Furthermore, the larger your business grows, the more apps and software tools you may need to utilize to ensure your activities run smoothly. All of these factors can hinder your ability to scale quickly, as significant time and resources are chewed up in the process of maintaining app flows and tasks.
How Integrations Can Improve Your Experience as a Shopify Merchant
So you must be wondering, how exactly can integrations benefit you and improve your experience as a merchant? Below are some of the key ways integrations can add value to your business and daily activities:
1. Save Time & Costs Through A More Streamlined, Efficient Experience
By integrating your platforms and apps, you will be able to access your tools through a unified system, allowing you to manage your business's activities more quickly and efficiently. Some of the tools offering integrations today can also provide you with the ability to automate manual tasks, which would further increase your time and cost savings.
2. Divert Labour to Higher-Value Tasks
One of the biggest advantages of streamlining and automating your routine tasks as a merchant is that you can now dedicate the time you've saved to pursue more value-generating tasks. This can include activities like customer service and marketing initiatives to draw in more customers to your store and continue building your brand.
3. Reduce Errors from Manual Work
With the increased use of different tools and time spent on each one, the chances of making errors usually increases as well - after all, we are human! That's why automating tasks and reducing workflows can go a long way in eliminating errors in your day-to-day operations.
4. Reduce Context-Switching for Small Routine Tasks
If you've never heard of the term "context-switching", make sure to check out this article which explores how it can kill your productivity! At its core, this concept describes the unideal habit of trying to tackle many tasks at once. Researchers have found that the more tasks we try to juggle, the less overall time we can dedicate to each one, which ends up taking us longer to complete them all. By unifying your systems, you can better protect yourself from the harmful consequences of context-switching.
How to Tell If It's Time to Invest in Integrations for Your Shopify Store
Although there's no standard metric or test you can take to tell whether it's worthwhile to start using integrations, there are two key signals that will help guide your decision. These are:
1. Spending too much time on routine tasks
As your customer base grows, you will likely be spending more time completing routine tasks. For example, your team may need to update your accounting software with the latest purchase orders a lot more often. This is because a higher volume of orders usually translates to a higher volume of backend activities to fulfill those orders. Therefore, with finite resources, the additional time taken per customer/order could limit your scalability.
In addition, consider a scenario where you're paying your staff $25/hour to manually keep your books and records in sync with inventory. If it takes ~3 hours per day to complete this task, this could be costing you $375/week and $1,500/month. If you were to integrate the two systems and automate this process instead, you would be saving thousands of dollars in the long-run!
2. Spending time coordinating different systems
In addition to adjusting to higher orders, you might start using more platforms to optimize your operations and facilitate advanced activities as well. For example, on top of using a marketing tool like Mailchimp, you may also wish to track detailed analytics on your store's websites. These will require different platforms, further increasing the time invested in context-switching and managing tasks between them.
If you find yourself relating to any of these situations, it may be time for you to make the move towards integrations. To help you get started, we've researched some tools that will easily allow you to streamline your activities. Read on to find out which resource may be the best fit for you!
Finding The Right Tools To Integrate Your Platforms And Apps
1. Shopify Flow
Shopify Flow is a native app available to Shopify Plus merchants through the Shopify App Store. This app offers a variety of automations that you can implement either through their pre-built templates or by customizing your own workflows using their visual builder. If you're interested in learning more, check out some workflow examples on their page!
While Shopify Flow could be a good fit for many merchants, a huge drawback of this app is that it is only available to Shopify Plus members. This means that if you're not a merchant paying $2000+/month for this service, you unfortunately cannot benefit from the app. In addition, while the app does offer a certain degree of customizability, many users have found the automations and features available to be quite basic and limited. So if you're a user that falls into one of these categories, you may find more value in using Shypyard instead!
Shypyard is a SaaS platform that specializes in creating customized integrations and automations for Shopify stores. Currently, Shypyard enables integrations between more than a dozen platforms and software tools with a plethora of use cases available for merchants. Another huge plus point for Shypyard is that they do free consultations - allowing you to figure out if the product is right for you with no-strings-attached.
In conclusion, either of these apps are worthwhile tools that can relieve you from going down a rabbit hole of routine activities with the growth of your business. By automating tasks and leveraging integrations, you can be one step closer to achieving operational efficiency and setting your Shopify store up for scalability.