Shopify Flow – How to Automate Your Online Store

Natalie Miller
Natalie Miller
May 13 · 6 min read
a diagram to display how Shopify Flow works

Automation of business operations is crucial. If you have an online store and use Shopify, you should certainly consider incorporating Shopify Flow into your business. It will streamline tasks, actions, campaigns and more. It is free to install and will become an asset if used correctly.

What is Shopify Flow

Shopify Flow is an app. It is an app that you can easily incorporate within your online presence. It is the answer to your E-Commerce automation issues. It was created by Shopify for Shopify merchants. The reason we highlight this is because we think the fact that Shopify themselves created this free and useful app speaks volume. Who knows the challenges Shopify merchants face on a daily basis better than Shopify themselves? (That’s a rhetorical question in case that one flew over your head…)

Who Can Use Shopify Flow and How to Use It

Shopify Flow is available to Shopify merchants. It is unfortunately not available to all Shopify merchants at this stage. The reason for this? Well, we would have to take a guess. We assume that it’s due to the fact that Shopify Flow is an app that is highly functional and offers solutions to more advanced business operations. It would not make much sense or be helpful to merchants on the Basic Shopify plan, for example. The reason for this is that their Shopify plan and their business complexity does not encompass enough features to need to be highly automated. The features and processes merchants have on a Basic Shopify plan are more manageable in comparison to an online store that runs on an Advanced Shopify plan or through Shopify Plus.

Another guess? Well, perhaps Shopify Flow is only available to higher priced plans, as Shopify is a business after all. It needs to generate profits and if they keep certain features or functions to the more expensive plans, then they increase their chances of having more merchants on those said pricey plans.

Who can use Shopify Flow?

How to Use Shopify Flow

Start by making sure you’re either an Advanced Shopify plan merchant or a Shopify Plus merchant.

Visit the Shopify App Store and type in ‘Shopify Flow’ in the search bar and install the app. (or use this link that will take you directly to the Shopify Flow app on the Shopify App store).

When you use Shopify Flow for the first time, it might seem a little daunting. You need to think of it as creating workflows in order to automatically complete your desired actions.

Each workflow is essentially a reaction to an occurrence on your online store that you set up manually once that will from that point onward happen automatically. There are premade templates within the app that can help you understand how certain workflows could look like. This is extremely helpful as you find your feet within the app as it gives you a visual and usable representation of how certain workflows could look and function for example.

Each workflow consists of three main things which are triggers, conditions, and actions.


The ‘Start When’ part of the puzzle.

Triggers are the first step of a workflow, they are the initiators of workflows.

You will have to specify your triggers on each of your workflows in order for your workflow to start.

It will be easier to understand by means of an example. We will use the idea of a customer making a new order of over $300 dollars on your online store using their PayPal account.

You would set up a trigger for ‘new order’.

The automation will start when Shopify recognizes a new order entering your sales funnel.


The ‘If’ part of the puzzle.

Of course, you don’t want to react to every order, just the new ones that are over $300. Thus, you must filter the orders and only proceed if these conditions are met.

So this workflow on Shopify Flow will use this ‘If’ condition to process this customer further through the workflow. The condition here could be two-fold. The first would be ‘more than $300’ and the second would be ‘has this customer bought something before’. If either the first or both conditions are true, then the below action needs to happen.


The ‘Then’ part of the puzzle.

The action/thing that happens when certain pre-specified conditions are met.

In this example, it could be ‘…then send the customer a 10% discount code to her email address’ if the order is more than $300. If the order is both more than $300, and it’s a first-time purchase for the customer, then two conditions are met, in which case a second action would be incorporated to send the 10% discount code. In addition to a welcome email offering them to create a user/shoppers account with you and have access to more discounts for recurring customers.

This was a rather straightforward example. Shopify Flow can be implemented to automate various areas on your online store. The workflow always follows the same thought pattern though – you have a trigger, a condition and ultimately an action.

Additional examples for simple Flows:

  • Automatically receive an email whenever a product runs low in stock
  • Automated tagging of customers and orders
  • Remove sold-out products from display and make them appear again, when they are restocked
  • Sort your customers in different value tiers (e.g. bronze, silver, gold)
  • Get notified about unusual or suspicious orders, or automatically cancel and restock them

Third party app integration

When it comes to Shopify Flow, one thing that can form part of the whole ‘trigger to action process’ are selected third-party apps. This can be highly useful as you can bring in an app that is designed to maximize workflow and works within your ‘trigger to action’ process. These apps can trigger Flows, be part of conditions, or can perform actions within a Flow.

The list of third-party apps is extensive, if you would like to know which are compatible with Shopify Flow, simply hit this link for more information.

Benefits of Shopify Flow

  • Save time on order management
  • Improve the buyer experience
  • Gain more insight into your business operations
  • Improve overview of inventory
  • Handle risk management
  • Easily reward loyal customers
  • Comfortable incorporate promotions to your orders
  • ..and many more

Thoughts on the free app Shopify Flow

Shopify Flow is a stellar app that was designed to help all Shopify merchants who are on an Advanced Shopify plan or a Shopify Plus plan.

We believe that there are countless benefits that come into play when you start to use Shopify Flow. The moment you understand what Shopify Flow is and how Shopify Flow works, you will be able to positively incorporate it into your online store’s operations.

You will no longer have to manually process as many things as you needed to before. You will be able to use Shopify Flow to process certain operations for you. This will give you peace of mind, you will know that you can trust that tasks are being correctly completed, and you will be able to pass on all more mundane tasks to Shopify Flow. Your employees will not have to worry about certain things anymore, like processing an order or sending a customer their 10% voucher code, as Shopify Flow will do this. Your employees will be able to busy themselves with more creative ideas within your business. Perhaps even cultivate one or two light-bulb moments for you.

You simply need to provide the trigger, condition, and action. These can become as large and complex and needed. ‘Start when’ X happens, ‘If’ Y is correct ‘Then’ proceed to act on Z.

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Natalie Miller
Written by

Natalie Miller

Marketing Manager

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