Flow - Save time using work flows to automate small things in your Shopify business so you can get back to growing your sales

Back in April on the Shopify Plus blog, Nick Winkler introduced us all to FLOW. I'm a Shopify fanboy and was very excited.

What is Flow?

Introducing Flow, an automation platform that allows Plus merchants to customize unique backend business work flows without the help of costly developers.

This tool really benefits merchants (especially more technical ones) because they can do things they always needed a developer to do.

This also benefits developers though because they can automate tasks for their clients without spending a bunch of time doing custom development.

Why I love Flow

I want to show you a couple examples of work flows you can build with FLOW. This app has not only relieved stress, but allowed me to focus on my business more. Everyone has different automation needs, so the following examples might not be exactly what you'd use Flow for, but hopefully you'll see the tremendous value it provides.

Real world use case: Amazon Payments not fully being captured

My store is set to automatically capture payments on orders. Every once in a while, I'll find orders from customers that used Amazon Payments to pay but their payment wasn't fully captured and has a status of pending.

This is a problem for us as we run a pretty automated business, and we don't look at every order under a microscope. If we don't know about these orders, we might ship out products that we never receive payment for.

Flow to the rescue! I built a flow that sends me a message in Slack anytime this situation happens.

Let me show you how I built this flow. It took me about 5 minutes to make.

Step 1: Add Trigger

So we need to start the flow by adding a trigger. Let's choose Order Created.

Step 2: Select conditions

Now we need to choose our conditions. You can choose from many different conditions such as:

  • order properties
  • billing & shipping address properties
  • order channel properties
  • order customer properties
  • order journey (ie: days to conversion)
  • order marketing attribution (ie: campaign, content, medium, source)
  • and more!

Let's choose order payment gateway names and choose if it includes "amazon". We need to add another condition here as well though, so let's add if order is fully paid and select is false.

Great! We now have a flow that is going to check every order to see if the customer used Amazon Payments, and also check if the payment went through.

Step 3. Add an action (Notify me in Slack)

Now we need to add an action to the flow that will notify us in Slack when this happens.

But first, here are some of the other things you can do with actions:

  • add or remove customer tags
  • add a note to the order
  • add or remove order tags
  • archive or unarchive the order
  • cancel the order
  • capture payment

You can also perform these external actions:

  • send an email
  • send slack message
  • send HTTP request

We want Send Slack Message. I formatted my message using some available liquid tags so when it's triggered, I can click the DM message, and it will open the order straight in my browser.

Testing your flow

When you are all done with your flow, you can click the Preview Workflow button and give it a test!



A couple of other simple use cases for Flow would be:

  • Add the customer tag VIP anytime an order over $100 is placed
  • Send an email when a product titled Black T-Shirt runs out of stock
  • If customer "Frank Jones" from Chicago, IL places an order, send a notification
  • If customer purchases a product with the tag jeans, do something with that data. Maybe add them to a segmented email list for a future campaign about jeans! (I haven't played much with HTTP request yet, but plan on it)

Currently, (I believe) Flow is available only for Shopify Plus stores. If you're using Flow in your store or a client's store, I'd love to hear what you think by leaving a comment below.