Last updated:

A long time ago — before “automation” became a buzzword among marketers — entrepreneurs eyeing growth had to tackle it all by themselves, from training customer service reps to hiring a marketing agency. Fast forward to today: Thanks to a multitude of powerful ecommerce automation tools readily available to brands, we can get the same results for a fraction of the cost, time, and effort. No longer does growth equal skyrocketing expenses and blowing up your marketing budget. 

Ready to work smarter, not harder? Here’s everything you need to know about using ecommerce automation to scale the Shopify mountain. 

Customer Support

As you grow your Shopify business, you’ll soon realize that one of the most difficult areas to scale successfully is customer support. Luckily, automation doesn’t automatically mean providing a subpar customer support experience. While a trained customer service rep should always handle more complicated customer issues, automated processes can address minor questions and issues quicker and more efficiently. 

An ecommerce automation tactic that goes a long way here is a support chatbot, ready to provide 24/7 answers on everything from package updates to product information to shipping policy details. Even better, advancements in machine learning have made chatbots that much more sophisticated — you can integrate them with your CRM, marketing funnels, and more. No wonder one study found that chatbots can save businesses up to 30% on customer support costs.

Chatfuel dashborad showing ability to create forms and rules to offer customer service support, collect information, and direct shoppers to a customer service rep.
With Chatfuel, you can create comprehensive forms and rules to offer customer service support, collect information, and direct shoppers to a human customer service rep (if needed).

Some customer support ecommerce automation tools to check out include Chatfuel, Botsociety, and Ada

Fulfillment Processes

Using ecommerce automation tools to support your business doesn’t look like an office with one laptop and zero employees. While cool footage of Boston Dynamics’ robotic dogs stocking warehouses has garnered hundreds of thousands of views on Youtube, the truth is that brands still need multiple pairs of human hands to produce, package, and deliver items. 

However, there are parts of the fulfillment process that can (and should) be automated:

  • Shopify provides order management assistance, where every order placed on your site is logged and categorized to optimize the fulfillment process. 
  • Shippo, Shipstation, and Shopify Shipping can help automate the task of integrating order management with printing shipping labels at scale. They’ll even help you find the best rates. 
  • Oberlo is one of the most popular dropshipping tools for Shopify. Once you download the plugin, you can easily use Oberlo to find products and ship items out. For more on dropshipping, check out this post
How Oberlo and similar dropshipping tools work. 
How Oberlo and similar dropshipping tools work.

Ads, Emails, and Marketing Galore

Whether your marketing efforts consist of promotional emails, digital ads, or social media posts, there are a ton of opportunities for ecommerce automation. Here are a few of the top tools we love:

  • Hootsuite is a comprehensive social media automation tool that helps schedule content, monitor social media mentions of your brand and industry, and analyze social media data. It’s one of the leading social media ecommerce automation platforms on the market. 
  • Sprout Social is also a social media management automation tool with a focus on social listening and intelligence to help identify trends and opportunities earlier than ever before. 
Illustration of retargeting process as part of ecommerce automation
AdRoll leads in the ad retargeting space, helping brands capture conversions and recover abandoned carts.
  • AdRoll is an all-in-one marketing automation tool for Shopify that offers everything from powerful retargeting campaigns to high-conversion emails. Our software makes it super easy for marketers to run ads throughout the customer journey, as well as to measure and analyze all your data along the way. 
  • Mailchimp allows you to automate useful, customer-focused alerts, e.g., an email notification when a best-selling product a shopper had previously viewed is back in stock. 
  • Referral Rock capitalizes on the value of word-of-mouth marketing and helps brands set up referral programs, including refer-a-friend and influencer marketing. 

Ready, Set, Automate!

The most important tip to remember about automation tools? They’re not just for taking the annoying tasks you hate the most off your hands. By using ecommerce automation tools to scale your online store, you’re simplifying recurring tasks in ways that are rooted in data and metrics. As a result, you’ll redirect your time to other priorities, reduce the risk of human error, and scale your marketing and sales without spending tons of money — which means more savings for your bottom line! 

What are you waiting for? If this post has piqued your interest in all things ecommerce automation to save time, check out our ecommerce automation trends for 2021 and beyond. Plus, get the AdRoll app for Shopify to automate and turbocharge your marketing efforts.


Wilson is the Sr. SEO Marketing Manager at AdRoll.