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Shopify Flow vs. Order Tagger: Which automated app unlocks truly flexible order management?

Instead of manual order management — which takes up valuable time and labor — retailers can turn to an app that automatically supports “triggers” to these actions instead.

4 Minutes 48 Seconds

Every time merchants get a new e-commerce order (woohoo!) via their Shopify store, immediate actions are required. 

First, they have to let their fulfillment center know which items were purchased, packaging requirements and where to ship the product. They also need to manage other elements related to the order such as inventory, customer interactions and follow-up marketing/promotions.

But instead of manual order management — which takes up valuable time and labor — retailers can turn to an app that automatically “triggers” these actions instead. 

For example, an order tagging automation app tags orders based on set criteria. Using adjacent Shopify apps, those orders can then be triggered through different actionable workflows to serve business logic and customer expectations.   

Seems fairly simple, right?

The thing is, not all automation tools are made equal. Some, like Shopify Flow, get the basic job done, but don’t really allow users to customize their tags…which means the actions the merchant can trigger after order tagging are limited. 

Flow offers pre-built templates for common use scenarios, such as order management or buyer experience campaigns, like email marketing to customers. 

But the app has several key limitations, especially:

  • Only offering static, not dynamic tags.
  • No ability to backdate order tags. 
  • Narrow workflow criteria.

(Don’t worry, we’re going to explain why each of these features matter in more detail). 

Because of these limitations, merchants are not able to complete more complex actions that would otherwise enable them to achieve truly flexible, automated order management. 

Now consider, Order Tagger. 

Not only does this app set up dynamic tags, backdate order tags and allow for flexible, tailored workflow criteria, but users can do all these things (and more) at the same time. Other tools may offer these features individually, but Order Tagger makes them all possible simultaneously.

Order Tagger’s flexible, automated workflow — with order tagging personalized based on an e-commerce store’s specific needs and future goals — not only supports more efficient fulfillment, but has access to detailed, personalized customer data which can further enable merchants looking to boost long-term performance. 

Here’s a little more insight on how those key features we mentioned stack up, if you compare Shopify Flow with Order Tagger. 

Dynamic tags trigger multi-layered actions and personalized customer service

Flow offers static tags only. 

This means a tag can only be based on one type of criteria (which then leads to one action) at a time. The app also isn’t equipped to make calculations about the order or customer data Shopify provides — so it can’t trigger additional multi-layered or personalized actions for specific customers. 

For instance, consider a scenario where a clothing brand sells their products internationally, and would like to send customers unique purchase confirmation emails in whatever their local language might be. 

A static Flow tag might be able to detect the customer’s geographic location, but it can’t then allow for a trigger of an additional attribute that translates the confirmation email to a different language.

Order Tagger, on the other hand, allows for both static and dynamic tags. So in this example — which requires a dynamic tag — the tool enables other apps to take specific action based on how the order is tagged. 

Engage consumers and boost marketing efforts with backdated tags

Most order tagging apps, including Flow, only allow for order tags to be applied to when a purchase is initially made. 

This is not the case with Order Tagger. It allows merchants to also tag past orders, so they can in turn be matched with a newer workflow, as needed.

Backdated tags are of value to a brand because they can both gather data on unique customer segments — say, high spenders who made purchases over a set amount — then trigger specific actions to target those consumers.

For instance, maybe a store wants to send out a promotion to loyal customers who have made at least three purchases over a certain dollar amount in the past. 

Order Tagger can backdate tag any orders that match that criteria. A merchant can take those tagged orders and trigger a custom promo email or text to be sent to all relevant parties (via whatever third party application the brand uses for email marketing). 

The ability to customize criteria is key to workflow automation

A flexible automated workflow relies on customized criteria for tags (both static and dynamic). 

But again, Flow’s app is limited to set-up criteria options for tags, and is unable to set up dynamic tags that enable additional attributes. 

As you’ve likely guessed, Order Tagger enables far more personalized criteria because it is capable of measuring purchase and customer data. 

Some examples of the data that brands can access include:

  • Payment methods (including the type of credit card used).
  • PoS location.
  • Store pickup locations, if relevant.
  • Time and date the order was made.

Again, merchants can then actually use that information to set up a trigger that extracts even more valuable data for them, informing everything from loyalty programs to promotional campaigns. 

Flexible support features lead to a smoother workflow

In addition to order and customer management, Order Tagger offers other automation features — that Flow does not provide — which enhance the efficiency and even success of workflows.

  • The ability to test workflows 
  • In advance of launching a new Order Tagger workflow, brands can validate that the tags and resulting triggers they’ve set up are actually doing what they want them to do. This isn’t just a perk for merchants, improving their quality of life though. It can save them from order errors that cost time and money to fix. 
  • Automated deactivation of workflows.
  • Instead of taking the time to login and end a workflow manually (perhaps it’s a tag for a week-long sale), as is required with Flow, stores can have Order Tagger deactivate the workflow automatically on a specific date. 
  • Custom management of canceled or partial orders
  • Surprisingly, Flow does not enable automated cancellation of an order. So if that happens, merchants must manually inform the fulfillment center that the order shouldn’t be completed. Order Tagger tags orders based on merchant-designed criteria. Once the order has been tagged, other complimentary solutions can be engaged to stop order completion and move it through a new designated workflow. 

  • As well, if an order is partially fulfilled — say, one purchased item is available and shipped immediately, but the other item is waitlisted — different triggers for what action might be taken next are possible when used in sequence with Order Tagger, but not Flow.

Automated workflows play an integral role in business growth

Though it is free to use, Shopify Flow is actually only available to Shopify Plus or Advanced customers, which limits many merchants from using the tool. While there is a small monthly cost to use Order Tagger, any business can access a free trial, including development support to customize the tags and create automated workflows needed for their unique store. 

The value of an Order Tagger automated workflow extends far beyond making a merchant’s life easier and reducing the chances of human error (though of course it does this too!).

The efficiency achieved and data gleaned — then applied via tags/triggers based on that insight — thanks to the tool ultimately plays an integral role in growing a business. 

Not only is valuable time and labor freed up, which can be re-allocated to other management and growth initiatives, but engagement with other third-party applications (who are on the receiving end of the triggered actions enabled by customized tags) improves as well. 

Perhaps most importantly, automation enables both increased consumer insight and engagement, helping to incentivize future transactions. 

With Order Tagger, brands have the tools and support they need to better manage, understand, market and sell to both their customers and overarching target audience. 

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