We love Zapier. No, really – it’s awesome.
At Rejoiner, we use 8-10 SaaS applications to run various aspects of our business. These applications power everything from customer support to subscription billing & payments. Though its fantastic to run an online business in a time where all of these tools are accessible to our growing company; we’ve found that it has been challenging to unify the data across each of the vendors we work with.
The more applications you use to run your business, the more challenging it becomes to connect your ‘data silos’ and build a complete picture of how you interact with specific customers. In a perfect world, your support ticketing system would know everything about a customer’s order history, right?
Allow me to introduce you to Zapier.
Zapier is an amazing tool for anyone running an online business, but especially for eCommerce companies who deal with a large volume of transactions across many customers. Simply put, Zapier integrates with over 300 SaaS applications and can effortlessly pipe data back and forth between them. Think of Zapier as a mass transit system that operates beneath the SaaS apps you use everyday. On a schedule that you set, data can be routed and diverted along an infinite numbers of pathways, allowing to you connect applications that had never been able to work together before. As far as eCommerce platforms go, Zapier currently integrates with BigCommerce, Magento, Shopify, Lemonstand & WooCommerce but I’m sure there are more platforms on the way.
The potential cost savings that Zapier creates is huge. Think of how expensive it would be to have your internal development resources build & maintain integrations for of all of the apps you use to run your business. We’re talking about hundreds and hundreds of developer hours here.
The user interface is powerful, but also very lightweight and easy to understand. Building recipes for your business is really only limited by your imagination. We currently have over 20 active recipes piping data between the applications we use every day. My favorite is probably “New paying customer to SMS notification”.
Here are 6 ways your eCommerce business can use Zapier to become more efficient:
Automatically post to Twitter when you add new products to your store
This recipe would allow you to schedule an automated Tweet every time a new product was added to your inventory. This is a pretty awesome way to keep customers in the know about what kind of products you’re adding day to day.
Send new customer info to your email vendor
For every new customer that buys from you, Zapier enables you to map order data to an email vendor of your choosing. Zapier currently supports around 20 email vendors including MailChimp, AWeber, Campaign Monitor and more.
Send new prospective leads to your CRM
Depending on your sales funnel, you may be capturing email addresses for prospective customers before they buy from you. They may be subscribing to your blog, downloading eBooks, favoriting Slideshares, etc. If you’re using a service like Wufoo, Formstack or Unbounce, you can seamlessly sync your lead data with CRMs like InfusionSoft, Salesforce or ZoHo.
Send converted order data to your CRM
Now that you’ve synced your prospective leads with your CRM tool, you can also add order information when customers come back and purchase from you. This allows you to paint a complete picture of where leads come from and how much revenue is being garnered by your lead gen efforts.
Send converted order data to your support ticketing platform
When you’re responding to customer support requests, the more context you have, the better your support reps will be able to engage with customers who need support. Zapier gives you the ability to send converted order data to support desk applications like Desk, Help Scout & ZenDesk. This way, your reps always have context for the conversations they are having with customers who need help.
Track payment processing events in a Google spreadsheet
For a lot of jobs, there is just no better tool than a good ol’ Google Spreadsheet. I find this to be particularly true in cases where I’m trying to build a dashboard or I’m working on larger scale data analysis. One hugely powerful use case we’ve come across is hooking up our payment processor, Stripe, to a Google Spreadsheet to track successful and unsuccessful charge. This allows us to proactively jump on payment processing/dunning problems much faster than if we had to manually sign into Stripe every day.
Efficient process design is a core activity for any business owner building for scale. Zapier is a tool that can dramatically increase efficiency and can automate many of the tasks preventing your eCommerce business from scaling.
How are you using Zapier? Had you ever heard of it? Let us know in the comments.