What's New? - January 2022

What's New? - January 2022

Happy New Year!

And with a big splash at New Year comes another big announcement - our integration with Mechanic! 

Let's take a look :)

What is Mechanic? 

As they explain in their app listing, "Mechanic is a development and Ecommerce workflow automation platform for Shopify. Mechanic is here for all those situations where an app doesn't exist, when developing an app would be too expensive, or (honestly) when you'd like to replace many of your existing apps with just one."

So what does all this mean? 

Well in short, Mechanic lets you choose from a library of automation 'tasks' (or even develop your own). These tasks respond to events and perform automation based on Mechanic's pre-defined actions. These actions can vary enormously in scope, but could be things like making a Shopify API call, generating a kind of file, sending an email, and so on. Check out the task library of 300+ Ecommerce automations!

Report Toaster Integration

So how does this fit in with Report Toaster? Well I'm sure as most of you know by now, Report Toaster can help merchants generate custom reports that are filtered, sorted and customized to their needs. At the moment, these reports can be manually exported (e.g. JSON, PDF, CSV) and/or scheduled to deliver via SMS or Email.

But where Mechanic comes in is being able to take that data one step further via the Report Toaster special action. This action allows Mechanic users to retrieve reports and/or update values in Report Toaster. Really there are two main parts to this:

1.) 'Outbound', where you use Report Toaster data to trigger certain actions elsewhere. E.g. I could use Report Toaster to generate a report of my outstanding unfulfilled orders, customize it to my needs, and have that report delivered to a third party fulfillment service. This basically allows you to take valuable information out of Report Toaster and use it to trigger other processes across your storefront.
2.) 'Inbound', where you use Mechanic to pull data from third party apps and update Report Toaster reports. E.g. Suppose I want to retrieve my transaction fees from Stripe or Authorize.net? By default, Shopify doesn't store this data, which makes it difficult to include in Report Toaster reports. However, with Mechanic you could pull the pertinent information from your third party apps and use it to populate the necessary shipping costs/transaction fees column in a Report Toaster report.

As you can imagine the possibilities here are pretty much endless. But the key takeaway is this - with Report Toaster's analytics and Mechanic's integration capabilities, you can always get the right data to wherever it's needed most. 

Examples

Well they say a picture paints a thousand words, so let's simplify this with a diagram.




Before the Mechanic integration, all your apps plug into and communicate solely with Shopify. The problem is that this creates a bottleneck of information, where your data is fragmented and siloed into different apps that operate in isolation from one another. Pretty much anything you want to get done between the apps therefore either requires coding or some kind of manual process, which can be costly, inefficient, or just plain laborious. 

But with Mechanic, well...

 
Now your apps can finally integrate data with one another, as well as with Shopify. Not only can information be parsed and shared between your different apps, but you can even trigger events and processes from that stream of information.

For example, let's say I was compiling a detailed sales report that looked at all my Taxable Sales for the last quarter. I could generate the Report in Report Toaster (Financial -> Taxable Sales), populate the Transaction Fees data from my third party payment provider (e.g. Stripe), populate the Shipping Costs data from my third party fulfillment service (e.g. ShipHero) and then have the whole thing scheduled to be sent weekly to a managing supervisor. 

Done and done. From here I could go further still. Maybe I want to generate custom shipping labels by pulling the data from a Report Toaster Fulfillment report? Maybe I want to use Report Toaster's profit calculations and combine the data with some calculated custom fields to assess my store's performance? There's just so much potential with this feature, and the fact that it can save you so much time and effort makes Mechanic a premier tool for boosting business automation. 

Using Mechanic 

As a third party app like Report Toaster, Mechanic can be downloaded via the app store listing here. You'll need to install both Mechanic and Report Toaster on each store you wish to automate in this way (please note that this integration is only supported on the paid subscription of Report Toaster). 

We'll have plenty more information on Mechanic in the coming weeks, including a few sample tasks for you to try. But in the meantime, if you'd like to see some of the great use-cases for running Report Toaster with Mechanic, check out our latest blog post here.

Until next time!


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