Automation rules can be a great way to help expedite your workflow. In the automation process, automation rules are the last to be applied when orders import. However, as your automation rules become more complex, you may notice that they aren't applying to some of your orders. This article will discuss some common causes for automation rules not applying as expected.
- Multi-Item Orders
Automation rules run based on order-level criteria. So, if you have an order with multiple different products, the item-level details like SKU and Item Name won't be used as a criteria or filter for the automation rule. Instead, you'll need to tag the product to make the criteria for this rule order-level.
- Adjust the Order Weight vs Set the Total Order Weight
For this one, keep in mind that the action Adjust the Order Weight will add the desired weight to the order's total weight while the Set the Total Order Weight action will override the existing order weight with the desired weight. Additionally, Adjust the Order Weight will not run when reprocessing automation rules.
- Internal Notes
Automation rules that add an Internal Note depend on which selling channel imported the order. If an order imports from a store that transmits the internal notes field (such as ChannelAdvisor or WooCommerce), and the rule applies an internal note, any order refresh that occurs can update the internal notes field to reflect the selling channel's value, even if the internal notes field is blank in the selling channel.
- Stop Processing Rules for the Order
This action will stop any subsequent rules from applying to an order (keep in mind that the first rule at the top of the list will apply to an order first, then run sequentially down to the last rule at the bottom of the list).
- Don't Import the Order
This automation rule is pretty straightforward... but certainly use this one with caution. If the criteria is met, ShipStation will tag the order based on its unique order ID and hide it from view within your ShipStation account. So, if an order has this rule applied to it, the order will never be viewable within ShipStation, even if the rule is deactivated. You would ultimately have to set up a new connection to this store to import the order again with a new order ID.
- Multiple Criteria Selection
To select more than one option for criteria that does not use a checkbox, you'll need to use a semi-colon (;) with no spaces to indicate an "OR" value. Here's an example showing two postal codes. This rule means the postal code can be either 78756 or 78753, and the rule will run:
- Blank Value in Criteria
If you notice an automation rule not working, or you notice that any rule later down the list never runs, you could have an invalid rule criteria causing the process to break... A blank value in the rule criteria is a common cause for this, as shown in this example:
- Order is not in Awaiting Shipment
Automation rules run on orders at the time of an order being imported into the Awaiting Shipment status. If an order imports into On-Hold or Awaiting Payment, for example, the automation processes have not yet run on the order. The automation processes will run once you click Mark As Paid or Restore (depending on the order status).