Hi all – I'd like to ship a product to all my customers (for free). While I can see how to import customers (including their address), and we have a bunch in our system already, I can't see a way to bulk send them the product.
I can see how to send an order to existing customer, but only one at a time.
Is there a way to do this to avoid hundreds of repeat ordering?
What a lovely gesture to ship a product to all your customers for free.
If I'm understanding you correctly, you'd like to bulk order an item and send to many different addresses. Without customers opting in to receive the free gift, there are logistical barriers when using Shopify. The way the Shopify admin works, it must have an order made individually with a unique address to be able to generate the next steps to fulfil the order. In your case, it sounds like you're wanting to jump straight to the 'Fulfillment' stage, without the initial order trigger. You need the action of the customer, (or you via a draft order), individually entering their address and product request.
As a workaround, you can use an email service such as MailChimp to send a bulk email asking customers to claim their free item. You can include a permalink to a preloaded cart in the email, so customers only have to click a button and enter their shipping address to generate the order.
Additionally, you can use an automated print on demand or fulfilment service such as Printful. Once the free order has been placed Printful can start fulfilling this order and send directly to the customer for you. As the orders start coming through, to ensure the process is running smoothly on its own, set up the Printful Wallet. By adding your PayPal or credit card to the fulfilment service, when an order comes through, it will automatically charge you and start packing/making the items straight away to ship to your customers! This way you do not have to intervene once the customers receive the email to opt-in for their free item, reducing your efforts of manually repeat ordering.
If you are shipping the item yourself, and want to print shipping labels for the free items, you would still have to put the orders through first. Be sure to enable Shopify Shipping for real-time rates so the labels can be generated. Once the orders start coming through from the free email link, you can bulk print the labels for the addresses you wish to ship the items to, and attach to your packages.
Finally, if it is a real issue of having the customers opt-in via an email service, then having to enter their address in there is another option. You could bulk order the free items for the number of customers on your list. Then use the USPS sample service to deliver the packages to the addresses which you have downloaded. This would not put the orders through the Shopify admin, but it would allow you to avoid hundreds of repeat ordering.
I hope one of these is a feasible solution for you! I'd be interested to hear if any of these will work for you, or what you end up doing.
For an interesting read, take a look at 'The Science of Free Samples: How Freebies Can Keep Customers Coming Back For More'.