For those who prefer to listen:
Don’t have time to read the whole thing? Here’s a quick summary of how to automatically print incoming orders from Shopify.
- Use a Shopify app like Printout Designer where possible.
- Use Outlook’s Rule Wizard to print off incoming order notifications.
- If you can’t do either of the above, automatically forward emails as attachments to your printer.
Recently, a client asked me how to automatically print all their incoming orders from their Shopify site. On the surface, it sounds simple enough – surely there’s an app out there for that?
There is: Printout Designer, which was what Shopify Support recommended to my client. In the app’s admin area, you can set up a way to automatically print all new orders by going to Automation Rules > Print Node.
Which is all well and good, as long as you’re not running Shopify on a Mac or iOS, because apparently the Print Node doesn’t work on those systems. It’s also worth noting that Printout Designer starts from US$4.99 per month, although many established small businesses will require the Professional version of the app, which costs US$59.99 per month.
It was at this point my client called me, looking for a solution. I had a browse of the Shopify Help forums (always a good place to start), and quickly discovered that you can just use Outlook’s Rule Wizard to automatically print order notifications.
Changing Your Notification Email Address in Shopify
If you’re not sure how to receive order notifications, or you’d like to send the order notifications to multiple or different emails, here’s how.
- On the sidebar menu of the Shopify Admin Area, click on ‘Settings’ (the gear icon down the bottom).
- Once in Settings, click on ‘Notifications’ (the bell icon).
- Scroll down the page to ‘Staff Order Notifications’, and then click ‘Add Recipient’. You can add new emails, disable existing emails, or permanently delete them. All of the emails that are enabled in this section will receive and email notification when a customer places a new order with your store.
It’s actually very simple. Just open up the desktop version of Outlook, and select the ‘Home’ tab. Then click ‘Rules’ > ‘Create Rule > ‘Advanced Options’ (which opens up the Rules Wizard) > then select a condition like ‘Where my name is in the To or CC boxes’ > click ‘Next’ > select ‘Print It’ > Ignore the exceptions part and click ‘Next’ > click ‘Finish’.
Voilà, done, easy.
Except the Rules Wizard isn’t accessible on the iOS version of the Outlook app, and isn’t accessible online at Outlook.live. My client’s Mac couldn’t download the Outlook app, so we were stuck.
Although the online version of Outlook lets you create rules, it has only ‘basic’ options rather than the extensive list offered by the Rules Wizard; rules created in the desktop version also can’t be applied online, making things even more difficult.
We eventually managed to use the Outlook.live email account to convert incoming emails to attachments, and then to forward those attachments to my client’s printer.
To do this, go to the menu bar along the top of your Outlook email, then click the gear icon (Settings). This should then open up a small window. At the bottom of this window, click ‘View all Outlook settings’.
This opens a pop-up Settings window. In ‘Mail’, go to ‘Rules’ > ‘Add New Rule’. You’ll then have something that looks like this:
Name your rule something – for example, ‘Auto-Print’.
Then select the ‘To’ condition, and enter your Outlook email address (so the email address that you’re currently using to create this rule).
Then select ‘Forward as an attachment’ under ‘Add an action’, enter your printer’s email address and hit ‘Save’.
Theoretically, all inbound emails should now be forwarded as attachments to your printer, which should then automatically print them. My client has two printers, a Brother and a HP. For some reason, this auto-forwarding method didn’t result in automatic printing on the Brother (although an email sent to the Brother with a Microsoft Word attachment did print), but did work on the HP.
I don’t know much about printers so I can’t explain why this happened (even Brother support couldn’t help us), but it’s worth keeping in mind that perhaps not all printers have this functionality.
How to Find Your Printer’s Email Address
Different models and makes of printer will have their email addresses stored in different places. Brother, for example, have theirs listed under Settings > Network > Protocol. HP have theirs listed under your HP Smart account.
If you’re having trouble, try Googling the make or model or calling support. You can also often find them on the printer control panel (the touchscreen on the printer itself) under Web Services or Network or similar tabs.
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Disclaimer: The recommendations presented in this article are unbiased. Chevron Editing is not affiliated with Printout Designer or any other mentioned products.