Shopify is one of the most popular eCommerce platforms in the business. There are many reasons why it remains at the top of the game - large & supportive community, ease of use, and - most importantly - many many third-party extensions.
Out of the box, Shopify is more than serviceable, however, extensions are what make the platform really shine. Popular Shopify apps push the platform to its maximum potential, expanding its SEO, design, and other capabilities.
However, how do you pick the best of the bunch? There are hundreds of apps, many of them competing for the same spot. Sure, you know that you need an extension that sends an email newsletter when you get new inventory in stock. But which one? Reviews, while useful, tell only half of the story.
Well, worry not! Today, we are going to tell you about apps that we particularly like and that we've vetted for reliability, performance, and price-to-value ratio. These are some of the best Shopify apps to increase sales (and more!).
Important Functions Covered by Shopify Best Apps
Before we start, let's try to answer a pressing question: why do I need apps to use on Shopify and how do they fit in my quest to boost sales?
It would be best to think about Shopify as a sort of a very sturdy skeleton. Its developers knew how to make a good eCommerce platform and it shows. Online stores made with Shopify are fast, responsive, and easy to understand.
Such craftsmanship requires an investment of time and effort that leaves a little wiggle room to become an SEO, SMM, or DAM expert. So, Shopify developers basically have two options:
- Try to create an expansive functionality themselves
- Entrust experts in their respective areas to create solutions that they can easily integrate into the existing Shopify framework
Shopify went for the latter option, creating an easy way to build an app that can be accessed through the Shopify marketplace. The marketplace is thriving with hundreds of free and paid Shopify apps with each one being manually vetted before allowed on the store.
So, what apps to use with Shopify to make it truly shine?
Lead capture is the way to convert website visitors into leads and new customers into returning ones.
In eCommerce, lead capture is achieved through opt-in forms that collect specific user data - email list, Facebook & Instagram pages, business phone number, etc. Why would people do that? Well, because you're going to offer them a special discount, a free eBook, a promo code or whatever else you can come up with that leaves a good & lasting impression.
A person with a promo code is more likely to buy something from you than the one without. Ecommerce Shopify apps focused on lead capture can help you transform visitors into loyal customers in no time, making them a great boon for sales.
Marketing comes in many shapes and forms. For eCommerce, email marketing with enticing and timely newsletters + running optimized social media marketing campaigns remains bread and butter.
Thankfully, these are also the areas that are basically begging for automatization and the ones that top apps on Shopify for marketing eat like candy.
With the right combination of marketing apps for Shopify, all your customers can receive swift and personalized offerings whenever you're launching a new sale or doing a holiday special, guaranteeing that they won't just remain one time buyers.
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) might not feel as flash or fancy as other uses of the popular Shopify apps but nonetheless crucial. You can brainstorm as many ways to drive sales as you'd like to but these brilliant ideas won't matter if nobody can see them.
And you best believe that without proper SEO nobody will.
On one hand, SEO handles the eponymous task of ensuring that your store pop-ups during organic searches, when someone types in something like "Buy teapots online." Apps can help you run your existing website against competition and Google Analytics to determine how well you are utilizing keywords that pop up most often when people are looking for this or another product.
The other thing that SEO does is performance optimization - things like images being too large, limited accessibility options, and other software quirks that make your website run slow and crash from time to time. These are serious issues as no matter how good your website is, if it takes minutes to load it, many would opt to take their business elsewhere. Thankfully, like with the previous problem, proper extensions can point you in the direction of a problem so you can solve it right there.
That's why SEO remains of the most important Shopify apps that you can add to your store.
With physical goods, it's not only about selling things. There is also stock management, shipping, refunds, etc. - things that aren't as exciting as a sensation of making a sale but still the things without which making a sale is almost impossible.
Since these things can get really complicated, extensions that make it easier are probably must have apps for Shopify store. Those can help you track shipping, handle refunds processing and, sometimes, forgo some of the logistic challenges entirely if you're willing to entertain dropshipping.
Now that we've answered that question, let's look at some of the best apps for Shopify eCommerce.
An abandoned cart is more of an issue than you may think. In 2019, the abandonment rate has been 77.13% for Shopify marketplace, so it's quite a substantial loss of potential profit.
The reasons vary. Sometimes people simply forgot or got distracted. Other times, they might have changed their mind. Both cases can be rectified by gentle email reminders that you can customize and automate using PushOwl, one of the apps to have on Shopify!
- Customized special campaigns and abandoned card reminders for registered customers
- Review notifications once the product has been bought and shipped
- Automatically syncs subscribers with Shopify purchase data
To access abandoned cart push reminders, you'll have to opt for PushOwl's standard business plan that goes for $19/mo. There is also a free plan (no abandoned cart reminders) and an enterprise offering that gets you more robust support and custom impressions, among other things. More details can be found here
Who doesn't like a good loyalty program? 75% of surveyed customers said that they prefer a company that offers a great loyalty plan and the customer is always right!
With Smile you don't have to worry about setting things up manually. You can simply decide how customers can get loyalty points and how they can spend them. Smile will handle all the technical nitty-gritties for you, making it one of the best Shopify ecommerce apps.
- Incredibly robust options to design referral, loyalty, and VIP programs
- Powerful analytics to figure out which reward tracks work and which don't
- Easy to set up and configure
Smile offers a free plan that'll give you points and referral programs, with the cheapest paid option starting at $49/mo. With the latter plan, you'll also get access to custom-tailored reward emails and the options only go more extensive from there. More details here.
After a bad customer service, 39% of customers will avoid company for the next few years So, no matter what service or a product you're selling, it's best not to neglect high quality support, available at all times.
Frankly, we don't believe that there is a better way to offer quality customer support than through live chat. Emails and such are a thing of the past as they don't offer immediacy that customers had grown to expect. Apps like Tidio are offering exactly that - easy to integrate customer support interface that is definitely should be one of the apps to add to Shopify!
- Tidio collects messenger, live chat, and email communication into one channel
- Sets up in 30 seconds
- Intelligent bots that can manage regular and expected requests from customers
Free plan will give you 3 chat operators and 100 conversations/mo limit on chatbot. Paid plans start with $15/mo and will give you unlimited chat bot and access to powerful analytics. However, with that plan each new operator will cost you 15 dollars and you only get one initially.
Plug in SEO
Speed matters. According to WebDev & SEO experts, one second delay on a website with $100,000 daily revenue can cost the owner $2.5 mil annually! That's nothing to snuff at, hence why it is important to ensure that your website is easy to find, easy to load, and look through, like Adoric shopify app.
Folks at Plug in SEO understand that hence their app. Once set up, it will scan your page and highlight all the things that it considers problematic. From improper use of keywords to unoptimized images that take ages to load - this is an SEO plugin that does it all.
- Robust SEO analysis with recommendations up to and including suggested code snippets to fix problematic parts of the page
- Email notifications that notify about new and emerging SEO problems
You can run a basic SEO audit for free. With a premium plan ($29/mo) you'll get expanded SEO reports as well as an ability to fix SEO mistakes automatically.
Sales Countdown Timer Bar
Fear of missing out (FOMO) is an incredible tool to possess in your sales arsenal. 60% of people make impulse buys due to FOMO on a time-gated sale or limited run product.
Sales Countdown Timer allows you to automate the creation of said urgency by setting a time or quantity limit on the items in your store.
- Customizable countdown timer styles to fit the design of your store
- Create notifications about a running sale on the landing page to grab attention, drive sales and traffic
Free plan will give you the ability to run a sale on one item/collection per time. For $8.95/mo you can run it on as many pages as you'd like.
Analysis Paralysis is a real thing. Sometimes there are so many options to choose from, that a potential customer might forgo options entirely as they cannot commit to one option over another. This is where you step in, offering to narrow down their options by providing an easy-to-fill quiz or questionnaire that can nudge them in the right direction.
That's where Octane AI steps in. Used by Shopify itself, Octane AI is one of the most downloaded apps that helps you create surveys and quizzes that you can then use to offer personalized product suggestions for your customers.
- Ask users questions with pop-ups surveys and questionnaires to increase conversions
- Integrates into Facebook Messenger
- Syncs user's info (email, mobile phone, etc.) with Klaviyo
There is no free option and the premium plans start at $49/mo.
Pics.io Bulk Image Upload
There are multiple ways to speed up your Shopify store using apps that automate newsletters, SEO optimization, etc. However, one unexpected way how you can make your Shopify run faster is by reducing the time & effort you have to invest in manual input such as bulk uploading product images to your store.
As everyone who'd used Shopify knows, if you want to upload multiple images for a single product (and you probably have hundreds of them), you have to go through a painful process of creating and managing CSV sheets. Every unwilling mistake expects you to go back to the sheet and look for inconsistencies by hand. That is why Pics.io Bulk Image Upload app exists - to make this process completely automated.
As long as you have product SKU somewhere in the images' metadata (their title, metadata field or filename), Pics.io plugin will pick up that info and match it with same SKUs in your store.
- Automatic matching of images by products in store by SKU
- Pics.io Digital Asset Management (DAM) allows you easily organize and share your media library with everyone that you need
Pics.io Bulk Image Upload is free for all Pics.io users. That means, however, that you'll have to be a Pics.io user but, don't worry, pricing doesn't bite.
Pics.io Shopify integration is available starting with Pay-As-You-Go (PAYG) plan, which comes up at $18/mo per user.
Building an ecommerce business has never been this fun. With dropshipping, your store effectively becomes a middle-man between buyer and supplier. You can give all your attention to creating product designs and marketing, while a dropshipping provider takes care of product fulfillment and shipping.
Enter Printful, one of the top print-on-demand dropshipping service providers. Printful allows you to customize a wide selection of products, like t-shirts, mugs, and hoodies, and sell them under your brand. Simply connect Printful to an ecommerce platform or marketplace like Shopify, create a print or embroidery design, add it to a product, and have it automatically fulfilled and shipped as soon as your customer places an order.
- Intuitive Design Maker for creating product designs
- Wide selection of ecommerce and online marketplace integration options
- Around-the-clock customer support
- No minimum order requirements or upfront costs
- Global fulfillment
It’s completely free to get started with Printful. There are no setup costs, minimums, or monthly fees. You can set up your product prices, then Printful charges you for manufacturing and shipping.
eMarketer report claims that ONLY 2% of people don't look at product reviews when doing online shopping. So, if your store still doesn't have social proof functionality still, there is no better time than now to rectify this issue.
There are many ways to add that functionality but something as simple as Product Reviews (courtesy of custom shopify themes itself!) seems like a good place to start. It does the bare minimum - customers can leave stars and comments - and if you ever feel like that is inadequate you can always upgrade for apps with more bells and whistles on them.
Sometimes, though, must have apps on Shopify don't cost anything!
- Fully customizable design to fit the look of your Shopify marketplace
How to Choose the Best Shopify Apps for Your Store?
Apps don't exist for their own sake but to solve Shopify assets management challenges and other common problems.
So the best person that can answer the questions "what apps" to get is you. For example, SEO plugins are nice but if you have a dedicated person in charge of website optimization, then such an app might be redundancy as your expert should be able to handle those things themselves.
While eCommerce stores share similarities across the board, ultimately each person's goals and ideas are unique so you'll need to be creative in deciding what you want and when.
Don't be afraid to cut your losses!
Sometimes an app might sound good and work as advertised but it just doesn't seem to work for you. After spending some time with an app you can realize that its use doesn't translate into higher revenues or better performance of your store.
It would be a good idea to stop using those apps as those subscription fees can add up. Not to mention that if you don't do such a cleaning from time to time you can end up with dozens of apps without any idea of which app does what.
So make sure to do a retrospective from time-to-time to determine if an app is the right fit for you or not!
How Pics.io Can Help?
So if we're talking about "what problems do I need to solve", one large issue of any online business is managing its media collection. Photos, videos, images, etc.
The problem with those types of files is that there are so many of them that it is easy to lose track and find the one that you need.
That's a big issue.
Let's say you've lost an email template. That is unfortunate but a good copywriter can recreate it in a few minutes. Can the same be said about a high-quality photo or completely original graphic asset? The answer is no.
Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool exists to make those unfortunate losses of time and productivity a thing of the past.
With Pics.io DAM you don't need to rely on glance value or memory to find your assets as you can use metadata powered capabilities (keywords, custom metadata fields, visual markers) to always get to exact assets that you need.
What About Pics.io Shopify Plugin?
So let's say you have 10 products, 5 images for each. Without any third-party integrations, you'll have to create CSV sheet with 50 entries, matching each picture with product SKU by hand. And, as we all know, manual labor = a lot of errors.
What Pics.io Bulk Image Upload does is that it scans your Pics.io library for all images that have SKU in their metadata and then automatically matches them with products in your Shopify store.
Thus while it doesn't do anything fancy on the front-end (i.e it won't magically make your landing page better) it frees up your time that you can then invest into other things.
An extra hour a day might seem like nothing. But as the saying goes, "no snowflake thinks it's responsible for the avalanche." So it really does add up and that's why we believe that Pics.io plugin is one of the definitive apps for your Shopify store.
Ultimately, choosing the best Shopify add ons for you is a matter of taste, preference, and immediate needs. So while you might not end up using any of the apps outlined specifically, they should at the very least nudge you into thinking about what exactly your store is lacking at this very moment.
Not to mention that many of the apps in this store come with a free trial, so there is no harm in trying them out. Speaking of, Pics.io offers you a 7-day trial to test its entire functionality, Shopify app included!
So, why not give it a go and see for yourself how easier your life becomes? See you there!