Essential Shopify Apps You Need for Your eCommerce StoreAugust 15, 2017 - Josh
Apps are a great way to extend the functionality of your store and tailor it to better suit the requirements of your customers. Every month there are dozens of new apps released that can help you improve everything from your customer service to your product photos.
But trawling the App Store for the best Shopify apps every month is time that could be better spent running your business. So we have gone through and tried some of the latest Shopify apps for you. Here are the best new Shopify apps that can significantly improve your store.
When customers are shopping in brick-and-mortar stores, they are subject to psychological phenomena such as fear of missing out on products, social validation from other shoppers, and a sense of urgency from the limited time they have to shop.
In eCommerce, it can be difficult to replicate these same experiences. Popups have long been the most common and easiest way to inform customers of limited time offers, but they are also often intrusive and crude.
Countdown Cart is looking to offer you an alternative to popups: widgets. Countdown Cart is a fairly comprehensive app that enables you to add several different types of widgets to your product pages that can help improve your sales. It does this by creating a sense of urgency for customers who would otherwise be prone to delaying their purchase.
It offers three different types of widgets to create urgency on your product pages:
- A timer that ticks down towards zero, at which point the sale will finish
- A social proof widget that shows stats on how many people are currently viewing the product, how many have added it to their cart and how many have bought the item
- A limited stock graph that indicates how many of the products are left in stock.
Source: Countdown Cart by Beekeeting
It’s also free! So there is no cost in trialing the app to see if it does increase sales in your store.
Emoji are a great medium for leaving reviews for the same reason they have become so popular in text. They are simple to use, language independent and can convey a much broader range of meaning.
So ShopPad has created a new review system that allows customers to react to products using emojis.
Source: Smile App by ShopPad
Enabling emojis means customers can quickly react to products using a range of emojis that you can specify.
If you’re running a brick-and-mortar store, offering your customers the ability to purchase their products online and pick it up later is a feature that most people want out of the box.
Offering in-store pickups allows you to:
- Give local customers access to the same online sales and marketing
- Allow people to purchase products straight away rather waiting until they are in store
- Sell products that are difficult to ship like food, flowers, and furniture
- Streamline sales by having the order ready for the customer before they even arrive
This app also allows you to capture extra information at the shopping cart, such as the date of pickup and ensures that your customers are not charged shipping. The customer’s information is all appended to the order notes, so you can quickly see when each order is going to be collected.
What’s more, the app doesn’t require carrier-calculated shipping, and it can be paired with the Digital Downloads app so you can email your customers information about their pickup booking.
When marketing services company Experian looked at how birthday emails performed compared to other email messages, they found some convincing results. Birthday emails had:
- 481% higher transaction rates than promotional emails
- 342% higher revenue per email than promotional emails
- 179% higher unique click rates than promotional emails
Source: Happy Birthday Email App
If you’re using an email program like MailChimp, you can use their automation tools to send out birthday emails without this new app. But there are a few benefits to having it installed even if you are using another email program.
For one, it integrates directly into Shopify, which means you can offer the birthday boy or girl a discount code.
Furthermore, you might not be currently collecting your customer’s date of birth. The Happy Birthday Email app asks for the customer’s date of birth when they sign up, which means you’ll have it available for when the date comes around.
Finally, not all customers want to sign up to email marketing either, so having this separate system just for birthday messages can help you reach more of your customers.
Your images can be one of your most valuable assets when it comes to search engine optimization. Taking good quality, unique product photos can do wonders to improve your sales, but to really get the most out of your images, you also need to ensure that those images have all the correct meta information.
Including meta information, such as a detailed file name and alt tags, helps search engines decipher the content of your image.
But taking the time to set custom metadata takes time and often becomes a low priority. Image SEO by Lion Apps helps you stay on top of your image meta information by automatically creating custom alt tags at the press of a button.
Just define your alt tag template (or use their preset template), press the button, and the app will apply a unique alt tag to all of your images.
Banana Stand is another app that aims to bring urgency and social proof to online stores. It does this by harnessing your store’s data to show information to the customer about how others have interacted with the product.
Rather than display an annoying popup or banner ad, Banana Stand seamlessly adds an extra area of information to your product page. This information is all designed to create a sense of urgency and social proof for your products and is achieved by showing potential buyers information such as:
- Who is currently viewing the product and checking out with the product in their cart
- The number of people who have previously purchased it
- If the product is low in stock
Banana Stand is also heavily customizable in both the text that is displayed and the style of the product page widget.
For developers, there is also a full API which lets you customize how the app behaves in your store. There’s even a built in A/B testing feature so you can see if Banana Stand is really helping to increase sales in your store.
Source: Banana Stand
Offering store credit is an expected feature when it comes to brick-and-mortar retail, so why should your eCommerce store be any different?
While you can create discount codes using features that come out of the box with Shopify, this customization requires a lot of manual work. The customers also have to keep track of their codes.
WIth the new Store Credit app, customers can see how much credit they have available just by logging into their account. They can then choose how much of the discount they would like to use on their current order.
If you want to incentivize customers with credit towards their next purchase or be able to refund them in the form of store credit, then this app could be for you.
Trying to decipher which metrics to track in your eCommerce store can be overwhelming. When actually figuring out how to track those metrics in Google Analytics, you end up wasting hours making sure you are looking at the right data.
While the Shopify dashboard does a good job of giving you an at-a-glance picture of your store’s performance, to succeed, you need to really understand how customers are shopping.
Compass helps you do this by compiling data from your Shopify, Amazon and Google Analytics accounts and allowing you to create your own reporting dashboard without any IT skills required.
Using this data you can answer questions like:
- What are your store’s strengths and weaknesses?
- What are your conversion rates like for different traffic sources?
- How does your conversion rate compare to similar stores?
- What is your customer lifetime value?
Compass is used by thousands of stores and gives you a great range of basic features for free.
The capabilities of new apps available to Shopify merchants continues to expand with no sign of slowing down.