There is no denying that Shopify has really made its mark in the e-commerce world. They make is extremely easy for online stores to start selling immediately, without costly development and their themes are designed with conversions in mind, which really helps business owners that aren’t conversion rate specialists.
One Shopify benefit is their extensive library of apps that store owners can use to help generate more growth and sales. There are apps available for literally everything, from product sourcing, sales and marketing, to shipping, accounting and inventory control.
With so many different Shopify apps available, I decided to ask some store owners what their favorite app was, and why. Their recommendations might introduce you to a new app that you can use to improve your e-commerce sales.
Hands down, without a doubt, my favorite app for Shopify is Signifyd. It gives you 100 percent fraud protection on every order that it reviews using its cloud-based platform. This means that within seconds it reviews each order that occurs on your site. If the automatic fraud review approves a transaction that ends up being a chargeback, Signifyd will pay the costs including shipping and fees.
First-timers and established e-commerce entrepreneurs need this added piece of mind. I have previously operated my stores without Signifyd and have had to cover the cost of unnecessary chargebacks, and in every case, it’s not just the cost of the order — it is also the excessive fees added by the payment gateway.
The e-commerce industry is faced with billions of dollars in lost revenue from chargebacks, mistaken declines, unhappy customers, transaction investigations and the enormous cost of refunding orders while also paying the fees and shipping.
I often keep an eye on the reddit conversations related to Shopify and one of the posts mentioned that they had been the victim of a chargeback in excess of $1,200. That’s no small figure, even for an established brand. That sort of chargeback really eats into the bottom line and puts unnecessary pressure on your strategies for scaling.
Ronnie McKenzie, Store Hacks
I love this app, as it brings social proof and urgency to your website visitors, showing that you are a trusted store. On the product pages, the app shows how many of each items you have left in stock, how many people are viewing the item and how many have sold in the last hour. You can configure this to within a range of numbers to create scarcity and fear of missing out.
Example: there’s only one item left, there’s currently 20 people viewing it and three sold in the last hour. It’s a fantastic app that’s easy to setup and has great support. It has boosted our conversion rate by 11 percent.
Jon Watson, Hollywood Mirrors
We carry around 850 titles, while also adding new ones as exhibitions open and as we discover great new books. Product images are an important part of the store, as the books we feature are beautiful and often works of art in their own right.
My favorite app is Crush.pics, created by the developers Space Squirrel Ltd. Crush.pics helps with image compression and optimization, which is an important aspect of SEO. Once you have installed the app, it goes through all your existing product images, automatically compressing them. The app also optimizes the images by renaming image file names and assigning alt tags that include your brand name and a clear and concise description of the product featured in the image.
Even better, once you have loaded the app, it will automatically compress and optimize every new product image that you load. The developers offer different plans with various levels of service. There is even a free plan that allows you to compress 5MB of images per month to test out the app before you purchase it. Crush.pics has a helpful dashboard so that you can see the latest changes and how much data the app has helped you save on your site.
Even though I was already compressing product images, Crush.pics has saved over 4MB of data on without any reduction in the quality of the images. This has greatly improved my site’s loading speed. I’m pleased to say that increased speed and renamed product images have helped improve search rankings for those images and I am seeing increased traffic.
Caroline Keppel-Palmer, Museum Bookstore
We have been using Shopify for about two years now. Our site sells pet Christmas products and performs the best during the holiday season. One of our big goals last year was to increase our average sale value. Zipify Upsell is an app that helped us accomplish this.
This specific app has been the biggest reason our average sale went from $35 to $48, which is a huge jump. It is unlike any upsells we have tested in the past. It displays an upsell option on the confirmation page after you have already made a purchase. With other upsell apps on Shopify, the upsell option is on the product page or on the cart page, which is ok, but not optimal.
With this app, you choose the upsell you want for each product or collection, and then all the customer has to do is click “add to purchase,” and the additional upsell item is added to the order instantly. They don’t have to add credit card information again or anything. That is why it has worked so well for our company.
We have seen 20 percent of people add the additional item to their cart. It’s best if you offer a heavy discount on the upsell item, and not offer it at its regular price.
Jeff Moriarty, Dog Christmas Stockings
This is a streamlined way to solicit customer reviews, photos and social media integration. The obvious benefit from these features is that it can greatly increase how trustworthy you site appears to new visitors, by leveraging and displaying positive feedback.
There are three different plans: Free, Growth, and Premium. The Free plan is very basic, only offering product reviews and analytics. Although this is basic, the product reviews are very intuitive, allowing the store owner to interact with the solicited customer reviews. You can publicly respond to negative reviews, express gratitude for the positive ones and even share the reviews on social media.
Additionally, the Free plan also includes snap shot for website analytics. These analytics will display how well the YotPo products convert visitors into customers. However, because the Free plan only offers product reviews, the store owner doesn’t capture all the benefits available.
Once store owners upgrade to the Growth plan, the amount of features increases significantly. For $30 per month, these additional features include email marketing, product recommendations, automatic social-push, targeted site reviews and much more. Out of all these features, the rich snippets alone justify the cost.
Rich snippets take the product reviews and present them on Google search rankings. So, when the page for your top selling, 5-star product is displayed in a search query, it will also display the bright yellow 5-star rating. This significantly helps your listing stand out over the other listings in the search results.
The Premium plan expands even further with features including community Q&A widgets, user generated photos, Google Product Listing ads, HTML customization and visual marketing including Pinterest and Instagram. The cost for the Premium plan is tailored to each individual site.
Jeff Neal, The Critter Depot
MailChimp allows you to target your customers based on their buying behavior, making your email marketing campaigns more efficient. Getting started is easy, as you simply sign up and begin creating and integrating your email list with your online store.
You can then set up marketing nudges. If a customer left a product in their cart you can use MailChimp to automatically send an email reminding them to complete their purchase. You can send emails showcasing products and give recommendations based on purchase history.
The simple to use dashboard helps you perfect your marketing strategy, by showing you when an email was opened and whether or not it led to a purchase.
It can also help you create appealing landing pages and with their advanced segmentation tools they can help you find potential customers, recent customers, first-time customers, repeat customers and lapsed customers, helping you target each group appropriately. The professional display is easy to use and attracts clicks.
Your first 2,000 subscribers and 12,000 monthly emails are free. For unlimited emails, the pay scale changes. For 2,000 subscribers and unlimited emails, MailChimp will cost you $25 per month, and increases as your subscriber list grows.
Nate Masterson, Maple Holistics
Rewind is by far my favorite app. Having developed my website all by myself, it has saved me and help correct mistakes multiple times. I once hired a 3rd party to fix backend coding in an effort to improve the loading speed of my website, only for them to completely ruin everything – the layout, pictures, pages, product categorizing, etc. — literally everything was ruined.
I knew so little about coding, but thankfully I had Rewind, so I logged in, selected the date and time to go back to, and restored my website.
At $5 per month, it is by far the best investment. I highly recommend it to anyone working on a Shopify website, especially those that are new to website design and development.
Michelle Goyette, Unique World Inspirations
We have been running our Shopify store for almost two years now. Our product is unlike anything else out there, in that you order from us, and once you receive your order you then have to go somewhere else to get it installed. So, selling has been a challenge from day one.
Over the last couple years, we tested dozens of apps including referral, design and customer linking apps. Without question, the app that has been the most profitable for us is RetargetApp. For a nominal fee, this app re-targets people that have visited our store with ads on other platforms. We have the spend set to a maximum of $100/day and never come close to spending that.
To date, we have experienced an ROI of 15X our investment, and it runs automatically. We update the message periodically, but for something you essentially set and forget, it’s been amazing. These people have already been to your store, so giving a strong incentive to return is key, because only they see the ad. We use the term “Exclusive Offer,” because it truly is.
Rob Kessler, Million Dollar Collar
My favorite app for Shopify is tawk.to, which is a free live chat system for your store. We sell mattress toppers and our consumers always have questions about our products, from making sure it fits their bed properly to inquiries about the memory foam that we use. It has helped our store tremendously by improving our conversion rate and offering a better customer experience.
It offers an easy to use interface and fast installation, and the best part is it’s free. There is a great interface that allows you to monitor and track individual team members, review their chat history and analyze performance via analytics. It also monitors where the user is on your site, allowing you to see where the user is in real-time, so you can help them navigate around your store better, hopefully resulting in a conversion.
I would definitely recommend using tawk.to if you are looking for a live chat service. It is easy to use, comes with a great user interface and it’s free.
Drew Kalinski, Ayer Comfort