We recently hosted our first Official Shopify Meetup in Belfast, Northern Ireland. We focused on a few key areas: content, product optimisation, UX design, and growth. One topic that seemed to come up at every expert table was app recommendations. So we decided to pull together a list of 7 of our favourite free apps to help you on your E-commerce journey.
The Shopify App store has thousands of apps designed to assist merchants in their E-commerce journey. Just like a lunch buffet, having too many options can create a bit of a dilemma, and using the classic buffet tactic of ‘I’ll have a bit of everything’ won’t work with the Shopify App store. With over 1200 apps to choose from, there are often several options for the same task. So how do you decide which app is best for you?
Ultimately, a merchant’s end goal is drive traffic to their store, convert that traffic into paying customers, retain those customers and make a profit. This process is essential to keeping their E-commerce business afloat. Due to an abundance of smart technology apps, automation can take businesses from 0% to 500% growth with the perfect combination of tools.
Let’s take a look at which Shopify apps can make your business life easier, increase sales, encourage customer engagement and maintain healthy profits.
Thinking of starting a business on the Shopify store and don’t know where to start? Oberlo might just be the answer. Oberlo helps you start a drop shipping business within a very short period of time. Oberlo has helped merchants sell over 85 million products worldwide since September 2015.
You can sell drop shipped products from Oberlo, and have them shipped directly to your customers without physically seeing or touching the products. This method of E-commerce is being increasingly popular amongst merchants, not only does it save money as you don’t need to purchase stock in advance, but it also saves you the hassle of having to deal with order management, inventory, packaging and shipment.
2. Facebook Store
We are living in a day and age where social media is king. For anyone who is not currently taking advantage of social media as a selling platform, then this is the app for you. The Facebook Store app allows you to sell your products directly to your customers via Facebook, and they don’t even need to leave their Facebook page.
The Facebook Store app allows them to check out, pay for purchases and carry out other transaction all from the comfort of Facebook. With over 2 billion monthly active users, you won’t be short of traffic! And due to Facebook’s advanced algorithms and tracking pixels, you can retarget people who have visited your website and also target people who fit your customer persona.
3. MailChimp for Shopify
Email marketing is one of the most cost-effective forms of marketing. In fact, a 2016 study showed that an effective email marketing truly is the king with 4400% ROI, with an estimated $44 for each $1 spent. MailChimp is one of the leading email marketing tools, so integrating your email marketing workflow with your store is a no-brainer if you want to grow your business.
The MailChimp for Shopify app enables you to automatically add customer information and purchase data straight to Mailchimp account, without having to leave your Shopify platform. You can personalise targeted emails, segment customer lists, run ad campaigns and analyze data using the MailChimp for Shopify app.
This is a must for anyone who collects a lot of email addresses! We believe that if you can’t nurture your current customers and leads, then there’s not much point trying to find new ones. It’s like pouring water in a sieve - useless!
4. Plug in SEO
Source: Plug in SEO
Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) should huge part of every merchant’s marketing efforts - a technical term for making sure your products show up in search results. The Plug in SEO app makes the task of increasing organic traffic much easier. The app points out where you need to optimise your website to ensure you get picked up on search engine sites, and improves your overall website ranking. Plug in SEO sends you alerts when your store is has an SEO performance issue, and checks areas like page titles, heading, unique content and keywords.
92% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase. More and more customers need to trust a seller before they spend their hard earned cash, and what better way to boost trust than another person’s recommendation. Another great benefit of collecting customer reviews is that you can understand more about your ideal customer, and find out what they like most about your products.
You can take this data, and tweak your product page and product descriptions, optimising for increased conversions. The Yotpo app allows you to introduce product reviews on your Shopify store so prospective customers can read them. They also have a share feature, so customers can share their reviews across social media platforms like Facebook or Twitter, which will increase traffics and sales. A virtual form of word-of-mouth.
Over 35,000 Shopify merchants are using AfterShip to track their shipments in one place, and keep their customers in the loop about delivery dates. The app supports more than 380 couriers including the likes of DHL, FedEx, UPS and many more. Aftership allows you to track delivery performance, and highlights any delivery issues so you address it before it’s too late.
You can also send automatic delivery status updates, which is shown to increase customer satisfaction and engagement. When it comes to delivery, customers love to stay informed, and one of the biggest customer service complaints is late delivery or poor delivery communication. Aftership helps you to automate the delivery process, reduce customer service queries and increase customer satisfaction.
7. Social Media Stream
Source: Social Media Stream
Bring your E-commerce website to life by embedding your social media accounts using Social Media Stream. You can display posts from your Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and/or Tumblr feed in one widget, saving you a lot of time individually embedding pictures and posts.
This is a great way to improve brand awareness, and increase customer engagement and of course sales. Branding is a huge part of any E-commerce business, and social media is one of the best ways to get brand across to a large audience. The trick is to make sure you have an active, and consistent social media presence, interact with your followers and test out different features (i.e live stream).
There you have it! This is our list of 7 free Shopify apps to help get you started. There are tons of apps available, and lots more we can recommend. So, if you have a specific goal in mind, contact our expert team for a free consultation and we’ll be more than happy to help you. Or why not join our new Slack Channel - Make Merchants Money. Our experts are on hand to help answer any of your queries!