Shopify is an e-commerce platform that makes it really easy to sell your products and services online. Plans start from around $29 per month plus 2.9% of each transaction.
One of the excellent benefits of Shopify is just how easy it is to integrate Shopify apps on your store. Shopify apps expand and improve on the basic Shopify store so that your store becomes more specific to your niche and feels less “cookie cutter.” Shopify apps can add a wealth of functionality to your store, making the customer experience better and making managing your store a breeze.
We should state that every store has different needs, so the exact apps that will work best for your customer base will be different for everyone. Let’s, however, take a look at some of the top Shopify apps you can add to get a taste of what can be achieved.
Facebook Live Chat
Live chat is a useful customer service tool that has a positive effect on customer loyalty and sales. Facebook is currently the largest social media sites around, so it makes sense to allow your visitors to discuss queries and concerns with your staff using Facebook Messenger.
The Facebook Live Chat Shopify app easily integrates with your Shopify store design. It’s free for up to three websites.
Instagram is another site that’s great for driving sales via your Shopify store. Social Photos is an app that makes it simple to get the social proof you need on Instagram. You get to feature your happy customers (which makes them happier!), and at the same time generate high-converting content at virtually no cost.
Social Photos monitors when customers tag their photos featuring your products, and automatically curates these photos into a gallery. From there, you can highlight the best photos, create customer stories, or organize them into themes to encourage even more sharing.
Social Photos starts at $10 per month and rises to $50 per month for all the features.
Plug in SEO
Search Engine Optimization (SEO) refers to the steps taken to improve the rankings of your website on search engines. You want your website to appear prominently for search terms that are likely to be made by potential customers. Your website should include relevant content that signals to search engines what each page is about, and you need to make sure the technical side of your website is perfect so that the search engines can crawl it without issue.
Plug In SEO for Shopify streamlines a lot of the busywork SEO requires. It can help you diagnose hard-to-find search engine optimization issues on your site and fix them, meaning you’ll get more web traffic for your store. You’ll be able to check for issues with page titles and descriptions, speed, and website structure at the touch of a button.
Most users will be happy with the free version, but there’s a pro version available too for $20 per month that includes multilingual support, bulk editing, and structured data support.
Referral Candy is an easy to set up yet powerful referral management system. Essentially, it allows you to offer your customers incentives to get their friends to sign up too. You can set up the type of referral scheme and decide upon the reward system. A central dashboard makes tracking your referrals easy.
Referral Candy starts at $49 per month.
Smile.io allows you to add a loyalty program easily to your store. Customers don’t have to become huge ambassadors for your brand for you to benefit from these programs; you can gain just by getting more customer engagement and offering better-personalized services.
Of course, loyal customers who return time and again are gold for your sales.
Working with Smile.io starts with issuing reward points for simple things such as creating an account, sharing products with their friends, and following your brand on social media.
All of these features are free, or you can offer more nuanced loyalty programs such as VIP programs with a $50 per month pro membership.
If you plan to offer new products or services that your customers look forward to, you can take advantage of the buzz this generates with Pre-Order Manager.
Pre-Order Manager lets you take orders in advance for items that are not yet available or are out of stock. You can limit the number of pre-orders available to increase interest and avoid over-promising.
Pre-orders are also a great way to decide which products are going to be your big sellers and help you to focus your energies on those.
Pre-Order Manager has a 14-day free trial, after which it starts at $24.95 per month.
PayWhirl Recurring Payments
Offering the option for your customers to make automatic recurring payments is a no-brainer if you work on a subscription model.
There are a number of recurring payment apps for Shopify, but PayWhirl Recurring Payments is one of the most feature-rich. Customers can manage their account details themselves, enter and modify their credit card details, and alter their payment plans online. This can save a lot of time and money on customer service costs.
Customers can even choose their own subscription packages using a flexible “Build a Box” system, perfect for upselling other products. You can add in features like a trial period, failed payments management, and upsell funnels.
The cost of PayWhirl Recurring Payments depends on the payment gateways you plan to support. There’s a free-to-install Stripe version, but you’ll likely to want to accept more common payment gateways. These start at $49 per month and include a service fee per transaction. Paying a higher monthly fee means paying a smaller service fee per transaction.
These apps are just the tip of the iceberg. It’s easy to have a professional store with Shopify and the thousands of varied apps that it supports.DataCue's own Shopify app is just about to go public. You can use it to automatically personalize your Shopify store for each and every visitor. Get started with DataCue and Shopify today!