I bet you know that Shopify plugins are a dime a dozen. At last count, the Shopify App Store contained 1200 apps that cover every area imaginable. From marketing and accounting to customer support and so much more, Shopify’s purpose is to enrich online stores and help Shopify based eCommerce businesses be successful. But with so many plugins to choose from, and so many areas to cover, it’s hard not to get lost.
In an attempt to keep up, you try to explore the growing list of apps every now and then, but you never manage to cut through the noise.
You ask a couple of friends, if you are lucky enough to have some friends in this industry. You read related blog posts to help identify quality plugins. But perhaps you still feel a bit lost.
I use a lot of tools for professional content, and I have learned a lot about plugins and apps over time. So much so in fact, that I have decided to write this blog article and hopefully make a significant contribution to the discussion of must-try Shopify plugins and apps.
It’s important to note, besides Bontact (the company I work for) I hold no business relationship with any of the plugins mentioned in this article.
Looking at over 900 reviews, Plugin SEO seems to be very satisfying with users saying it’s “a great, easy to use tool that once installed, scans your site regularly for any SEO ‘mistakes’”. It looks at many parameters like internal links, page title, filenames, meta descriptions, speed, post structure and other items in its tick list, and provides you with troubleshooting suggestions on which areas to focus on.
Organic quality traffic is important to every online business and is highly related to SEO.
SEO takes a lot of effort. No plugin will help you win SEO without any effort (we wish…).
But, while it takes a lot of work to be ranked for relevant keywords, it’s very easy to lose potential due to minor annoying technical faults. Plugin SEO or any other plugin, just make sure it’s not your case.
- It’s free (they have a premium app called "Plug in SEO Plus" ).
- Automated alerts by email when there are any issues found.
ALT Text Optimizer
Since search engines can’t really as of yet “read” images, some professionals add Alt Text (Alternative Text) to images to bypass this limitation.
But it’s one of those forgotten things… This plugin (or Shopify app if you’d like) dynamically and automatically generates Alt Text for all your images, thus improving your SEO.
It’s only $1.99/Month
SEO is a long term, time consuming and highly professional marketing area. No shortcuts if you ask me.
But, SEO is also partially made up of micro tasks that are easily handled. Gladly, there are tools to help.
While it’s easy to overlook images, it’s also relatively easy to not. Search for Shopify tools like this one to help you optimize your images for search engines.
Marketing and Sales
MailChimp for Shopify
This plugin allows for the seamless integration of one of the most recognized email marketing platforms – MailChimp. Some call this integration Chimpified (humankind rocks!). Of course, you’ll have to have a MailChimp account. Via this free integration you can send 12,000 emails to up to 2,000 subscribers each month.
Email marketing and ecommerce go together a long way. Email is and will stay a main communication platform. When you have a special sale event, a unique discount, or a periodic promotion, you should use email marketing as one of your communication channels.
Never neglect email, even when using multiple additional channels. Why? Some people prefer email. Email messages hang around a little longer and have the potential to make a greater impact than other communication mediums. I still manage to cut through the noise when I use the right subject line in an email.
- It’s free!
- Recognized MailChimp brand
Yotopo is basically a reviews app (and a similar Shopify plugin), or what you would call a “social proof app” – a B2B app that cleverly asks your customers for product/service reviews that are shared via social channels.
One of the advantages of Yotopo is that while asking for the review via email, which a lot of other apps do as well, it allows the customers to leave a review in the email box – with no need to navigate to a web page. And it’s a super easy and friendly experience too.
Maybe that’s why Yotpo claim that 6-10% of customers will take the time to leave a review, a pretty impressive conversion rate.
Sales are dependent on reviews. Every online shopper or seller knows this. Consumers are the ones who use the products, so it only makes sense that we would trust them to speak the truth. At the end of the day, reviews equal trust.
Without enough reviews, your online sales will suffer. This Shopify plugin (and there are probably others) can optimize your review efforts.
- The lite plan is free forever
- Customers can leave their review right in the email
This is another review app that seems to be widely popular. It provides a way for your customers to engage with you, as well as each other, to encourage sales. Included features such as exporting and importing reviews and the ability to add SEO friendly review scores to Google search results make this app a great marketing tool.
- It’s free!
- A theme-friendly design automatically matches your reviews to your store's look and feel. That’s fun!
- Easy customization: Edit layout options without coding knowledge
A Shopify plugin for customer “loyalty points”, Sweet Tooth is managed by a “point tab” where customers can view their rewards status or redeem rewards as coupons. It also has “point distribution” email notifications. Since loyalty plans have proven to increase conversions, this Shopify app can be quite useful. You can easily reward your customers for various actions such as: sign up, purchasing and sharing on social media, on birthdays and so on.
- It’s free!
- Advanced Visual Customization allows you to choose from 1 of 6 new modal types to fit the look and feel of your site.
This great Shopify plugin helps you increase conversion by creating an amazing gifting experience for your customers. Gift wizard allows gift buyers to buy gifts without needing to know the recipient's address or specific taste. Your customers can even create and customize a greeting card right within the purchase process.
- Get 7 days free trial
- GiftWizard claim they will increase your spontaneous purchase by 19%
- GiftWizard claim they will increase your traffic - 67% of gift recipients will turn into new customers
Customer Support and Communication
Yep. That’s us!
Bontact Shopify plugin is an app that takes the multi-channel approach seriously and lets you or your sales team talk to prospects, online visitors or online customers, their way: live chats, voice, text messaging, Telegram, Facebook messenger, WeChat, email and more in one single integration. Bontact increases conversions. In most cases over 20%!
- 14-day free trial
- Service fees are included (voice and SMS)
To better understand the need for enriching online business communication channels and adding multiple IM apps, you need to take a closer look at what has happened to communication over the past few years.
We don’t use voice or SMS like we used to. Many of us don’t use SMS at all, and voice only when there’s no other options. Some people text in a response to an email, others read short text messages, but would call if the answer is longer than one sentence.
I, for instance, am a Facebook Messenger addict. True story. I rarely need voice calls anymore.
Online businesses that want to encourage customer interaction and increase engagement should strongly consider joining the party and embrace the popular channels that have been widely used, and are here to stay.
Businesses that continue with the email/webchat only approach are likely to eventually lose sales to more innovative competitors.
Accounting and Productivity
Quickly print invoices, labels, receipts and packaging slips with customizable templates or have them printed in bulk (to speed up the shipping).
- It’s free!
- Includes Shopify support since it’s considered a Shopify formal application
This tracking Shopify app allows you to track all your shipments in one place. Aftership gives the option of up to 335+ countries worldwide with a dashboard that allows you to filter your shipment by date, status, courier, and destination to monitor whether or not your shipments are delivered on time. The paid version also sends delivery updates to customers automatically: when their orders are in transit, out for delivery, delivered, or if there are exceptions.
- It’s free!
- Order status on the tracking page creates a good post-purchase experience
One of Shopify’s most popular apps, Shippo manages all shipment aspects from one single dashboard. It lets you print shipping labels within seconds (very important for saving time), bulk label creation and printing, track packages, submit refunds and more. Shippo also allows you to compare shipping rates from over 14 international and domestic carriers to get the best prices.
- Cost amounts to 5 cents per label
- Automatic shipment tracking included
Shopify pros claim this inventory management app is one of the best. It synchronizes your inventory from multiple locations and sales channels, automates your orders and offers reporting, integration with accounting and shipping applications.
Stitch Labs is a premium Shopify app.
- From $499.00/month
- Helps users to easily anticipate stock out dates, set low-stock alerts, and auto-create purchase orders
According to Oberlo, more than 18,000 eCommerce shops are using this Shopify app and have made $120,000,000+ in sales since Oct, 2015.
Oberlo is made for AliExpress drop shippers, which means you can import hundreds of products from AliExpress to your website without worrying about shipping, storage or packaging while also ensuring your inventory and pricing stays up to date.
- It’s free!
- Helps automate pricing rules and price your products in bulk
This plug-in collects your online Shopify store real time data (100 metrics, such as customer lifetime value, top selling products, gender breakdown, year to date revenue, revenue forecasting, etc.) and presents back to you the trends and action items in a friendly dashboard. It can also help you set up Facebook or email marketing campaigns.
- It’s free!
- A competitive analysis tool to compare your store to others
Compass allows Shopify businesses to collect data from various data sources such as Google Analytics, Adwords, Facebook, Paypal, and Amazon. Compass presents this information in a unified data dashboard, with different reports available such as acquisition, revenue and more. The app also presents benchmarks of other stores in the same industry.
- It’s free!
- Automated reports on more than 30 metrics
This list does not do justice to all the brilliant Shopify plugins available. There are a lot more plugins that offer great capabilities. This list attempts to highlight a small fraction of what’s available, but in my opinion, this list of 15 is a great place to start. You might already be acquainted with, others you might have never heard of before. Ultimately, I tried to include at least one plugin for each store category that I believed should be covered.
Hopefully I’ve brought some value to your search and in the process can help you increase your ROI. Happy to get your feedback.