Shopify is an awesome e-commerce platform that’s affordable, easy to use, and ready to go right out of the box. Shopify stores feature fully-secure checkouts that allow retailers to start taking payments instantly. Shopify Shipping takes the legwork out of order fulfillment and offers you reduced rates on shipping costs. Shopify can even handle your marketing by automating email and creating targeted social campaigns on your behalf.
In short, Shopify makes it as simple as possible to start and grow an e-commerce business. It’s great for those looking to create an online store or move an existing store to a more user-friendly and comprehensive platform.
That said, while Shopify includes everything you need to get a store up and running, you can get even more out of it if you take advantage of some of the many add-ons available called apps.
Here are my essential Shopify apps that will help you boost sales and increase customer satisfaction and get the most from your store.My advice: install them as soon as you set up your store!
- Rewind Backups
The rewind up stores previous versions of your store. If you make a change (or many changes) and want to take it all back, you can with the click of a button. This app has saved me many times! I recommend you install this app soon after you start designing your store.
- Hot Jar
Hotjar is an amazing plugin that tracks user interaction of your website. See where visitors and clicking, how far down they are scrolling and what’s really being used. This will help you know what you can simplify on your site. As a side note, there is a theory that mouse movement corresponds with eye movement, so recorded mouse movement can give you insight into what people are looking at first on your site.
- Reviews app – judge me or built-in app
You need a reviews app. Customer reviews dramatically increase conversion on your website. Your Shopify store has a reviews app built in that is pretty good and is a great start. I also recommend the “judge me” app that integrates with tons of different platforms to help you collect reviews, and helps make them SEO rich snippets.
- Exit intent pop-ups – Privy
While most business owners know that collecting emails on your website is key to marketing now or later. One extra opportunity to collect emails or prevent abandoned carts is by using an exit intent popup like Privy.
- Email integration
Shopify and MailChimp had a big breakup at the beginning of 2019 (wah wah wah). So you need a way to connect the emails that you collect to your email marketing platform. While I’d love to tell you that there is one that works for everyone, it really depends on who your email marketing provider is.
- Bold brain
Bold brain gives great analytics of what customers purchased and what they commonly purchase together. Then the app works to show recommended products on your site. This app will also help you segment customers in your email lists according to buying behavior.
- Live chat/Messaging
When consumers have a question, they don’t want to email you, and they don’t want to call you – they want and expect instant answers. Enter, chat boxes and instant messaging.
The Messenger channel app has been developed by Shopify themselves and its sole purpose is to provide a great customer experience while also increasing your store sales. It does this by adding your products to a menu that shoppers can purchase from while chatting with your Facebook Page.
- Plug-In SEO
One feature that is missing from Shopify right out of the box is advanced SEO optimization. The “Plug-in SEO” app scans your site for SEO errors, helps you better develop page titles and descriptions and allows you to bulk edit page and product titles and descriptions so you can edit all of them at once. I personally think that product descriptions are one area that new Shopify stores miss out on SEO benefits from.