20 Best Shopify apps to build & scale your online brand
- 20 Best Shopify apps to build & scale your online brand
- Beginner apps
- Intermediate apps
- Advanced apps
- Additional Shopify apps to consider
Ready, set, scale!
We love Shopify. So much that we built one of the most successful Shopify apps on the app store! These nifty little developments from the brightest minds in eCommerce bring a whole new level of functionality to an already feature-rich platform.
But don’t be fooled by the promise of instant sales when you install an app on your Shopify store.
There are apps and tactics that can help increase conversions, but there are also a huge number of apps that will lower your conversion rate, despite the 5-star ratings and glowing reviews.
This is because a lot of them give the perception that they’ll increase sales, but the reality is, some suck. And more often than not, different apps are more suitable for different stores.
Most people don't take enough time to truly build a beautiful site and brand that look like they belong together.
And if you don't have your branding, product, and unique offer down pat, you're throwing money down the drain by paying for premium apps.
With that being said, there are some awesome Shopify apps that really can have an impact on your success as an eComm merchant. I’m a big fan of plugins that add functionality to your store, giving you more freedom to customize, fulfill, retarget, drive traffic, convert and so on.
I thought I’d cover the 20 best apps for Shopify in three levels. Basic must-haves for beginners, intermediate apps and advanced apps. The whole idea behind this is that you start with the essential best free Shopify apps (mostly), then slowly work your way up to intermediate and advanced apps when you start making some revenue.
I’ve done a ton of research into every one of these apps and used a lot of them myself. And the best part is, a lot of them won’t cost a penny.
So here it is.
From creating a brand from scratch to scaling it to new heights - the ultimate list of best Shopify apps to get you there faster.
20 Best Shopify apps to build & scale your online brand
PageFly is absolutely recommended for those starting out in any form of eCommerce, whether it’s dropshipping, digital products, physical inventory stores, and even blogs. I say this because even on the free plan, you’ll have more control and customization of your site to build a strong brand.
It also saves you spending hundreds on a premium Shopify theme. All you need is a free theme and a decent page builder like PageFly and you can set the bar higher than most other Shopify stores for design and functionality.
Grab it on the 2-week free trial and try it out for yourself. 1138 merchants on the app store love what we’re doing.
Shopify and eCommerce, in general, are becoming more international every day. Borders are being dissolved by trade and online shopping trends. If you offer products or services in multiple countries you need a currency converter to capture sales.
Coin automatically detects which country your store visitor is in and converts it to their local currency. It beats having to manually change it over, and the app is only $5 a month after the 30-day free trial.
The first free app on our list, but certainly not the last. You need to practice good SEO standards on your site, but finding the time to alter text on the back-end can be difficult.
The way SEO Images works is simple - the app routinely checks all the images on your Shopify store and optimizes them by changing the alt-text and meta tags. This can help your Google rankings and help customers find their way to your store through image searches.
#4. Loox Reviews
Without social proof, you’re dead in the water. 90% of online shoppers look to other humans reviews and testimonials before making a purchase. If you’re a drop shipper, Loox lets you import reviews directly from AliExpress onto your store while letting you continually collect reviews from your customers.
It’s $9.99 monthly with a two-week trial, but as a Shopify developer, you can use it for free. It also integrates nicely with PageFly - within the PageFly editor you can drag and drop our Loox widget anywhere onto your page.
#5. Oberlo (dropshippers only)
If you’re dropshipping from AliExpress, Oberlo is the best option to get started. It’s free, easy to use and you can import any product from AliExpress to your Shopify store in one click.
Oberlo is the first port of call for 90% of merchants who start out in drop shipping, but of course, as you start to get serious with scaling you might want to look into adding your own fulfillment service.
#6. Quantity Breaks
So you’ve got some traffic, generated a few sales. Now is the time to increase the average order spend on your store. Staying profitable in eCommerce long term is tricky. Upselling and increasing average order value can have a huge impact on net profits.
Quantity breaks allows you to discount products based on quantity bought. A typical example looks like this:
- Buy 5 or more of product X, get 10% off
- Buy 10 or more of product X, get 15% off
- Buy 20 or more of product X, get 20% off
Being fully customizable, you can offer these discounts full time or for promotions. This won’t work for every product however, so consider if it’s right for your store before investing. 14-day free trial available.
#7. Aftership - Track & Notify
You can’t get away with not providing tracking in 2019. Whether you use ePacket or fulfill all your orders yourself by hand, you don’t want to refer your customers to their local mail website to track their orders.
Instead, use Aftership and create a professional looking area of your store dedicated to this. It will give you major credibility points and increase trust in your brand. Aftership have a free plan available to get started.
The post-purchase part of the sales funnel is probably the most important. All aspects of customer service need to be covered, including returns.
Nobody likes dealing with returns, but thankfully Aftership returns have created a portal that lets you manage them easily. It allows you to brand the return center, make it more streamlined for the customer while taking some much-needed stress off your shoulders. A free plan is available.
Depending on what you’re selling, customers may need to inquire further to put their minds at ease before purchasing. These key interactions with your customers encourage them to trust you. In addition, sometimes all a visitor needs is confirmation that your product solves their problem/is what they’re looking for.
Facebook Chat Box is free to use, and a great tool to increase conversions.
It’s no wonder Amazon is the biggest eComm giant in the game right now. Everything about the buying process is done so well, from creating urgency to incentivizing with next day delivery and of course, using product bundles.
This is another way to increase average order value without offering a discount based on quantity. How does this work so well?
Here’s the psychology behind it. When the customer has already committed to purchasing one product, they’ve entered into a buying mentality, and are far more suggestive to up-sells and cross-sells. Frequently Bought Together is $7 a month with a 30 day trial.
This is when you start becoming serious about scaling with a winning product. Zipify Upsells is a seriously capable app with a slew of features for increasing customer spend amount.
Rather than just an app, consider it a full blown sales funnel complete with Offer Page, Data Dashboard, Email Campaigns, Upsells, Amazing Technical Support and the ability to split test.
It should be noted that Ezra Firestone (Smart Marketer) Zipify OCU. The very same man that owns several multi-million dollar Shopify stores.
If you want repeat visits and loyal customers, you need great post-purchase practices. Zendesk lets you engage with customers across several devices and platforms to solve customer issues. The service works by issuing tickets based on their queries. You can then assign the tickets to members in your support team that are best equipped to deal with them.
#13. Mass Fulfill
This is especially relevant for dropshippers dealing with huge product orders. Fulfilling manually in the beginning is great, but if you’re gaining serious traction it will start taking hours daily to maintain.
You can use Mass Fulfill to reduce the amount of time spent fulfilling. It will sync with your data files, send shipping emails to customers, fulfill line items, integrate with Google sheets and more. Forever free.
#14. Pre-order Now
By this stage, you’re a marketing whizz, and you know how to generate excitement in your brand and for upcoming products. Use this app to let people pre-order your products before they even drop, giving you a huge surge in revenue while testing demand.
You can also use this app for products that are temporarily out of stock.
Additional Shopify apps to consider
Wishlist is great for figuring out customer demand and which products appeal to them. They can passively add items to their wishlist while they continue browsing. Great for multi-product or general goods stores.
In general, more payment options increases the chance of a conversion taking place. Partial.ly lets you offer products on a payment plan. You control the fee, downpayment and so on with all payments tracked and automated through the Shopify dashboard.
#17. Shopify Buy Button
Recently rolled out by Shopify themselves, the Buy Button lets you add a quick product purchase button to any page on your store. You can even integrate it onto any website or blog you won to connect it to your Shopify store with ease. There’s not much room for major customization, but it provides more freedom for those who want to sell through other platforms like Wordpress.
#18. Plug in SEO
This is a great tool for diagnosing SEO issues that might be occuring on your store. The app will sweep your entire site and display a list of errors or optimizations that need to be fixed for best results. There’s a free plan available and a 7-day free trial if you choose to go premium.
This is hands-down one of the best Shopify SEO apps on the market.
#19. Social Photos
Use the power of social proof to increase conversion rates. Social photos let you display images of happy customers with their products using hashtags or a website widget. User-generated content like this is great for increasing interactions with the community and trust in your brand.
Some of the biggest retail brands in the world adopted referral programs to generate huge revenue. In short, they work really well if you can offer a decent reward for them. You can also implement loyalty points and a VIP program to allow customers to interact with your brand.
You might be surprised to know that the best eCommerce practices change at a crazily fast rate. Sitting down to write a similar article only one year ago would have looked very different.
Of course, installing every app on this list will put you out of pocket very quick, so consider which ones are best suited to your store and brand mission.
Additionally, sometimes an app can perform the same functionality as 5 - 10 apps rolled into one. PageFly is a great example, with more features being added constantly it serves as a complete conversion rate optimization tool. For example, you can:
- Build custom landing pages
- Add review widgets
- Use countdown timers
- Email collection tools
- Google Maps integration
- Connect social platforms
- Embed video
- Create and add blog posts
- Add collection lists and product lists to any page
If one app can replace many, why not give it a go with a 14-day free trial?