Written by Jodie Pride
10th October 2014 • 8 min read
You don’t need developers or IT specialists to build a fully functioning eCommerce site. Thanks to platforms like Shopify, you can create an online store from your desktop using customizable templates and designs. While off-the-shelf is great for ease and speed, no one wants a catch-all solution.
With Shopify apps you can further tailor your site, adding specific features and modules to achieve the exact functionality you’re after. There are hundreds of apps available from the Shopify app store, so to help you narrow it down, here’s our top ten.
Adding cross-sell functionality to your product pages is a great way to increase sales and further introduce customers to yourbrand and offering. With the Recommendify app you can take your pick from a range of recommendation modules, giving you a choice of how to serve related products to your customers.
In terms of bespoke recommendations, you can recommend products based on what’s in a customer’s cart, or you can manually select products for a hand-picked recommendation. You can also use Recommendify to display recently viewed products or top sellers.
Use MailChimp for your email marketing? Chimpified is a free app that syncs your Shopify store with your MailChimp account. This brings the dual benefit of being able to tailor your email marketing based on buying behaviour and seeing which of your emails are generating sales.
By directly connecting your store and email marketing, you can send recommendations, offers or vouchers to customers based on their purchases. Plus, enable the app’s Ecommerce360 tracking and you can clearly see the ROI of this activity, helping you further focus your email strategy.
3. Live Web Insights
While you may have a good idea of what your customers want from your site, insight data can help you validate these assumptions and identify any changes that need to be made. Live Web Insights integrates with your Shopify store to bring you real-time visitor activity including the pages users are viewing and the items in their cart. As well as useful visitor behaviour data, this app also shows you where customers are coming from. It summarizes your top referring sites, traffic and revenue by channel, so you can really see the ROI on your marketing efforts.
4. YotPo Product Reviews
Increasingly, customers look to product reviews to help them decide on a purchase. This is because rather than coming from a company with a sales agenda, they’re seen as the opinion of people who actually wanted and used a product. Yotpo Product Reviews doesn’t just email your customers asking for a review, but lets them leave their review within the email. This saves them having to return to your site and makes leaving a review more immediate and appealing. Plus, you can customize the YotPo Product Reviews widget so that it matches your site’s look and feel.
5. Store Locator
Sometimes it’s not just about the very latest developments but getting the basics right, which is why Store Locator made our list. After all, with an omni-channel approach, there needs to be a seamless link between your online and in-store efforts.
You can use Store Locator to pin all of your stores on the Google maps interface and set filters to help direct your customers. Ideal for pushing customers browsing online, or while out and about, to store.
6. Product Upsell
Once the reserve of chocolate bars temptingly placed by the supermarket checkout, product add-ons and upsells are a key part of any online sales strategy. With the Product Upsell app, you can create ‘Don’t forget…’ overlays for certain products, such as a ‘Don’t forget batteries’ when a customer adds a smoke alarm to their basket.
You can also use Product Upsell as a promotional tool. Once an item has been added to basket, you can set an overlay to appear suggesting a particular item or highlighting a special price. Just make sure it’s relevant to the original product or else the interruption may just come off as annoying
7. Variant Images
It can be the simple things that make all the difference. Great product imagery is essential for any eCommerce site, but if those images don’t match what your customer has selected it can be confusing and stop the sale. Step in Variant Images which simply changes the image each time a different colour or style is selected. Say your customer looks at a white lamp, if that same lamp is also available in black, the black photo will show when black is selected. This helps reassure the customer that they can see exactly what they’re getting and that their basket has been updated accordingly.
Sticking with product imagery, Scope helps you showcase your products in all their detail. This swish product zoom app offers three types of image view, so you can decide which ones work best for your site. You can set the orientation and zoom level for each image, giving you total control over how your products are viewed.
These days your Mum may be using Facebook more than you, but it’s still a solid marketing tool. Fliptabify adds a shop button to your company’s Facebook page. What’s more, it pulls in your products to showcase them in a Facebook store, creating a direct route to purchase for those already showing an interest in your brand.
The basic version of the app is free, or you can opt to pay a subscription so you can fully customize your Facebook store.
10. Plug in SEO
If even once you’ve built your store and picked your apps you’re still not seeing the uplift you expected, Plug in SEO may help. As the name suggests, it’s an app that checks the SEO capabilities of your site and makes suggestions as to how you could increase your rankings. It’s basic and therefore no substitution for an SEO specialist, but it’s a fast way to identify any immediate issues that could be preventing the right traffic from reaching your site.
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