"Let's change the platform to WordPress and reboot." - I overheard a developer saying to his junior while passing through the lobby in my office.
Knowing that we used Shopify for most of our clients, I couldn't control the coder in me asking the people in the conversation the following questions. Why do you want to change the complete platform? Are there bugs in the system, conflicting plugins, or speed issues?
Limitation of the platform, they said.
At first, this seemed to be a typical case of newbies not knowing the power of Shopify's platform. But later, I got to understand the core of the issue behind all of this.
From a technical standpoint, not leveraging the power of additional plugins can limit the application of a platform in many use cases. This article covers the best Shopify apps to build an incredible shopping experience for your buyers.
Image source: Oberlo
Oberlo is a small business owners' delight. Enabling this, sellers can search and dropship from thousands of online products worldwide. Small business owners who work with a low or no inventory model can access this feature to build a healthy cash flow stream. Oberlo takes away all the hassle of packaging, shipping, and even handling customer queries away from you.
Target audience is the pillar of any online business and Kit helps you to drive the most of it, even when you are asleep.
Kit allows users to run Facebook Ads, Email Campaigns, and other Performance Marketing campaigns to boost their online sales. Think of it as a virtual Social Media Marketer working for you around the clock. Other Content Management Systems find it difficult to replicate such great tools on their platform resulting in them losing ground to Shopify.
If you ask e-commerce store owners their single pain point from a customer buyer journey point of view, the answer will be abandoned shopping carts. PushOwl is an application that solves this problem. You can set up PushOwl in multiple ways. Its functions include creating personal campaigns and sending customers abandoned cart reminders.
Notifications of various types are an important feature that gets triggered when a user interacts with the website page. This includes back-in-stock notification, review notification, and shipping notification.
4. Plug-in SEO
As the name suggests, Plugin SEO helps store owners implement SEO metadata and helpful search features to their Shopify website. Like the good old Yoast in WordPress, we have Plugin SEO to help us optimize our website for organic search and gain visibility in search engines.
Image source: Printful
Printful is a dropshipping solution for online sellers who want to sell printed mugs, t-shirts, lifestyle products, and printed stuff. With Printful, anyone can set up their store and start selling their products almost instantly. There is no need to worry about shipping, packaging, and customer queries, as the Printful team will handle this.
Buyers can order custom printed and personalized products from your store. The best part is the branding will be on your behalf. This is easily one of the most powerful apps on Shopify.
6. Rewards & Referrals
Every e-commerce business needs customer retention and loyalty - this is a no-brainer. And to serve this purpose, Swell has developed this tool to enable site owners to present coupons, codes, and referral sign-ups. So, Rewards & Referrals by Swell is used to engage and boost repeat customers, but it can also be leveraged to gain new customers.
Rewards & Referral is one of the best Shopify apps commonly used by tech geeks while developing a site.
Be it WordPress, Shopify, or any other Content Management System, the platform's power grows significantly based on the 3rd-party apps available on them. Shopify apps are easy to use and they can be installed in the following 3 ways:
Steps to install a Shopify App using the app store:
Every technology has its share of pros and cons, owing to which people develop their favoritism towards one of them. And more often than not, it comes down to the options and level of comfort using them, which defines who wins. Let's know more about some of the alternatives to Shopify.
More than 50% of the world's total websites are now built with WordPress. Therefore, for WordPress lovers, Woocommerce tops the chart hands down any day of the week. It is an open-source platform with a UI that pleases the visitor and is SEO-friendly.
WordPress is a cost-effective (free actually) alternative to Shopify. Although open-source, you'll have to purchase a hosting plan to go with it and upgrade the Woocommerce plugin for serious retailers.
Since its inception, BigCommerce is seen as the biggest competitor to Shopify. It is a drag and drop solution with 7 free themes and a robust backend. You'll hardly have to buy anything apart from the regular monthly fee of $29.95, though the charges may vary depending upon the inventory size.
BigCommerce allows you to channel your products on 3rd party marketplaces as well. And it comes with a plethora of options to boost conversions and content marketing.
Image Source: g2.com
Wix is another alternative that excites most design enthusiasts. The drag and drop platform is priced at $17/month for the eCommerce version and $35/month for the business VIP plan. The latter version allows marketers to sell their products on other social channels and customized reports can be accessed.
However, the customization on Wix is limited in some aspects. Wix doesn't allow you to add pixel tracking, users flow, and it is difficult to migrate to other platforms in the future.
To Sum Up
It doesn't whether you made your website on WordPress or Shopify or maybe some other technology, you'll eventually require additional 3rd party apps to leverage the platform to the fullest. Over-dependence on the core functionality of CMS can be a risky affair, you need to have other options on your sleeves like WordPress plugins or Shopify apps to go that extra mile and give your users a pleasant shopping experience.