Leveraging the Power of Shopify for Ecommerce with 6 Must-Have Shopify Apps by@tim-colman

Leveraging the Power of Shopify for Ecommerce with 6 Must-Have Shopify Apps

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Tim Colman HackerNoon profile picture

Tim Colman

Amateur Developer and a Part-time Social Media Influencer

"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.

6 Must-Have Shopify Apps

1. Oberlo

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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.

Key features:

  • Enables users to sell trending dropshipping products from suppliers across the globe.
  • Easy to access tracking features.
  • Starts free, will cost $29/month when you upgrade to premium features.

2. Kit

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.

Key features:

  • Runs Facebook & Instagram Ads.
  • Allows to search and organize Target Audience.
  • Kit is a completely free to use application.

3. PushOwl

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.

Key features:

  • Sends fast and automated mails.
  • Resolves depreciating cart abandonment rates.
  • Turns buyers into loyal customers.

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.

Key features:

  • Free to use with limited functionality.
  • Enables user to input SEO metadata.
  • Boost Search Engine Visibility.

5. Printful

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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.

Key features:

  • Your branding on all products.
  • No need for inventory management.
  • Ready to ship products with customization available.

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.

Key features:

  • Free to use till 100 monthly orders.
  • Boost loyalty and new customer acquisition.
  • Automated process focussed on conversions.

Working with Shopify Apps

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:

  • Install directly from the Shopify App Store
  • Install using a third-party install link
  • Install a custom app with a distinct install link

Steps to install a Shopify App using the app store:

  1. Open the Shopify App Store.
  2. Log onto your account.
  3. Search for the app you want to download.
  4. Once the listing page opens, click on the "Add app" button.
  5. In your Shopify store, authorize the use of the app by clicking on the install app button.

Other alternatives to Shopify?

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.

WooCommerce

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.

BigCommerce

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.

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Image Source: g2.com

Wix

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.

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