14 Shopify Apps to Boost Sales and Streamline Operations
Before we introduce our top Shopify apps for increased sales and smoother backend operations, we have a request: please read this article in the spirit of exploration.
Our purpose here is to help retailers brainstorm the best path forward. Some of the apps we’ll highlight are free, while others are not. Rather than focus on cost for now, it’s more about the thinking behind each app’s function and whether or not this is something that could benefit your online store.
Also bear in mind that too many apps, or apps that override one another, can lead to what we call “app bloat.” With this list, we’re not suggesting to collect them all. Instead we want to encourage an optimal mix for your unique business model. The right combination of apps can unlock incredible capabilities for an online retailer.
With this understanding, let us share a range of apps all currently available in the Shopify store.
Shopify Apps to Increase Order Values & Checkout Conversion
Remember My Cart: Free
In the developers’ own words, “40% of shopping starts on one device and ends on another.” Remember My Cart creates what is known as a persistent cart between a customer’s various devices. For instance, when a shopper logs in to a mobile online store and adds items to the cart, she can then go to the store’s desktop version and find all her items still in the cart. This is particularly useful as people tend to like to research via mobile, but finalize their purchases via desktop.
Chatra Live Chat + Cart Saver: Free – $15/month
With Chatra, retailers are able to communicate with customers as they browse their online store. The app creates a running list of all real-time visitors and assigns them a color and name to identify them to the merchant. From there, the merchant can pop up via chat to see if the customer has any questions or wants assistance in any way. This information can be invaluable. For example, if customers keep asking the same questions about a product, then the retailer learns that he needs a better product page.
Product Discount: $14.99/month
Developed by BOLD, the Product Discount app allows retailers on Shopify to easily and quickly create store sales. The app offers customization, and retailers can set up discounts for individual products or entire collections. Discounts incentivize shoppers to buy, and these are especially useful because they do not require a coupon. The sales can be promoted on a daily basis, weekly, as a countdown timer, or around a holiday – you name it.
Product Bundles: $15.99/month
The Product Bundles app also comes from the team at BOLD. This one is a smart approach to encouraging customers to buy more based on “frequently bought together” merchandising. On the backend, retailers can tailor how deep of a discount to give per item within a bundle. Online merchants can also customize whether to bundle by brand (buy 3 Coach items and get a discount) or by pairings (add a salad bowl to the platter for a discount). Bundles are one of the best ways to increase a store’s average order value, and BOLD’s app is a good tool to make it happen.
Checkout Share: Free – $19.99/month
As the developer says, “Turn every conversion into a conversation.” Referrals from friends and family are the best sources for new buyers. This app lets online shoppers share their new purchases via Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and email. It also gives retailers the opportunity to incentivize shoppers to share, e.g. “Share your new shoes and get 10% off your next order.” We’re big fans of facilitating these kind of referrals from customers. Also note that the share can come after the customer buys something, so it won’t slow down the checkout process. Nice!
P.S. – We also like this similar approach for sharing Wish Lists.
Hull Social Login: From $450/month
The Hull Social Login app, for Shopify Plus users only, lets customers log in to an online store via their social media user info. This makes it seamless for shoppers to get into a store. Also, the retailer can create a shopper profile without making the shopper jump through the hoop of creating a new account. The Hull app also collects shopper emails based on their social media sign-ins. With this information, retailers can observe a customer’s journey in their store and make recommendations for purchases along the way.
Back in Stock: From $19/month
Back in Stock lets retailers notify shoppers when a sold-out item becomes available again. In the screencap above, the merchant used the app to add the “Email When Available” green tag on this popular toy. As a result, the merchant will collect shopper email addresses, as well as learn about the demand for this product. The more customer email signups to stay tuned for the restock, the more the retailer learns he has a winner in store.
Shopify Apps for Streamlining Operations
Order Metrics: Custom Pricing
As we can see from the Back in Stock app, it’s imperative for online retailers to know their best sellers in order to boost profit. The Order Metrics app takes this further. It informs merchants about the best sellers and the worst sellers — and everything in between. Order Metrics does this by continually running a profit analysis on your business. It takes all the product’s inputs into account — manufacturing, marketing, shipping, etc. — and compares these costs to its final sale price. Retailers get a firm grip on which products result in the highest profit versus which items drag down a store’s profitability.
No Fraud: Custom Pricing
The No Fraud app flags purchasing activity it deems suspicious using “virtually every fraud detection technology available.” Once the app is installed, retailers review a list of recent purchases labeled Pass or Fail. The app gives its reasoning for each Fail grade. Merchants can then deny this purchase or inform the app that its reasoning is incorrect. A customer confirmed to Fail gets added to the store’s blacklist, never to buy again. The app also offers 100% liability against fraud. If a theft happens while the app is active, No Fraud will reimburse the merchant for the full amount.
Inventory Planner: From $99.99/month
Inventory is the major make-or-break point for every retail operation. This app helps online store owners gain an instant status report on their inventory. Based on a product’s sales history, it forecasts upcoming inventory needs. It then offers suggestions for replenishing to ensure that the product never depletes. It also helps retailers create purchase orders for restocking inventory. The app also works seamlessly with Google Analytics. Merchants can use the two applications together to diagnose problems with inventory that isn’t moving.
Note: Inventory Planner is a strong option for exclusively online stores. If you’re selling omnichannel retail, however, take a look the powerful possibilities with Stitch Labs.
Order Delivery Date: $7.99/month
Under the category of “New and Noteworthy” in the Shopify app store, we find the Order Delivery Date app. It’s new to market, and thus far, it only has 3 reviews. (The other app suggestions here are based on our experience, as well as many positive reviews in every case.) This app gives customers control in setting the time and delivery date for their purchases. It’s useful in planning for gifts, as well as days when the shopper may not be home for a package she wants to receive in person. Also, the app developers say that by capturing the delivery date, it improves order efficiency. We believe this to be true. Let us know what you find with this one.
Ship Station: $9 – $145/month
For online retailers, shipping is often the biggest piece of the puzzle. Thankfully, Ship Station is an excellent solution for offering shipping estimates, aggregating orders, printing ship labels, fulfilling packages, and confirming receipt. Not only does it work with Shopify orders, but it can also integrate orders from Esty, Amazon, Ebay, and others. It can arrange pricing and logistics with a wide range of shipping companies, too, including Fedex, UPS, DHL, international shippers, and more. It also shows a range of rates and times for shipping products to customers, allowing for the preferred shipping plan with every purchase.
Sufio – Automatic Invoices: $9 – $49/month
The Sufio app is an invoice generator that speaks 20 languages. Merchants easily build their invoice template, including their store logo and social media icons. From there, Sufio creates the customer invoice based on the products brought, as well as the country of origin for the purchase. The app ensures that retailers are compliant in the countries where they sell. It will add sales tax when applicable for sales to the United States or VAT to sales to Europe as necessary. Sufio translates invoices into the buyer’s currency, too.
AfterShip Returns Center: Free
Our wish for online retailers everywhere is that they never have to deal with a return. Yet, given this impossibility, we’re so pleased that AfterShip is here. The AfterShip process begins by uploading a returns policy and instructions. Then in the event of a return, customers log in to the retailers’ Return Center, powered by AfterShip. The customer submits information about the return, including its reason, and the merchant decides whether or not to proceed. When a return is approved, the app sets up fulfillment information for the merchant and tracking information for the customer. It automates a time-consuming process — and we’re all for it.
As you can see from our overview of Shopify apps, developers are constantly creating tools to serve every ecommerce need. We’d love to talk about the full set of possibilities available for your business. If you have a need beyond something you’ve read about here, it’s very possible the solution exists within the Shopify app ecosystem. Or we can build it for you.