The 10 Shopify apps you should be using in your online store

One of the great things about using Shopify as a shopping cart is the huge range of plugins to choose from. Depending which way you look at it, this can be a blessing or a curse, so this guide should give you a quick list of must have apps and how they can help you boost your online sales.

The shopify app store has hundreds of apps, with more being added regularly. Whether you‘re looking to increase sales, manage your inventory better, connect to third party software or just have a cooler looking store – as the saying goes ‘there’s an app for that’.

Here’s 10 shopify apps I’m currently in my online store using and how they’ve helped my business.

Yotpo Social Reviewshttp://apps.shopify.com/yotpo-social-reviews

Reviews are one of the most important thing shoppers look for when deciding whether to make a purchase. They help to build trust, show that your product is quality (hopefully it is), and most of all build elements of social proof around your business and products .

Yotpo take all the hassle out of generating customer reviews, by emailing your customers after they’ve made a purchase, and asks nicely for a review. You can customise everything from the email design, the text, to how many days after purchase you want to ask for a review. You can also include a coupon to further entice a review. It then sends out the reviews to your social channels which helps create more social proof around your products.

Yotpo also includes an analytics dashboard so you can see if it’s bringing in any traffic, and generating any revenue from that traffic.

It also adds the review star ratings under your products, showing customers your star ratings just as the customers are deciding whether to purchase or not – Awesome! The app is free for most features, but for $10/month you can enable the rich snippets feature – which shows your 5 star ratings in the google search results – totally worth it if you rely on google for search traffic.

Hello Barhttp://apps.shopify.com/the-hello-bar

You’ve probably seen hello bar around the web. It’s a simple plugin that enables you  to add a customisable bar at the top of you website. You can advertise your current specials, your shipping rates, just a friendly message or anything really. Hello bar is free for up to 20 click throughs per month.

Olarkhttp://apps.shopify.com/olark-live-chat-cartsaver

Live chat for websites is popping up more and more lately – with good reason. Anything you can do to let your customers know that they are dealing with real people and not just a webpage helps to build trust and will create more sales. Olark is a live chat support plugin that enables your customers to chat directly with you or your team while they are browsing your store.

Being able to respond straight away to customer queries is also a great way to separate yourself from competitors, show that you care, address any concerns the customer has before purchasing and gives extra confidence that you will deliver on what you say.

The plugin is customisable to suit your store’s design and also lets customers leave a message if you are not online. My favourite feature of Olark however is the detailed visitor information it gives you. So you can be notified when someone has added to their cart, how they found your site and where they are located.

Olark is free for up to 20 chats/month and then starts at $15 for the basic plan.

Contact Form http://apps.shopify.com/contact-form

If you don’t plan to offer live chat support, then Contact Form is a good alternative. It’s a basic app that creates a pop-up tab on your site, and allows visitors to leave you a message that gets sent straight to your inbox. It costs $14 once off, however there are alternatives but I haven’t found any that look as nice.

Chimpifiedhttp://apps.shopify.com/chimpified

If you are selling online then you should be doing some form of email marketing. Whether it’s sending abandoned cart emails, special offers or just regular newsletters. Chimpified integrates with Mailchimp and automatically adds your customers to your email marketing lists inside mailchimp. The app is free and so is mailchimp for the smaller plans.

Retail Towerhttp://apps.shopify.com/retailtower

If you’ve ever had to format a data feed manually then Retail Tower will save you a lot of time.

Retail Tower generates data feeds for all your products for the popular shopping comparison websites – Myshopping.com.au, shopbot.com.au, getprice.com.au as well as google shopping so you can get your products more visibility around the web. The app itself is free, however various shopping comparison websites charge a small fee for any traffic they send you.

Happy Endinghttp://apps.shopify.com/happy-ending

Who doesn’t enjoy a happy ending? And it shouldn’t be any different for your valued customers as they are leaving your site. Happy ending creates customisable templates after your checkout page, that can direct them to your facebook or google plus profiles or even share their purchase on twitter. It’s a good time to get them to involved in your community while their purchase is still fresh in their mind. Happy Ending costs $6/month.

Wholesaler http://apps.shopify.com/wholesaler

If you plan to sell wholesale as well as direct to customers, then Wholesaler is a great plugin for this. It creates a wholesale registration page and lets you offer different levels of pricing to your wholesale customers, without showing your regular customers.

Refersionhttp://apps.shopify.com/refersion

Refersion is an awesome app makes it super easy for any Shopify store to run their own affiliate program. It creates your own landing page for your store, with the affiliate program details and allows publishers to signup in order to promote your products. Every part of the affiliate program is customisable and you can set the commission  given, choose between a % or a Dollar amount and even the length of the cookies.

Refersion handles all the payments, which are done through paypal. You just decide when to pay your affiliates and release the payments. The price is right – with a free plan to get you started.

Refferal Candyhttp://apps.shopify.com/referralcandy

I’ve just started using refferal candy, so haven’t gotten results from it yet. But I can see it’s potential, particularly if you’re products are popular on social media and something people would share. Refferal Candy essentially allows any customer to be an affiliate for your shop. They don’t need a website or email list. Once they make a purchase they are given the option to share their purchase on social media, and give a discount to their friends. For any one of their friends that makes a purchase, they get a bonus. Either a coupon for your store, or cold hard cash in their paypal account.

You can set the exact payout amounts however you like. So you need to know exactly how much a new customer is worth to you. Also keep in mind enticing customers by offering discounts upfront may not mean they are as valuable as a regular customer over the longterm.

Know any more great shopify apps? Leave a comment below!