Currently, Shopify is the best opportunity to start own business on the Internet — the platform provides numerous tools for customizing and optimization of your web-store. But, which ones are the best? We asked experienced experts about the most efficient and useful software integrations for Shopify online store.
Efficient and comfortable Shopify
After asking dozens of Shopify experts, we concluded — built-in platform extensions are not the limit for convenient online store customization. On the average, each Shopify wizard uses about 5-10 plugins. Standard applications provide various customer-oriented functions, like customer reviews, product search recommendations, and various loyalty programs. But for the desired result, Shopify store owner must use external, third-party extensions, that expand trading opportunities, enhance interface and optimize customers service.
All Shopify extensions are divided into 7 main categories. Let’s inspect them more closely.
Precise analytics provide store owners with detailed data about sells, customers, conversion, etc. It allows businessmen to take more suspended and complex decisions. Some information could be found on the “almost free” Google Analytics and Google Tag Manager — for, nearly, 10$ per month, you receive complex information with graphs and tables.
The most difficult task for newer in e-commerce is to attract more visitors to the site. Once customers already there — some percent will convert to direct sales. Even taking into account tools for email marketing and some specialized plugins — for example, cart abandonment plugins, that inform customers about forgotten goods in the online shopping cart — all start from the traffic. Google Analytics provides shop owners with detailed and convenient data that could be used as the main indicator of your shop’s popularity. It will not show you exact points, where your business decisions were made wrong, but you will inspect the complex efficiency of your store’ promotion.
Sellers can find Google Analytics tool in the preferences tab via the shop’s interface. It doesn’t need any special plugins for it — just a registered Google Analytics account. After that, just enable Enhanced ECommerce feature in the account to receive more detailed data. This information allows you to review your marketing decisions and concentrate on the most efficient promotion channels for your web-shop.
Also, modern analytical tools allow you to see how customers interact with the store, which leads to a deeper understanding of the most decisive promotion mechanisms and even the placement of interface elements on your site. Google Analytics starts working immediately after integration with the shop page, so it’s recommended that you inspect the first results and reliable information regarding customer actions, attendance, and conversion, in about a week. For a week, the information will take averaged values and clearly demonstrate the involvement of the audience and the conversion into direct sales.
Automating online store operations is a key feature on the road to commercial success. In this section, you can see event-based extensions that automate the operation of the web-shop in the most functional areas — for example, processing incoming orders, upgrading prices, etc. There are also a plenty of other applications that add completely new options to the store page.
For example, the Oberlo application adds automated shipping functions, related directly to AliExpress, to the interface. All orders pass through almost instantly, also the application automatically updates inventory and price lists. Oberlo settings provide even more functions — the application can fulfill‘ personal orders and inform the shop’s owner with detailed sales analytics.
Sales funnel — these are all the steps that a customer takes from the moment they hit the site to the time of purchase. Recently, the sales funnel was a feature of separate online store sites, but with the development of commercial platforms such as Shopify, store owners received wide options for customer tracking on the site, increasing the chance of a successful sale.
Such Sales Funnel applications, as Product Upsell, allow you to accompany the customer on the way to purchase, offering him to view the best-selling goods or those with discounts. Integration into the online store is very fast — the application works only on several scripts that do not overload the page. The application pushes customers to buy, constantly offering goods at a discount or free shipping when the buyer is on the site.
Facebook Messenger application allows you to view a range of proposed goods directly from your Facebook page. The store owner simply adds the application to the list of sales channels and his customers will be able to contact him or even place a purchase right away through his page on the social network. Considering that a Facebook advertising click is incommensurably less than paying for active advertising in search engines, the application not only provides a stable connection with the audience of customers but also saves money on promoting and advertising your online store.
Another convenient way to extend the functionality of your online store is the Digital Downloads application. If any goods and services, provided by your online shop, need an additional dropbox content, Digital Downloads allows free download it. Guides, schemes, usage tutorials could be added to a product page.
Another type of extensions that have a positive effect on the functionality of the store is various site search optimizers. The Swifttype Search application allows you to customize the search and navigation options for your online store website. Application options include functions such as auto-filling of search forms, the order of displaying results, and the application interface is very convenient for use by both online store owners and customers.
Work with reviews is one of the most important components of a good online store. Product reviews give more information for new clients. A positive feedback on the store’s operation or the quality of the product significantly affects the number of new clients on the site.
Applications for working with audience reviews, such as Yotpo Social Reviews, provide you with options to track feedback from your customers and show detailed analytics of the impact of feedback on site visits and conversion. Additionally, the application allows you to moderate reviews and significantly expands the tools available to customers — for example, customers can post video or photo reviews. Overall, this is an excellent application for working with reviews, including various SEO tools to promote your online store.
Shopify management tools are optimized especially for customers convenience and further development of each store. These tools allow you to customize the interface so that it is easier for buyers to find the necessary goods or services on your website. Also, most applications are optimized based on server load, which speeds up page loading and synchronization of the interface functions of the online store.
Shopify App Store applications, such as the theme editor or source code editors, make your page attractive and convenient for customers without the need to integrate cumbersome extensions, which slows down the loading of information in the browser.
Email marketing divided into two main types:
- Transaction emails. Provides information about purchases.
- Nurturing emails. Provides data about sales or special deals to keep clients informed in interesting offers of your shop.
Email marketing plugins extend audience engagement as they keep your customers updated with all promotions and special offers. In addition, the mailing reminds customers of purchases and provides chain-bullets for sales — so, having bought one product on your website, the customer will receive a notification of a discount on the next purchase or promotional code for participation in the promotion. This increases customer interest in regular purchases in your store. Also, modern tools of email marketing include tools for promotion in social networks — you can automate the process of posting on the public pages of your store, and given the number of potential customers in social networks, such extensions provide a steady influx of new customers and retention of old ones.
One of the most popular plugin — MailChimp — allows the store owner to fully edit email-marketing tools, edit the source code, and create real presentation letters. Also, the application provides detailed information about the target audience and the conversion of mailings. Integrating the application into a Shopify will allow you to track past customer purchases in order to offer them similar products in the future. The application has a huge number of flexible settings that optimize and automate processes such as greeting new users on the site and emailing to customers who have not visited your site for a certain time.
The application integrates quickly and easily. As a result, you get excellent chances to return some of the past customers and create a truly effective marketing campaign, including not only email distribution, but also thematic posts in the social networks, segmentation of customer base, and automation of an individual approach that is so pleasant for customers.
Your online store will never be as successful as Amazon. At the same time, an effective and personalized approach to customers can raise your seller rating to the top of the Shopify platform, bringing commercial success. One of the keys to achieving this goal is loyalty programs that significantly increase the chances of a repeat purchase.
One such application is Smile.io. After a quick and easy installation, the application integrates the most effective strategy for loyalty programs, ensuring you a high percentage of repeat purchases.
LoyaltyLion provides wide options for approaching loyalty programs based on bonus points. Each customer can choose, how many bonuses he need to spend to get a discount on a particular purchase. This feature allows shop owners to get more repeat purchases and even if they cannot present the best prices — they always can provide a discount for a second or any following purchase, which is very pleasurable for clients. Clients will always know, that will have a discount if they will buy goods and services exactly from your online shop.
“Suit up” your Shopify online store
Given the number of applications available in the Shopify App Store, you have almost unlimited possibilities to customize the page of your online store. If you have already opened your store, then you will definitely need at least an analyst of your commercial activities and store promotion channels. Infographics can tell you where your decisions brought the most profit and were the most effective, and what changes led to a drop in page attendance.
Even equipped with modern applications and extensions to maximize the optimization of the online store, you still need to carry out a phased upgrade. Immediately take on all aspects of the store is not worth it, even with the most innovative applications to automate certain functions, you can get confused in the variety of options for setting up the interface and options for your page.