Using the right Shopify apps, in conjunction with a good business plan and great products, is giving you every chance to succeed in your Shopify journey.
You can increase sales, streamline customer support, and improve the customer experience by integrating apps into your store. Shopify’s app store offers thousands of apps to help you grow your business.
The problem is that there are so many options available that it can be difficult to figure out which apps will work best in your store.
No worries – we researched it for you! Here are some of the best Shopify apps you can use to grow your business.
Table of Contents
- 1. Gorgias: Customer Service
- 2. Okendo: Product Reviews
- 3. Klaviyo: Email Marketing
- 4. Glew: Data and Business Intelligence
- 5. Oberlo: Dropshipping
- 6. PushOwl: Web Push Notifications
- 7. Back in Stock: Customer Alerts
- 8. Foursixty: Shoppable Instagram and User-Generated Content
- 9. ReferralCandy: Referrals
- 10. Plug in SEO: Search Engine Optimization
- 11. Printful – Print on Demand
- 12. Aftership – Shipment Tracking
1. Gorgias: Customer Service
The customer always comes first, so it’s only right that Gorgias occupies the number-one spot in my list. I’ve used most of the big customer service platforms available, and Gorgias continues to come out on top for me.
Shopify Inbox is a great way to get up and running and offer good customer service, but Gorgias goes a little deeper into your customer service analytics and integrations.
Gorgias was founded in Paris in 2015 by Romain Lapeyre and Alex Plugaru, and it launched on Shopify in 2017. Gorgias works with online retailers of all sizes, with its sweet spot being merchants who are turning over between $100,000 and $200 million a year.
Gorgias is so simple to use and it integrates seamlessly with Shopify. You can connect to your customer service email servers and start pulling in new and old emails within minutes of set-up. There’s no need for lengthy onboarding sessions — who has time for that!
The integration with Shopify is key, and because it’s set up so well, you’re able to update Shopify orders directly from Gorgias! For example, if a customer emails you to ask for a refund or update a shipping address, you don’t need to log in to Shopify — you can perform both of these actions directly from inside Gorgias. You can even create and send a draft order from inside Gorgias, which is really powerful for a customer service agent hoping to make a sale while they’re advising a customer.
2. Okendo: Product Reviews
Okendo is the best standalone platform for product reviews that I’ve come across. It plays nicely with some of the other apps that I recommend, and it has become a staple in my Shopify tech stack.
I like Okendo because it’s super simple to get going, it’s reasonably priced and you can start generating a positive return on investment from day one. Okendo gathers product reviews from customers who’ve made a purchase, including text, photo and video reviews, all of which can be displayed on your website and turned into Google or Facebook ads.
Some of Okendo’s other features include capturing product attributes, such as comfort level and size, which can help customers make decisions that help them with their purchase decision — for example, allowing customers to leave reviews that indicate whether a pair of shoes runs small, large or true to size.
Okendo also works well with the email marketing app Klaviyo, which is another one of my favorites. You can use Okendo to gather valuable customer data that you can use to create segments in Klaviyo — or to send personal, one-to-one emails rather than generic mass mailings.
Okendo does so much more than just collect reviews, which makes it an ideal app for a Shopify store that’s ready to get serious. By adding Okendo to your Shopify store, you can create a pretty slick on-site experience that helps lift your conversion rate.
3. Klaviyo: Email Marketing
Email is one of the most profitable marketing channels for an online business. Klaviyo is an email marketing platform that is used to send marketing emails and automations, such as abandoned cart emails. Klaviyo stores all your customer data, using it to send better, more personal forms of communication — as opposed to sending all customers the same marketing content.
Klaviyo has taken online retail by storm in the last five years or so, particularly for Shopify merchants. It is easy to set up, so you can send great emails without the need for expensive expert designers or marketers — it’s what I call a DIY platform because it’s so easy to use. Klaviyo gets to know your customers’ past behaviors, and it applies this knowledge to show them the products or categories they’re most interested in across your marketing emails and SMS messages.
The beauty of Klaviyo is that it offers highly sophisticated personalization, which is so popular in ecommerce these days. For example, if I visit a site and sign up to its newsletter because I love that site’s sneakers, then I don’t want to see emails that keep sending me baseball caps — I want to see the sneakers that I like. Showing me the sneakers that I like is simply going to increase the chances that I will make a purchase.
Klaviyo not only integrates with Shopify, but also with a number of other great apps, including some of the others in my top ten, such as Okendo and Gorgias. When you start working with apps that all ‘talk’ to each other, it forms a really nice tech stack and can unlock extra features and benefits, such as being able to pull customer order data from Gorgias into Klaviyo.
Klaviyo’s pricing scales up depending on your email list size, so as your subscriber numbers increase, your Klaviyo fee increases.
4. Glew: Data and Business Intelligence
I’ve put Glew in my top ten because I use it almost every single day. Glew is a BI (business intelligence) platform that brings your business data together in one beautifully clean user interface. Glew has made sophisticated BI accessible to everyone, including ecommerce start-ups.
Data is useful when it’s used to provide actionable insights, and Glew does exactly that. For example, Glew can provide information for your marketing campaigns by segmenting out different groups of customers, from high spenders to customer who shop sale items, or customers who have lapsed to those about to lapse.
If you’re ever preparing to acquire investors for your business, or even to sell it, Glew is a valuable source of the typical data that investors look for. Taking the time to learn how to use Glew’s features is going to hold your business in good stead when it comes to knowing your numbers inside out.
Pricing starts on a free account, which gives you 20 key metrics — perfect for a beginner who’s eager to develop their analytical skills. You can scale up from there to other plans, but the Starter plan is a great tool to add to your ecommerce armory from day one.
5. Oberlo: Dropshipping
Oberlo is strictly an app for dropshippers. Creating a dropshipping online store in Shopify is a great, low-risk way of cutting your teeth in ecommerce.
When I first used Oberlo it blew my mind. Owned by Shopify, Oberlo is an app that bolts on to your Shopify store and allows you to add products from AliExpress directly into your Shopify store at the click of a button — it even imports product descriptions, images and prices.
You can edit the product descriptions to better match your brand or tone of voice, as well as set pricing rules — for example, you might add 20 per cent to the AliExpress price so that the price adjusts automatically to a 20 per cent profit margin.
You can even round the pricing to the nearest dollar, or manually change it if you think some products may attract more or less than 20 per cent on top of the cost price.
Using Oberlo serves as a great way to familiarize yourself with the basics of an online store without having to spend any money on inventory.
If you think dropshipping is a path you might like to take, I recommend Oberlo as a great tool to streamline the entire process. Pricing starts with a free plan, and there’s a great browser extension for Chrome users that allows you to identify products in AliExpress and quickly add them to your Shopify store.
6. PushOwl: Web Push Notifications
Web push notifications are those little marketing boxes that appear when you’re using your mobile device that remind you of sales, new arrivals and general news from your favorite brands. With over 1,800 reviews in the Shopify App Store, web push notifications app PushOwl is a marketing gem and I love it — so do other customers, it seems, as it has a rare five-star rating.
PushOwl works across desktop and mobile and can be used to promote new arrivals, promotions or flash sales, or even abandoned cart reminders. You can also send tracking updates, ‘back in stock’ alerts and discount codes via web push notifications.
In my experience, PushOwl subscribers grow at a faster rate than email subscribers because, by default, many users tend to accept web push notifications as it just relies on the click of a button — there’s no email address or phone number required.
Your message tends to cut straight to the user, bypassing any spam filters your email marketing may encounter. Don’t abuse the trust though — I advise using apps like PushOwl sparingly, such as for back in stock, sale and new arrival notifications. Over-sending can be a little intrusive.
PushOwl has a clean dashboard that reports clearly on revenue you’ve made, and I always see it generate a positive return — especially on the free plan! Plans scale in an affordable manner as your subscribers grow, so you only pay more when your success increases.
PushOwl is available in the Shopify App Store, or find out more at pushowl.com.
7. Back in Stock: Customer Alerts
The purpose of a back in stock app is to allow customers to enter their email or phone number under a sold-out product so they can be notified when that item comes back into stock. On popular out of stock products, I have seen some companies make tens of thousands of dollars in one day using this app. You can try several different back in stock apps through Shopify, but the one I recommend is simply called Back in Stock: Customer Alerts.
Back in Stock: Customer Alerts works at the variant level, so even if only one size or color of a pair of jeans has sold out and the other sizes and colors are still in stock, a customer can sign up to be notified when the variant they want (the size or color, for example) is back in stock.
Back in Stock: Customer Alerts integrates with Klaviyo, so you can design your ‘back in stock’ emails to look like the rest of your email marketing. You can also create Facebook Ads to notify customers when an item is back in stock.
This app is super simple to set up and use and is a guaranteed money-maker if you’re constantly selling out of great products. Like most of the apps I am including, it has a free plan and then scales up as you grow the number of notifications you need to send.
Find the Back in Stock: Customer Alerts app in the Shopify App Store.
8. Foursixty: Shoppable Instagram and User-Generated Content
There’s a fair chance you’re going to use Instagram to promote your business, and invite influencers to use or wear your products. Or, if you love what your customers are doing with your products, you might want to encourage them to share their images on Instagram. Foursixty is a nifty app that allows you to import such images to your website.
Foursixty turns your Instagram posts and user-generated content into collections in your store that a customer can click on and buy. I think Foursixty is a great low-cost investment that can help drive conversions and sales even in the early days, plus it helps you create content without having to spend big money on photographers and models, making it a good start-up tool.
An added bonus of Foursixty is that it allows you to track influencers who are posting your products, so you can see which influencer is driving the most engagement. You can also see which customers or influencers are organically posting about you, which allows you to reach out to them to ask about establishing a partnership.
Foursixty integrates with many other useful apps, including two of my favorites, Okendo (so you can combine Instagram content with customer reviews) and Klaviyo (which allows you to use user-generated content and your Instagram feed in emails).
Foursixty is a must if your store trades in fashion, beauty or similar creative products.
9. ReferralCandy: Referrals
In your early days as an ecommerce entrepreneur, unless you’re taking on capital investment, there’s a good chance you’re boot-strapping your business, so you need to watch every penny and spend your money on areas where you’re going to get good bang for your buck. Referrals are as old as time, and a great, cheap way to get more customers.
ReferralCandy allows you to create a referral program for your store’s customers, who are rewarded with cash, discounts or custom gifts — which as you can imagine is a powerful incentive to make a referral. ReferralCandy allows you to nudge your loyal customers to refer your brand at various points throughout their user experience journey.
To push the program’s success, you can offer both the referrer and the person being referred an incentive, such as ‘$10 for you, $10 for them’, so both parties get something out of the exchange.
ReferralCandy is extremely low maintenance. Most of the work is done for you via automations and sequences. You can also clearly track your referrals and how much revenue they’ve made for you.
ReferralCandy integrates easily with Shopify and can be found at referralcandy.com or in the Shopify App Store. It offers an initial free trial before you commit to a monthly plan.
10. Plug in SEO: Search Engine Optimization
Eventually, you’ll want your organic (free) traffic to take over from your paid media (in terms of where your traffic is coming from), which is going to make your business more profitable.
Using a search engine optimization (SEO) agency or contractor can cost anywhere from $500 a month to $20,000 a month, depending on what is involved and the size of your business. So, anything you can do to keep SEO in-house when you’re starting out is a good thing, as it’s money kept in your pocket to invest in other things, such as a wider product range.
The Plug in SEO app is made by the same people as the Back in Stock: Customer Alerts app, and I like it because it’s easy to use, it’s affordable and it works.
Plug in SEO makes many of your SEO-related tasks a whole lot easier. For example, it offers you templates for editing meta titles and descriptions in bulk and it detects broken links. It even has a keyword suggestion tool, which is great for your new store.
Plug in SEO has great customer support, which comes in handy with SEO as it is a pretty technical job. It provides great training videos to help you get started, and it’s automating a lot of the work that an agency would charge you for — in fact, many SEO agencies use Plug in SEO!
Plug in SEO is available in the Shopify App Store. It has a free plan and an affordable monthly paid plan.
11. Printful – Print on Demand
If you want to sell things that have specific designs on them, then Printful is the app for you. When an order comes through your store, it will be sent to Printful which will then print-on-demand patterns or designs for bags, posters, mugs, clothes and almost any other thing you can think of.
If you’re lacking in ideas, make the most of their design team who can help create incredible designs. After they have printed the design on the object you are selling, they will then send it to your customers. This means you don’t need to hold any inventory or handle shipping as Printful will do it all for you.
Printful charges you only when an order comes in. The order is filled and sent to your customer under your brand name (they will never know it came from Printful).
12. Aftership – Shipment Tracking
AfterShip provides shipment tracking for eCommerce businesses. Over 900 couriers are partnered with it, including UPS, USPS, DHL, FedEx, Blue Dart, TNT, China Post, and others.
Using AfterShip, online retailers can connect their Shopify store to AfterShip, import orders, and track orders in real-time. They can insert the Track order with AfterShip button to the Shopify order confirmation page. After that, the auto-carrier detection tool will take care of the rest.
With real-time tracking updates from couriers, you can resolve delivery issues faster and alert the customers proactively.
You can keep customers up to date with automated delivery notifications via email, SMS, or Facebook Messenger.