This article was originally published on February 3, 2020. It has been updated as of August 27, 2020.
If you’re anything like us, you’re constantly listening to podcasts, reading articles on best practices and just trying to learn more so you can grow more.
Recently, we listened to an episode of the Unofficial Shopify Podcast where host Kurt Elster and guest Paul Reda discussed some of the top “must-have” Shopify apps available. We’ve heard of most of the apps Kurt and Paul listed but wanted to dive deeper into each of them.
We also knew many listeners most likely felt the same, so we’re laying out each of the must-have Shopify apps here and expanding upon what makes them must-have.
Before we dive in, we should say “must-have” is a pretty subjective term. Both Elster and Reda seem to agree as well in the podcast. When we say must-have, we mean if you’ve already started your Shopify store and want to improve your website, you could use these apps to help you.
We should also mention a key point that Elster and Reda touched on as well. Adding an app to your Shopify store doesn’t necessarily mean you’ll automatically improve your sales and customer experience. Be cautious spending extra money on apps if your store is struggling.
If you own an ecommerce store, there are a few store features your online store can highly benefit from. You’ll need email integration to keep in contact with your customers, a reviews section so visitors and potential customers can do their own research on your product, and exit-intent popups so you can get feedback on how to improve your site experience.
Now that we’ve laid out all the disclaimers, let’s dive into 7 mostly free, must-have Shopify apps for your Shopify store.
Must-Have Shopify Apps According to the Unofficial Shopify Podcast
We use Klaviyo here at Brandable Box and we agree with this app choice. The Pew Research Center shows that 92% of adults in the United States use email. So the chances are your customers use email.
As a business, it’s vital that you make use of this channel to communicate with your customers. When you order something off Amazon or any other online store, what do you use to keep track of your order? Most likely, you get an email when your order has been processed and when your order has shipped. Make sure you extend this courtesy to your customers who shop on your Shopify store.
We use Klaviyo because it integrates with our Shopify store. While the Klaviyo app is free to install on Shopify, Klaviyo does charge monthly for their services depending on the size of your email list.
With the Klaviyo app on Shopify, you can sync your Shopify customer list with your contact list. You can also create sign-up and exit-intent popup forms in Klaviyo that you can then publish to your Shopify store. These forms play a large part in helping you understand what your customers are looking for and what you can improve on your site.
Judge.me Product Reviews
Judge.me allows you to collect reviews from your customers and display them on your online store. The app is free to download and a free plan is available. A paid plan is also available if you’d like to upgrade your reviews.
Why are reviews so important? An economics and business survey found that 85% of participants read reviews before making a purchase online.
We have to agree with some of the buzz words used in Judge.me’s app description. Phrases like “social proof” and “user-generated content” sound like jargon and lingo, but they carry weight for your online store. The best copy-writing in the world can draw your customers in and keep them on your store. But before they click that checkout button, they’ll want to know if they are getting the best bang for their buck. Customers are looking for why they should trust your company. Reviews are proof that customers have purchased from you and received the amazing product you wrote about.
You can also save time on singing your own praises. Let your customers do that for you through reviews.
Shopify does well in backing up your store’s data, but if a product is accidentally removed from your store, it’s not the easiest to get it back. Rewind Backups allows you to simply click an undo button, instantly bringing back that accidentally deleted product or page.
With Rewind, you can back up your products and images, customers, website pages, blog posts, themes and even customer-saved searches.
Rewind is great for your peace-of-mind. You can be confident that your store’s data and is backed up for those accidental moments that can happen out of nowhere. The app starts at $3 per month and comes with a seven-day free trial.
If your online store or company is new, popups are a great way to get feedback from your customers. You can configure the settings of your popup form to only show up on certain pages, or only when a user takes a certain action on your page.
Use popups to reduce the number of people who leave items in their cart and don’t return, also known as cart abandonment. You can also grab customer emails so you can keep them up to date on your latest deals and news.
Shopify’s popup apps include:
We have used Privy ourselves and appreciate that it integrates with Klaviyo, the email app we mentioned above, among other popular services like Mailchimp, Bronto and more. Other things to note about Privy is that it includes fun, attention-grabbing popup options like spin-to-win wheels, scroll boxes and announcement bars.
Privy makes it easy for users who don’t know how to code, and you can target your popups based on specific parameters like device type, cart value, country and even specific products in the cart.
Like Privy, Justuno allows for detailed segmentation so you can customize your notifications for each part of your audience.
Justuno also uses AI to help you cross-sell or upsell products based on specific items in your customers’ carts. Justuno integrates with Klaviyo, Mailchimp, Wordpress, Hubspot and more.
What we like about OptiMonk is that it integrates with Facebook Messenger, which is also another app you can add to your Shopify store. OptiMonk allows you to sync up customers who are on your Facebook page. You can send them deals and sales through Messenger, which ultimately helps with social sharing.
OptiMonk also allows for automatic code redeeming, so your customer just has to click the popup for your code to apply to their cart.
And there you have it! A list of Shopify apps professionals Kurt Elster and Paul Reda recommend for your Shopify store.
We have two more bonus apps to add to this must-have Shopify app list.
Easy Google Shopping Feed Content
Listing products, however, is not enough to be successful in Google Shopping. To be successful in Google Shopping and Google Ads, Your feed should follow best practices. AdNabu's Easy Google Shopping Feed App has product scores out of 100 for each product, which helps you improve the product performance in Google Shopping. This product score is based on multiple attributes available in Google Merchant Center and also help you do better in SEO.
Free Traffic & Ads by sixads
We love emerging technologies, especially when they equip small- and mid-size merchants with actionable marketing features. And that's why Sixads is a must-have free app for any Shopify store. It invites you to join their ad exchange program and start showing your ads on partner stores, and vice versa. Your ads are shown to a specific user willing to buy a product like yours – a clear win-win. They also have paid plans that let you stop showing partner ads on your page, get more impressions, and achieve better returns on marketing investments.
Another important marketing feature in Sixads is its automated AI-backed ad campaigns. After being set up in a few clicks, Sixads runs your targeted ads on Facebook, Google, or Instagram. The tool has a proven 5-star track record, with more than 60000 of happy merchants.