By Daniel Jones, Shifties Contributor and Founder of RUNESILK.
Seven Shopify Apps to Use When Building an eCommerce Store
I have played with most of the well-known eCommerce platform providers, and to date, I still find Shopify the most user-friendly solutions. Whenever I have a product-based business, Shopify is always my first choice to build an online store. It is suitable for those with one product (or a single line of products) and those with multiple collections of items to build easy-to-use and beautifully designed stored straight out of the box. However, you will want to pull in some of the add-ons from the Shopify apps store to enhance your own user experience and help facilitate growth. I have created a list of seven apps I add as a minimum requirement before building my stores.
The speed of your online store will affect the users’ experience. A webpage should load in under four seconds to provide the best experience. One way to help improve loading time is to compress the images used on your store. One of the Shopify apps that I have found that is worth it’s weight in gold in terms of time saving is the Photo Resize app.
Photo resize offers a pay as you go solution that costs just $0.05 per image and takes only a couple of minutes to complete. If you have 100 photos that need to be resized, it will only cost you a $5 one-off fee and save you hours spent editing and re-uploading the images.
Shop Sync and MailChimp
If, like so many, you use Mailchimp for your email automation; you will need to add the Shop Sync app, which will link your Shopify store to MailChimp, which will allow you to pull through product data to feature in automation journeys.
What I love about using MailChimp, is the ability to customise the abandoned cart emails and also the order emails. Customising the order emails to include links to other products from your store can help upsell other products.
Shoppers love to read reviews before making purchases. If you have products within your primary collection of products that don’t have reviews – this should be at the top of your to-do list.
This provides a way for your customers to give you their feedback and use social proof to encourage other customers to purchase from your store. Plus, the content published in customer reviews can also help SEO for your online store.
You can use Yotpo for free for up to 50 sales per month. This means that after 50 emails have been sent to customers post-purchase, it will no longer send review requests until the following month.
PageFly is one of the Shopify Apps that I use most out of the list because I use it to build landing pages for product promotions. If you can’t find a theme that gives you all the functionality and design you are looking for, try using PageFly. Like the WordPress editor Elementor, it gives you the freedom to design product pages, collections, blogs, individual pages and your home page. The free version is great to play around with. However, you don’t get a large page build allowance, great if you have one product, not so much if you have many. But if you want to design landing pages and bespoke product pages, this is a fantastic app.
Shopify Local Delivery
The Local Delivery channel was advantageous during the early stages of lockdown. We could laser-focus on our local markets and offer a free local delivery service, which was an excellent way for us to expand our brand awareness within our local community.
Consumer trends show that more people bought online and had it delivered locally during the first three months of the pandemic than ever before.
You can choose your delivery area and price in your Shopify admin. Customers in your chosen area can choose local delivery during checkout. Shopify Local Delivery helps you manage the process by providing optimised routes, automated push notifications, and order status updates. All delivery stops show up in a list on the app. After a delivery is completed, the upcoming stops get moved to the top of the list.
Affiliate marketing (sometimes called referral marketing or influencer marketing) is a sales and marketing strategy where you, the merchant or store owner, encourage your customers, media partners, and brand advocates to refer new business to you in exchange for a reward when that referral leads to a sale. We have started to build out our army of affiliates which allows our supporters to offer a 10% discount and earn 5% commission on all sales referred. There a re a number of Shopify apps you can choose to help run your affiliate programs, I have always found Kickbooster to be one of the easiest in terms of set-up and for facilitating automatic commission payments.
The Social Channels
If you are selling online and have social accounts such as Facebook and Instagram – you must install the social sales channels. This allows you to pull your products directly into social feeds so promote and sell via social media. More recently, TikTok has now been added to make advertising on the channel easier.
You can customise the way you layout products and also tag products within social posts. If you are launching a new product to the market, you should take a look at last week’s post on Building a Product Launch Marketing Plan.
If you register a new TikTok Ads Manager account, you’ll get 80 GBP ad credit once you’ve spent 20 GBP on your ads. So worth having a play with, right?
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