From dropship to upselling apps, Shopify has a range of plugins that can help optimise the overall shopping experience. It’s this versatility and universality that has led 377,500 merchants to choose Shopify as the ecommerce platform for their online business.
Whilst these plugins are all programmed to maximise Shopify’s efficiency, not all are suitable for everyone, so it’s important to know which are the ultimate Shopify plugins for your burgeoning ecommerce business.
That being said, there are some really solid Shopify plugins that every online business should consider. In this article for pickaweb, I want to look at five that every merchant should use.
What is a Shopify Plugin?
Plugins are online tools built to broaden the functionality of a Shopify store. From handling the accounting to automating the shipping process, plugins offer a wide array of solutions that help merchants scale up, sell more and do it all with more efficiency and simplicity.
Typically, plugins for Shopify are downloaded from the ecommerce platform’s app store and are installed into a shop’s page. The installation is straightforward as well and will only take a few minutes. And although there are a few apps that require payment (especially premium ones) most plugins are free to utilise.
#1 – Oberlo
Oberlo is a drop-shipping app created to help out sellers who don’t have a direct supplier and established inventory management. One of the downsides of the dropshipping model is that it can be difficult to find credible and trustworthy suppliers.
It serves as a digital marketplace for everything, from electronics to clothes, beauty products to toys, where merchants can easily locate, buy and sell any product in the app’s huge database of suppliers. Using Oberlo, merchants can access and purchase a wide variety of goods and ship it directly to their customers.
Oberlo’s functionality can be broken down into four distinct stages:
- The merchant browses Oberlo’s database for products and can then add them to their own store.
- The customers browse Oberlo’s products and orders and pays for it using the merchant’s own checkout process.
- The merchant then places an order for the requested goods with the supplier.
- The supplier will then send the product directly to the buyer.
Oberlo has a list of verified suppliers who meet certain criteria, including a 95% success rate when it comes to shipping orders on time and warehouses checked by Oberlo themselves. These suppliers are also 100% dedicated to the dropshipping model, meaning they won’t be trying to promote their own businesses to your customers in any way. There are currently 10 suppliers on this list, but this list is set to grow.
#2 – Plug in SEO
The foundation of any successful online store is how well you can rank in the search engine results pages on target search terms. Having a search engine optimisation or SEO strategy is an absolute must then. Whilst no app can be a substitute for the expert advice of an agency, Plug in SEO does get you onto a solid footing, allowing you to check and analyse your Shopify store’s SEO data.
Plug in SEO, is a free app which helps ensure that every merchant knows what’s happening within their digital store. Once installed, it will automatically scan the shop’s content and verify and analyse for any improvements. The app will look at page loading time, article structure, page titles, meta descriptions, headings, as well as the newness of content. After that, it will notify the seller of all the essential information or problems obtained from the site.
Plug in SEO also offers regular email notifications and can be incorporated with Bing, Google, Locksmith and Langify.
#3 – Wishlist
Targeted sales and promotions are impossible without a clear understanding of what your market wants and doing that requires thorough research and evaluation. Wishlist Pro provides a section to your ecommerce site where customers can add any product they like to a wishlist, which they can access anytime they log back in.
Using the provided dashboard, merchants can then observe and determine what their customers want, as well as what they’re already buying, allowing them to create promotions and intelligent marketing campaigns based on this data. Wishlist doesn’t just improve UX for the customer but also your conversion rate, with Metrilo claiming that sales grow by 19.3% after the plugin is added.
Wishlist also sends reminders and notifications for back-in-stock products and wishlist items that are on sale and allows customers to share their want-list to other online platforms.
#4 – Refferalcandy
Word of mouth is still an effective marketing strategy even in today’s digital age. Refferalcandy is an automated referral program where customers receive an email automatically reminding them to share a link of a product they’ve just bought. By then sharing on social media sites— facebook, twitter, instagram—customers will then receive a reward from the merchant as compensation. And just like the traditional word-of-mouth marketing, Referralcandy helps to generate and boost sales.
#5 – Social Photos
Socialphotos is a social proof app that allows sellers to collate customers’ product photos into one gallery and display it on their websites. Using a hashtag or a website widget, the plugin can pull in pictures across various social platforms, all in real time.
Socialphotos lets you choose how to display the photos as well. If you want to present all images on the storefront, you can opt the product gallery option but if you’re going to display it only on your page, then tick the gallery option.
Each picture can be linked to a product page of your choice as well, making it easier for your shoppers to explore the website and see pictures of other customers enjoying their products, helping drive up conversion rates. It also has multifaceted analytics which tracks and records your social media performance and provides insights to help you improve your online marketing.
As Shopify continues to dominate the ecommerce industry, optimising your online shopping experience is crucial if you are to dominate search engine results, create the ultimate user experience and attract new customers. Utilising the best plugins is a crucial piece of the puzzle.
From automated review sharing to accounting, Shopify plugins provide numerous solutions to perennial problems for ecommerce businesses. Whether you are a startup or an established bricks and mortar business that has just set up your Shopify store, it’s well worth