Shopify has come a long way since its humble beginnings nine years ago. Shopify now boasts over 100,000 stores across the world as well as in-store payment capabilities to fuse your brick and mortar store with the power and flexibility of Shopify's online platform.
If you're taking the entrepreneurial plunge into running an e-commerce store solo, Shopify is a wise choice. Shopify's platform has lots of built-in features to handle inventory management, SEO, tracking and lots more. It also offers code-level access to fully customize your design or simply choose from a marketplace full of templates.
When you start running your store and you encounter a feature that just isn't as powerful as you need it to be, that's when Shopify's real power comes into play. Shopify has a large app store with over 200 apps to handle everything from billing and accounting to marketing automation.
All of these apps can help make running your e-commerce store easier as well as help increase your revenues with recommendation engines and upselling.
The best part of these apps is that most are free to get started with. As for the ones you do pay for, they are usually direct revenue attributors, and you can justify their cost almost immediately.
Now, say you're about to launch your first Shopify e-commerce store. Before you click the launch button and sit back to watch the money roll in, you need to setup your plugins to automate the process that would otherwise kill tons of your precious time.
We've searched high and low to bring you seven Shopify plugins that will super charge your e-commerce store for launch day.
7 Shopify Plugins to Keep You Organized & Save Time
1. Vantage Analytics — Keeping Your Data & Numbers In Check
Vantage Analytics is the ultimate numbers and data tool. Not only does it take your store data and display it nicely, it also analyzes that data and spits out close to 100 metrics (customer lifetime value, top selling products, revenue forecasting, etc.) in a customizable dashboard.
The cool part comes with their benchmarking feature is that it allows you to compare your Shopify store to others inside and outside of your vertical, metric to metric. When the data is analyzed by Vantage Analytics, the platform spits out opportunities that can make your store more profitable (issues with customer retention, cart abandonment and so on).
The soon-to-be-released ability to deploy one-click Facebook and email campaigns is the cherry on top that makes Vantage Analytics worth using. It saves you time across many fronts and starts at a cost of $0 (the paid tiers are quite reasonable for the capabilities).
2. Coupon Pop — Social, List-Building Coupons
I'm sure you've been to an e-commerce store before that has a popup offering you a coupon or discount in exchange for your email. If you are like most people, you entered your email, got the coupon and bought something.
A first-time visitor is a fickle entity; you can try like hell to keep them around, but sometimes it's not meant to be. By offering up a coupon or discount, you can at least grab their email address and throw them into an email newsletter campaign to try a second, third or fifteenth time to sell them.
The thing I like about Coupon Pop is their popups are customizable, look slick and have a social aspect to it. It's not enough to give up a discount to someone; visitors have to like your offer enough to share it with friends so you can spread the goodness that is your Shopify store!
Coupon Pop does carry a monthly fee of $9.99, but there is a free alternative called Better Coupon Box. I chose Coupon Pop over Better Coupon Box due to the lack of email form. Better Coupon Box focuses on social network building to unlock the discount; your visitors just need to follow you on one of the available social media channels to unlock the discount.
3. MailChimp For Shopify AKA Chimpified — Email Newsletters Done Best
MailChimp is probably the best-known email newsletter and email marketing platform out there. It has a massive userbase and a quality service at a reasonable price.
For those starting out, MailChimp is free for up to 2,000 email subscribers. The plugin itself is 100% free as well.
MailChimp and Shopify can be a powerful combination, not just for on-the-fly newsletters and updates, but also for automating emails. The automation side can help with engaging first-time customers with welcome emails, retaining customers who haven't bought in a while with follow up deals, closing the deal with customers who abandoned the cart and more!
4. Yotpo — Generate, Share & Leverage Product Reviews
Yotpo makes product reviews very low barrier for customers, which means you'll end up getting more product reviews than through traditional prompts.
The greatness lies in the simple automated email that Yotpo sends after a purchase is made. You get to choose the delay between the purchase and the email being sent, but when the customer receives the email, they can write the review via email without ever having to leave their inbox!
Yotpo boasts a 6-10% review rate, which is above average. With customizable widgets to show reviews anywhere on your store, it's a no-brainer, free app to install.
#5. Recommendify — Upsell, Upsell, Upsell!
Recommendify is a recommendation engine for Shopify stores that processes your product data to find similarities, and uses that data to display products that are likely to get purchased. It's a real time system, so it adapts to your traffic as well as individual customers.
The plugin also lets you hand-pick products to recommend. This is great for trying to sell higher margin products in a mix of automatically picked products. Recommendify also claims it can increase sales by up to 20%, which can mean a significant revenue increase when the system has enough data to process.
The best part is, if you have less than 100 products it's $10/month. Much cheaper than some of the other available options.
6. Printout Designer — Build & Print Invoices, Labels & More!
Even for someone starting out, you want to make your store look as professional as possible. Printout Designer lets you make your brand consistent across all of the documents you use to manage your e-commerce store. Printout Designer offers a drag and drop builder to customize your documents and share them with your customers instantly!
While Shopify does offer a document customizer it requires HTML knowledge, which can be a big barrier for new e-commerce store managers. The ease of use with Printout Designer does come at a cost, for stores with less than 200 orders per month it costs $8/month, which is not too bad for keeping your brand material in check.
7. Plug-in SEO — Identify SEO Issues Before They Become An Issue!
The best part is that it's automated, so you don't need to generate a report each time (and then forget about it while it generates). The plugin also gives simple explanations of what each check is, but to make the fix you will need some technical experience.
Those are my seven Shopify plugin recommendations. Did I leave off one of your favorites? Let me know in the comments!
Image credit: Flickr & Canva