The Best Shopify Plus Marketing Apps to Scale Your Ecommerce Store (and Make Your Life Easier)
What are apps? Do you need to use them to get the most value out of Shopify Plus?
Or is Shopify Plus ready to use out of the box?
Shopify Plus has built an enterprise grade commerce platform that gives you everything that you need to run an online store. You don’t need to spend time or money on security, scalability, bugs, payment integrations, etc. like you normally would with an in-house commerce platform.
So…yes! Shopify Plus is ready to use out of the box.
But the extraordinary thing about Shopify Plus is that is makes it easy for you to grow and market your store. With just a few clicks you can add incredible marketing functionality through Shopify Plus’ easy to install apps. And now that you are not spending all of that time and money on store security, scalability, bugs and integrations, you actually have the time and resources to focus on growth!
Below are some the apps that we keep in our growth tool belt and frequently use to increase a store’s performance.
NOTE: These are just tools. Once you install them, you need to have a strategy and know how to use them to effectively to grow your store.
How much do apps cost?
Most apps run on a monthly recurring subscription fee. They run from free (for basic subscriptions) to a few hundred dollars per month for more advanced functionality (with the exception of a few pricier enterprise apps).
Typically there are no contracts for apps…it’s pay as you go! So if you install and app and see that it’s not working for you, you can simply stop using it. Pay close attention to the ROI of your apps and only keep what’s really moving the needle on your site.
One note of caution. Some apps do install code in your theme, so we always recommend backing up your theme code before installing a new app. That way if you test it out and realize it doesn’t work for you, you can always revert back to the previous theme version.
Shopify Plus Marketing App Toolbelt
Email Marketing: Klaviyo
There are a lot of different email marketing platforms to choose from, but in our opinion, for ecommerce, the best one out there is Klaviyo. They have a tight integration with Shopify so you can segment based on almost any data available in Shopify. It even auto segments many useful user segments and provides powerful reporting data back. It is also incredibly easy to use.
We typically set up two different types of email sequences. The first is pre-determined sequences that are based on a users behavior or actions on the site. The second is email sequences based on your promotional calendar which likely cross over into many channels.
No matter what emails you are sending, make sure that you maintain the scent when transitioning from your emails to your website. If you are offering a promotion through your email, make sure that it is also prominently displayed on the landing page where you send your campaign traffic.
Reviews: Yotpo or Stamped.io
While there are a slew of apps that do reviews, the cream of the crop is Yotpo. They have a tight integration across almost every possible channel to push out reviews, as well as excellent technology around aggregating reviews.
This is incredibly important as positive reviews are one of the biggest drivers of sales. Potential customers trust what other customers say about your brand more than they trust what you have to say about yourself. Strong social proof pushes potential customers along the sales funnel, so make sure to have reviews as a part of your site and to display them prominently.
While Yotpo is the best there is, we also loved Stamped.io which comes at a much more affordable rate. It Yotpo is out of your budget, use Stamped.io. While the integrations aren’t as robust and the review admin is a bit more challenging, it still gets the job done.
Pop Ups: Optimonk and Privy
Most customers hate pop ups and most marketers love them. They can be very annoying to customers if pop ups appear to often or are irrelevant to them, but if they are used to deliver an important piece of information or offer that is valuable to them, then they aren’t quite so annoying.
We use a few different apps for pop ups because the technologies to trigger the pop ups vary.
For desktop popups, our go to is Optimonk. We typically use this for entry modals for first time visitors, offering a coupon in exchange for an email address, and for exit intent pop ups. The exit intent pop ups are triggered when a visitor moves their mouse to close the browser and typically includes a limited time offer to motivate them to stay on the site and finish their purchase.
For mobile popups, we prefer Privy, because it has the technology to do mobile exit intent popups, which is more difficult to do as there is no mouse to know when a visitor is going to close the browser window.
While both Optimonk and Privy work on mobile and desktop, we like to use them in combination to take advantage of the best of each technology.
The key with pop ups is to deliver the right information to the right visitors at the right time. When used correctly, they are a highly effective way to close sales.
Transactional Emails: Conversio
For transactional emails, we like Conversio. Out of the box, they have great sequences recommended for abandoned cart follow up and receipts.
While Shopify will send out receipts for you, we recommend using Conversio for receipts. Receipt emails have the highest open rate of any email, which makes sense… so why not use them for something more than just the receipt? With Conversio it is easy to add cross sells for additional items or to incentivize customers to refer their friends to your site for a reward.
As for abandoned cart, we recommend sending out a series of 3 emails to try to close the sale. Visitors that have gone to the trouble of filling up your cart are obviously fairly interested in your product. They are low hanging fruit compared to new visitors, so do everything you can to close these sales. First try reminding them that they left items in their cart just an hour after they leave your site. It’s also a good idea to ask for feedback in this email in case they actually ran into a problem when trying to complete their purchase. Then follow up again 24 and 48 hours later with a limited-time discount code to complete their purchase.
Loyalty and Rewards: Smile.io
It is important to reward your best customers and incentivize repeat purchases. Increasing lifetime value is the best way to meaningfully grow your ecommerce store in the long run. There are many rewards and loyalty platforms to choose from, but we like Smile.io. They do a nice clean integration with Shopify Plus so that customers can easily earn and redeem rewards.
Make sure to keep your rewards program simple. Complicated rewards strategies just don’t end up being as effective because people don’t understand them.
Search: Smart Search by Searchandise
Search might seem like a no brainer, but it’s hard to get search right. Just think about it. Google has spent decades and billions of dollars improving search, so it definitely ain’t easy.
Out of the box, Shopify Plus’ search functionality is not bad. In fact, it works for most clients. But if you want to do smart search or auto fill, showing results as you type, we recommend an app called Smart Search by Searchanise. It allows you to do auto fill, dynamically filter results, and search within different aspects or filters of your store.
Pre-Orders: Pre-Order Manager
Taking pre-orders is simple in concept, but rather complicated to execute. But it’s worth it to figure this out.
Typically when an item is out of stock, you just can’t order it. But for many stores, items are just out of stock temporarily and they’d prefer to continue selling them as back-order items to be shipped later rather than hide the product from their store. To accomplish this, we use an app called Pre-Order Manager. With this app, you can create pre-order products or automatically convert products that go out of stock to pre-order items. The app will take the credit card information and charge the card later once the item is shipped.
Subscriptions: Recurring Orders by Bold
There are subscription boxes for everything. There is a huge trend towards subscription businesses right now, and rightfully so. Who wouldn’t want monthly recurring revenue?
This doesn’t fit for every brand, but we challenge you to at least consider how subscription products could fit into your business model.
Out of the box Shopify doesn’t do subscriptions, but there is a great app by Bold (one of the best app development companies out there), called Recurring Orders, that allows you to turn any product into a subscription product.
Pre-checkout Upsells: Product Upsell by Bold
Traditional upsells or cross-sells are done in the cart or on product detail pages when a customer presses add to cart. This is a great way to increase the average order value for your store. With Product Upsell by Bold, you can setup intelligent offers based on what items a user has in their cart to offer better or complimentary products.
Post-checkout Upsells: Zipify One Click Upsell
Another great way to offer upsells or cross-sells is post-checkout. A lot fewer brands are doing this, as it’s not well known, but can be extremely effective in increasing a store’s cart value.
Zipify One Click Upsell is one of the few apps that allows you to offer an upsell after a customer has input all of their payment information and click the final button to complete their purchase. A popup appears between that button and the thank you page, offering a better product or additional products at a discount. If a customer says yes, it is automatically added to their order and their order is completed. If a customer says no, the original order is completed without any additional action needed by the customer.
If you go this route, make sure that your upsells are intelligent (you don’t want to offer a customer something that they’ve already purchased) and be prepared for some customer service issues. Inevitably some customers will click “yes” when they really mean “no.”
What are your favorite apps? Share them below!