Shopify is the leading platform for ecommerce at the moment. It powers
more than 1,000,000 businesses and growing every day. Due to the fact that it is so easy to use and no technical skills are required to start a business, owners have more time to focus on important matters like marketing strategies, product sourcing, improving conversions and so on, without having to meddle with coding, designing, hiring developers to build elements/features on the website.
Although setting up a store and start selling can be done in a short time, there are some features that can extend your store's capabilities and features, only available by installing additional software. In the Shopify ecosystem these are called Apps and can be found listed in the Shopify Appstore. At this moment there are more than 5,000 apps listed in the Shopify Appstore and finding the ones that will fulfil your needs may be a bit time-consuming.
In this article you will find a list of the top 5 types of apps your shop may need and the best ones from that category, as well as some alternatives.
Creating social proof
Customers tend to rely on other people's opinions when confronted with any type of decision making. This also applies to customers visiting your shop. By having a review & rating system set up, your products will slowly gather reviews and ratings that other customers will see and aid in the process of taking a decision. So by by far this seems to be the most important matter to address and since gathering many reviews takes a long time, installing a review app should be the first thing to do.
- Judge.me app May be the best choice since they offer a lot of features on their free plan so you do not have to spend a dime right at the start when money is tight. The app also has a paid plan at $15/month that includes a lot more features.
- Loox Product Reviews app Is the most used app for gathering reviews. The pricing starts at $9.99/month and goes up depending on your needs
SEO, breadcrumbs and structured data
Having a better optimized SEO store than your competitors will make the difference in the search results, since on the long term most of the customers that will reach your store will be organic visits, coming from Google, or other search engines. SEO also does not provide immediate results, so it is better to start installing these apps as soon as possible. Breadcrumb secondary navigation will help customers know exactly the path a user takes to a certain point, but most important it also provides the same information to search engines. Even if you do not want to display them on your storefront, having structured markup containing breadcrumbs as well is a must-have.
- Schema & Breadcrumbs app provides JSON+LD schema structured data and breadcrumbs navigation for the entire website for all the resources with one click. The two key features are the fixed pricing ( $19.99 - one time ) and the incredibly fast support.
Finding and adding products
Dropshipping is a big thing today and lots of Shopify business owners run a dropshipping business. When starting, the most important matter is finding products to sell and people to sell them to.
- Oberlo ‑ Dropshipping App built by Shopify with the exact scope of finding products for a dropshipping business and materials to read and listen. For starters id does feature a free plan and a $7.90/month and another at $29.90/month that bring a lot more courses, materials and tools to use.
Inventory management | productivity
Creating a shop for a single product or a handful of products may seem an easy task, but most businesses feature a large inventory composed of several hundreds or thousands of products. Adding them manually can take a huge amount of time, thus not being productive. Also importing products or content from other platforms like Etsy or Woocommerce can be atedious process if done by hand.
- Excelify app is the app to choose when handling large import/export tasks. It offers a free plan but quite limited at 10 items per page, but still faster than manual. Their paid plans range from $20 to $200/month, with higher to unlimited limits for items on page. Considering that you will only use the app for setting up the store, you will not have to pay for more than 1-2 months.
Your online store is just one channel for selling your products. For a much larger audience you must bring your products to other channels as well. Facebook, Instagram and Google shopping. Each app is mad by Shopify and are free to install. You only pay for the advertisement campaigns.
These hand-picked apps will help you get ahead of your competition from the very start, and also have a very low impact on the store performance and speed score. There are as well other apps that will definitely help you but you can install them as time goes by.
Best free Shopify apps
To sum it up here is a list of the free Shopify apps that will help you get started much more easily. This list includes some of the apps presented above and some others.
As time goes on the list will grow with apps that are noteworthy for helping you right at the start.