What are Shopify Apps, and What apps should I use for my Shopify store

Last updated: February 01, 2023

What are Shopify Apps?

Shopify Apps are plugins that enhance the functionality of a Shopify store and extend the capabilities of a store’s features.

85% of merchants claim that they rely heavily on Shopify Apps to run their business, so it’s no wonder many merchants are keen on them.

You can install many Shopify Apps as you want into your Shopify store, but it would be expensive, unoptimized, or even slow down your store.

In this article, let’s dig deeper to see what types of apps, what they can support your business in which stages and situations.

Apps made by Shopify

These apps are developed by the Shopify team, are usually free, and are supported by Shopify. You can find them here

Shopify Partner Apps

If you need help finding the right apps for your store, you should search for Shopify Partner Apps.

Shopify Apps are developed by Shopify Partners. They solve the very niche and specific problems you might have. From that said, most of them are premium and subscription-based.

However, these apps often come with free trials, so you can test them before deciding whether to purchase them.

How do Shopify Apps work?

Shopify Apps work as web applications that can access your store data once you grant them permission.

Depending on the app you choose, you will be allowed to share certain information when you install it - there are plenty to choose from, and you have complete control over what information you share.

What happens when you install a Shopify App?

When you install a Shopify App, you grant that app access to your store through Shopify’s API. You can uninstall the app at any time, which will revoke those permissions and make sure the app no longer has access to them.

What Shopify Apps do I need?

You will need different Shopify Apps for your business, your ecommerce store, and other goals. Therefore, finding and choosing the best Shopify Apps might take time, effort, and customer experience knowledge.

However, you should consider your customer journey to set goals and integrate Shopify Apps more precisely (as shown below).

The Shopify Apps you need to start from scratch.

This is when you have just started selling with Shopify. You might need to find trending products or A/B test the customer’s taste. And Finding Product Shopify Apps are there to help you with 1-click linking and listing products from their e-commerce site.

On the other hand, if you are creating a new Shopify Store, you might find the Store Management Apps helpful to back up, move your data, and sync your products and customer reviews.

Shopify Apps to get visitors and convert customers

You might need one or more apps in the same category at different customer journey stages.

For example, when your customer first visits your store, you might want the following things:

  • Store Design Shopify Apps: The customers can navigate and search around your store. And there should be testimonials and review to capture their attention.
  • Product Selling Shopify Apps: Your customers love that product but in different colors. No problem! These apps help you manage different variants, purchasing options, product displays, and so much more to make your product shine.
  • Marketing and Conversion Shopify Apps: Your customer has been wandering around for a while. But with these apps, you can capture their digital footprint, what product they are interested in, and step in at the right moment (with marketing automation) to convert them into leads or, even better, purchased customers.
  • Store management Shopify Apps: With all the collected data, these apps help you analyze them with visualized reports and store the data for later marketing activities.

A more detailed guide on which Shopify App you should use for different industries and customer journey stages is coming! Stay tuned!

How to choose the best Shopify Apps

Decide what you want to achieve with your Shopify App

Identifying your goals is the first step in selecting the best Shopify App for your store. The more specific your goals are, the better.

Are you seeking to increase sales by a certain percentage in the next six months? Would you like to reduce shopping cart abandonment by half? How about attracting twice as many new customers by the end of the year?

To select apps that best suit your needs, you should have a clear vision of where you are heading. Otherwise, you will waste your time, money, and effort on things that do not actually benefit your business.

Research Shopify App Options by Use Case

To reach your goals, it is important to identify the end result you seek. For example, if you seek to increase sales within six months, you may want to consider a Shopify app that will assist with upselling or customer loyalty programs.

Additionally, if you wish to improve retention rates, a retargeting or conversion marketing app may interest you. The aim is to consider how you will interact with the app and/or what the app will accomplish for you — and then dig into the details of what each platform will provide.

Compare Shopify App Reviews

As soon as you have narrowed down the list of apps you wish to purchase, you will need to compare Shopify app reviews from other online retailers. Take note of what customers say about the app’s usability, feature set, and overall value as you read these customer reviews.

By reading a few reviews, you will have a better understanding of the pros and cons of each service, and you will be able to narrow down your options a bit.

Ensure that Shopify Apps are regularly assessed and updated.

Once you have installed and integrated your Shopify apps into your retail operations, you should continue to evaluate and update them regularly. You can always cut loose (or swap out) the chosen apps if they are not user-friendly, lack drag-and-drop features, or lack room customization features.

With 8000+ apps available on the Shopify App Store, you can try out a few free trials before determining which will work best for your business.

Where can I get Shopify Apps?

You can get Shopify Apps from the Shopify App Store.

The Shopify App Store is a marketplace where merchants can browse and install Shopify apps that extend the functionality of their online stores.

Shopify App Store has many great apps, but not all are equal. In some cases, Shopify Apps may not be well-maintained or may not function as advertised. Do your research before installing any app to ensure that it is a reputable and reliable one.

Types of Shopify Apps

Product finding apps

Product Finding Apps are Shopify Apps that help you buy product inventory from a supplier and then resell them.

Tips: Your products are the setting stones to create your online store, your branding, your content marketing, boost sales and optimize many of your marketing efforts.

Usually, more products mean more sales. Moreover, trends come after trends that require you to regularly research for new products and create marketing campaigns for new customers.

These apps are familiar with dropshipper - they are merchants who don’t hold or manage inventory and don’t ship the order themselves, but the ones who focus more on advertising, branding, and customer support.

Ecommerce wholesalers and manufacturers create these Shopify Apps for you to browse their ecommerce platforms and add the products you want into your Shopify Store.

Selling Products Apps

Shopify Apps in the “Selling products” category can provide you with solutions for:

  • Selling Methods: You can connect your Shopify store with other social media platforms like Facebook, Facebook Messenger, TikTok, etc., and manage your pixel and Marketing Campaigns toward each platform’s audiences
  • Product display: These Shopify Apps are for making your product more appealing and more easier for customers to purchase, like Size Charts (for clothing, accessories, etc.), quick views, or even 3D previews
  • Product Variants: Your customers might want the product with or without some features, like colors, protection, or even insurance. These Apps will help you create these options and provide your customers with more flexible pricing.
  • Pricing: If you are a wholesaler or a Business-to-Business, you might want your pricing to be hidden or available for negotiation, then these apps are definitely for you
  • Purchase Option: These Shopify apps will help you capture leads with pre-orders when you are out of stock or launching a new product. Furthermore, you can also find solutions for subscription-based products or rentals/booking services.
  • Gift: Whenever Christmas or Thanksgiving are coming, you can receive requests from your customers if they want to pay more for gift cards, wrap or messages to their loved ones.
  • Digital Products: From managing appointments to file downloads and even charity donation, Digital products and Services can be managed with these types of Shopify Apps.

Order and shipping Apps

You can optimize your customer experience as well as smooth the operation with apps for:

  • Managing orders
  • Fulfilling orders
  • Managing Inventory
  • Delivery and pickups

Store Design apps

Your theme does not come with the customer review sections. Don’t worry. These apps will take care of all that, including:

  • Store Pages
  • Navigation and search
  • Images and media
  • Notifications
  • Store alerts
  • Internationalization
  • Page enhancements
  • Social proof: for example, photo and video reviews, user generated content, etc.

Marketing and Conversion apps

These Shopify Apps help you or your Marketing Department to optimize page speed, SEO (search engine optimization), SMS marketing, email marketing, popup, and many more! To be specific, they take care of your:

  • SEO: With these SEO apps, you can optimize your store website structure and content marketing to be ranked higher, attract more customers from search engines and create more sales.
  • Advertising: These apps help you build brand awareness on social media or drive traffic with Google Ads
  • Email marketing: These are marketing tools to manage customer engagement pre and post-purchase. Aside from customer engagement, you can use email marketing to conduct post purchase surveys, send review requests or even create repeat purchases.
  • Direct marketing: These apps help you directly reach out to your customers via SMS marketing or phone calls
  • Content marketing: Depending on your marketing strategy, these Shopify Apps can be useful for getting new customers through blogging, video marketing, social proof and for driving store visitors from other social media platforms
  • Promotions: These apps provide IT-worry free solutions for use cases like push notifications, flash sales to increase your customer’s average order value (AOV).
  • Upselling and cross-selling: With these Shopify Apps, you can increase sales by engaging your existing customers, and launching different word of mouth marketing campaigns like referral programs, loyalty programs, or an affiliate program.
  • Cart modification: Sometimes, the Shopify default checkout experience might be troublesome. However, these apps can make checkout the easiest part of your customers shopping experience
  • Cart recovery: These apps can help you get more customers to finish checking out with timely offers and follow-up reminders.

Store Management apps

Store management apps help you tag products, order status, GDPR/CCPA consent, etc. Here are the apps you might find there:

  • Customer accounts
  • Support
  • Store data
  • Operations
  • Privacy and security
  • Finances
  • Analytics

ow to install Shopify Apps

Install apps from the Shopify App Store

You can start installing Shopify Apps with the following steps:

  1. Log in to the Shopify App Store.
  2. Find an app that you want to install, and then click it.
  3. On the app listing page, click Add app.
  4. In your Shopify admin, to authorize the use of the app, click Install app.

Open your App in Shopify Admin

Once the installation is completed, you should check if it has been installed correctly. Click on Apps in your Shopify Admin, as shown below.

To open an App, select it by clicking it.

Let’s explore some other options and features you can access via the Shopify App Store for your App.

View and Edit your Shopify Apps

View your Shopify App Details

Your app’s About page can provide detailed information about your apps, such as reviews and issues.

Simply click on Apps from your Shopify Admin, then click on App and sales channels setting from the dropdown.

In the App and sales channels setting, click on any app you want to see its About Page.

Edit your Shopify App Preference

To edit your app preferences, go to the App’s About page > click on More actions > and click on Edit preferences

View Apps’ Permissions and Privacy Policy

To view your App’s permissions and privacy policies, you can follow the steps below:

  • Go to Apps from your Shopify Admin and that app’s About page.
    • To see App Permissions: Scroll down to the Permission details section
    • To read App’s Privacy Policy: Scroll down to the Privacy details section
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