Shopify is a powerful platform for eCommerce stores. It takes care of the web space, secures your data, and ensures that the maximum load for your store is taken care of. With Shopify, you don’t have to worry about creating your store from scratch; the setup takes mere minutes to set up and has multiple plug-and-play options so that you can choose your theme for the store as well as the best Shopify apps to power your store to its full potential.
The Shopify ecosystem is built in such a way that multiple stakeholders can help you, as a merchant, to enhance your store experience. These can be vetted Shopify Experts to whom you can outsource your store design, development and marketing, agencies who can assist you with long-term requirements, and app developers who are focused on creating products that can assist you to supercharge your store better.
As a new merchant, getting started with Shopify is easy, especially with the right resources. One of the most time-consuming tasks when setting up a store on the platform is choosing the best Shopify Apps to power your store.
In 2018, Shopify mentioned that they had over 2,000 apps in their app directory.
Imagine having to go through them all, while running your store. It’s practically impossible to identify the best Shopify apps in much less time!
This is why most merchants have created their vetting system to quicken the process of picking the best Shopify apps and launch their store faster. It depends on what you prefer as a merchant — you can either pick up apps based off of lists of the best Shopify apps and find ones that are compatible for you or you can go through a checklist to ensure your research process is quick.
Considering that every Shopify store has a different need, we often recommend the latter.
Here’s a straightforward checklist to help you find the best Shopify apps to launch your store sooner:
While browsing the App Store —
1. What requirements do you want to fulfill with the apps?
The ultimate goal for any ecommerce business is to bring in sales and increase their revenue. To make this goal possible, merchants must set up smaller and more actionable objectives that they need to fulfill. Identifying these smaller objectives can make it easy for you to find the right apps to install. The right Shopify app can easily cut down your admin time, diversify your store’s customer base, and set up different opportunities to help you increase your sales easily.
As a store owner, you’re sure to be intuitive about the different requirements you would have to reach your goal to bring in sales. Typically, these are the common objectives that most merchants target:
NOTE: Shopify has a well-categorized app store that makes your search for the right apps much simpler. You can search for specific apps or go through the different collections to ensure you don’t miss out on some of the best Shopify apps available to you.
2. Take a look at some lists from top websites
Once you’ve picked your objectives, you can look at recommendations from different stakeholders within the ecommerce ecosystem, whether it’s by a top app, agency or even Shopify themselves. These are some highly credible lists you can go through to shortlist the best Shopify apps for your store:
- 25 Free Shopify Apps to Check Out In the Shopify App Store by Shopify
- The 19 Shopify Apps You Need to Know About In 2019 by Sumo
- The 37 Best Shopify Apps You Need To Increase Sales in 2019 by ReferralCandy
These lists are made to make it much easier for you. Instead of going through the Shopify app store, you can pick up apps that align with the objectives you want to accomplish.
When analyzing a Shopify app —
3. How does this app work? Is it easy to set up and use?
Once you’ve picked your apps, test them out! From the onboarding to how the platform works, understand how each app works, and test out the functionalities.
For instance, when testing out the PushOwl platform, send out a campaign to see how the notification will look on different devices. Set up the Abandoned Cart Recovery automation and go through the sequence. This way, you can see what the customer will receive and understand how push notifications work as well as how to set up the app.
Pro-tip: Use a development store to test out the app. You can go through the onboarding, test out the features and functionalities of the app, and even check out other similar apps without creating a mess on your primary store.
4. Does this app have all the features and functionalities you need?
When testing the app, you’ll also notice and try out the different features that it offers. If you have specific functions that you want from the app, be sure to try those out for yourself. If the app is missing a few of the features you are particular on having, look at other apps that serve the same functionality. You can explore these in the next step.
5. How does this Shopify app compare with its competitors?
If the app isn’t up to your satisfaction, you can compare it with its competitors and pick another app that does meet your requirements. You can repeat the last two steps mentioned above for the competitor app and ensure the app is up to the mark.
We would recommend that you check out the app’s competitors even if the app has successfully been tested and has covered all the requirements for your store. This allows you to have an understanding of what the other apps are doing. So, if you ever need to switch apps later on, you’ll be fairly acquainted with the competitor apps.
6. Does the app have helpful live support?
A live customer support executive makes your job as a merchant much easier. They can walk you through the app’s onboarding and answer some of your questions about the app as you test it out. While testing an app, make it a point to message customer support and understand the workings of the app.
7. How is the app rated by fellow eCommerce stores?
Reviews are louder than words. One of the best ways to know if an app is worth installing is checking out the reviews. Merchants have great insights about how the app truly helps the store grow, and by looking through the different reviews (and especially reading the lower-rated reviews), you can gauge how the app truly impacts a store’s growth.
Still not sure if the app is right for you? There are a lot of helpful Shopify groups on Facebook that can give more insights to the app. These groups have a strong community and will be honest in the feedback they give about the app. Our favourite groups are Ecommerce Entrepreneurs, Shopify Ecommerce Group, and Shopify Entrepreneurs to name a few.
8. What are the costs of using the app?
While this is a low priority item in your checklist, you can always discuss with the app’s customer support executive about the costing and the benefits of taking a higher plan. When you start your store, you don’t need to pick up a paid plan for an app, mainly because most of the best Shopify apps already provide a few of their top features within the free plan. Once the app has delivered higher returns, you can explore the paid plans and see how your store can benefit.
After picking your apps —
9. Have you monitored each Shopify app for 30 days? How are the results?
After launching the store and working with the app for at least 30 days, it’s always recommended to come back and check if the app has delivered good results and truly lived up to being the best Shopify app for your store. This is also the time you can see if the paid plan within the app is a good fit for you.
When analyzing whether the app has worked for your store, it’s essential to take a look at the analytics. For PushOwl, this would mean looking at the number of subscribers and your campaign’s performance. If you have a lower number of subscribers than you expected, you can look into different ways of increasing your conversions like editing your overlay for your browser prompt or seeing whether you are receiving relevant traffic to your store.
We hope this thorough checklist helps you find the best Shopify apps suited your store and makes your process of finding your app much quicker.