Starting or want to start a Shopify store and don’t want to code? One of the best things about the Shopify platform is the ease of implementation. Most modifications can be done without even knowing how to code. Things like modifying themes or setting up integrations with third party services are made extremely easy with the platform.
Having started a few Shopify stores myself, I’ve come across a few apps that have made my life marketing and running my stores much easier than without them. But, not all apps are created equal. Many apps that are free lack key features and sometimes some that are expensive can be easily done with a free one. So, if you’re just starting out with ecommerce or if this is your first Shopify store, then this guide should really help you get on your feet.
All of the apps featured have been apps that I’ve tried and tested in Shopify stores I run. Furthermore, all of the apps in this list require no coding knowledge. They may, however, require some configuration to get up and running for the first time. In most cases, I have tried to include apps that are free or are at least free for a trial period to allow give you the most functionality on your new site without having to invest right away.
What is Shopify?
Shopify is an ecommerce shopping cart platform that let’s you easily set up an online store. With it, you can easily install apps, themes and upload products. It handles almost everything that would be needed from a basic online store, from hosting, to inventory handling, payment processing and more. It starts as low as $9 a month and rises to $179 for enterprise plans.
13 Starter Apps for your Shopify Store
Oberlo is the ultimate app for those getting started with dropshipping for the first time. It takes care of almost all of the tasks you would normally have to do when running a Shopify dropship store. For instance, you can use it to import products and product information directly from Aliexpress, create pricing rules and then automatically process orders and send buyers their tracking info. Even better is that the first 500 orders per month is free, meaning you can fully flesh out and start your store without buying a single item of inventory.
If you have Mailchimp as your email service provider, this is an app that you’ll definitely want to get it on. It gives instant integration from your Shopify store to your MailChimp account. It gives you the ability to capture email addresses and send them directly to your mailing list. Furthermore, you can even use it to track subscriber buying behaviour to customize your automated email campaigns and tailor them to each of your customer’s preferences. For example, if an email subscriber buys a toothbrush from you, you can use the integration in this app to automatically send them a newsletter campaign for toothpaste.
If you’ve already started a store and don’t want to go back and add Alt-text to all of your images, this app is one your one stop for alt-text. Simply install it and it’ll add alt-text to all of your product images and any other images you have on your site. If you aren't yet familiar with SEO practices, adding alt-text to each of the images on your site, including product images, helps Google and other search engines understand the content of your images. As a result, adding quality alt-text tags to your images helps your pages rank higher in search engines.
If you’re looking for a free newsletter pop-up with exit intent, Privy is your best bet. This app easily lets you include a newsletter pop up on your site with custom messaging. Included exit intent means that whenever someone’s mouse goes to leave your site, you can show them a pop-up just as they are about to leave. Doing so dramatically increases the amount of newsletters sign ups you get.
If you want an easy way to set up retargeting campaigns for your store, look no further than Retargetapp. This app uses your product feed to delivery dynamic and custom retargeting ads to all visitors on their social feeds. Meaning, if someone visits your store and views a certain product, they’ll be served an ad with that product on their own product feed. Pretty powerful stuff.
Pretty self-explanatory, but this app is an easy way to add product reviews to your site. And, if you’ve seen how product reviews can increase your conversion rates, you’ll want to get this on your site.
Oddly enough, Shopify doesn’t have the capability to remove items from your store once they are out of stock. This app will take care of this and make sure that all of the items on your site are in stock.
Ever wish you never had to create website another account ever again? So do your customers. Do them a favour and let them login with their social media accounts. Do yourself a favour and get this functionality painlessly with this app. Allowing your customers to login with their social accounts will increase the amount of people who actually sign up by decreasing the amount of time required to get an account. Furthermore, people are wary of sharing their personal information on sites they aren’t familiar with. Letting them sign in with an account from a trusted source immediately alleviates this fear. This app will greatly improve the experience of using your store.
Live Chat is an app that I’ve used that lets you set up a simple chatting system on your website. With it, you’ll easily be able to install a system that lets you communicate and help your customers in real time. The best part about it, is that it’s free. So if you’re starting a store and you aren’t sure if you’ll have the traffic to justify spending money on a fully featured chatting app, then this one is the way to go. Plus, it even let’s you set up simple automated messages to greet your customers if you aren’t around.
If you haven't already mirrored your product selection on Amazon, this app will make doing so a breeze. The app, which is developed by the Shopify team, allows you to sync your Shopify inventory and place it all on Amazon. It takes the trouble out of running an Amazon store alongside your ecommerce store by centralizing all of your data. For example, it syncs your inventory quantities, product information, images and even orders with your store. It even reconciles your order amounts into your Shopify store so you can see your total sales by sales channel. However, to list on Amazon you'll still need a seller subscription to Amazon, which will cost $39/month. This might seem high to start, however, Amazon can bring huge traffic to your product listings that you might not be able to get to your products when you are first starting out your store.
This app checks your store for basic SEO issues. It ensures that you have things like meta-tags, alt-text, appropriate loading times, etc… to make sure your site is SEO friendly. This is a good app to get going once you finalize the initial set-up of your store.
Got a new store, but don’t want to spend the big bucks to get into an affiliate program up and running? If you’re willing to reach out to potential publishers, this app will take care of the tracking part, for free. This app lets you hand out tracking codes to affiliates and then tracks whatever traffic or purchases are coming from those tracking codes. It even includes a hands-free affiliate sign up page where affiliates can sign up and receive their tracking code on their own. Having an affiliate program is an integral part of a ecommerce marketing strategy, so get this if you’re just starting out. A definite must-have app.
Google Shopping is starting to get big. But, like all other marketplaces, it requires you to fill out a feed to get your products up and validated. This app easily lets you get your entire inventory live on Google Shopping. And, once your items are on Google Shopping, you can easily start advertising them individually on Adwords. Typically I've found that items individually advertised with a product feed through Google Merchant Center perform much better than regular text ads. So give it a shot. There is no reason not to get this app!
This one is actually not a Shopify app, but is extremely easy to install and once it’s installed, easily allows you to create it's now famous share buttons on your website. Once you’ve copied the one line of code required to set up the app, you’ll not only be able to set up a (mobile ready) customizable set of share buttons that appear on any page you specify, but a plethora of marketing and discovery apps that'll boost traffic to your site. You can even use it to set up a landing page generator that, while I haven't tried, is said to increase conversions especially for email lists.
So if you’re starting a Shopify store, check out some of these “must-have” Shopify apps. They’ll get you started in marketing automation, sales, inventory management and more with your Shopify store.