best Shopify Plus apps Blue Stout

The Best Shopify Plus Apps to Run Your Store in 2017

by Heidi Anspaugh
November 23, 2016
1 Comments

Do you want to optimize your online your store management in order to maximize its earning potential in 2017? Of course you do!

We want to help, so we’ve created this roundup of some of the best ecommerce apps to help Shopify Plus store owners with important things like social referrals and inventory management.

Speaking of referrals…

Are you currently using a referral marketing app or interested in getting started with one?

We’re putting on a joint-workshop with one of the most popular Shopify Plus loyalty app providers, ReferralCandy, on December 6. We’ll be talking about the 3 must-have Conversion Best Practicies for 2017.

You can go ahead and grab a seat here >

Alright, let’s get into the roundup!

1. Email

Klaviyo

Klaviyo is great because it pulls in data from your ecommerce platform, point-of-sale software and other tools for easy audience segmentation. It has pre-built templates and an API-based template editor, as well as email auto-responders, which are essential for this type of service.

Bronto

Bronto claims to be #1 in commerce marketing automation and their concept is pretty useful – they combine email, social, and mobile messaging with drag-and-drop automation and the ability to design and personalize campaigns. It gets praise for its ease of use and well-organized user interface.

Rejoiner

So Rejoiner straight up guarantees a 4x increase in ROI every month as well as a 15% abandoned cart conversion rate. Their team works directly with customers on lifecycle and cart abandonment emails, which is a nice touch. We also like that they automatically segment customers and send hyper-personalized emails at the perfect time.

Mailchimp

Mailchimp is one of the best-known email marketing platforms and is touted as being one of the easiest to use. They’re always free for up to 2000 subscribers and 12K emails per month, which is many more than some of their competitors offer. They offer a ton of integrations, plugins, and custom widgets which integrate with social media channels in order to maximize sign-up rates. A great one-stop shop.

2. Retargeting

AdRoll

AdRoll is a retargeting and prospecting platform and has a wide variety of campaign targeting and is self-service, with transparent conversion tracking. It can be particularly useful for retailers who have tapped out their reach using Google AdWords.

Criteo

Criteo is a popular solution for dynamic retargeting. You can accurately recommend the best offer from your entire product catalog, predict purchase intent using their anonymous cross-device understanding of an individual’s behavior across all devices, and optimize campaign performance by dynamically selecting the creative components that will drive the most engagement.

Retarget App

RetargetApp claims to re-engage site visitors who bounced without making a purchase and promise a 300% ROI. You can set up a Facebook retargeting campaign in just a few clicks, and the ads only show products that a shopper has clicked on before. Another selling point: their average cost per visitor is roughly half of the industry standard.

Shoelace

Retargeting on Autopilot by Shoelace allows you to re-target visitors who leave your site without purchasing by tracking those visitors and recommending smart retarteging campaigns for you to run. What’s better is that Shoelace gets smarter over time and will suggest ways for you to improve ROI. It integrates with Mailchimp, all things Facebook and Kit.

3. Multi-Step Order Status

Order Manager by BOLD

Order Manager helps streamline the order process. Provides some interesting benefits such as the ability to add onto an order (products and surcharges) after it’s been placed. Their “one-page order management” UX is praised for showing custom statuses, bulk actions, order merging, and custom status pages all at once.

Subuno

Subuno is a fraud prevention platform for your online store.  It breaks orders down into multiple steps to help you ensure you’re receiving legitimate business. Some of the features it offers include fraudulent order flagging, access to 15+ order validation and fraud detection tools, and automating business rules. Reduces the need to do manual reviews by 70%.

4. Upsells / Coupons / Offers

Product Upsell

The Product Upsell app by BOLD is a revenue growth tool, it provides last minute, customizable upsell offers at point of checkout. Offers include things like relevant add-on products based on cart content. Since 30% of people tend to add a last minute impulse item, it works quite well.

Justuno

The upsell part of the Justuno suite of website conversion tools comes from pop-ups that offer highly motivating promotions that target ideal site visitors and increases average order size. You can use their dashboard to view your Google analytics and run A/B tests to see which pop-ups and promos are performing the best.

Shopify Scripts

Shopify Scripts isn’t an app, but an alternative to plugins for customizeable discounts for Shopify Plus as a way to increase conversions. It works by creating a powerful ecommerce platform experience that makes it simple to write your own custom code that’s then hosted on Shopify’s servers. If you’re short on time, you can just use their customization script templates and get to market faster. Check out this great article “17 Shopify Scripts to Maximize Conversions” where you can literally copy/paste the script code.

5. Social Media

Instagram

We’ve talked a lot this year about how Instagram (and social media UGC in general) can increase conversions by up to 30%. Shopify offers several options for integrating it with your online store, such as adding your Instagram feed in a nice pop-up style or creating shoppable Instagram galleries. These are very easy to install and set-up. Apps we suggest:

Pinterest

The Pinterest app allows you to create Buyable Pins from your product listings so that anyone pinning your images is serving as a potential lead generator. Shoppers can buy directly from Pinterest, making for a seamless user experience for them and increased revenue for you. (Which we know has a huge impact when it comes to mobile/tablet shoppers.)

6. Reviews

Product Reviews by Shopify

The Product Reviews add-on by Shopify allows you to import SEO-friendly product reviews to your site for more sales. Some cool features offered include the ability to match the design of the reviews to the theme of your site, and you can edit layout options without having to code.

Yotpo

The Yotpo app doesn’t just pull in customer product reviews to your site, it helps generate them. It sends an in-email review form so you get easy user-generated content for increased conversions. It’s free, but the paid versions offer even more benefits, like social curation of customer Instagram photos and turning reviews into paid ads.

Judge.me

The Judge.me app is embedded in your site which pulls in customer reviews through in-email review forms. It works via automated review requests and is unique in that it allows you to share reviews across custom product groups, and loads review via Shopify metafields so they show up much faster.

7. Shipping

Duoplane

Duoplane is a drop shipping solution that provides automated multi-supplier order processing and inventory syncing. The big benefit is it cuts down on store owners’ time spent managing orders because everything is streamlined and automated. They get high marks for customer service and vendor relationship management, too. Duoplane integrates with ShipStation.

ShipStation

ShipStation allows you to integrate with all the major shopping carts and marketplaces (FedEx, DHL, UPS, CanadaPost) at the best possible rates. You can also print labels in batches and do so wirelessly – so it’s a no hassle way to get all your outgoing orders ready at once. This is the only Shopify app with this feature.

Shyp

Fresh off an “official partnership” with Shopify, Shyp not only provides shipping services to Shopify Plus customers, but they’ve expanded their services. Shyp now will import orders, update fulfillment statuses, and send the end recipient tracking details. Now businesses anywhere in the US can compare shipping rates and purchase shipping labels from Shyp. Users in San Francisco, LA, Chicago or New York, can still get Shyp’s full pickup and packaging services.

8. Order Management

Stitch

Stitch (aka Sitch Labs) Enables you to sync your inventory across all sales channels with your current orders and expenses and contacts in real-time. However, it might not work for you if you need more complex functions or customization (i.e. you’re a bigger business).

TradeGecko

TradeGecko has been praised for designing with the user in mind, they’re an order and chain management platform that has a bunch of different functionalities: mobile customer management, profit margin reporting, It’s best for managing multiple stores, as you can track a large number of SKUs and multiple warehouses.

Skubana

Skubana is strictly enterprise grade (so if your site’s running on Plus, check this out), it features one-click integration with Shopify and a cloud SaaS portal. There’s a lot going on with it, like you can synchronize your purchase orders with your analytics, so it’s best for high-volume shops. Takes some time to learn how to best use it.

9. Returns

If your shipping or order management application doesn’t offer a satisfactory return solution, here are two that are used by Shopify Plus merchants:

Returnly

Returnly takes care of all things return-related that can normally be a hassle: return policy, labels, shipping, and refunds. It’s great if you don’t have a lot of time (or staff) to put toward customer service.

Return Magic

Return Magic is a mobile-optimized customer portal that can be branded to your store and offers different return options for a personalized customer experience.

10. Customer Service

Live Chat

Live Chat embeds in your ecommerce website so you can provide live customer service without having to use email or phone. It helps cutting back on losing customers at checkout since you can help them in real-time as problems arise.

Olark

Olark is also a live chat software that’s easy to install on your site. It integrates seamlessly with most web-authoring tools and CRMs. It also provides really useful information about customers currently shopping your site, such as cart content, cart balances, and referral sources.

Groove

Groove is simple help desk software that brings together all customer emails, social media posts, live chats, and calls in one place. (Not to mention, it’s one of our favorites here at Blue Stout!) It also can turn any email system (Gmail, Outlook) into a customer service hub. The Knowledge Base feature ensures you always have support at the ready.

Zendesk

Zendesk is another help desk ticketing system that allows you to create macros for answering similar questions in bulk. The Shopify integration shows critical store data alongside customer information, like billing and shipping details.

11. Accounting

Intuit Quickbooks

Quickbooks gives you seamless financial reporting by syncing Shopify orders to your online account. You can easily create reports for sales, products and taxes. Quickbooks automatically sets up new tax agencies and their associated tax rate based on your imported orders. You can also set a primary tax agency for where you most regularly do business, and you can easily run a report to see how much you owe in taxes.

Profiteer

Profiteer serves up daily or weekly reports on all goods sold, including your top 10 best-selling products. It’s a useful add-on since Shopify provides a selling price for your products, and Profiteer lets you add on the cost of goods sold. It does have some accounting limitations, as you can’t include discounts and promos.

12. Product Imagery Tools

Crush.pics

Crush.pics is a photo editing app that allows you to compress images without losing quality. This helps improve site speed, search engine ranking, and conversion rate. There are several different paid package options.

Minifier

Minifier is an app that offers image and website customization and gets pretty granular – you can edit image sizes, alt tags and filenames for optimizing SEO. No more lagging page load times, so you won’t lose customers.

What’s the Mac app I’m using recommended by RABLS?

ImageOptim

If you’re a Mac user, ImageOptim is a great image compressor and recommended to us by A Better Lemondade Stand’s Richard Lazazzerra. We’ve found it to be super easy to use, we’ve saved A LOT of time with it, but one thing to note is that it does auto-save over your previous file by default.

13. Reporting / Analytics

Compass

Compass is an app which tracks over 30 ecommerce metrics, as well as peer benchmarks and tailored recommendations to boost profitability. Reports are categorized by benchmark, insights, acquisition, revenue, and executive (team performance).

RJ Metrics

RJ Metrics provides business intelligence for ecommerce and advanced analytics. A simple interface connects to data sources you already use to pipe all your business data into one central warehouse. It has a simple UI and automatically updated reports.

Kissmetrics

Kissmetrics lets you track and identify visitors (and their CLV) from their first visit all the way through the product buying cycle. Super simple to install and can integrate third parties like Justuno and Recharge. This integration with Shopify isn’t built by Kissmetrics, but is approved by them.

Google Analytics

This is probably the default solution for most of you, but if you don’t have Google Analytics set up yet – DO IT TODAY! If you do already have it set up, make sure you have these 3 reports set up in order to improve your ecommerce conversion rate.

12. Multichannel

Selling on Amazon

Though it’s not here yet, Shopify is working on a direct integration with Amazon so Shopify Plus customers can sell direct on Amazon. You can sign up to get on the waitlist here. However, Shopify Plus merchants can already integrate “Login and Pay” and “Fulfillment” by Amazon (read more about that here). Check out other multichannel solutions below that also enable this integration.

Google Shopping

The Google Shopping app allows you to sync your products with the Google Merchant Center. It uses a direct, automatic API feed to keep your listings up to date. This app also has integration options with Google Shopping and Google Product Listing Ads.

Sellbrite

Sellbrite is a cloud software tool that grows your business by connecting your store with Etsy, Amazon, and eBay. It has a powerful listing functionality, enabling you to bulk list your products at super speed. You can then monitor and relist your product inventory from one dashboard. It’s on the more expensive side, so best for high volume businesses.

Skubana

Skubana’s multi-channel offerings gives your shipping software inventory capabilities and one-click integration to your marketplaces (Amazon, Ebay) and shopping carts. See the entry under Order Management for more info.

Stitchlabs

Stitch (or Stitchlabs) Seamlessly syncs inventory, orders, and data across all sales channels for more scalable retail operations. You can also accurately track multichannel inventory to handle sales coming from multiple sources. See our entry under Order Management for more information.

13. Referral / Loyalty

ReferralCandy

ReferralCandy is a referral app that rewards your customers when they bring friends to your online store. It gives each customer their own personal reward link they can share with their friends.

We’re hosting a free training with ReferralCandy on December 6: “Turn More Shoppers Into Buyers: Ecommerce Conversion Best Practices That Every Store Must Have In 2017”. Click here to grab a spot! 

Sweet Tooth

Sweet Tooth lets you start your own branded loyalty rewards program – customers earn points they can exchange for rewards in your store, like discounts. This app has a super-easy setup and installs in just minutes.

Swell

Swell is a loyalty program that lets you reward customers for things like repeat purchases and referrals. It has an email capture feature as well as 10 unique ways to give rewards. It’s highly customizable.

14. Search

Searchanise

Searchanise provides both Smart Search and Instant Search to your store so you won’t lose customers who are trying to find specific products you’re selling. It also has a Yotpo integration which lets customers filter search by product reviews and ratings. Its goal is to convert visitors to paying customers by showing them the most relevant results.

Instant Search Plus

Instant Search Plus helps shoppers find what they want faster to boost conversion rates – shoppers who use your search function are 4x more likely to buy! They’ll get personalized, relevant product and query recommendations  every time they use it.

Findify

Findify uses artificial intelligence to provide search, product recommendations, and smart collections to your customers. Their A/B tests have revealed a proven 20-30% increase in revenue for its users.

Algolia

Algolia is an API built for developers that provides as-you-type auto-complete search results. It’s praised for being very stable and solving the problem of needing fast searching in large data sets.

15. Payment

Stripe

Stripe is a suite of APIs that powers commerce for businesses of all sizes. Shopify has a bunch of different integrations with it, including Beans and Compass. It allows Shopify merchants to easily setup payments for their store. We prefer to build with Stripe here at Blue Stout (if it is the best solution for our client).

Braintree

Braintree is a multifaceted platform that works best for subscription-based services (like Birchbox) to set up recurring billing or accept repeat payments. It accepts both mobile and online payments and allows a bunch of different payment methods, like Apple Pay and PayPal.

16. Tax

Avalara

Avalara lets ecommerce store owners easily file their state sales taxes. It will automate state tax compliance for you and stay on top of tax filing deadlines. We’ve worked with this solution multiple times and have found it to be one of the best tax app solutions out there.

Do You Have Questions About Any of These Apps For Your Store?

If you’re contemplating implementing any of the above-mentioned apps or are trying to compare solutions for your store, but don’t know what the best choice is for you book a FREE Strategy Session with our CEO, Allen.

Just select a time that works best for you and fill out a short application – it’s that easy! Then, you two can have a chat about your ecommerce store needs and what apps / services might work best for you.

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Heidi Anspaugh Heidi is a digital marketing professional and copywriter with over fifteen years of combined experience in the ecommerce, tech, entertainment, and advertising industries (among others). She has written for many publications, including company blogs like InsideView and Streethawk, and led ecommerce content marketing strategy for shopping search platform TheFind and artist marketplace Redbubble. She loves entrepreneurship, innovation, and digital nomadism.
  • rowby

    This is excellent. Thanks for sharing with the Shopify Plus community. Rowby