How to choose the right app for your Shopify store
On the downside: all that choice can give you a bit of a headache when you start looking into Shopify apps. The market for apps is immense and as soon as an app is doing well, alternatives will pop up that do more or less the same – which doesn’t make your choice any easier.
You will also want to prevent any drops in loading speed caused by too many apps, so it’s crucial to pick the right ones. You could read the reviews in the Appstore of course, to see what your co-merchants think of an app. And, as soon as you’ve got a shortlist, use the free trial period many apps offer.
But we’d bet you would much rather pick the brains of someone who knows their stuff, right? At Code we’ve been keeping a keen eye on what’s on offer in the Appstore for years now, and we regularly test promising apps to see if it would work for our clients. In our experience, it’s all about the question: does the extra functionality you’re getting outweigh the impact on your site’s performance?
And we have some other useful tips for you as well. Such as this one: before you start testing apps in your store, it’s important to make a backup first. How? You guessed it: there’s an app for that! Rewind, number 12 in the list below. You’re welcome ;)
Want to know which apps are essential for your store? Get in touch and we’ll give you some pointers – no charge!
Code’s favourite Shopify apps for 2023
Choosing apps continues to be a custom job. The right combination of apps varies between stores: a store busy scaling up needs different apps than stores with an expanding or shrinking product catalogue, and one store requires more custom functionality while the other would like to use less custom solutions. Different stores have different needs, so there are hardly any apps we would call ‘must-haves’.
That said: some functionality is so good that almost every e-commerce business should use it. That’s the type of functionality we focus on in our list of favourite Shopify apps:
If you’re serious about the success of your online store, you can’t ignore personalized email marketing. Klaviyo is the best Email Marketing tool for e-commerce businesses, period.
Its integration with Shopify is sheer perfection and enables you to use the data from your store to personalize your marketing emails to an ever higher degree. E-commerce brands using Klaviyo attribute about 25% of their revenue to email marketing, on average – and for clients working with Code’s very own Klaviyo Elite team that figure might even reach 50%.
What’s more, Klaviyo integrates just as seamlessly with a host of other apps in this list – which offers your store a lot more options to make that final push to the top of your market. Both in terms of revenue and customer experience.
Having trouble choosing between Mailchimp and Klaviyo? Check out our five reasons why Klaviyo is the best choice for ambitious webshops.
Gorgias is hands-down the best helpdesk and live chat platform for Shopify stores. Why? The app organizes all incoming customer support queries from channels such as Instagram, Whatsapp, Facebook, email, phone and live chat in one place, and supplies your customer service team with a complete order history and automated answers to frequently asked questions. This app has everything for a super fast and efficient customer service: Gorgias will save you oodles of time, raise your customers’ buying frequency, and get you a whopping 20-30% conversion on support tickets.
Want to transform your customer service into an efficient and profitable part of your business? Send Bob an email and we will get you two months for free.
Returning customers are the best customers, and with LoyaltyLion you can give them a good reason to keep coming back. This app will help you boost your store’s Frequency and Average Order Value (AOV) considerably by setting up a data driven loyalty program, tailored to your brand and requirements.
Our client Fascino Coffee uses LoyaltyLion to enable customers to collect loyalty points while buying coffee. Thanks to the smooth integration between LoyaltyLion and Klaviyo, we can predict when a customer will place their next order and follow up on it with a personalized email flow.
Every once in a while an app appears on the market with such nifty functionality that you wonder why nobody thought of this before. Rebuy gives a sizable boost to your sales, AOV, and customer retention through upselling en cross-selling. The app leverages artificial intelligence (AI) to show your customers relevant products and offers at the right time and in the right place: related products in the checkout, product upgrades on the product page, and a lot more. The app takes only a few minutes to install and as soon as you’ve configured your tags you’re good to go.
This app is best experienced firsthand! Because you are a friend of Code’s, Rebuy offers you an extended free trial of 30 days.
5. Reviews.io of JudgeMe
Customer reviews are gold! Did you know the chance of visitors to your store turning into paying customers quadruples when they’ve read reviews? And that the Average Order Value (AOV) of those customers is about 28% higher on average? A good review app is a no-brainer. At Code we advise clients to work with Reviews.io or JudgeMe.
JudgeMe bursts with functionality: have customers review directly from the email with your review request, give them the option to add photo and video to inspire potential customers, and share their reviews on social media – automatically or after your selection. The app is very reasonably priced, and you can even score the coveted Google Shopping stars with it (if you have enough reviews). In all, a very good app to start collecting reviews.
Are you looking for a bit more advanced functionality, like access to reviews via an API? In that case Reviews.io is your best bet. Its Klaviyo connection is also more advanced than that of JudgeMe: we love how it enables you to enhance your Abandoned Cart emails with five-star reviews from exactly the product your customer left behind! Just sit back and see the conversion ratio on these flows go through the roof 🙂Want to try Reviews.io? Use the code 'CODEAGENCY' and get a 10% discount for the first three months.
Algolia helps you to drastically improve the search function in your store. A must if your store has over a 1000 products: nothing more killing to your customers' experience (and your revenue) than not being able to find what they are looking for. Algolia tackles different ways of spelling and typos, offers auto predict and much more - and makes sure your customers will always find what they need on your site.
Installing this power-app takes a bit of time and effort (it usually takes a whole sprint to get it right), and it will always have an impact on your store’s speed. But when you see what Algolia does for your customer experience it’s worth it in most cases.
N.B.: Shopify recently launched its own (free!) search app: Shopify Search & Discovery. Of course at Code we’re testing it as we speak. It looks like Algolia has one big advantage: Misspelling & Partial results. To be continued!
7. Octane AI
In 2021 Octane AI was selected by Shopify as best Storefront App. Need we say more? Octane is a wonderful app to collect data and opt-ins in a playful (zero-party) way. With this app you can quickly set up a product quiz or a conversational pop-up with which you can advise customers on personalized products - and give your conversion a nice boost as well.
Us Coders also love combining Octane with Klaviyo. That way you can load the data collected in a quiz into Klaviyo and use it to create customer segments. Next, you can send these segments personalized emails tailored to their particular profile.
Our client Fascino Coffee uses Octane AI to determine a customer’s coffee preferences through a string of questions. After finishing the quiz, the customer receives their results via a Klaviyo email that also gives them a discount or free shipping on their next order.
Does your store contain over 300 SKU’s and is keeping your collections up-to-date a time consuming chore? Do you accidentally have products listed at the top of your collection page that aren’t actually in stock? Or would you like to finally get rid of a product that isn’t selling well? Then Kimonix is the app for you. This app synchronizes sales, inventory and customer data to create smart collections that sell well, optimize margins and help you eliminate dead stock.
And all this without any action on your part, because Kimonix tests and renews your collections on auto-pilot. Kimonix becomes even more powerful when you combine it with Rebuy and Klaviyo. Think of customers subscribing for a back-in-stock notification who are shown some personalized product recommendations in the confirmation email: while they are waiting for their product to be back in stock, they might as well order some other products. Very effective!
Nice to read: our CCO Bob Rockland talks about Code’s successes with Kimonix in this blog!
9. Firmhouse (or Recharge)
If you would like to hop on the recent subscriptions trend, Firmhouse is the solution for enabling your clients to take out a subscription on their favourite products. Your customers confirm their subscription via a small iDeal payment, after which Firmhouse sets up a recurring payment and makes sure a new order is created at regular intervals. Works like a charm for things like coffee, socks and razor blades: products that people regularly need new ones of. We also configured Firmhouse for the lease-a-jeans concept of MUD Jeans.
N.B.: The app Recharge, which focuses on the North-American market and hence only worked with credit cards until recently, is now working on iDeal integration. Quite expensive (think 500 dollars per month), but if your store has a lot of subscriptions it might be worth it. Recharge integrates seamlessly with Klaviyo and offers many effective cross-selling tactics: for instance, by never assuming a customer to stick with a certain type of coffee for all eternity, and showing them new things to try every once in a while.
Sendcloud is a classic that we’ve been working with for a long time now. It has been the go-to shipping app for Europe for years and is extremely effective at setting up the delivery of your orders. Especially when you have multiple stores, Sendcloud is useful because it shows you what your best logistics options are in terms of availability and price. You can choose from a plethora of carriers and automate the whole process, from printing shipping labels to sending tracking emails to customers… and a lot more.
In an era where TikTok clocks six times as much screen time as Netflix (according to a study from 2021, so probably even more by now), it is no surprise that short videos are successful in e-commerce as well. We tested shoppable video with Videowise for a few clients and saw conversion ratios of 5 -15% - way higher than the global average conversion ratio of 1,5%!
Videowise also plays well with Klaviyo: it can convert videos to GIFs, which you can easily copy into your Klaviyo emails. Video in marketing emails was simply not possible until recently, so this is quite the breakthrough. Definitely worth a try: book a demo here.
Did you know Shopify doesn’t make a local backup of your store? Shopify only keeps emergency backups to restore the entire platform in case there’s a big shutdown. This means that if you accidentally make a mistake and remove a product, category or order in your store, this data is lost forever. No need to panic though! Rewind is the solution. The app automatically saves any changes in your store and will be your own magical undo button.
Nothing is more frustrating (and pricey!) than solving problems in your store without a backup. That’s why we always advise our clients to use Rewind. It is a Shopify Plus Certified app and the only backup service recommended by Shopify Plus.
According to our e-commerce strategist Coen your profit margin is the most important KPI in your entire store - because it shows how profitable your business will be in the long run. Yet many e-com brands hardly have a clue about their daily costs, and hence insufficient control over their margin. Are you done with the guesswork and want to be truly on top of things? Then BeProfit is an investment that will earn its keep. This app gives you the most insightful reports and shows you exactly where you can optimize and improve.
BeProfit combines the data from your Shopify store, marketing, warehousing and other sources to show you precisely where you stand. Watch your store break even and then start to make a profit in real time every day, and what products and categories get you the best margins. A great app that is going to help you make better decisions faster!
14. Orderly Emails
Which of your emails are the most opened and read? We bet you it’s the transactional emails: the order confirmation sent to the customer as soon as they placed an order for instance. It’s a shame there’s not much room to tweak those emails in Shopify… unless you install Orderly Emails.
This app offers you a range of drag & drop templates that are easily adapted to your branding, and turns your finished template into a code that you can paste into Shopify with the click of a button.
The price? 49 dollars, one-time. We’d call that an excellent deal!
A smooth returns process is important to ensure a good customer experience, but have you ever considered what a good exchange process might do for your revenue? With our own app Returner you can set up a branded self-service returns portal in which your customers quickly and easily register their returns and are encouraged to exchange instead of return. That way you retain up to 40% of your revenue - and realize extra sales via upselling (exchange for a more expensive product).
Our returns solution is unique because it’s a native Shopify app, allowing you to automatically process your returns directly in Shopify. This has saved brands like MR MARVIS, MUD Jeans and Josephine & Co up to 90% of time. The app gives you greater insight in your returns data as well, enabling you to tackle the most common reasons for returns and increase your Customer Lifetime Value over time. And who doesn’t want that?
Growth takes more than choosing the right apps
Are you interested in realizing sustained growth for your e-commerce brand, and making it future proof? The right apps will be an important component in reaching that goal, but there are many more ways to actively invest in growth. At Code we recently launched our Acceleration & Growth program, giving brands access to our extensive expertise in that area. Want to know what the program looks like? Read more about it here!