Unfortunately, not all Shopify apps take into consideration the quality of the code and a good UX (User Experience). I have tried most popular apps and spoken to developers bringing my suggestions and concerns forward. Here is the list of best (in my opinion) and most commonly used Shopify apps for pretty much any e-commerce or website.
Some Shopify themes comes with some extra functionality such as apps below but in most cases, its quite basic and you don’t get continues updates and improvements.
You have to decide which app makes sense to install and use it, considering ROI, conversion, upselling and cross-selling features, productivity, UI, UX, SEO or whatever else you are trying to achieve.
Bear in mind, more in most cases is not better. Apps are just an addition to your website/CMS and you will be adding additional external server request which could add up very quickly, consequently, slows down your site, could become clunky, and makes UX pretty bad.
Consider using only what you really need and installing one app at the time while monitoring website performance, load time and functionality as it may break sometimes. You are quite limited how much optimisation you can do with Shopify since you do not have access to the server, so before investing time and money on Shopify CMS consider if you want to go with alternatives instead such as WordPress, Magento, other CMS or completely bespoke.
I like Shopify and I would recommend to most hands-on people, as it is quite user-friendly and does not require very technical skills to run on a daily basis. Shopify was built on own programming language called liquid which is quite simple to read especially if you have experience with HTML and CSS. My advice would be to focus on your brand, service or product first – something that Shopify is good at.
Sales and Conversion Optimisation
Fomo Social Proof – Fomo Increases Conversions with Social Proof Notifications
Providing sales and reviews notifications. We can display time, location who bought it with a picture and link to the product.
Free Shipping Bar by Hextom: we can inform customers about free priority shipping for orders over £500 and a special offer for over £5000 for those who are looking to expand the gym or set up a new one. Our all equipment comes with free shipping as standard, but we do priority shipping for those customers in a hurry with a little charge.
Judge.me Product Reviews (referral link): the best and most flexible app we came across at a reasonable price, and we have tried quite a few. Automation process makes it easy to use, it sits there and does the job. Received great support to customise for our needs too.
Order Deadline: have installed but still not ready for our needs at the time of writing. It will be like Amazon look accurate shipping and dispatch information for the product displayed.
Smart Search & Instant Search: allow us to show products, pages and blogs while typing. Correct misspelt words suggest some products and even promote it. We can integrate with judge.me to show reviews too.
Rewards and Loyalty
Beans (referral link): rewards loyalty program. We can reward for, creating an account, referring a friend and accepting an invitation from a friend, follow us on Facebook, Twitter or customer birthday. (Waiting for a new addon to reward customers for visiting our shop.)
Store Functionality and Design
Oxi Social Login: the only function we use is social login, but it has some more to offer. (some people complained about, I have not had any problems so far)
Shogun Page Builder: with this app, we able to create pages to look much better than native Shopify pages can do without almost none of the code knowledge. Similar to Squarspace drag and drop.
HelpCenter – Build an Attractive FAQs Page: not the best looking but easy to manage and it is free.
Products Features and Product page Design
Product Options: we have struggled to find good options app. We are happy with all the functionality it does bring to us. We were quite satisfied with an app and got surprised to know developers discontinued and not supporting it anymore. Seems like their building something new to come around April. If there were not happy with a good app, it would be something impressive.
Easy Tabs – Product Tabs: we wanted some flexibility to display things individually or by particular rule on a description tab, and this does it all and looks great. Could get confusing on multiple groups of the products.
Orders and Shipping
Custom Order Status by W3: we can provide better insights on how long is left to complete an order and at that stage is equipment at. Most of our equipment is made to order so we have an option to let customers know how many weeks left to complete (10-1 weeks). Later, we have other stages such as testing, painting, packing, waiting for collection, in transit. We provide
Smart Tags allows automatically tag by price. You can set some rules to auto-tag, but it does have some limitations. Hopefully, soon will improve.
Shopkeeper Magic Button: we can jump straight from our website to the Shopify platform. Like from our page to Shopify page and our product to Shopify product.
Smart SEO: an essential app for our SEO. It fundamentally transforms all our info and crunches it all for Google. It can show information differently for every collection, product, page… We have suggested
Bulk Image Edit: we can compress, resize, crop, canvas resize, edge crop, trim, convert png to jpg images and put a watermark. It is paid by credits bought in advance.
Bulk Product Edit: time saver for people who work with many products. Multiple options to edit and manage products in bulk, even scheduling option available. Could get a bit confusing but an excellent thing to have to change or even add specific text products all at once.