In line with our ‘Mastering eCommerce’ series commitment to enable merchants to scale and grow their eCommerce businesses, we have enlisted the help of global eCommerce giant Shopify, to show you how to become a Shopify App master.
Today, we’ll take a look at what exactly app integrations are, how to install them, and how to choose the right Shopify app for your eCommerce store. We will also be sharing some amazing case studies of hugely successful Shopify App integrations on other eCommerce stores.
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What are app integrations?
Shopify’s app integrations are essentially tools which you can use to grow your business. These apps, which you can find on the Shopify App Store, are great for streamlining your daily operations, adding new functions to your store, and growing your revenue.
Installing Shopify apps
It’s easy to get started with Shopify apps. Firstly, head over to the Shopify App Store to decide which app you’d like to integrate with your store. You can filter the available apps by category (marketing, sales, shipping, etc), collections (launching your shop, growing your business, managing a POS, etc), and also by price. Next, click the “install” button, and enter your store’s address. Finally, confirm your installation, and you’re all set!
How to choose the best Shopify apps for your business
A good place to start is by filtering the Shopify apps by their review scores. Look for apps that have a large volume of high scores across a consistent length of time.You’ll want to go for both quality (5 star reviews being the best) and quantity (e.g. how many other Shopify stores are using them). Apps with a small number of high scoring reviews might not accurately reflect the app's capabilities, so the quantity of reviews is as important as the score rating. Don’t be tempted to purchase an expensive app which has 8 glowing reviews all saying that the app is game changing – these might be left by the developer’s friends and family, so take them with a pinch of salt.
Many popular apps will also provide a link to request for a live demo, where you can check out how the app functions in real time. This will help you better envision how the app will look like on your store (if it’s a front-end app) or how the app will speed up and improve your processes (if it’s a back-end app).
Last but not least, you’ll also want to narrow your list down to apps that which provide good support. Different apps provide varying levels of support, from community help to email or phone support. Before purchasing an app, research the level of support provided by the company.
Reviews can also give you a indication of whether the support provided is accessible, timely and reliable. Some developers only list their website under the “support” section, whilst some list their website, email address, and even phone number. It’s also worth reading through the reviews to check out if other users have talked about how accessible support is for any given app integration.
What eCommerce stores have done with Shopify apps
The following stores have all used Shopify apps to streamline their operations and grow their business. Read on for more inspiration:
- Brandroom is luxury multi‐brand store, which used a personalization app to achieve a 47% increase in revenue per visitor, and a 16% increase in conversion rate.
Image from Perzonalization.com
In this case study, personalization was done using a two-pronged approach. Firstly, on the eCommerce site, personalized product recommendations were integrated into several pages. On the email marketing front, Brandroom also started sending out automated cart reminder emails, as well as personalized product recommendations emails. Because of the app they used, these tweaks weren’t by any means difficult to achieve – and the resulting increase in revenue was pretty impressive.
- Gavin Ballard, a Danish charity, was fundraising through selling music albums, and used a “Pay What You Want” app to encourage customers to choose a custom amount to donate, on top of paying for the album’s base price.
Store Sales: Image from GavinBallard.com
In one single day, they increased their revenue by more than 14,479 Danish Krones (roughly the equivalent of $2,000).
- TEAR Australia, a Christian charitable organization, moved from their existing platform to Shopify using a suite of custom-built Shopify apps to cater to their specific requirements.
TEAR was experiencing problems with their current platform, and needed to shift to a more modern solution. Because TEAR operates via a “gift catalogue” method of fundraising - whereby donors may contribute directly to a specific cause by purchasing “gifts” – they were looking for a solution which came with standard eCommerce functionality to handle customers, orders, and payments. On top of this, they had four specific requirements:
- TEAR affiliates had to be able to run their own storefronts on top of the website
- Customer and order data needed to be synced with their CRM system
- TEAR staff needed to be able to create tens of thousands of gift cards at once
- Customers needed to be able to make custom donations to causes and gift shops
Useful Gifty: Image from DiscoLabs.com
By building TEAR a suite of four custom Shopify applications to tackle their specific requirements, Disco Labs helped TEAR launch their new website smoothly and without any hiccups. The new front-end functionalities make it easy for customers and affiliates to donate to and engage with various charities, and the back-end automation reduces TEAR’s time spent processing donations.
Credible: Image from DiscoLabs.com
In the ever more competitive eCommerce landscape, the right Shopify App integration could make all the difference in transforming your customer experience, increasing your basket size and making your eCommerce store stand head and shoulders above your competition.
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