Shopify Plugins: How to make your website work harder
You’ve found your niche, built a brand and picked a theme … what next? Taking your store to the next level is about tightening any loose screws; you need a crack team of specialist staff and that means overheads and HR headaches. But what if you could build a store without the human resources? This list of Shopify Plugins will help you fill your store with the staff you need.
Shopify Plugins make your website work harder:
- Shopify Plugins Make Your Shopify Store Safe (Security)
- Shopify Plugins Run the Numbers For You (Analytics)
- Shopify Plugins Make You Visible (SEO)
- Shopify Plugins Give You Social Proof (Product reviews)
- Shopify Plugins Provide Customer Support
- Shopify Plugins Are The Best Salespeople (Nudges)
Every shop needs great salespeople. They also need security, marketing and accountants. Fortunately, digital stores don’t have to worry about HR. However, consumers still expect safety, convenience and a personal touch. To meet these expectations, store owners can employ a dedicated, 24-hour workforce at low cost. Plugins are the staff that traditional shop-owners can only dream of.
These six types of Shopify Plugins will enhance your store’s user experience, reassure your customers that their data is safe and increase your conversion rate.
Securing your shop will not just keep you safe – it will increase the trust customers place in you. Concerns about security can prevent people from committing to a deal, even a great one! By ensuring your site is secure, and preventing any unwanted intrusions, you can offer better value to your visitors.
4.6 Stars – $4.99/Month
Shop Protector prevents fake accounts from interfering with your forms. It boasts “best-in-class” security, but has been criticised for a complex uninstalling process.
4.8 Stars – $9/month
Locksmith allows you to restrict access to content or products, so that only paying customers are able to see them. The protection is comprehensive and well-reviewed. However, as the Plugin is scaled up with increasing traffic, it quickly becomes expensive.
Google Analytics may provide you with all the information you want about your site. However, it comes with a steep learning curve and a complex installation process. The advantage of an analytics plugin for shopify is that it can provide you with tailored insights direct to your shopify interface.
4.9 Stars – $0-79/Month
Compass has an army of loyal customers who appreciate the industry benchmarks it provides. The advantage of a single-dashboard view of all eCommerce metrics is significant, but some people are put off by the access it requires to business data.
4.9 Stars – £0/Unlimited
Yandex is a relatively new option from the Shopify App Store. For a free plugin, it is exceptionally well reviewed.
Search Engine Optimisation has been presented as a panacea for all eCommerce ailments. Whilst the cure-all claims of SEO aficionados may be overstating the case, improving your search engine presence is a cheap way to secure more visitors with the right intentions.
Google’s ranking factors are one of the web’s last remaining secrets. RankBrain, the machine-learning algorithm has rendered the SEO tricks of past generations redundant. These Shopify plugins allow you to enhance your web presence the white-hat way.
4.9 Stars – $4.99/month
This plugin automates the meta data and alt tags that make your Shopify store visible to search engines. It is relatively simple to add these elements to your site manually, but this tool will save you that time at a reasonable price.
4.7 Stars – $0-20/Month
Rather than automating the SEO tasks that will make your store visible, Plug-in-SEO runs audits and advises you on how to improve your site. It is more labour-intensive than the Smart SEO plugin, but offers more flexibility and customisation as well.
The vast majority of online purchases involve browsing for reviews from previous customers. Social Proof is one of the most powerful tools marketers can use to convert uncertain customers. The use of reviews is more effective if your visitors trust they are impartial. To achieve this, product review plugins from the Shopify App Store collect and display customer reviews for you.
Product Reviews (by Shopify)
4.5 Stars – $0/Unlimited
Shopify’s own solution for providing product reviews to your customers is simple to install and easy to use. Some types of store might want features that are missing from the package, such as the ability to prompt customer reviews with an automatic follow-up email. However, this is a no-brainer for most of the platform’s users.
4.9 Stars – $9.99-99.99/Month
A more sophisticated approach to user reviews, Loox allows you to display galleries of former customers with HD display images. Reviews can be shared through Social Media or in-store pop-ups, and the platform allows you to auto-send prompts.
Customer support is a neglected feature of eCommerce. However, when it’s done right, the results are impressive. Think about Amazon, the world’s largest online store by some distance. What sets it apart is not the interface or design; it is the service.
4.8 Stars – $0-49.99/Month
Employing a customisable contact form might seem unnecessary, but it can have a significant impact on your customer relationships. Attention is prejudiced by series effects known as primacy and recency (we pay more attention to the first and most recent item on a list). Giving your customers a good experience at the end of the purchase process is likely to shape their overall impression of your service.
4.7 Stars – $0-49.99/Month
This is a versatile form-building plugin that works for both customer support and email capture forms. The forms can be embedded easily on your Shopify store, and you will receive notifications when an entry is submitted. The plugin integrates with Google Forms and Mailchimp, so it is a useful addition to your eCommerce strategy.
You may not realise at the time, but your brain makes judgements and calculations every time you enter a shop. Information about the store, its products and (crucially) other customers, has a big impact on how we choose to spend our money. These effects are often missing from digital commerce, which isolates users from the products on display and the store’s other customers.
Some Shopify Plugins allow store owners to recreate effects that occur in traditional shops. For example, notifications displaying low stock or high demand apply powerful psychological effects relating to scarcity. These plugins increase your conversion rate by giving your customers the same experience they would have on the shop floor.
4.5 Stars – $0-5/Month
The influence of psychological effects such as Social Proof, FOMO and Scarcity can be easily applied with these notifications. They use live data from your store to display persuasive information about stock levels and items that have been purchased recently. The messages can be targeted and personalised according to your visitor’s location and identity. An in-built algorithm selects the optimal messages to show at the perfect time.
4.9 Stars – $9-99/Month
Alongside personalised and persuasive messages, Fera allows store owners to display countdown timers and highly customised messages. The plugin includes an A/B testing feature that allows you to experiment with different kinds of messages.
Kitting out your store with the best plugins is your first step towards eCommerce domination. However, it is still only one step. You also need to grow your traffic, build killer product pages and develop an optimised pricing strategy.