Running an eCommerce business is not easy, and while you may be able to manage all the fundamentals to get it started, you will need more assistance with it as you start expanding.
The explosive growth of the Shopify platform – which has over 800,000 stores as of 2019 – has changed the landscape for eCom business owners.
I am often using and recommending the same list of eCommerce tools for the Shopify platform and beyond, so I’ve created a list of the ones we use most, along with the links and quick summaries of what problem they solve.
These must-have apps will assist you and add new features to your store, so take a look and decide which ones are most applicable to your business.
Tool #1 – CartHook
Description From The Developer: CartHook boosts your checkout page conversion rate with their fully customizable one-page checkout. Highly optimized and mobile-perfect design allows your customers to check out faster, without multiple clicks or endless pages.
Using CartHook to create a more streamlined and customized checkout experience helped Kettle & Fire increase checkout conversions by 140%, gave them 41% higher revenue per visitor.
Our summary of CartHook:
In a world where convenience and timeliness are key, eCommerce sellers have to be on top of the trends. Enter CartHook, a checkout software that streamlines the shopping experience for customers and the ordering process for the seller.
Instead of clicking through multiple screens where they have to enter their address and payment info, shoppers only have one screen with CartHook. This means less frustration and higher conversion rates.
CartHook connects to the main payment processors that sellers use including PayPal and Stripe, to name a few, and sellers who use Shopify can integrate the software seamlessly. Upselling is a great way to make extra money and call to those impulse buyers, and CartHook recognizes this.
With the software, post-purchase upsells help put valid options in front of the shopper, coordinating products related to their recent purchase.
For an example on how powerful this can be, consider user Nate Andreshak. After adding CartHook to his store and implementing some of their landing page funnels, his sales jumped from $1,120,94.85 to $2,412,762.70 one year later.
Best of all, there’s no need for the buyer to add their payment information again — it’s done automatically! Those who offer subscription services can offer them with CartHook as well.
Sellers looking to offer their products on more than one site can take advantage of the funnel builder, a feature that makes it possible to create a specific sales page for any number of goods or services.
The admin feature shows how successful each funnel is in terms of revenue and lets the user sort the funnels by order of success to ensure it reaches more potential customers.
Built-in fraud protection safeguards the seller against chargebacks and ROI tracking shows exactly how much revenue is generated on advertising campaigns. CartHook is billed as an eCommerce checkout software, but the reality is it does so much more.
The company offers professional and enterprise plans that start at $300 per month.
Tool #2 – Smile Rewards
Description From The Developer – Smile offers three programs that make program management simple and intuitive: loyalty points program, referral program, and a VIP program.
Our summary Of The tool:
It’s a simple fact that rewarding shoppers for their purchases makes them want to come back time and again.
Smile is an app that integrates seamlessly into Shopify, Privy, Okendo, Klaviyo, Mailchimp and ReCharge, giving users a host of tools to boost customer loyalty.
With the app, sellers can set up three different types of programs: loyalty points, referral and VIP.
Store owners can set the parameters of each program and then use the admin panel to analyze the results in terms of customer engagement and marketing success.
All in all, it takes only a few minutes to set up and there’s no need to hire an external team to activate the features.
While sellers can use the app for free, there are several beneficial paid features that make it easy to brand and grow a customer base.
For example, in addition to the basic design customization tools, users can create custom images and logos to further set their brand apart.
Email customization is also included, as is referral messaging. Those who prefer to have a timeline on points can enact the points expiry feature, encouraging customers to redeem them in a timely manner.
Smile Rewards & Loyalty comes in several different price points ranging from the free subscription that comes with the basic features to enterprise level, which starts at $1,000 per month.
Tool #3 – Social Media Stream
Description From The Developer – Stream All Your Social Media Into One Stunning Widget. Showcase your posts from Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Youtube, Pinterest and Tumblr onto one stunning social widget.
Our summary Of The tool:
Almost everyone these days is on social media, making it the ideal platform for sellers to reach prospective customers.
Social Media Stream is an app that integrates into a website, so consumers can keep up to date with real-time posts.
Sellers who use sites such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter and others need a way to reach a wide audience, and that’s where Social Media Stream comes into play.
It works on multiple devices including computers, tablets and phones, so the posts and visuals are crystal clear and sized just right no matter where customers view them. It’s easy to install with a simple click, so it works with nearly any type of website.
In addition, users can get customer reviews and even run social campaigns with the widget.
These campaigns are a great way to boost visibility and the widget also lets sellers create content and immediately stream it out to viewers across multiple platforms.
Social Media Stream is available for free, but this version comes with basic features including two streams, a daily refresh rate and a maximum of 18 posts per month.
Those interested in more streams, posts or a quicker refresh rate can upgrade to a gold or platinum account which are $9.95 and $45 per month, respectively.
Description From The Developer – Consistent Cart is a messenger marketing & abandon cart toolbox.
Consistent Cart bundles up to 10 different apps together, with features such as: Facebook messenger marketing, add to cart popups, push notification marketing, cart syncing across devices, activity monitor, Happy Birthday emails, customer Thank You emails, abandon cart campaigns, real time sales pops, and an advanced title bar.
The Baymard Institute published some research that identified 69.57% cart abandonment rate – which is much lower than industry average – based on 41 different studies in 2019.
Our summary Of The tool:
Selling more is always welcomed by business owners, but what if you didn’t have to work so hard to do it? Consistent Cart is a power app — one that combines 10 features into a single application, all of which are designed to help increase sales with minimal effort.
Setting up customized emails is a breeze with Consistent Cart, and it makes customers feel special.
Users can set the app to send emails to wish people a happy birthday, to send thank you’s and also to let them know they have items in their cart remaining to be purchased.
Push notifications make it easy for customers to take immediate action, and with Consistent Cart, sellers using this feature experience higher conversion rates.
Sellers who like an overview can use the activity monitor to view every single cart in the store.
“Shopping cart abandonment is the single largest obstacle for ecommerce retailers to overcome, and the extent of the problem is shocking.” – Dan Shewan, Wordstream
With the persistent shopping cart feature, customers can see their cart contents which is synced across devices. Shop pops show shoppers recent sales that have been made in order to inspire an impulse buy.
Other features include an advanced title bar which flashes to keep shoppers focused on the website and the add-to-cart popup which collects the shopper’s email address so sellers can add it to marketing campaigns.
Consistent Cart has two subscription options: basic and pro.
The basic plan is free but only includes two features — activity monitor and cart syncing. The pro plan includes all 10 features and starts at $29 per month and will increase in price as your sales improve.
“Your customers may be encouraged to go through checkout if you guarantee that you’ll hold the items for them for a definite but limited time.” – Dan Wang, Bloomberg
Tool #5 – Zipify
Description From The Developer – Zipify creates products to power your marketing. Zipify ups your game with winning landing pages, post-purchase upsells, email upsells, and time- sensitive coupon pop ups – watch your business grow!
Our summary Of The tool:
When it comes to marketing, streamlining is a must. Here’s where Zipify comes into the plan. With two products — Pages and OneClickUpsell — to choose from, stepping up the game is simplified.
Using Zipify, Seattle-based company Heroclip added $15,900 per month to their profits by offering a 30% discount for customers.
Zipify Pages is designed to help sellers create a landing page, one that’s aimed at selling a specific product or service.
It’s more than just a simple page, though. It’s rife with all the features that drive conversion.
Instead of hosting on another site, it integrates with Shopify stores and comes with many admin features such as A/B testing and a full reporting suite that make it easy to see the results in real time.
Additionally, the pages are easy to create with a drag-and-drop builder that eliminates the need to code or write scripts.
Plus, there are many templates to choose from to get just the right look for the brand. Pages starts at $67 per month for a basic account and $97 per month for a plus account.
Sellers can pay for the annual subscription and save 14%.
On average, users see a 10-15% increase in sales immediately after installing Zipify, according to their case studies.
OneClickUpsell is designed to help sellers make even more money by offering products that pair well with the contents of the buyer’s cart. Rather than offer the upsell prior to the purchase, this Zipify product offers it after the purchase to avoid shoppers leaving due to promotions.
Plus, when the customer decides to purchase the product, they don’t have to enter their payment information a second time.
OneClickUpsell starts at $47 per month, though users can opt to purchase the annual plan and spend only $33 per month base rate.
Each plan comes with additional charges too, that add up to 1.5% of the upsell revenue generated.
Tool #6 – Yotpo
Description From The Developer – With the most advanced solutions for user-generated content marketing, referrals, and loyalty programs, Yotpo helps brands accelerate growth by enabling advocacy and maximizing customer lifetime value.
With Yotpo, brands can effectively leverage social proof to increase trust and sales, cultivate loyal customer advocates, and make better business decisions based on customer feedback.
A study of 8.6 million purchases conducted by Yopto found products with a 4-star rating on their platform receive nearly 12x more orders than those with an average rating of 3 stars.
Our summary Of The tool:
When it comes to marketing a business, the less sellers have to do, the better.
This is why comprehensive apps such as Yotpo are on the rise. Yotpo combines several tools that make it easy to draw the customer in and improve their experience.
At the heart of every business — especially with today’s online presence — is the customer review.
Buyers are looking for companies with high ratings to instill confidence before they spend their hard-earned money.
Yotpo has a Reviews & Ratings platform that makes it simple to collect reviews from buyers and invite more interaction as well.
Sellers can even offer coupons for future visits to those who leave reviews. Q&A sections make it possible to pose those important questions before clicking “buy” so it’s worth having one set up on the website.
Yotpo recognizes that the visual aspect is what initially draws a shopper’s interest. With their visual marketing package, creating eye-catching home, product and checkout pages is simple.
Sellers can showcase their top products in hopes of inspiring more purchases and upsells.
Customer retention is difficult when there’s plenty of competition, but Yotpo makes it easy to develop customer reward and referral programs that give shoppers incentive to return.
The admin dashboard shows which programs are most effective and which ones are not performing as well.
Customer insights make it possible to see where buyers are happy and how sellers stack up to the competition.
This platform also lets sellers view current trends, so they can make decisions on which products to showcase.
Yotpo offers a free plan with some basic services that cover up to 50 monthly orders.
Beyond this, business owners will need the enterprise plan which requires a custom quote.
Tool #7 – Curalate
Description From The Developer – Curalate lets you use social content and audiences to sell more effectively online. Make any social channel shoppable, leverage user generated content (UGC), and activate influencers.
Our summary Of The tool:
Visuals are an excellent way to draw customers in, whether it’s on social media or a company website. Curalate makes it easy to create eye-catching pages that, in turn, drive up revenue.
With Curalate, users can collect media that centers on their products or services whether it’s created by the user or not.
Once the seller has the media — pictures or videos — they can use it to connect products, tagging them to drive results, which in this case are sales.
Interactive media makes it possible for consumers to spread the word, whether they buy or not.
39% of consumers are influenced by user generated content, saying that seeing real life images of people who had previously bought a product make them more likely to buy it.
Making social media posts and blogs shareable is an excellent way to get increased results. Curalate has a feature that makes it possible to activate touchpoints that are optimized for multiple devices.
Of course, any good marketing platform needs to have a way for sellers to view the results. With advanced analytics, monitoring campaigns and customer interaction, as well as revenue generated is as simple as viewing reports.
Curalate does a lot more than what’s listed here, though.
The services are custom and include remote checkout, custom templates, animations and promotions to name a few. The prices are based on the services used, so it varies depending on which ones sellers opt-in for.
Tool #8 – Klaviyo
Description From The Developer – Klaviyo is a technology company that combines customer data and marketing software. Klaviyo makes it super simple to pull in data from your ecommerce platform, point-of-sale software, and other marketing tools.
Our summary Of The tool:
The best way to grow a business is to see what marketing techniques are performing the best.
Wasting money on unsuccessful tactics can sink a company, quickly. Klaviyo works to elevate the data that business owners need so they can implement successful marketing campaigns and thus, increase sales revenue.
The software is quite extensive in what it offers. It has multiple tools that collect and analyze information about what customers are doing on the company’s website to help develop tailored tactics that have proven track records.
The data is segmented, making it easy to see which campaigns and notifications are generating the most revenue.
Once sellers know what works, they can develop automated solutions such as emails, newsletters and ads aimed at the target audience.
This creates less work for the business owner, freeing up more time to work on other aspects that need attention.
Klaviyo is an affordable solution that ranges in price. It starts out free for those who have 250 or fewer contacts.
The more contacts the seller has, the higher the cost. The site lists up to 148,000 contacts at $1700 per month; anything beyond that requires a call to Klaviyo to set up a custom quote and account to suit the business owner’s needs.
“Search engines and social media platforms are great for getting discovered by future customers, but email remains the best way to maintain and strengthen existing relationships over time.” – Mark Macdonald, Content Marketing Manager at Shopify
Tool #9 – Stamped
Description From The Developer – Stamped.io gives you everything you need to effectively gather and moderate user-content from your customers. Collect genuine reviews of your products, with automated survey and in-email forms, so your customers experience a simple and easy reviews process, right from their email.
Our summary Of The tool:
Stamped combines several tools into one easy-to-use platform.
Sellers looking to make an impact without having to download and run multiple apps can take advantage of the host of features Stamped offers.
Customer reviews are important to the buyers of both products and services who want to make sure they’re in for a positive experience.
With Stamped, sellers can harness the power of user-generated content, putting it to work for them, whether it’s text, images or video.
It’s also possible to take these reviews and make them the central focus of a targeted ad, which sellers can run right through Stamped.
Interactive Q&A makes it easy for customers to respond to questions from others about products that they have already purchased.
Integrating this feature is simple and previous customers don’t even have to go to the website to answer, they can do it right from their email.
The best insight into any business is customer feedback, and Stamped has a feature called Net Promoter Score that lets sellers instantly create surveys, email them to customers and get feedback.
From the survey results, a score of -100 through 100 is administered, showing business owners exactly where improvement is needed.
Instagram is very popular these days, and it makes sense to harness its reach to draw in customers. Sellers can access user-generated content to make shoppable galleries, showcasing the best of the product’s features and capabilities.
All of these features help to improve the company’s SEO, placing them higher in search ratings and thus, driving up revenue potential.
Stamped’s free plan offers basic features and covers up to 50 orders.
After that, other plans include Basic, Premium and Enterprise which start at $15, $29 and $199 per month, respectively. Users who have more than 3,500 orders per month need to get a custom quote from Stamped.
Tool #10 – Smartzer
Description From The Developer – The Smartzer video tagging platform adds hotspots to your videos.
Make anything in your video clickable through our beautiful customizable interactive overlay. The interactive overlay is automatically optimized for all distribution channels including websites, social media, video ads and touch screen experiences.
Our summary Of The tool:
Since visuals are an excellent way to attract customers, Smartzer has capitalized on this with a video tagging platform that makes videos interactive.
This makes it possible for customers to share the videos with their friends, family and followers.
Smartzer is fully customizable, making it possible for users to tailor the settings, keeping it on brand.
It’s available in multiple languages and currencies, so it’s ideal for global companies who want to reach prospective customers across the world. Its fully responsive setup means that it works on all devices including smartphones, tablets and PCs.
After creating the videos, users can embed them in ads or on their company website and the distribution possibilities are nearly endless.
According to a recent study of users, Smartzer’s customers saw consumer interaction increase an average of 51.4%, clickthroughs to the product detail page rise 10.6%, video completion rates of 22.5%, and sales conversions rise by 500%.
Some clients have used these interactive videos to post touchscreen ads in shopping malls, while others use them to gain followers on social media sites.
While the videos are an excellent tool, the built-in analytics really let sellers see where the successes happen.
Users can see how many people watched the video, including whether it was a partial or full view, how many clicked away and where they clicked to.
The analytics also show what time of day users access the video the most and which top 10 products garner the most clicks.
In order to get pricing information, users have to contact Smartzer directly using the on-page form as each project has a different scope of work and pricing.