One of the reasons we love Shopify so much and recommend it to the vast majority of those who come to us seeking advice for eCommerce is the range of plugins Shopify has on offer. Over half a million merchants use Shopify as their platform of choice. This is because you can achieve almost anything with a Shopify store, they handle everything from marketing and payments to secure checkout and shipping. The plugins you choose to take advantage of can really help your store to stand out in a crowd or simply improve the functionality of your site for your users.
So in answering the question you came here for, what plugins and apps are other Australian Shopify merchants using too boost their revenue and scale their businesses? We have broken down the top Shopify plugins into categories to help you find what you are looking for.
Here is a summary:
- Best CRM - Gorgias
- Best Bundle Builder - Voyager Upsells & Cross-sells
- Best Store Locator - Closeby
- Best Review App - Reviews.io & Okendo
- Best Shopiy App for Personalisation - Tolstoy & Octane AI
- Best Loyalty App - Smile.io
- Best Wholesale App - Wholesale Club
- Best Popup App - Optimonk
- Best Reoccuring Order App - Recharge Payments
CRM software plays an important role in helping you to scale your ecom business on Shopify. In Australia there are a couple CRM's that are pretty popular, the gold standard is Gorgias, it is designed specifically for Shopify and integrates with everything you could ever need to make your life super easy. Gorgias will help you to manage your customer contact information, purchasing history, and behaviour and also manage customer support. One size fits all solutions like Hub Spot are also a great option however, does not have the same level of Shopify integration as Gorgias making it a less than ideal solution.
Who is a CRM for?
Any brand doing $10k+ per month
Gorgias does one thing and one thing only. This is their biggest strength. For ecom brands on Shopify, it is the best possible option to help you manage customer service. You can sort support tickets by categories, for example, VIP customers who have spent more than $1500 with your brand, urgent requests that are time sensitive such as changing a shipping address or non-urgent such as refunds and returns. This allows you to correctly prioritise who your team gets to first and ultimately results in the best overall customer experience. In addition, Gorgias allows for merchants to manage refunds, exchanges, order cancellations, address changes and more all without leaving the Gorgias app. This is a direct result of their deep Shopify integration.
HubSpot is an affordable yet scalable way to organise, track and convert your leads and customers. With HubSpot's free tier plan providing you with all the basics you can automate marketing campaigns, set up abandoned cart sequences and more. Whilst, Mailchimp is normally the go-to choice, we believe HubSpot is just that little bit better and can help you achieve more with your online store.
Bundle builders are great for ecom brands on Shopify who have products that can easily be paired together, for example, socks and shoes, incense and incense holders, gin and tonic water, etc. A good bundle builder will allow you to build a seamless bundle option into existing product pages as well as allow you to add bundles as separate products. Most importantly, they must do so whilst correctly counting your stock level.
Who is a bundle builder for?
Any brand that stocks products that can be sold together
Voyager Upsell & Cross-Sell
This app takes upselling and makes it feel like a game! Offering upsells in a fun and engaging way. It is easy to use, no code and allows you to set up bundles quickly. With over 400 5-star reviews on the Shopify store, Voyager is a tried and tested method to help give you consumers a more personal experience when shopping with you. In essence, you sell your customers more and whilst doing so give them a more positive personal experience.
If you are already using recharge for a subscription it could be a good idea to keep everything under one roof and also opt to use them for bundle building. With a slightly different feature set to Voyager with a more DIY approach to building bundles, recharge has done it again with this addition to their product sweet designed to work perfectly with Shopify.
A store locator is a great way to allow users to find your physical retail stores or stockists. This will allow even inpatient people to enjoy your products and inevitably help assist in building brand loyalty through accessibility. A good store locator will be attractive, easy to use, quick to load and scalable so that you can easily add new locations as your business inevitably grows.
Who is a locator for?
Any brand with multiple physical stores or stockists.
There is a range of stockist apps on the market to help virtual stores direct their customers to where they can physically view their products. Closeby has however managed to find the perfect balance between features and price. The elegant design of sleek, minimalist and usable maps can be either overlayed on a page or embedded as a part of a page depending on your needs. You can display location-specific locations, allow users to search and customise the look and feel of your maps with 22 well-designed themes or have the option to create a custom design. The best part is that if you have 5 locations or less it is free! for unlimited locations, it is just $19.00 USD per month for unlimited locations.
Reviews are the only thing on this list that is absolutely essential for every single brand, even if you don't have enough reviews to display today, this does not mean you should not be collecting them and building a bank of reviews for the future. They build customer trust and inevitably result in higher conversion rates as you build a bank of high-quality reviews.
Who is this for?
Every ecom brand.
Tie between Okendo and Reviews.io
Similar to closeby, Reviews.io have also managed to find the perfect balance between cost and features meaning for many stores reviews.io will pay for itself. As it continually evolves and improves the power of reviews.io becomes even greater. SEO optimised, SMS reviews and customisable layout options allow your reviews to seamlessly integrate into your store.
Okendo is another fantastic option for growing the number of reviews. The features overlap almost entirely with reviews.io with a few minor differences. Overall Okendo is known to provide slightly better value, better customer support and is overall beginning to emerge as a favourite as they continue to improve their specialisation in Shopify.
Yopto is an excellent platform only let down by its extreme cost. Unfortunately, the cost of the platform means that for many of our clients we don't recommend using Yopto, however as your business grows you may decide that the value Yopto provides can justify the cost.
Best Loyalty App - Smile.io
Loyalty programs are a great way to help you retain customers, they can also be a good way of generating referrals by rewards customers for referring friends and also a good way to incentivise reviews. One of our favourites to use Smile.io allows you to remind your customer when their rewards are about to expire prompting them to return to your store. In our opinion Smile.io strikes the right balance between features and price, whilst Yopto is great but too expensive for most to justify.
Who is this for?
Any brand looking to build customer loyalty
Potentially soon to be overtaken by Review.io's soon-to-be-released reward program, our current favourite loyalty program is smile.io. Yes, there are plenty of other companies that have created reward programs, however, they are extremely costly. Smile.io has a free tier plan perfect for small businesses, as you grow you have the opportunity to upgrade your plan to add new features. The free plan allows you to give customers rewards, customise the pop-up and encourage users to invite their friends. Things get a little bit more exciting as you progress through their plans, however, overall smile.io is an excellent addition to almost any website.
As mentioned above, Yopto is an incredible option with the only drawback being its cost.
Personalising the web experience is about bringing some of the best parts of in-person shopping onto the online environment. This can help you educate customers about the best products to buy, help them navigate a complex topic or just ensure they understand why they would even need your product. Two of our favourites are Octane AI and Tolstoy which sort of share some aspects of their
Who is this for?
Any ecom brand with more than 150 visitors per month looking to improve engagement and conversions
The true strength of Octane AI was realised when Apple blocked user tracking on their devices. Octane AI focuses on building relationships with your customers by providing enough value to encourage them to input their contact information (normally through pop-ups), Octane Ai instead uses "conversational popups" asking "Hey, for 10% off select what you are looking for" allowing you to know what they are here for, then to unlock a discount ask for their email, once their email is input provide them with a discount code and present them with the two most appropriate products. This results in 4 to 6 times more conversions.
Octane AI also enables you to create full product quizzes to build better relationships. It allows for you to give your users a more personalised experience whilst also collecting more information about your users.
Tolstoy allows you to create interactive videos to help educate customers about your products. They also allow for interactive shopping videos almost like the shopping channel on the TV. It is a great way to get directly in front of your users on your website, introduce yourself, your products, and your mission and form a relationship beyond what is otherwise possible. You can choose which page your Tolstoys appear on, for example for a tent you may want to have a Tolstoy showing people how easy the tent is to put up, whilst on a page with a frying pan you might want to show how easy it is to use in the kitchen.
Wholesale apps are amazing if you aren't quite at a stage where your business is ready to progress to Shopify plus but still has a range of Wholesale clients who have different pricing and need the ability to place bulk orders. The wholesale club is our go-to to achieve this, they have relatively good support and have all the features we find our clients need. In addition, we often pair wholesale club with Locksmith which allows for certain products, collections and links to be completely hidden from the public. In essence, Wholesale club looks after updating the price whilst Locksmith can hide products that aren't designed for the public.
Who is this for?
Any ecom store with Wholesale clients who should have different prices or need to place bulk orders
Wholesale Club & Locksmith
Wholesale Club is the best way to give your wholesale customers a great experience. It allows you to give wholesale prices to your wholesale customers, you can also create a price list for members, for example, if you are a gym and gym member get a discount on your merch. Finally, Wholesale club also allows for users to submit bulk order forms which can be super convenient for larger wholesale clients. That's pretty much it, simple yet effective.
Locksmith is a great option if you have a number of products or collections that you need to hide. You can choose who they show to based on tags, account created or simply password lock specific products for promos.
When evaluating popups there is one obvious way to decide who the winner is. That is whichever popup generates the highest number of subscriptions. In our experience Optimonk has a conversion rate of around 7-15% for our Australian brands on Shopify whilst other popups struggle to achieve 5%.
Who is this for?
Ecom brands wanting to squeeze the most out of their digital marketing budget and grow their email list
Octane AI takes a unique approach to createing popups that convert. Their main selling point is that the more ways in which a popup can provide value then the more likely people are to convert. We must admit there is some good logic behind this approach. Their popups assist users in finding the best possible product for them by using product quizzes. Depending on what type of products you have on offer this can make a lot of sense, especially if you have niche products that are more difficult to understand.
Whilst the same harsh privacy laws are yet to come into effect in Australia, the changes are affecting us. To help mitigate these changes Octane Ai allows you to reach customers in new ways such as through Facebook messenger. We are yet to try this feature with our clients so if you try it let us know how you go.
Optimonk takes a different approach to making their popups engaging. That is through gamification. Whilst an admittedly a little tacky, their popups have great conversion rates and amazing customizability meaning that you can present your popup to exactly who you want when you want. Whether it be on exit intent when someone has clicked to a specific page, or as someone scrolls past a certain part of your website. This allows you to remove some of the announce popups can have and allows you to provide value without detracting too much from your overall digital experience.
Subscriptions serve two purposes, they make your customers' lives easier as they no longer need to remember to reorder your products every x months, and it allows you to reward them for purchasing consistently with a discount. Believe me, customers love these.
Who is this for?
Any retailer with products that people will need to order continuously
Subscriptions can help increase your monthly revenue significantly, depending on your industry it is a great way to reward loyal customers whilst also making their purchasing process easier. Recharge payments make it as easy as possible to customise the frequency options across the product to whatever makes sense. One thing to consider is that recharge is counted as an external payment provider on Shopify and so will incur additional fees.
Giftship is an excellent app that includes all the features a store that primarily offers gifts would need. From writing special messages to allowing you to build your own unique bundle Giftship has it all. There are other options out there aside from Giftship however, in our experience Giftship offers the greatest value with the number of features it provides all under one roof allowing you to use a single app in place of five.
Who is this for?
Any store offering products that are likely to be combined into a single gift for a friend.
Giftship provides a range of features allowing a customer to input multiple shipping addresses for different items in a single order, write multiple gift messages for a single purchase, build their own unique bundles in a guided step-by-step process, select specific dates for gifts to be delivered, upsell special cards and custom gift wrapping and more. This creates a super flexible app that gives Shopify merchants the freedom to provide customers with almost complete flexibility in their gift selection.
Article last updated - 10:35am, 4th of August, 2022
This article was written by Shopify experts based in Melbourne Australia. If you think anything was missed on this list, or you have something you think we should add to improve the accuracy of this article please reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or through our contact form. In addition, if you are looking for a Melbourne Shopify Designer or Developer, feel free to reach out.
Need help creating or improving a Shopify store? Reach out to our team of specialists, dedicated to Shopify at email@example.com
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