With over 4,000 apps on the Shopify app store—and 3–5 added every day—it’s impossible for store owners to keep up with the changing app landscape. But that doesn’t mean there’s no pressure to keep up.
While ecommerce conversion rates have increased in recent years, that increase isn’t all about on-site optimization.
Brands, especially those that have never done traditional retail, like Jet or Away, are winning buyers before they arrive on a site by focusing on “experiences” (not just transactions) and partnering with influencers.
Rising customer acquisition costs—especially on ad platforms—have also put weaker brands with lower conversion rates out of business. Only the best are surviving, thus perpetuating a rise in conversion rates.
New apps may help you keep pace, but no app is “magical.” None will generate a massive conversion rate boost. This curated list should, however, save you some time and stress, and maybe even deliver a quick win—something we could all use.
Shopify apps for ecommerce merchants
Since it is literally my job to understand the ecommerce tech landscape, I want to show you some lesser known or new—but still quite valuable—apps. (Keep in mind that these nine still represent less than 0.23% of all potential apps you could use.)
I’ll leave it to your immediate needs to sort out which might have the biggest impact, but here’s the list:
- Tawk ;
- Order Bump;
Showing fast shipping times can increase conversion rates, especially as Amazon continues to put pressure on other retailers by molding consumer expectations. (Some 45% of shoppers expect “fast” to mean two days or less.)
But unwarranted optimism about shipping times doesn’t work either—you have to deliver on what you promise. That’s where FenixCommerce comes in.
Using your data and their machine-learning algorithm, the tool predicts (over 95% accurate) the date your products will land on your customers’ doorstep. It looks like this on your product detail page (and can also be included in your cart and checkout sequences):
Giving accurate landed dates sets expectations with prospective customers and reduces those pesky “Where’s my order?” questions to customer service reps.
The tool has worked well for some major brands like Men’s Warehouse and Levi’s, which saw increased conversion rates of more than 13%, according to FenixCommerce.
You may think, “We already have a tool that does this—we just set the dates ourselves.” That strategy has limitations:
- Your dates aren’t nearly as accurate, especially during peak season, which can lead to negative customer experiences.
- You aren’t tracking the actual delivery dates, which means your promise is disconnected from your ability to fulfill it. FenixCommerce helps you coordinate with your logistics team or 3PL to ensure you deliver on your promise.
- You may undersell speedy delivery dates. When FenixCommerce looked at the differences between landed and promised dates for a major online retailer, they found that the company was promising 7–14 day delivery dates but actually getting the product to most customers within 5 days:
Fera makes it easy to add social proof elements to your store and product detail pages, and then makes it easy to split test these callouts so that you can figure out, for example, which piece of social proof converts the best.
Fera can even tailor elements like reviews to feature past buyers whose profiles align with those of current shoppers.
The tool is simple to use and very flexible, with over 100 different “skills” or tests that you can implement within their platform.
Route is a free-for-merchants shipping insurance and visual tracking tool. They don’t like to call themselves a conversion optimization tool, but by offering easy and affordable shipping protection, you can remove some consumer anxiety.
Their biggest value is how they solve lost and stolen package problems (and, really, all returns). First, the user opts in to use Route’s shipping insurance, which is a simple slide on/off that comes in one of three flavors:
- Auto opt-in. Route averages 55% opt-ins with this option. It’s easy to turn off with a single click and clearly marked at checkout, so there’s no confusion.
- Auto opt-out. Fewer buyers will use it, but if you have any concerns about customer confusion, you may prefer this.
- You cover insurance. Free for customers, this option is useful for merchants that just want every package insured and bake the cost into their margins. It’s an added benefit (if you can afford it).
When buyers have their package lost or stolen, they usually reach out to you, bogging down your customer service team and costing you revenue when you ship a new package—“shrinkage” that every merchant endures.
Route handles the claims process (abiding by your shipping and refund policies) and has a relatively simple flow for customers to order a replacement for anything lost or stolen:
And, yes, they actually buy the product from your store, making your fulfillment as easy as any other order and turning what would be a business cost into new revenue.
LimeSpot is an AI personalization recommendation engine. They track millions of users across millions of sites to help understand where those users are in multiple buyer journeys.
Once you install their tool on your site, they put that information into action by recommending products that best align with users’ browsing behavior across the Internet.
This can lead to more customers finding more products and, if you believe their homepage claims, a potentially double-digit increase in revenue.
Adding a live chat tool to your website doesn’t magically increase your conversion rate.
In fact, my research found that if you install a chat tool but don’t have a person manning it to respond in real time, it degrades the customer experience—and likely lowers your overall conversion rate.
So what does increase the conversion rate? Real people manning the tool 24/7 who are trained to sell products, not simply answer questions. Doing this correctly has been shown to increase average order value, conversion rates, and customer satisfaction.
If you can staff a live chat function, Tawk can help improve and measure performance. Their tool allows you to track visitors across your website as they browse, and your team can intervene with a custom message to that user based on the product they’re looking at, what they’ve added to the cart, past conversations, etc.
Another chat tool I really like is the one from Gorgias, which is a full-fledged help desk. In their case, live chat is just one of many features.
Gorgias can track the revenue generated from live chat, which helps justify the ROI of your support agents:
Not everyone owns a credit card, and even when you buy on credit, you risk lots of fees. That’s where buy-now-pay-later tools come into play. These tools solve an old problem in a novel way, and, in this case, are designed specifically for the ecommerce consumer.
Sezzle is an alternative payment option and buy-now-pay-later tool. It costs customers nothing and breaks what would be a one-time purchase into four installments over six weeks.
Sezzle has a simple approval process for new applicants, decreases friction for price-sensitive shoppers, and has no practical impact on shoppers who don’t mind buying in full outright. It’s worked well for brands like Jessica Simpson, Etnies, and Touch of Modern.
There’s a network effect with Sezzle—each new customer who uses Sezzle to checkout once becomes a Sezzle customer. This makes it easier to purchase on another site that has Sezzle, and they have a marketplace of hundreds of merchants to which they send customers.
There are a few other buy-now-pay-later tools, like Affirm, Klarna, and Afterpay, but if your average order value is under $500, over $40, and you operate in the United States or Canada with most customers, Sezzle is a great option. (The tool doesn’t show up as a payment option to anyone not in the United States or Canada.)
Amazon search has a 12% conversion rate—higher, it’s believed, than any other website. And, like most things with Amazon, it’s by design.
If you have a wide product catalog and complex tagging, you may see value in personalizing content for your audience. If you’re getting tens of thousands of searches each month, then a highly effective search tool could have great ROI.
Algolia works well for larger ecommerce brands with large SKU counts and differentiated product categories. They’re able to plug into your sales data and use their algorithm to make accurate search predictions/suggestions to the user. A better search experience leads to fewer dead ends and more completed sales.
8. Order Bump
Also worth noting: This tool is available only to Shopify Plus stores, but if you’re a major brand on a different platform, you may be able to recreate some of its core functionality with your dev team.
Here’s how simple it is from the user perspective:
On your side, you start by plugging in relevant upsells or cross-sells for products. Eventually, Order Bump’s machine-learning component automates which products to show.
We all hate waiting for pages to load, which can really take a toll on mobile users.
Turns out, platforms like Shopify are not all that great at providing a fast mobile experience. Their software is built on Liquid and not designed to create that Progressive Web App (PWA) experience.
Nothing changes in your day-to-day work on the Shopify backend or checkout process, but the browsing experience is near-instant.
If that sounds potentially pricey, it is. Nacelle’s usage-based pricing starts at $5,000 per month for up to 200,000 site visits. That’s based on signing an annual contract. Even when you throw in their Q1 discount, you’re still looking at a minimum spend of $54,000 per year.
Successful conversion rate optimization is often about reducing friction and improving the user experience.
Now more than ever before, the tools that help this happen are “smart” and driven by large data sets, personalized experiences, and putting the right information in front of the right customer at the right time.
Tools won’t solve bigger problems—like a bad product or weak copywriting. But they can be an efficient way to improve bits and pieces of the user experience on your site.