One of the cool things about having a store on the Shopify platform is all the apps you can add to your store to include extra website features.
There are thousands of apps available in the Shopify App Store – some free, some with a one-time fee, and others with a monthly fee. Many of the free apps also have a premium upgrade for a fee.
In this article, we’ll take a look at 9 totally FREE apps that you should consider for your website. Here they are, in no particular order.
The Order Printer app was created by Shopify. It allows you to print invoices, receipts, labels, or packing slips to include with your shipments. I think this is a must-have app for all merchants. Without this app, you have no way of printing a decent looking receipt or invoice for your shipments.
The app does not allow for a lot of customization, but there are other apps you can use (and pay a one time fee for) to be able to have highly customized (and branded) invoices, receipts, or packing slips. The paid apps I use are the Order Printer Template app, which has a one-time fee of $29 and the OrderlyEmails app (for customized emailed packing slips receipt, etc.), which has a one-time fee of $49 – and those fees are certainly worth it!
Order Printer Emailer
The Order Printer Emailer app allows your customers to download and print a PDF receipt of their orders. This app requires that you already have the Order Printer app installed (see paragraph above).
I like this app because it allows customers to have a PDF copy of their order – something they can save and don’t even have to print. I think customers like having a copy of their order receipt, so I think this is a valuable app.
Smartsupp is a live chat app that allows you to talk to you customers when they are on your website, in real-time. In addition to being a live chat app, it also includes visitor recordings. The visitor recordings allow you to watch your customers interact with your website. You can see their mouse movements and clicks, and that information can be helpful to you to give you insight on how visitors respond to your website design.
I tried quite a few free live chat apps before deciding on Smartsupp. This app has everything I need, and more. You can customize the app to match your store design, so that is also a nice feature of the app.
One thing this app does NOT have is the ability to see what your customers are typing as they type. Some of the other live chat apps I tested do have that feature, and it’s nice because it allows you to see what the customer is going to ask before they send their message. But I don’t think the lack of that feature on Smartsupp is a deal-breaker. Sure, it would be nice to have, but the visitor recordings feature more than makes up for that. Another thing to be aware of with this app is that it works best on a computer versus mobile. You can use it on a mobile device, but you have to connect Smartsupp with a third party XMPP (Jabber) app first.
This app does have a premium version that includes additional features – such as automatic messages, time schedules, and more. For more information, here is a link to the app website – Smartsupp . And if you want to see this app in action, you can view it on my store at ThirdShift Vintage – stop by and say “Hi”!
Product Reviews is an app created by Shopify. It is very easy to install and very easy to use. The app is very basic, and does allow for reviews to be posted on your product pages.
Because the app is so basic, it really works much better with the third-party app called Product Review Add-Ons (see link below) for more details.
This app has a few things you can customize (for example – star color), but the overall look and layout is pretty standard. You cannot create a separate customer review page listing all your reviews on one page, but that’s where the add-on below is helpful.
I tested quite a few other product review apps before choosing this one. The other product review apps I tested were very good, but some of the features I was looking for (such as a dedicated customer review page and carousel slider) were not available on the free versions of the other apps. Those are the main reasons I ended up using this app with the add-on.
For more information about this app, click the Shopify Product Reviews Help Page.
Product Reviews Add-On
The Product Reviews Add-on app requires the Shopify Product Reviews app (see paragraph above) in order to work. This add-on app fills in the gaps that are not included in the Product Reviews app. For example, you can create a dedicated customer review page that lists all your reviews, and you can also create a carousel slider of your reviews. This app also adds the product photos to the reviews on the review page, and that is something I really like.
This app also can be set up to send email messages to your customers to ask them for a review after the sale (something the standard Product Reviews app cannot do). The follow-up emails can be customized so the email matches your branding and style.
With both the Product Reviews app and this add-on app, you can import or export reviews from and to other review apps, so if you are switching apps, you can export your reviews from that app and import them into this app.
While I mainly choose these two apps because of the dedicated customer review page, I will say that page loads relatively slowly. If you want to see an example of a dedicated review page, here is a link to my store’s Customer Reviews page. You’ll see that the page is somewhat slow to load, but at least all the reviews there are automatically populated from the reviews I’ve received. Click ThirdShift Vintage to see an example of the carousel slider on the bottom of my store’s home page.
JustUno is a free pop-up app and conversion marketing app. The app is highly customizable and there are so many things this app can do!
The app can create pop-ups, slide-ins or banners to announce special sales, to collect email addresses, to offer discounts and more. You can even create contests and countdown timers. This app really has it all. The app even integrates with many other apps, including MailChimp.
Because the app can be customized, you can very easily build campaigns that match your website using drag-and-drop tools. I really love the level of customization detail that this app has! There are also pre-built templates you can use if you prefer. The app also includes analytics so you can see how the tools are performing on your website. I tested quite a few other apps that created pop-ups, slide-ins, etc., but this is the app I prefer because of it’s sophisticated, feature rich interface. The built-in templates make it very usable for novices, and with a slight learning curve, the features can be highly customized to look exactly how you want.
For more details and information, visit the JustUno website.
SEO Image is an app that automatically adds ALT tags to your product images. The app uses your product titles for the ALT tags. Having ALT tags on your images helps those images to be found on internet search engines (since search engines can’t “read” an image to know what it is), and this ultimately helps improve the search results for your store.
This app is quick and easy to install and it seems to work well. It is set to automatically sync your images once a week, so any new products you add to your store won’t have the ALT tags until that sync takes place. I have noticed a couple of times that I have had to manually sync images (by clicking the sync button within the app) because the automatic sync didn’t start, but overall, this app works like it should.
The Kit app is a free Facebook Marketing Partner for small business. The app is exclusive to Shopify store owners. Kit helps you manage your Instagram and Facebook ads, email marketing, and social posts to drive sales and grow your business. The app also integrates with other apps you might be using, such as MailChimp or OrderlyEmails.
Kit uses Facebook Messenger and SMS text messaging to communicate with you. You just text back a reply, and Kit goes to work for you.
One of the things I really like about Kit is that the app uploads your product catalog to Facebook on a daily basis. To me, this is a huge advantage! There are other apps that upload your product catalog feed to Facebook, but they are expensive and are not all that easy to use. You could also upload your own catalog to Facebook, but again, that is not an easy task. Once your product catalog is uploaded to Facebook, you can use the products there to create ads for your store – such as dynamic ads, re-targeting ads, and more.
Kit will also post your products to your Facebook Page, send email messages to your customers, and Thank You messages after a purchase. There are a lot of skills that Kit can do! For more information, make sure to read the Shopify Help Page for Kit to learn how to use Kit.
HelpCenter is an easy-to-use app that allows you to add a frequently asked page to your website. The FAQ page you create is very easy for customers to navigate and it is searchable. You can publish articles with sections and categories to help organize your help page. There is also a contact button within the help page for your customers to use, in case they couldn’t find the answers they were looking for.
This app has a few things you can customize to help your FAQ page match your website, but the overall layout cannot be customized. Maybe more customization will be added in future updates, but in the meantime, I think the FAQ page looks very professional on a website, and it really is beneficial to customers. If you are really dialed in to your customers, you already know the answers to their questions, BEFORE they ask them… so a FAQ page is a must-have for most online shops! Stop by the FAQ Page on my store to see an example of this app in action.
There you have it, my Top 9 Free Shopify Apps You Need! Go check them out and decide if you need one, several, or all of them.
What are your favorite FREE Shopify apps?
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