Lessons Learned: Free Shopify Apps to Install June 9, 2016 08:00 2 Comments

First off CONGRATULATIONS to Lynn B., you won the BEST GIVEAWAY EVER! We are super excited for you to check out all of UPstudio's new products and will be in touch shortly! 

For those of you out there that also use Shopify as your website platform hang around to read up on some FREE apps we have discovered that might help you out. For everyone else, have a great rest of your week and weekend! (And sorry if you didn't win the giveaway, but don't worry, there will be more giveaways soon!)

Lessons Learned: Free Shopify Apps to Install

Let us first set the scene: we are a fairly young start-up company that is fully funded by our two families, so we are very price conscious. We do a lot of shopping around to make sure we are getting the best deal. We chose Shopify as our website platform after a lot of extensive research (we'll share more about this in a future post). We chose to use one of their templates when setting up our store which means that we can't control some things we would like to in regards to its appearance, but we knew there would be limitations. We try to overcome these with installing apps. We spend a lot of time researching said apps because we need them to be FREE and flexible enough to match our website template. Now that you know where we are coming from, we'll share the free apps that we have come across that are currently installed on our site. We've provided a brief overview of each app. If you have any specific questions either leave a comment below or shoot us an e-mail.

MailChimp for Shopify by MailChimp

We are big fans of MailChimp. We can write a whole separate post about all the ways we utilize MailChimp and how well it syncs with all of our other platforms (let's be honest, you'll probably see this in the future). By connecting your Shopify store with your MailChimp account....

During the checkout process, Shopify asks your customers if they are interested in receiving marketing information from your store. When a customers completes an order at your store and has agreed to marketing, MailChimp for Shopify will automatically subscribe them to your MailChimp list. In addition, your customers are added to a static segment called "Shopify Customers", so that you can easily target email campaigns to only your customers.

Yotpo Reviews by Yotpo

Not sure about you, but we both read reviews of products prior to purchasing items pretty religiously. We decide not to splurge often after reading reviews. Honestly, a seller is always going to share all the good aspects of their product in the product descriptions, but the customer reviews are going to be a bit more straightforward, and will include the good and the bad. So we wanted a way to add reviews to our website. It is hard to trust new companies, you aren't sure what kind of quality to expect, so we wanted customers to be able to share their experience, and hopefully help new customers feel more confident in their purchase and in us. Yotpo was the answer. The free version does the basics. It sends e-mails to customers asking them to post a review. You have minimal customization, but you can customize the e-mail verbiage, and the review colors on your website to match your aesthetics. We highly recommend it, here is a sample from the UPstudio planner page. (And if you need more customization the upgraded version (not free) appears to have a lot of cool features.)

Yotpo Product Reviews Free Shopify App

Shopify Digital Downloads by Shopify

Have you checked out our free downloads section yet? (You should!) The Shopify Digital Downloads App has been great so far. After creating a product it is really easy to associate it with a download file you have uploaded to the app. If you list it as free, your customer will still have to go through checkout, just won't have to input any payment information. After completing their order a download option will appear similar to the screen below. They will also receive an e-mail after purchase with a link to download the file as well. One downside is that follow-up e-mail can't be customized with html to match your other e-mail templates, it can only be pretty basic with a few variables and the same e-mail is sent regardless of the download purchased, so it has to also be very generic.

Shopify Digital Download Free App with UPstudio

Email Template Editor by Klaviyo

Just counted, there are 17 different e-mail templates you can set up. That is a ton! There are 10 that we have customized. Klaviyo makes it super simple. They already have a great starter template custom for Shopify that you just have to tweak with your logo and colors, etc. Once you've tweaked the template to perfection you simply copy the html code Klaviyo creates for you and paste it right into Shopify - super easy and user friendly. I recently purchased something from a pretty well known store that also uses Shopify, and they hadn't customized any of their e-mails, but still the default Shopify e-mails, I was not impressed. Such a simple thing to do that goes a long way when it comes to professionalism. 

E-mail Template with Klaviyo Free Shopify App

Shopify Order Printer by Shopify

For all orders purchased through our website we like to print a packing slip/invoice for a couple of reasons: 1. easy for us to reference shipping address, 2. easy way to include a short note and our contact information in the package, and 3. it makes us look legit! The Shopify Order Printer makes this easy. There is a default template already set up and with some basic html code knowledge you can easily customize it with your logo and notes. You can have multiple templates set up for different types of orders as well.

Shopify Order Printer Free Shopify App

Privy - Free E-mail Pop-ups by Privy

We read an article about how pop-ups, although very annoying, are very effective. So even though we are both slightly annoyed by pop-ups we decided to add one to our website. As payback when you fill it out, you get a discount code! Win-Win. Privy is very easy to use and manipulate. We have it set up to accept Newsletter subscriptions, and it syncs seamlessly with our MailChimp Newsletter list. And even though it sometimes even annoys us, we've seen real results. Check out last December when we launched the pop-up; the "Import" category is strictly from our Privy pop-up. 

Newsletter Growth from Privy with MailChimp UPstudio

Privy Pop-up Free Shopify App UPstudio

Quick Announcement Bar by Hextom

This is our most recent addition. We wanted a way to announce big ticket items at the very top of our website. We wanted something simple and easy and the Quick Announcement Bar by Hextom is just that. There are some basic templates already set up but you have the flexibility to change the colors and text to match your template. You can specify which pages of your website it will be visible on as well. And if you upgrade to their premium plan (not free) you can have rotating bars for multiple announcements.

Quick Announcement Bar on UPstudio

Quick Announcement bar by Hextom for UPstudio

Quick Announcement bar by Hextom for UPstudio

Hopefully one of these can be useful to your shop! What apps do you use? Any we should check out? We are always looking for new additions to help improve our website.

Check out Shopify's blog post regarding the top 20 most popular free Shopify apps here.