At this point, anyone who’s ever accessed the internet from their own device has probably purchased something online. Credit is owed to the e-commerce giants for making online shopping affordable, convenient and fun, but it’s the e-commerce platforms that teach and empower everyday entrepreneurs to realize their dreams.
These hosted store-builder platforms instruct and enable people on everything from how to start a handmade furniture store to how to set-up a drop-shipping electronics business, and plenty in between. The ability to turn concepts into online store real estate has broadened e-commerce’s scope to more unique business niches, compelling branding and quality customer experiences.
Among the most widely used e-commerce platforms,, Shopify offers a bevy of different tools for any kind of online business to host, build, market and operate their stores. Below we’ve handpicked five trending plugins in Shopify’s app store to help store owners improve their SEO, returns processes, social media engagement and much more.
Instant Traffic by Eggflow
A constant challenge of running an e-commerce business is generating more traffic and sales each month. But with so many marketing channels to experiment with, brands can spread their budgets and efforts too thin if they’re not careful. That’s why a strategy that requires minimal setup and that scales financially is so valuable.
Instant Traffic allows e-commerce stores to display their product ads in other Shopify stores via brand name, short description, price and picture through branded colors that match your store’s theme. But perhaps the niftiest aspects of Instant Traffic are that stores don’t have to pay additional costs for traffic growth and that the plugin is an equal exchange plugin. In regards to the later, the more impressions and clicks your store can generate for other brands, the more time your ads are displayed on other storefronts.
Free & Premium Plan available
SEO Expert Pro – Automate SEO
If there’s one e-commerce marketing area to conquer regardless of industry, it’s search engine optimization. For stores that sell in traditional industries with dozens of direct competitors, ranking higher in the search engine rankings pages (SERPs) provides an evergreen flow of traffic and higher conversion potential.
However, SEO isn’t a set-it-and-forget-it endeavor. Countless technical and on-page details comprise the health of a store’s searchability. SEO Expert Pro delivers true to its name (surprisingly via a completely free model) with a full suite of SEO tools to ensure metadata, speed, mobile compatibility and more are correctly optimized. The plugin even comes with a handy JSON LD feature that submits your data in Google to a structured format.
Retail Ready Photos by Pixc
One of the most time-consuming aspects to designing an aesthetically pleasing store is showcasing your products in a high-quality manner. But unless you’re a professional photographer (or want to pay for one), it’s difficult highlighting products from the right angles and resolution.
Retail Ready Photos beautifies your product line, and through a convenient 24-hour touch-up turnaround. Upload the images you want to spruce up, and Retail Ready will have it back in your inbox within a day.
Free to Install, tiered “credits” plans available: $79 for 40 credits, $299 for 170 credits, $1,599 for 1,000 credits.
Instagram Feed + Facebook Feed
Despite what social media marketing enthusiasts would have store owners believe, maintaining an active social account for every platform under the sun isn’t essential to driving strong referral traffic from social. However, stores can’t be a ghost, either—particularly when it comes to Instagram and Facebook. One of app collective POWr.io’s latest plugins, Instagram Feed + Facebook Feed, won’t create awesome content for you automatically. It will, however, stream your already excellent Instagram and Facebook feeds to your store to improve customer engagement and build your brand.
AfterShip Returns Center
No process or measure short of stating “no returns” in the terms and conditions will free an e-commerce store from experiencing returns. Given that excluding returns is most certainly not the way to go, how can a store deal with returns in a way that’s cost-effective and satisfies customers? Organize and automate reverse logistics processes as much as possible.
AfterShip Returns gives stores a management portal to track returns and issue automated notifications to customers when return statuses change — all through a self-service branded form and support interface. This is a plugin that will not only make returns less of a burden for both brands and customers. It’ll also save time, money, and potentially, increase customer loyalty.
14-day Free Trial, Free & Paid Plans available
A big draw for using e-commerce software is the “add-on” tools that are included like learning resources and app plugins. In the case of the latter, stores dealing with SEO, reverse logistics, social engagement, store aesthetics or traffic generation would be well served to try these five plugins.