11 Shopify App Ideas

A few years ago, I made the switch from Magento to Shopify and haven’t looked back. One of the biggest factors for me was ease of use. In my experience, Shopify is much easier to manage than Shopify. While both offer additional functionality via a third party marketplace, I’ve had much more success with the Shopify App Store vs the Magento Connect Marketplace, in terms of apps working well and installing easily.

For me, the app store is one of the best parts about using Shopify. There are hundreds of apps to extend the functionality of a store and user reviews help* give a better idea of how well an app actually works. Anytime we have an idea of how to improve one of our shops, we check the App Store first to see if anyone has already done this. Most of the time, there’s at least a similar solution ready to go.

That being said, I’ve also come up empty at times. Here’s a list of 11 apps that should be created for Shopify.

  1. Display Facebook Page Plugin. Currently the best solution is to copy/paste this into one of the theme’s liquid files. Not terribly difficult if you’re comfortable with editing Shopify theme files, but it’d be a lot easier to manage from the general admin.
  2. Display Amazon Shop Feedback. For sellers with Amazon shops, this would display their feedback count & rating with an affiliate link to their Amazon shop. Especially helpful for new Shopify sites that need some social proof.
  3. Import from Etsy. There’s an existing option for importing via a CSV file that be downloaded from an Etsy account. However, this app would be used to import listings from other sellers. Similar to Oberlo, this would be particularly useful for retailers that work with wholesale vendors on Etsy.
  4. Import from Any Site. Like idea number 3 above, but configurable for various domains. A browser extension would be used to create templates defining various fields to be imported to Shopify.
  5. Free Filter by Variant Dropdown. There is a very good existing extension, but it seems unnecessary to pay a monthly fee for such a basic feature. As a relatively simple app, offering this for free could be great marketing for a developer.
  6. Contact form after Search Results. Customer searches are customers literally spelling out what they want. If a customer gets to the end of the search results and hasn’t found what they are looking for, let them get in touch easily by opening a chat or submitting a form with an email address. Then you could either direct them to the right product or use that feedback to consider additions to your shop.
  7. Import Products with Variations from Amazon. There are a few options for importing products from Amazon but we haven’t found a good solution for importing products with variations (sizes, colors, etc) easily. Existing options either only import single items (spreadr) without variations or have very poor UI.
  8. Clone of Bizzy Email MarketingBizzy.io was my preferred email marketing app, when it was still available. Unfortunately, after they were bought by Sendgrid, their app disappeared and they aren’t opening new accounts. They’ve referred me to SendGrid instead, which doesn’t have any of the same features. Bizzy made it incredibly simple to setup automated email campaigns for various customer segments. It was easy to see who wasn’t being targeted properly by showing the number of days between emails, plus allowed for one-time campaigns as well.
  9. Display Amazon Reviews on Product Pages. Before moving my business’ site from Magento to Shopify, we developed a custom solution to display Amazon product reviews on each product page via an iFrame. We utilized Amazon affiliates program to import these. Some customers used those links to purchase on Amazon and overall conversion rates on our site still went after installing.
  10. Better Marketplace. There are three marketplace apps now. While there are good reviews, all seem lacking in some regard. One of the biggest complaints is the lack of ability to import by text file. Perhaps this is a limitation of what’s possible via apps in Shopify, but it seems likely there’s a better way to handle these. Most potential sellers are probably listing on an existing marketplace (etsy, amazon, ebay) and it would make it a lot easier to offer the ability to import listings easily.
  11. Help on Demand. Shopify is extremely easy to use, but there are times when any shop could use a little extra help. Whether it’s taking care of some repetitive tasks, fixing some small design issues, or researching/setting up a new app, it’d be great to be able to request this directly in the Shopify admin. Once all info is submitted, updates would be made directly in app as well.

 

I’m not a developer so won’t be working on any of these personally but I am going to look into getting at least one of these built for EcomLoop.

Are there any that look particularly useful for you? Have an idea of how to improve any of the above? Or do you know a great Shopify developer? Leave a comment below.

 

*Good reviews don’t always mean it’s a great app, in my experience and they shouldn’t be looked at as the ultimate measurement of quality. There’s always at last a handful from defunct stores or reviews given before really trying out the app. Perhaps I’ll write more on this later. 


Also published on Medium.

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