Today’s consumers are increasingly connected, blurring the lines between online and in-store shopping. They start their journey on Instagram, browse a brand’s website for pricing and availability, and purchase from the nearest bricks-and-mortar location. The way retailers engage customers needs to keep pace as they adapt to this new mode of shopping.
If you’re a Shopify merchant with both an online and physical presence, you should be identifying ways of meaningfully interacting with your customers throughout their entire journey.
You need more than just the best POS. The Shopify App Store offers more than 2,000 apps to choose from, letting you customize your store to make your brand stand out, all while ensuring a seamless and consistent brand experience. (There are even internet marketing tools—and they're free!)
To save you time, we decided to highlight some of our merchants’ favorite retail apps.
Developed by Shopify, the Shopcodes app creates QR codes that link customers directly to products on your online store. Customers can scan Shopcodes with any smartphone camera and purchase them on the go.
Here are some of the ways to drive sales using Shopcodes:
- Let customers skip the checkout line. Busy time of year or short staffed? Shoppers can scan products with their smartphone camera and check out directly on mobile with accelerated checkout options, such as Apple Pay and Shopify Pay.
- Encourage window shopping (literally). A Shopcode on the merchandise displayed in your windows lets you sell even when your doors are closed.
- Accelerate event or pop-up sales. Is inventory space limited? Use it to merchandise, and get customers to scan and purchase through a Shopcode instead. You can even offer them a special discount for using a Shopcode.
Price: From $100/month
Endear is a messaging platform and customer relationship management system (CRM) that helps retailers and their staff connect personally with customers.
Customers are receptive to messages from retailers when they’re timely and personal. A study conducted by Twillio across three continents, including North America, Europe and Asia, found that nine out of 10 consumers wanted brands to communicate with them via messaging.
Customers are receptive to messages from retailers when they’re timely and personal.
Beyond proactive messaging, with Endear you can also view your customers’ shopping activity across all channels and store locations, which enables you and your staff to better understand an individual customer’s shopping preferences and message them with personalized lookbooks and product recommendations.
Endear will also track staff performance, so you can reward and incentivize your employees accordingly.
On average, merchants see an 18% increase in in-store sales with Endear, as well as a 77% increase in purchase frequency, and 96 times the conversion rate of standard email marketing.
Price: Free to install. Additional charges may apply.
The Experiences app allows you to host tours, classes, or events in your physical location through your Shopify online store. Instead of relying on clunky third-party booking integrations, Experiences takes on the look and feel of your brand and offers your customers a clean experience.
Once they’re in-store, customers can check -in or even book new Experiences through your Shopify POS app.
If you’re a merchant that wants to create memorable branded experiences and build a community around your brand, Experiences can help.
Seventy-two percent of consumers say they positively view brands that provide quality event opportunities and experiences, according to the Event Marketing Institute’s EventTrack 2016 study.
Sephora Beauty Insider, Starbucks Rewards, and Amazon Prime are all examples of customer loyalty programs that have helped brands achieve step change growth and sustain their market share. According to a 2016 study by Citigroup, 86% of customers are more loyal to the brands where they participate in rewards programs.
Smile offers a turn-key way to start your own rewards or loyalty program to tap into the value of your current customer base. With Smile, you can offer your best customers a compelling reason to spend more and continue to reward them for repeat purchases, building goodwill, and increasing their lifetime value with your business.
Smile offers three program types to get you started:
- A loyalty points program to reward repeat purchases
- A referral program to reward customers for promoting your company
- A VIP program to reward your most loyal customers through increasing rewards, statuses, and perks
Price: From $9.99/month
Rise offers a robust solution for creating gift card and store credit programs for your shop. You can send branded gift cards and vouchers via email, which can be used at any location or redeemed online. According to a recent survey by the National Retail Federation, gift cards remain the most popular item on people’s wishlist, and have been for 13 years in a row.
Gift cards are the most popular holiday wishlist item, and have been for 13 years in a row.
Rise also allows you to create custom store credit and loyalty programs, with rules that automate rewards triggered by customer activity, giving you the ability to reward your most loyal customers after they pass an important milestone with you (e.g., being a customer for three years) or spending threshold. Rewarding customers for their business and their loyalty improves your customer lifetime value.
Price: From $19/month
Ultimate Special Offers allows you to manage multiple offers and promotions in one place, which is especially helpful for retailers who rely on complex discounting.
Through Special Offers, you can provide a variety of discount types, from simple discounts on a single product to discounts covering multiple products and bundles. You can also create time-based offers for a specific period (e.g., Black Friday Cyber Monday) or discounts based on volume and quantity.
The app supports the following offers:
- Buy one, get one
7. Gift Reggie
Price: From $5/month
Gift Reggie is a white-label gift registry and wishlist solution that allows Shopify merchants to spruce up their shopping experience. Where registries are searchable, wish lists are privately created by customers and shared with family and friends for birthdays, holidays, and other special occasions.
Offering your customers an option to create a gift registry on your online store could help you acquire a new customer base and boost your sales––even if you don’t sell items online typically associated with baby showers or weddings. How? Gift registries and wishlists created by your customers give their family and friends a reason to visit your site or store and become new customers themselves. They also allow customers to choose items they really want––guaranteed sales––rather than creating the need for returns and exchanges of items that bog down your backend.
Visit the Shopify App Store for more
Shopify’s commerce platform allows you to sync your online and physical stores, giving your customers the flexibility to experience your brand on their terms––all while unlocking new opportunities for you to capture and convert more customers.
The best part about our app ecosystem? It’s been curated for (and vetted by) business owners just like you and requires no downtime or technical training. As fast and easy as downloading an app on your phone, Shopify’s Retail and POS apps allow you to extend the functionality of your store with the tap of a finger.
Take advantage of free trials, and find the Shopify retail and POS apps that best suit you and your business’ needs. Explore for yourself.
What Shopify apps do you use for your retail store? Share your recommendations in the comments below.