Optimize All Your eCommerce Sales Channels
Building an eCommerce storefront has never been easier than it is now.
With scores of website development platforms available with eCommerce integrations built in, anybody with goods to sell and an internet connection can start their own eCommerce business.
Although the low entry threshold into the eCommerce sector is undoubtedly helpful for startups and expanding businesses, it also carries the unavoidable risk of oversaturation.
If anyone can start their own brand with just a few clicks, how does any one brand stand out?
Thankfully, each of these platforms offers integrations with multiple services that can help you with everything from lead capture to fulfillment to managing your financials.
While many of these integrations can be valuable for your business, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones are right for your online storefronts.
With plenty of experience in the eCommerce space, we’ve compiled the top 10 apps available across the leading eCommerce platforms.
Consider how each of these services could help you take your brand’s customer experience to the next level.
1. Chatbot Apps
If there is one part of the in-store customer experience that eCommerce has yet to properly replicate, it is the presence of reliable in-store help while you shop. With the help of chatbot apps, however, you can help to add a personalized touch to your customers’ shopping experience.
Tidio, one of the most prevalent of these apps across multiple major platforms, utilizes advanced machine learning to provide real-time, accurate sales and support chatbots to your customers.
Tidio even goes as far as to use your customers’ carts and order history to offer real-time recommended products directly in chat; a practice that, when used properly, can increase your customers’ AOV by as much as 369%!
2. Instagram Integration Apps
Social media platforms have gradually been gaining traction as sales channels in recent years, with as many as 35% of consumers making purchases through Instagram.
To neglect incorporating an Instagram store into your multichannel sales strategy is to turn your back on those potential sales.
There are multiple options for Instagram store integration apps such as Shoppable Instagram, Sauce Instagram Shop, and even some apps proprietary to a specific platform.
While not every one is available on every platform, each platform does offer at least one option to turn your business’ Instagram account into an additional sales channel easily and effectively!
3. Point-of-Sale Apps
One common struggle for many small businesses is managing sales channels in both digital and physical spaces.
In recent years, Square POS has become the point-of-sale service of choice for small businesses operating brick-and-mortar storefronts of various sizes.
Square integrates with major eCommerce platforms for seamless inventory management, ideal for merchants expanding to eCommerce or adding a physical storefront.
Plus, Square offers many additional features beyond being a simple POS app, such as recurring customer payment management, inventory analytics, and accessibility throughout Canada, the US, The UK, Australia, and Japan.
4. Subscription Apps
While customer acquisition is naturally an important part of growing your brand, customer retention is often overlooked, despite having a statistically higher ROI.
In recent years, subscription services have taken the eCommerce market by storm, growing in global market size from $119.4bn USD to $196.35bn USD between 2022 and 2023 alone. These service models not only encourage customer retention, but also encourage higher AOVs, typically by offering product discounts to subscription members.
While the prospect of managing a subscription service for your eCommerce brand may seem like a colossal undertaking, with help from the right in-platform apps it can be accomplished with far less legwork than one might expect.
Apps such as Recharge Subscriptions integrate with eCommerce platforms to help business owners design and manage subscription services that are at once streamlined and user friendly while also encouraging cross-sells and upsells.
While Recharge in particular does have a monthly fee, it is worth noting that, as with many subscriptions, the attached cost can net a high-value return in the long run.
5. Coupon Management Apps
Driving sales through the use of coupons has been common practice for businesses since the invention of the coupon 1887. However, despite overwhelming evidence that offering coupons on an online storefront can increase conversions, average order value (AOV), and even customer retention, it may seem daunting figuring out how to set up and manage coupons on your online storefront.
Thankfully, the majority of major eCommerce platforms integrate with apps that help you build, manage, and organize your own digital coupons.
Apps such as Coupon X can automatically generate discount codes and promotional popups that, on top of increasing conversions and the AOV of your customers’ orders, can also integrate with other apps such as Mailchimp to help with lead capture and overall customer retention.
Coupon X specifically offers a free base plan, with paid plans as your company’s needs scale with you.
6. Abandoned Cart Recovery Apps
Cart abandonment remains one of the greatest pain points for eCommerce professionals, so much so that in Q3 2022 in Canada over 86% of online orders were abandoned.
There are multiple apps available across major eCommerce platforms such as Cart Abandonment Protector and Cart Recovery designed to mitigate this issue through solutions such as on-site modals, follow-up emails, and customizable favicons.
As with the Instagram shop integration apps we mentioned earlier, many online platforms even have their own proprietary cart abandonment apps.
As with most of the apps on this list, as well, most of the cart abandonment apps available on each platform offer free plans, as well as paid plans to account for scaling.
7. SEO Optimization Apps
Marketing is oftentimes a sticking point for small business owners, doubly so when you don’t yet have a dedicated marketing department.
Strong SEO (Search Engine Optimization) can help to get your business to rank higher in Google search results and reach a larger audience as a result. In fact, a report published by Terakeet found that SEO can reduce the cost of customer acquisition by over 87% compared to digital traditional marketing.
The problem, however, is that understanding how to make a website SEO friendly is not necessarily easy.
For eCommerce professionals who aren’t SEO experts, and who aren’t yet in a place to hire one, SEO optimization apps such as Yoast SEO and Ranking Coach can help get more eyes on your brand.
These apps will audit your site content on both the front and backend and offer actionable recommendations for how to improve its SEO ranking with tools such as SEO-optimized page titles, meta descriptions, and more, complete with templates to help eliminate potential guesswork.
While SEO optimization apps by and large require a paid subscription, in the modern eCommerce market it is difficult to argue against their ROI potential for small businesses.
8. Finance Management Apps
Managing your finances is arguably the most difficult part of running a business, especially if you are a smaller operation.
Which means that a quality tool to help you keep track and make sense of your finances is indispensable.
Much like the other apps on this list, QuickBooks is a tried-and-true product, and with good reason.
QuickBooks integrates with every major eCommerce platform, making it easy for business owners to track sales and manage their finances from multiple sales channels in one place.
It also has a robust invoicing and payment system, allowing eCommerce business owners to receive payments, track invoices, and manage their accounts payable with ease.
For small business owners growing their eCommerce business, QuickBooks offers critical features such as expense tracking, profit and loss statements, and tax planning tools, reducing the need for a dedicated accounting department.
9. Email Marketing Apps
Email marketing continues to be one of the most effective methods of customer engagement and retention in eCommerce, with over 50% of consumers purchasing products monthly as a direct result of marketing emails!
There's a reason Mailchimp has been the standard in email marketing automation for so long.
Mailchimp enables you to automate almost every aspect of the customer journey, from flyers and newsletters to product recommendations and abandoned cart reminders.
You can integrate Mailchimp with most major eCommerce platforms and access a free base plan, with paid plans for expanding needs.
While we’re not ones to brag, we firmly believe that we are the best eCommerce shipping platform in North America.
ClickShip offers discounted real-time rates at checkout on parcel and pallet shipping for your eCommerce business.
Like the other apps listed above, we integrate with all the leading eCommerce platforms and online marketplaces, ensuring that your customers receive the shipping services they deserve across all your sales channels.
What’s more, ClickShip also offers you a complete suite of fulfillment tools including our OneSKU Multi-Box, Smart Packaging, and OnePrint features, custom branding, real-time tracking, and so much more to help you offer the greatest customer experience possible!
Not a ClickShip customer yet? Contact one of our Shipping Experts today to set up your free account and see for yourself why ClickShip is one of the most powerful tools for eCommerce professionals today!