The Best Shopify Tools of 2016

Shopify is a powerful platform that just keeps getting better. New tools and apps keep being released that can help you get more customers and more orders. In this post, we’re going to dig into a few of the tools we’re loving in 2016.

(This is by no means an exhaustive list, and we’ll be coming back to update this as the year goes on. Make sure you bookmark it and come back to check it out regularly for our best finds.)

Click and Collect:

If you offer in-store pickup when your customers place an order, this one is going to be a game-changer for you.

Previously, Shopify’s shipping rates were always ordered according to price, with the cheapest option being listed first.

Since in-store pickup is free, many stores had major issues with incorrect shipping selections. Customers wouldn’t realize that the default delivery method was set to pick up… which resulted in a lot of incorrect orders, delivery delays, and unhappy customers and store owners.

Click and Collect changes all that. Here are just some of its features:

  • Unlimited number of pickup locations
  • Breakpoints (for example, if you order before 2 pm, you can pick up same day; allow 24 hours when ordering after 2 pm)
  • Pickup Date and Time (customers can choose a date and time to collect their order as it suits them, according to a couple of parameters: how many days/hours a customer will need to wait before collecting their order and your store’s opening days and hours)
  • Option for the customer to pay in-store
  • Postal code search so customers can find their nearest pickup locations
  • Works with both single and multiple pickup locations
  • Blackout specific dates (for example, pickup not available on Easter, Christmas Day & New Year’s Day)
  • Ability to force pickup for specific products (for example, if you need age or license verification for a particular item, or if the items require Curbside pickup)
  • Order tagging (All pickup orders will contain a single, generic tag to differentiate them from your normal orders but can also add tags for each specific location. This allows you to easily filter orders via location and type.)

You can watch a quick demonstration of the app in use here. They are a responsive team and provide great customer support, and frequently roll out updates to the app.

Foursixty:

We’ve mentioned this one before, but this list wouldn’t be complete without FourSixty.

If your brand has a strong visual component, you’re probably killing it on Instagram… and wondering how to convert all those engaged fans into actual buyers.

Here’s how Foursixty describes it:

Foursixty lets you create shoppable Instagram galleries for your shop.

Rather than just displaying your Instagram photos through a standard Instagram widget, our shoppable functionality allows you to tag products featured in your photos and videos so that your visitors can actually shop right from your embedded posts.

Never again will your visitors have to search your store for a product they saw in your Instagram feed – Foursixty will get them to the point of sale right away.

Big. Deal.

Of all the social media platforms out there, Instagram’s users are some of the most engaged.

Instagram makes it so easy to discover new accounts and stay on top of trends. A few posts in the right stream can make all the difference to your following. And when you get an influx of people who love your stuff, you want to make sure that momentum contributes to your bottom line.

Here’s the shoppable Instagram feed we added for Erstwilder, a jewelry store based in Melbourne:

Foursixty Shoppable Instagram

Foursixty makes this process seamless, and brands like Billabong, Seafolly and Puravida Bracelets are making the most of it. All you need to do is add a simple call to action at the end of each Instagram post:

“Want to get your hands on this? Go to www.yourdomain.com to shop our Instagram feed!”

Not only can you make your image stream shoppable, but if your customers are posting about you with hashtags, you can make those shoppable too. Check out yoga brand, Onzie, who have done this with #Onziegear: https://www.onzie.com/onziegear

You can do this with up to 20 hashtags. This means that you’re able to capture as much user-generated-content as possible… increasing the appeal and social proof of your brand, all while making it easier for your fans to buy in.

Shopify SSL Encryption

Providing excellent security to your customers is critical in e-commerce.

In early February 2016, Shopify announced that they would be issuing SSL certificates to every Shopify store at no extra cost to the store owners (which is awesome, since most other platforms charge for this kind of upgrade).

Here’s what they said:

“Today, we’re pushing for a safer, more secure internet by ensuring all pages, content, data…everything, on all 200,000+ online stores powered by Shopify, can be accessed using SSL encryption. Not only will this ensure that no data could be intercepted as it goes over the network, but it will also help merchants build customer trust. This is the right thing for e-commerce in 2016.

To make this possible, we’ve issued and set up SSL certificates for every Shopify store. And because we feel this is important, we did it at no additional cost to existing or future Shopify merchants. You can now easily encrypt your online store by clicking “Activate SSL certificates” in your Shopify account. Once activated, all your traffic will be redirected from HTTP to encrypted HTTPS.”

(You can click here to immediately set up SSL encryption on your store)

Not only is encryption good for customer confidence and your conversions, it’s also good for SEO. Google favors stores that have HTTPS encryption (so much they ’ve recently started pushing for ‘encryption everywhere’ online), so if you’re looking for a bump in the search results, make sure you upgrade your encryption as soon as possible.

Xero

If you’ve ever felt like you’re banging your head against a wall trying to keep track of all your businesses financial data, this one is for you.

Xero is an online accounting platform for small businesses. It allows you to manage invoicing, multiple currencies, inventory, data tracking, third-party integrations and mobile access all in one piece of software.

They’ve recently rolled out a Shopify integration that allows you to manage all the financial elements of your business in one place. Your Shopify store integrates directly with the Xero platform, meaning that…

  • Your orders will be synced daily
  • You can track payments, refunds, discounts, and feeds
  • Easily create invoices
  • Handle your taxes

… All in the one account. No more double keying data, no more forgetting reconciliations, no more missed invoices or tax payments.

They offer unlimited support to Shopify users, and they’re offering 30% off the first 6 months for customers.

I hope these tools will give your Shopify store a major boost in 2016. Don’t forget to bookmark this page and come back to it every couple of months, as we’ll be updating it with more great tools as the year goes on.

And if you haven’t checked out the Shopify Quickstart Guide and The Monster FAQ from over 150 Shopify Stores, grab that today. It will get you on your way with the best lessons we’ve learned in our years becoming Shopify’s #1 development agency.

Thank you for checking out our Shopify Insider Blog @ Blackbelt Commerce,  we have many other valuable and informative posts that you will help you to continue to optimize your websites such as Partnership Guidelines, the best shopify resources for boosting your store, the ultimate guide on the best shopify Apps, and What We Learned From Our Rebrand. Please check out our other products.

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