If you’re a Shopify newbie, you’ve probably noticed there are many apps you can add to your Shopify store. In this article, we’ll show you how Shopify Apps work, and how to use them to improve your online store. Read on for everything you need to know about Shopify Apps!
How Shopify Apps Work…
Shopify apps are basically third party websites that can access your store data once you give them permission. These permissions are given when you install one of these apps – there are a lot out there for you to try, and the way how Shopify Apps work gives you full control over the information you share according to the apps you pick.
What happens when you install a Shopify App?
The moment you install a Shopify App, you are in reality giving permission to that app so that it can access your store through Shopify’s API. You can uninstall the app at any time, which will revoke the permissions and make it so the app has no longer access to your store. This brings us to our next question…
What are APIs?
In layman’s terms, an API allows two different applications to communicate with one another. The way how Shopify Apps work is that these third-party apps are able to ‘talk’ to your Shopify store.
There are many apps so it’s hard to trust that all of them will be good for you, so picking the right Shopify Apps for you is essential for your store to continue working correctly and for your data to be secure.
How can you pick a Shopify App?
There are two main things you should take a look at before you install any third-party app on your Shopify store.
The first one is user reviews. This would seem to be pretty straight forward – if you’re looking at an app that has dozens of good reviews and other users are saying it worked just right for them, then you can probably use that app without any issues. If an app has mostly negative reviews, you might want to refrain from using it, even if it’s free. The fact that an app is free should not be of any difference to how an app works.
The second main factor comes afterwards, on the install page itself. When you try to install a Shopify app, you will see at a glance all the information that this app will have access to. It can update products or read customer information, among many other options. If all the information that the app requests access to seems reasonable for you, go for it. If it seems like the app is asking for too much information or sensitive information for you or your customers, then you shouldn’t install it. Usually, you can trust the best-rated apps to just ask for access to what’s strictly necessary – but sometimes you might run into an app which seems good but that could represent a risk to the safety of your customers’ information and data.
How does a Shopify App interface work?
The way a Shopify App looks like and how it interacts with your data will depend strictly on the app. Some apps appear within the Shopify app themselves, at the admin area; while some will mostly redirect you to the app’s website (because Shopify apps are essentially third-party websites). These two types of Shopify Apps can be quite different even while doing the same thing, but we recommend using apps that work within the admin area of your Shopify store since they are more convenient to use and integrate better with your store. These apps that have full integration seem to perform better on average than the ones that force you to go to a third party website to use them.
Will a Shopify app have a negative effect on my store?
The goal of any app developer is that people use their app. If people notice that something is going amiss because of it, people will stop using it and leave bad reviews. So, while issues can always happen, usually most developers do the best they can so that an app will be of help to your store and not collect some data it shouldn’t or mess up your store organisation. The goal of an app developer is to get more revenue, and that only happens if he is able to get good reviews; so you shouldn’t be worried about diving in into the world of Shopify apps if you pay attention to the reviews and the data access required.
Although, you should be careful with apps that are not in the Shopify App store since those have not been through the review of Shopify and they might not be as safe for use. Proceed with caution with those.
What are some essential Shopify apps for my new business?
If you’re just starting with Shopify, you definitely should try apps like Boost Sales, which offers both up-sales and cross-sales on the same app. There is also KIT, which recommends the best marketing activities to give that boost you need for your business according to your sales activity. You can also get something like Personalised Recommendation, which offers similar products to the ones your customers are purchasing (a feature that can be seen on Amazon and eBay both and that is highly conducive to impulse sales). Another example of a good app for beginners is Smile.io, which helps you create a reward program with loyalty points. If your brand has a good Instagram presence, you might consider getting Instagram Shop, which turns your Instagram page into a shop and makes your Instagram feed shoppable.
With everything that might improve your business, there comes a small risk. However, you shouldn’t feel afraid to try new Shopify Apps on your online store, especially if they are coming from the Shopify App Store. All you’ve got to do is browse the store, pick something that seems interesting for your business, click on “Add App” and click to accept admin access. Seems simple, right? Because it is. The way how Shopify Apps work is easy and they are meant to be used by anybody. Boost your sales and start selling more today with Shopify Apps!