Optimize Your Store with The Best BigCommerce Apps for 2019
The built-in functionality of eCommerce platforms like BigCommerce is why they’ve become incredibly popular. These off-the-shelf platforms require very little customization and templates make it easy to launch an online store in hours (or less). While BigCommerce is bundled with everything you need to successfully launch a store, the basic bundled features leave something to be desired for growth-hungry entrepreneurs. Thankfully, BigCommerce works closely with 3rd party developers who have created a vast marketplace of apps that integrate with the platform to expand on its functionality. Below, we’ve listed some of the best BigCommerce apps for 2019 that will help you optimize your store’s conversions, improve customer loyalty, simplify marketing, and create a more engaging shopping experience.Sumo
Conversions in eCommerce aren’t just about getting sales. Any action you want a visitor to take is a conversion, and that includes getting customers to sign up for your email list. That’s an important conversion point when you consider just 98% of customers won’t buy anything the first time they visit. Email marketing allows you to touch base with them later to get them to come back with a bonus offer, promotion, new product launch, and more. But first you have to capture their information. Sumo is one of the best apps for BigCommerce if you want to turn more visitors into customers. The app includes visually stunning and customizable opt-ins to help grow your email list. In addition, Sumo allows you to configure a progress indicator that shows customers just how close they are to getting a discount based on the value of their cart. Coupled with the exit-intent offers to reduce cart abandonment, Sumo can significantly improve conversions while also boosting average order value storewide.
A common mistake retailers make is to assume that the completion of checkout is the end of the shopping experience. What many don’t realize is just how much potential there is for additional sales once the customer is finished shopping. Every engagement point with a customer is an opportunity to market, and that includes the transaction receipt. In fact, receipt emails have an average open rate of just over 70% compared to traditional email open rates of around 16%. Receiptful is a great app for adding marketing and upsell opportunities in your transaction receipt emails. When a customer opens one of these beautiful designed receipts, they’ll get all the information for their last transaction combined with dynamic upsells more likely to bring them back into your sales funnel.
One of the top causes of cart abandonment comes when customers are surprised by unexpected fees and charges during checkout – like additional shipping costs. With the average cart abandonment rate hanging at around 70%, you want to do everything you can to eliminate friction and surprises. ShipperHQ is one of the top BigCommerce apps to give you more control over shipping. It can help calculate shipping costs on the fly by IP address which can even eliminate those extra fees that hit international customers on delivery. Aside from the very accurate automated calculation, ShipperHQ fully supports shipping rules to help you with the most accurate rates based on product weights and accurate package dimensions. The depth of rules ensures your customers aren’t charged too much for shipping and that you’re getting the best rates from your shipping carriers.
Social proof plays a big part of customer purchases. When customers are considering a purchase online, they often turn to reviews to check for issues others have encountered. Product reviews directly on the page can put their mind at ease and may be the one thing it takes to get a customer to make a purchase. In fact, 92% of consumers turn to reviews before making a purchase online. BigCommerce, like other eCommerce platforms, comes with basic review functionality so customers can leave a product review at any time. We love Yotpo for the added functionality it brings including notifications prompting customers to leave a review after their purchase, rich snippet integration to display product reviews in organic search, showing product ratings in on-site search, customizable designs, deep performance analytics to review how reviews impact your sales, and even integration for user generated content like images and videos submitted by customers.
Just about every theme you’ll find for BigCommerce will be responsive ensuring your site displays properly on mobile devices. You’d be hard pressed to find a design agency who wouldn’t give you a custom storefront without optimizing your store for mobile. Still, a responsive site can’t beat a clean, customer-friendly mobile app. It used to be a costly process to develop a mobile app from scratch but Apptive has changed the game with its integration for BigCommerce stores. Through an innovative drag-and-drop interface you can transform your store into a mobile experience for both Android and iPhone users. The best part is that you don’t have to know a single line of code to make your app. This is a terrific app for online stores with frequent return shoppers. You can even market to them directly through your app with push notifications. When it’s time to update your store, you can access your dashboard and make quick updates on the fly.
Remember that statistic about the number of customers who bail before making a purchase? If upwards of 70% of people abandon their carts, and only around 2% of first-time visitors make a purchase, it would be great if there was a way to shorten how long it takes to test out changes in your checkout process and retain more of those customers. Enter Optimizely, the best app for significantly lifting your conversion rates in rapid time. Optimizely lets you perform A/B split testing, serving up different versions of your site to different customers in order to see which version converts better. With detailed analytics you won’t have to guess at performance based on an average conversion rate. Optimizely will show you performance and conversion metrics side by side for each test, distribution of visitors, conversion rate over time and more.
If there’s one thing we’ve learned over the years about conversion rates, it’s that optimization is as much of art as it is a science. There’s also a certain amount of psychology behind getting customers to click. It’s not always easy to establish trust and convince a customer that you’ve got the right solution to their problem. Social proof helps – a lot. Reviews are helpful but sometimes it takes a little more to get a customer fixated on a product. When customers see a rush on a product in a retail store it can create interest along with a fear of missing out. The FOMO app allows you to replicate that experience in an online store. With the app installed you can configure small notifications to trigger during the shopping experience that show products other people have purchased. They even include an image of the product. Shoppers can click the notification to be taken to the product page. They’re effective, too! According to BigCommerce, adding elements of social proof like this can boost conversions by as much as 40-80%.
Email marketing is a big part of customer retention as well as customer acquisition. It’s also not easy to manage when your plate is full trying to focus on growing your business. There are plenty of email marketing apps that integrate with BigCommerce, but one of the reasons we love Klaviyo is the depth of functionality. With Klaviyo, you don’t have to guess at what campaigns to send and which customers to target. The platform lets you leverage a wide range of data from customer behaviors to sales data to create laser-targeted campaigns much more likely to convert. Best of all, you don’t have to spend too much time trying to design the perfect campaign. Klaviyo comes loaded with templates and layouts along with a library of customizable automated content to help you get started.
Cloud platforms like BigCommerce and Shopify have made it incredibly easy to launch, maintain, and grow an online store. But even with your entire store running online in the cloud in secure data centers with redundant servers, accidents can happen. The best way to protect your business from data loss is to backup all your data on a regular basis. Hosting platforms often come with a default backup, and you can reinforce that with a backup of your own. Rewind gives you a means of quickly creating a backup of your data with a single-click, including your entire order history, all product details, all customer data, and more. If there’s ever an issue all you have to do is rewind your data to the last restore point.
Customer acquisition is important and it’s likely a significant portion of your marketing budget, but that first sale isn’t nearly as important as a customer’s second purchase. Only about 20% of first-time buyers will make a second purchase but if you could keep just 10% more of your existing customers you will easily double your revenue. If you boost customer retention by as little as 5% you can boost profits by 25% to 95%, which is why it’s smart to use loyalty and rewards apps. S Loyalty is one of the best apps for a BigCommerce store looking to reward its customers. The S Loyalty app offers sophisticated features including scheduling campaigns, customizing your storefront overlap, multi-user support, automated points expiration, automated discount code generation, automated engage to prompt customers to use points. It even integrates with Referral Candy so you can introduce referrals, loyalty points, and rewards all through a single app interface.
Over to You
The app marketplace for BigCommerce has a variety of apps that cover everything from loyalty rewards and marketing to accounting, shipping, customer management and more. This short list of our favorites is only a fraction of some of the great apps you’ll find to help optimize your store. If you’ve got a favorite app that’s helped grow revenue and scale up, by all means let us know. We’d love to hear about your experiences with BigCommerce and the apps you rely on for success.
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