Plugins, add-ons, or apps are pieces of code that can be added to a website to enhance its function, appearance, or user experience. Plugins are useful because they allow us to quickly upload and configure new capabilities to your website without the need for time-heavy coding from scratch.
Plugins can even be added by the non-techy persons among us. So it’s easier for members of our marketing team, for example, to add functionality to a website that helps with SEO without the need to schedule time with one of our developers.
One of the benefits of Shopify is the ample selection of plugins that can be added to websites to expand their function. With over 4,000 plugins available, business owners have a huge selection of features and functionalities to enhance their brand and website experience.
Many plugins are created by Shopify with others made by third-party app developers. Thanks to Shopify’s high-quality customer support which includes 24-hour chat availability and user forums in the Shopify community, help is never far away if any issues ever arise as a result of a plugin. Plugins are user-rated, too, so it’s easy to get an idea of how well they work and what they do before adding them to your website.
In 2021, Shopify launched Online Store 2.0 which significantly expanded their offering of plugins, themes, and developer tools. This in turn improved the value our developers could give to clients who wanted Shopify websites, and made customising them much more flexible whilst sticking to a price-conscious budget.
I asked our web development team which Shopify plugins they rated the best. Here’s our definitive list.
What it does: converts product prices to show customers the value of the items in their local currency.
Add 150 different currencies in one go to make shopping accessible in multiple countries.
Currency is automatically converted based on the geolocation of the user.
The design makes it clear and easy to use with flags to represent countries/currencies, a well-designed toggle setting to quickly change currencies, and notifications to inform the shopper that the value of their items will be converted at the checkout, preventing them from abandoning their cart. Hovering over the price shows the value in the user's native currency too.
What it does: allows you to send personalised emails and SMS messages that communicate discounts, promotions, confirmations, updates, and more.
It comes with pre-built integrations with platforms like Facebook and Shipstation for fuller automation of marketing plans.
Offers pre-built templates so no design is required. Simply drop the necessary information into your chosen template.
Growth-focused custom reporting, data gathering, and A/B testing allow for segmentation and personalisation to target customers with granularity.
What it does: gives customers the opportunity to explore flexible payment options to encourage conversions.
Personalised messaging can be added for a shopping experience unique to your brand.
Messaging can be integrated throughout your website and at the point of sale for a clear signal to customers that manageable options are available for higher value items.
Klarna is super simple to add to your website in just three steps and is backed up by a dedicated customer support team if you ever have any questions.
What it does: connects your online store with Facebook and Instagram store so that your products automatically sync on all channels.
Automated adding, removing, and updating of products and product info on all channels to save you time.
Customers can check out from your store on all channels, both on desktop and app versions making your store much more accessible to a wider audience. Checking out on Instagram also gives customers the opportunity to use the fast and secure Instagram feature Shop Pay.
Set up Facebook ads via Shopify’s marketing page to significantly expand your reach and gather valuable data on customer habits.
What it does: adds a stylish Instagram feed to your website in a choice of different layouts.
Choose from a selection of different styles and layouts to suit the design of your website and highlight your products. Excellent for luxury businesses like jewellery or fashion brands.
Instagram content allows you to position social proof on your website to help build on the reputation of your brand.
Installing Instafeed means you’ll have beautifully designed content showcasing your products on your website that is constantly updated, saving you time, showing off your more popular and latest offering, and keeping your content fresh.
What it does: helps you to manage the shipping of your products to customers all in one place.
Import all of your orders into one place, set the carrier, shipping rates, and shipping service; download postage rates; print labels, all through one plugin.
Notify your customer of shipping updates and provide them access to tracking tools.
Give your customers access to a returns portal.
Shopify’s plugins are definitely one of the platform’s strong points and this is strengthened further by the quality of customer support at your fingertips if you ever need help with a certain plugin. Here’s a quick comparison of how Shopify compared to other large eCommerce platforms.
Cost (basic package)
No. of Plugins available
24 hour customer support for Shopify-built plugins. Developers of 3dr party plugins are expected to reply within two days.
Dev to dev support via email covers plugin queries.
Customer support will assist via a support ticket system for WordPress built plugins only.
Oftentimes, new clients approach us asking to make the switch or start up a Shopify website because of the freedom and ease of use that Shopify’s plugins present. But there are other benefits to building your online store with Shopify too and it certainly has its place in our offering alongside our preferred eCommerce platform Craft Commerce. I cover these in my articles The Benefits of Using Shopify and Why We Use Shopify.
Or you could give us a ring and tell us what you’re after. We’d love to chat about what you have in mind.