The holidays are a stressful time in ecommerce. Your production goes into overdrive, you haven’t slept more than five hours since September, and, as we keep reminding you, a single weekend is about to make or break your fiscal year (sorry, but it’s true).

Here’s the thing: you don’t have to do it alone. One of the benefits to running a business on Shopify is that you have access to literally thousands of apps built to help you extend, improve, and automate the functionality of your store. Some of them are even free.

To help you identify which apps are going to give you the biggest Black Friday boost, today we’ve rounded up a few of our faves. Whether you’re looking to design a killer landing page, upgrade your customer support, or increase order values (and hey, who isn’t?), here are 10 apps we think every Shopify merchant should consider ahead of BFCM.

Product Upsell

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One of the most popular apps in the App Store, Bold’s Product Upsell has been helping merchants boost conversions and order values since its launch more than five years ago. The app lets merchants offer relevant add-ons and upgrades to customers based on the contents or dollar value of their cart. And, as of last month, you can do upsells, cross-sells, or even both at the same time! Talk about a Black Friday workhorse.

Pixelpop

pixelpop-example-storeWe like to think of Pixelpop as the Swiss Army knife of Black Friday apps. You can use it to build your mailing list, to promote products, collections, and gift guides, and even to incentivize conversions with coupons and exit-intent offers. We also recently added Display Frequency to Pixelpop, giving you ultimate control over where and when your popups display.

Free Shipping & Discount Bar

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Fresh from the factory, Free Shipping & Discount Bar is all about motivating shoppers and maximizing sales. By allowing merchants to set free or discounted shipping thresholds, and then showing customers exactly how much they need to spend in order to qualify for it, you’re practically guaranteed to boost your Black Friday conversions and order values—all without discounting your products or compromising your margins.

Rewards and Referrals

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Loyalty programs are a great way of incentivizing repeat purchases and fostering brand loyalty, and there’s no shortage of options for merchants wanting to set up a program. Swell’s offering is one of the most robust, letting you award points for more than 10 types of customer actions, including purchases, reviews, and social follows. The app also lets you tap into the power of word-of-mouth referrals, incentivizing current customers to share your store with their friends and family using unique referral links.  

Aftership

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Any experienced online merchant knows that getting a customer to click the buy button is only half the battle. You still need to pack and ship their order, provide regular status updates, and send follow-up offers to further engage them. Fortunately, Aftership can do a lot of the heavy lifting for you, helping you create branded tracking pages, send proactive delivery updates, and draw past customers back in with automatically triggered re-engagement campaigns.

OrderlyEmails

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Did you know that every time someone makes a purchase from your store (or creates an account, or abandons their cart) they receive a standardized email notification from Shopify? OrderlyEmails lets you transform these workaday transactional emails into engaging and on-brand customer touchpoints. With a range of starting designs—including two specifically designed to match our themes—and a bunch of customization tools, it has everything you need to tailor your notifications to your brand and style.

Page Studio

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Check out any major retailer’s site around Black Friday and you’ll find they have a landing page dedicated exclusively to the event. But creating professional-calibre landing pages can be tricky if you don’t have a digital designer in your corner. Page Studio makes it easy, giving you the tools you need to create attractive, responsive pages using its intuitive WYSIWYG editor. As they say, “If you can click a mouse, you can build beautiful pages.”

Countdown Sales Timer

countdown-sales-timer-example-store

Just because BFCM has been your entire world for the past three months doesn’t mean your customers know what it is or when it’s coming. To ensure they don’t miss out, use Countdown Sales Timer to create an anticipation-building timer bar for the top of your store. When the big day finally hits, you can reset the clock so that it counts down to the end of your sale, and again afterwards, to let customers know about an important buy-before deadline like holiday shipping.

Tidio Live Chat

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We all know the frustration of standing in the middle of a retail store, unable to find an employee when we need them. It’s no less annoying online, which is why Tidio Live Chat is so great. Tidio enables merchants to engage their customers, communicate with them, and let them know there’s a real person there who can help them choose the right product. You can even set up automatic messages, allowing you to reach customers at critical points in their purchasing journeys.

Back In Stock

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With the volume of traffic and sales that’s going to hit your store BFCM weekend, it’s practically inevitable that some items are going to sell out. That’s great for you, but a bummer for customers who had their heart set on an item but missed out. To make the most of a sad situation, Back In Stock allows those customers to opt in to get notified when their product is, well, back in stock. Plus, you get to build your mailing list and capture sales you would have otherwise lost. Win-win!


We hope this post helps you find an app or two (or 10!) to make your life easier and your sales stronger. If you’re hungry for more, head to the App Store or check out Shopify’s own roundup of apps, handpicked to help you engage and convert this BFCM.

One week to go—good luck!

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