Top 10 BigCommerce Apps
Top 10 BigCommerce Apps
Do you have a BigCommerce store but you don’t know which apps are the best? Don’t worry, we have got you covered. Using our experience as BigCommerce Agency Partner of the year, we’ve shortlisted the best apps in the BC App Marketplace based on the following categories:
- Shipping Experience & Back office Workflows
- Back in stock notifications
- Search & Merchandising
- Analytics & Data
Third-party tech is a huge part of the SaaS ecommerce model and it allows you to add functionality to your website quickly and easily without building a custom feature or integration. There are nearly 1,000 apps in the marketplace and it can sometimes be difficult to navigate so we have enlisted the help of Paul Casey, Head of Account Management, Tom Robertshaw, Innovation Director and Kieran Cole, Front End Developer help you with some expert advice.
Listen to our podcast on the topic
Content Management System (CMS)
How can we manage content throughout the customer journey with BigCommerce? The CMS is one of the biggest apps we look at in the discovery phase of a platform project. These are our top CMS apps in the BigCommerce marketplace.
You’ve got Shogun, which if you’ve been on the Shopify platform before, you will most likely have experience with Shogun. Shogun is a powerful drag and drop page builder and visual content management system seamlessly integrated with BigCommerce. You can create reusable content blocks and drag them around the page and align them with the branding on your site. This gives the user freedom to create elaborate designs while sticking to the look and feel of their brand.
Styla is a much more high-end CMS, where they are more restrictive in terms of content that can be added to the page but this ensures there is no room for error when it comes to your site matching the look and feel of your brand. On top of that, there are plenty of customisations within the platform such as integrations with third parties like Instagram. There’s also the shoppable content feature, where you can have an image, video or blog article which has hot spots where you can click and it enables the buyer into the purchase journey more seamlessly. This type of CMS is none traditional and gives your content more of an editorial feel.
BigCommerce Page Builder
The BigCommerce Page Builder offering comes with its own array of widgets that can be used across your stores. Like Shogun, it provides flexibility but it has the advantage of already being built-in to the BigCommerce platform at no extra costs like you would incur with a third-party app.
Shipping Experience & Back Office Workflows
ShipperHQ helps you craft a great shipping experience from the customer’s perspective when it comes to features such as your checkout and add to cart. It offers what shipping methods are available to customers, estimated delivery dates, click and collect to name a few of its stack of benefits. ShipperHQ is a no brainer when it comes to levelling up your shipping experience. It is much more of a front end experience for customers and less involved in back-office workflows.
When it comes to your back office workflows, Shipstation is a great app for this. Once you have your order what do you do with it? This is where Shipstation comes in. It handles tasks such as providing the most optimum carrier to ship with and getting the order information and order labels to the carrier.
Once your order is shipped, there’s still delivery tracking and returns to consider, this is where Aftership comes in. If a delivery is delayed or someone wants the latest tracking information for their order, Aftership will manage the portal in the BigCommerce site. Or, if someone wants to return something, they will also manage the returns portal within BigCommerce.
It’s not the sexiest part of ecommerce, but it’s a critical cog in the machine in delivering a good customer experience.
Back in stock notifications
Back in stock notifications seems to be a hot topic with a lot of our clients this year due to supply chain issues that have come from Brexit and the pandemic.
Swym can integrate with your ESPs so that you can have emails sent out from the platform you are using if you want your marketing all in the same place for tracking.
This is a BigCommerce only app, the creators originally built this service for their own BigCommerce store and received so many requests from other store owners to add them onto the service, that they turned it into an app for easy installation.
When a product is out of stock, InStockNotify inserts an area for customers to enter their email addresses in your product listing. It then monitors the inventory levels of the products your customers are interested in. When products are back in stock, they automatically email them to let them know it is available for purchase again.
It sits within the platform itself, once a user signs up and gets an email, that email comes from the customisations within the app so you have it all in one place.
Email Service Providers (ESPs)
Klaviyo is an ecommerce-first email marketing platform. It helps businesses create memorable experiences across owned marketing channels—email, SMS, web and in-app notifications—by listening for and understanding cues from visitors, subscribers, and customers, and turning that information into valuable, relevant messages.
It has a huge amount of integrations and a great ecosystem around it meaning your other third-party apps can trigger events in your ESP. Klaviyo offers 100+ pre-built integrations ranging from shipping solutions to rewards programs. Top integrations include Facebook, ShipStation, Yotpo, Smile, Privy, and more. This is a key to success and helps you to get the most out of your tech stack.
Dotdigital, previously Dotmailer, enables brands to engage subscribers and customers and drive record ROI across email, SMS, social, push notifications, and even live chat.
The out-of-the-box BigCommerce integration lets you sync across your store data, map your customer data, and trigger omnichannel marketing programs based on store-based events.
It’s a well-established piece of technology and allows you to craft customer journeys that convert.
You’ve more than likely heard of Mailchimp. It’s not necessarily an ecommerce-first ESP but it does have a healthy amount of ecommerce features built-in and is very easy to use.
Depending on where you are as a business and as a team will come into play when choosing which ESP is best for you.
Subscription is a fast-growing economy and a great way to build retention with your customers. It is very business and product-specific. We see a lot of our clients in the health and beauty space and other sectors that require repeat purchases regularly switching to subscription models. There are some good apps out there that help manage how to take regular payments.
Recharge and Bold.
Both Recharge and Bold do a great job at managing the customer experience. The customer can choose one-off purchases or repeat purchases on the product page. Both of these apps handle the entire journey. Even the checkout experience is through the Bold and Recharge checkout. The benefits are checkouts are well optimised from a subscription perspective.
The beauty of both apps is they are SaaS services so you don’t need to worry about managing or customising anything on your end.
If you have a customised checkout or you want more control over your subscription, you may look at other partners that you can make use of in the BigCommerce checkout. One choice is Rebillia. it’s very similar to the previous two apps but it is a smaller player. It will add subscriptions to your ecommerce store rather than having a separate checkout and two ecommerce journeys, it’s all there in your checkout in your BigCommerce store.
When choosing between these apps, it depends on your business and how you want to run subscriptions and the options available. We find with our clients, that Recharge and Bold would answer most of the requirements and are great tools to use. The fact they specialise in the product and add updates to it over time is beneficial because you’re not managing the technology and it’s all done for you by the experts.
Search and Merchandising
Similar to the Email Service Provider category, there are so many different options available in the market when it comes to search and merchandising.
Klevu has been around for a long time. They started as a search app and have grown into the merchandise space as well. With their history being in the search space, their approach with NLP (natural language processing) is really impressive. The technology understands the intent behind the search and doesn’t just go off keywords.
Klevu has a really rich set of features around search and merchandising, the ability to schedule campaigns, personalisation and product recommendations. As the full package, Klevu is the right partner to be considered.
From a developer’s perspective, Klevu had offered a JSV1 for integration. It’s plug and play and does the job but it is quite rigid in terms of development freedom. Thankfully they recently launched JSV2 which is a more developer-friendly way to implement Klevu.
Each of the elements Klevu provides such as search, PLP and product grids, JSV2 provides each of them as components which gives a dev team a lot more control over the look and feel of it, how interactive it is and how we pass through that data. There are multiple routes for the implementation and having them have a route that makes life easier for devs is a benefit. Not only to the dev but the client as well as they are the ones that will feel the pain from a cost perspective in the project. It’s important to know which apps are good to work with from a developer’s perspective as it is uncommon for brands to want to use apps straight out of the box and they usually do want some customisations.
Attraqt has a rich history at the enterprise level in product discovery, search and merch. They work with big brands such as PrettlyLittleThing, TheKooples, Cdiscount, LaPerla, and OKA.
They recently launched on the BigCommerce app marketplace with their BigCommerce specific solution. We’ve been working with them and would love to include them in that list as one of the partners you should evaluate if you’re looking to level up in this space.
Space 48’s Category Merchandiser
Here’s a shameless Space 48 plug. With the BigCommerce apps suite initiative that our Innovation Director, Tom is heading up, one of the apps he launched in the last few weeks is category merchandiser. We are by no means classing this as a competitor to Klevu or Attraqt but it is one to consider.
Tom recognised that the out of box BigCommerce ability to merchandise, i.e to order the products the way that you want, based on internal strategies, brands and products that you want to push was lacking. BigCommerce launched a new API to give greater freedom and control, so Tom wanted to surface that to the merchant. Category merchandiser entails a drag and drop visual merchandiser for every category in your store. You can pin products to the top of the category and order as you see fit.
The initial version has some additional automation built-in. You can push out of stock products to the bottom of the page where the customer can’t see them, you don’t want products you can’t purchase at the top of the page, but it retains the SEO benefits by moving them to the bottom. You can also move on sale products to the top of the page. It aims to get the most out of your conversion and click-through rate while minimising the amount of maintenance and management time for you. The app is available for a full two-day trial in the app store, search Space 48 Category Merchandiser.
One of the most important parts of a site build is making sure that data is safe if anything were to go wrong. It’s a piece of technology that is key and isn’t talked about enough.
Rewind Backups is across multiple different SaaS platforms and on BigCommerce. It gives BigCommerce store owners peace of mind by automatically backing up your most important store data, including products, product details, product images, themes, customers, orders, and more.
After installing Rewind, you can quickly undo unwanted changes with just a few clicks. You’ll never have to deal with another time-consuming and complicated CSV export again.
As part of the development process at Space 48, we use both a production environment which is the end side that the consumer sees and the staging environment where the client and developer test new functionality. A big problem we find is having both of the content in those two environments synced. Rewind Copy allows us to pull across product data and configuration from the production site into staging to give us a reliable testing environment both for ourselves and the merchant.
This ensures we mitigate any risk before we set any changes live. It keeps both environments in sync and we know we’re not going to cost a merchant millions by taking their site down by putting a change out.
Getting high-quality reviews is a staple for most ecommerce brands and allows customers to leave detailed reviews. There’s a lot of review providers out there that offer a high-end experience. Giving customer’s the opportunity to share images and UGC on these platforms is developing it into a strong tool for most merchants.
Yotpo helps BigCommerce businesses generate tons of product and site reviews, photos, videos, Q&A and other user-generated content and use them to drive qualified traffic, increase conversion rate & boost sales.
Yotpo’s basic version is free which covers a lot of features for a free plan. They also offer a premium plan that covers more user-generated content and can offer discount schemes for users that leave reviews. Yotpo is plug & play with BigCommerce making it easy to use and setup takes only minutes.
REVIEWS.io BigCommerce application allows you to automate your review collection for service and product reviews. Its features include:
- Automate review requests
- Automatically synchronise product catalogue
- Boost reviews by sending requests to your past customers
- Import BigCommerce product reviews
- Easily install review widgets
Its Instagram integration provides access to a dynamic list of Influencers who have shopped with you to identify ideal Influencer opportunities. See all the Instagram posts that have mentioned or tagged your brand in one feed then turn every great photo into free marketing for your brand. Tag products in your favourite UGC and pull them into a widget to create a shoppable Instagram Gallery.
The Social Proof feature allows you to create professional images for all the leading social media platforms as well as Google Display Ads. It provides a simple way to design social media content. Turning your reviews into awesome content. This is a massive win for Reviews.IO
Data and analytics
Lucky Orange provides data and insights with its real user monitoring tool. Its features include
- Dynamic Heatmaps – See the parts of a page that convert and ones that create roadblocks.
- Session Recordings – Watch a replay of what people did on your website so you can spot conversion issues. Leave notes on key interactions.
- Conversion Funnels – Automatically generated funnels that help you follow the customer journey to pinpoint drop off.
- Visitor Profile – See everything a specific person does on your website organised in one simple view.
- Live Chat – Build relationships by helping people exactly when they need it with event- and time-based triggers. Ask visitors to rate their chat experience, too.
- Live View – See exactly what people on your website experience — in real-time.
- Surveys – Gather customer input on their experience, your products and more.
- Announcements – Provide a discount or share exciting news with all visitors or trigger them to specific audiences.
- Form Analytics – See which fields cause the most abandonment, take longer to complete or get repeated.
- Insights – Surface meaningful analytics through its customisable dashboard.
Glew is a business intelligence tool. We appreciate you’ll already have Google Analytics but Glew helps you see data from all the apps and tools you use – including BigCommerce, Facebook, Google Analytics, Google Ads, Klaviyo, Mailchimp, ReCharge and more – in one place, for smarter, streamlined reporting, so you can identify opportunities, take action and see results – faster.
It can report on a range of areas such as inventory, product, marketing, customer, subscriptions, so you can generate weekly reports but also set thresholds for certain areas to understand what is happening. Great to invest in a tool like this to understand what is going on to understand where to invest and formalise your strategies to continue growing your business.
There is a lot of data out there so where you can centralise your data is going to simplify the way you read your insights. We use Data Studio a lot at Space 48, our Head of Insight builds data dashboards for clients to pull in multiple data sources into one dashboard.
BigCommerce released an integration with BigQuery which facilitates Data Studio and gets your BigComemrce data out into a digestible format that can be used by other platforms.
Retaining customers is a huge part of any ecommerce strategy and these apps are a great way to help you with that.
Build a powerful rewards program to grow your business. A Smile loyalty program gives your customers access to exclusive perks, attractive discounts, and a fun way to engage with your brand every time they log in to your store. Features include:
Loyalty Points Program
- Earn points for actions like creating a customer account, placing an order, celebrating birthdays or sharing on social media
- Save abandoned carts & invite customers back with points reminders
- Customers can redeem points for coupon codes or free gifts at checkout
- Create social proof with word-of-mouth marketing
- Encourage customers to refer a friend using personalised referral links
- Easily monitor referral traffic and sales with in-app analytics
- Strengthen customer retention with VIP statuses and perks
- Upsell customers to progress towards VIP tiers
Real-time Rewards Panel
- An engaging rewards button and pop up panel that lives right on your store make email capture and gaining new members easy
- Match your store design: add logos, banner images, advanced colour options, and more!
- Single login to both customer account and loyalty program, providing customers with a holistic shopping and rewards experience
Smile is one of the most highly reviewed apps on the app store and is a great option in this space.
LoyaltyLion is a data-driven loyalty and engagement platform that powers ecommerce growth. Unlock real insights to build a better understanding of what drives longer-lasting customer relationships, and use those insights to connect and accelerate your existing marketing efforts. Proven to increase retention and spending, LoyaltyLion is trusted by thousands of fast-growth ecommerce merchants worldwide.
Use LoyaltyLion to add your loyalty program in minutes and gain valuable customer insights. Increase activity and customer happiness by offering points for activities including signups, purchases and referrals. Points can then be redeemed for rewards to use at your store, which encourages long term loyalty, engagement and increased revenue.
We mentioned Yotpo in the reviews section but they have so many facets to their business that they can support and enable on your site. Loyalty is one aspect. If you are looking at them for other areas such as reviews, loyalty will be a good addition and easy to get up and running.
Yotpo are a best of breed app, they have integration with other platforms such as Klaviyo where you can tie all your apps together for a more connected journey.
If you’re looking to level up your BigCommerce store and looking at different areas in your tech stack these apps are all available in the BigCommerce marketplace. Want to know more? Listen to our podcast on the subject: