48 Most Popular Shopify Apps for Small Manufacturers 
So you’ve discovered how easy it is to open up an online store with Shopify.
You have your products photographed and on display, and you’re ready to receive orders.
Yet, after a short while you get frustrated and tell yourself that e-commerce isn’t worth the trouble.
The 800,000 Shopify sellers to date wouldn’t be there unless there was potential for success.
The number of Shopify stores out there may seem daunting and you might ask yourself:
“How on Earth do I stand out from the crowd so the right customers find me?”
Well, the answer is that there is help available!
The most popular Shopify apps out there can automate or assist with vital tasks that need taking care of in every kind of online store.
Everyone is at a different stage in their e-commerce journey, and so there is no one-size-fits-all approach to starting and growing a thriving online business.
Is your online store’s design feeling a little lackluster?
Or perhaps your customer engagement could be better.
Frustrated with low search engine rankings, or poor sales?
You can turn everything around! Whatever you can think of, there’s probably a Shopify app out here to help you out.
There are thousands of apps, however. It’s enough to make anyone feel dizzy.
That’s why we have done the legwork for you and have put together a comprehensive list of the top Shopify apps for small manufacturers, makers, and craftspeople.
Most Popular Shopify Apps in 2018 for Small Businesses
Recommended for: Complete inventory management, scheduling, and production planning
We’re, of course, very proud to place our Shopify-integrated inventory and production management software at the top of the list.
Katana is a standalone cloud-based system that has been developed with Shopify integration as a top priority.
It is a complete inventory management and production planning package. Connecting only takes a couple of minutes and it’s free.
Join Katana’s community of successful makers, crafters, and manufacturers today with a free trial.
Recommended for: Applying customized discounts that are event or customer-specific
Price: Free, up to $24.99/month
Rating: 4.2 (87 reviews)
Allows you to make links that apply a specific discount, maybe accessible from a promotion on an external website, or exclusively for email contacts. Automatic Discount makes giving online discounts based on factors that you decide on.
Recommended for: Sending fully automated, personalized emails and SMS messages.
Price: 14-day free trial, $10/month
Rating: 4.9 (2,075 reviews)
Automated email marketing means sending anticipated and relevant messages at a certain point in time, within the right context. Omnisend does that and much more. Plus, it one of the most popular Shopify apps for email marketing.
Recommended for: Using Google Shopping to bring in more customers
Price: $4.99/month for up to 500 products
Rating: 4.9 (268 reviews)
We all love Google, and this lets you get your products out there while saving on Google ads. Try it and see if it helps your sales.
Recommended for: Creating customer-specific product recommendations
Price: Free 30-day trial and $6.99/month
Rating: 4.9 (671 reviews)
This does a few things, but what you really want to get out of it is the accurate recommendations feature. This encourages users to put more items into their cart that they might have otherwise got from a different store. It is a trademark tool of e-commerce platforms like Amazon. It is one of the most highly-ranked bundling tools on Shopify, and hundreds of sellers attest to the fact that it increases how much is spent in your store, so is well-worth the subscription fee.
Recommended for: Encouraging sales by telling customers about limited offers
Rating: 4.8 (7,045 reviews)
Among the most powerful Shopify apps to boost sales. Great for letting your customers know how long a promotion will last or count down to an event or sale. Be careful not to overuse it, however, as customers will get tired of constantly seeing a ticking clock.
Recommended for: Creating highly convertible exit pop-ups.
Price: Different plans from Free to $299/month.
Rating: 4.7 (17,026 reviews)
Privy is designed to help your site’s conversion rate, meaning the amount of visitors who you become customers. Privy offers tools such as banners, flyouts, and pop ups that can be used to showcase special offers and other nice things.
These keep users on your site and improve your lead value, making it one of the most useful and best paid Shopify apps.
It offers the chance to pay some money, to greatly increase the profitability of your site. If it doesn’t work, you don’t have to stick with it.
The free plan offers all the above, but the paid plans lets you track your sites numbers and see if each part of your site is having the intended effect of increasing customer sign-ups.
Recommended for: Increasing sales by showing customer other popular items
Rating: 4.8 (15,097 reviews)
This apps lets visitors know what other customers have bought recently. It draws customers’ attention to what’s hot on your site and makes them feel more comfortable to buy it themselves. This is because if we know other people are buying something we feel more inclined to. Another cool thing is that they have festive themes for these notifications so it’s great for the Christmas shopping season.
Recommended for: Offering discounted additional products that customers can add to their cart
Price: 30-day free trial, then $9.99 or $19.99 for a small business plan
Rating: 4.7 (1,157 reviews)
Suggests additional and complementary products for what the customer is ordering. It allows your customer to find related products easily. They may not have realized your store does other things they need too. This gives your store Amazonian powers, at a low cost.
Recommended for: Improving communication through social shares and messaging buttons.
Price: From Free to $49.99/month for the Platinum Plan
Rating: 4.8 (535 reviews)
Nowadays, it’s mandatory to have a social media presence. This app enables you to acquire more social shares and followers for your website and social accounts. Trusted by 10,000's of Shopify merchants, it also allows you to add social messaging options and QR codes like Snapchat, Whatsapp, Messenger, Viber, Line and Telegram.
Recommended for: Shoppable galleries, UGC, finding influencers and building communities
Rating: 4.8 (658 reviews)
Instagram is another must-have for any business these days. The editing capabilities of Instagram allows you to post professional-looking photos quickly and cheaply. Using this app, you can integrate your Instagram galleries with your Shopify website pages. If a customer sees something they like, they can click on the image and be directed to a sales page.
Recommended for: Automating repetitive social media tasks
Rating: 4.7 (589 reviews)
Now you can automate the repetitive parts of your daily social media grind.
Every time you add a new product or blog article, this app will automatically post it to social media. You can set it to make customized posts at specific times. Reliably updating social media at set times is the key to building a trusted brand.
Recommended for: Enhancing the social reach of your store.
Price: Free / $0.25 per post
Rating: 4.8 (791 reviews)
Outfy helps you to promote your products on 12 social media networks, seamlessly reaching thousands of potential customers.
Recommended for: Connecting with your customers
Rating: 5.0 (608 reviews)
Allows you to disseminate information, solve customer queries, and sell more through the Facebook messenger app. Another useful official app from Shopify.
Recommended for: Managing tickets, tours, classes, and events put on by your business
Price: 15-day trial, $29/month
Rating: 5.0 (3 reviews)
Engage with your customers, create new fans, and give them cool experiences.
This app allows you to take communicating with your fans and customers into the real world. Experiences takes bookings for your events online and serves as a separate POS system for ticketed events. You can create and manage events like tours and classes within this app. Maybe local customers would like the chance to try their hand at leather-working, ice-cream making, or almost any other craft.
Recommended for: Making searches on your site more responsive and user-friendly
Price: 5-day free trial, and $5.99/month
Rating: 4.9 (103 reviews)
This app provides users with instant search suggestions as they type into your Shopify’s search box. This makes the experience of searching for products on your store so much more pleasant, as the site feels responsive. Customers really value fast and efficient solutions to their problems. Small details like this are what prevents would-be customers from clicking away.
Recommended for: Effortlessly integrating customer reviews into your store page
Rating: 4.5 (1,050 reviews)
A top pick for new Shopify users to help promote their store. You can also use it to post customer reviews you have already received. These reviews go straight to your Shopify storefront, which will improve customer trust in your product and give well-rated products a boost.
Positive reviews are a great way people use to make a purchase decision. This app also adds SEO-friendly review scores to Google search results, which will help get more people to your Shopify store.
Recommended for: Changing your store’s set currency depending on the country it’s accessed from
Price: Free for up to five currencies
Rating: 4.8 (4,041 reviews)
Make it easy for overseas customers. Products and invoices appearing in your customer’s own currency makes their shopping experience easier. The free version lets you add five currencies, which can cover all bases for a lot of sellers.
Those selling in many countries, for example in the Asian market might benefit from the Elite plan at less than 10 dollars a month.
Recommended for: Making customized and targeted announcement bars
Price: Free or $9.99/month for Premium
Rating: 4.9 (3,020 reviews)
Announcement bars are a tried-and-tested way of spiking customer interest in your products by offering discounts, events, or trial periods. The Quick Announcement Bar app lets you put a clean and simple announcement bar at the top of your website. It’s targeting features can automatically change the message based on country or social media.
Recommended for: Making your payment page look more secure and professional
Rating: 4.9 (255 reviews)
This is the app for making your customers more at ease with paying online. These icons bring your payment page in line with industry standards. Be honest – would you think twice about inputting your card details if you were a customer on your site? These badges put customers at ease because your Shopify site is secure - it looks the part and does the job.
Recommended for: Adding eye-catching descriptive badges to product listings
Price: $19/month (after 15-day free trial)
Rating: 5.0 (50 reviews)
Label your products with monthly “Staff Picks”, “Best-seller” and other tags that lead to more sales. Let customers know if products are almost out of stock or about new arrivals and sales (e.g. 20% off). This makes your page look more dynamic, and is proven to increase revenue. Think about it, who can resist a sale?
Recommended for: Adding a fully-functional blog to your store page
Price: $14.95/month (after a 15-day free trial)
Rating: 4.5 (137 reviews)
Run a blog out of your Shopify store. Blogs are a great tool for communicating with your customers. You can promote new products, educate, entertain and use it to build a community around your product. Blog Studio uses a modular, visual system – no coding or tech knowledge needed.
Recommended for: Gift cards, loyalty programs, and store credit
Price: $29.99 (after a free 7-day trial)
Rating: 4.9 (223 reviews)
Recommended for: Analyzing E-Commerce Data
Price: Free, or multiple plans up to $79/month
Rating: 4.9 (618 reviews)
Tracks over 30 metrics so you can keep your finger on the pulse of your business. It lets you know how your marketing is doing, where your revenue is coming from, and how your customers spend your money. It is a powerful tool built for small businesses.
Recommended for: Tracking usability of your site
Price: From $10/month
Rating: 4.6 (243 reviews)
This app lets you track your site visitors mouse movements when they visit your store.
It allows you to assess how users interact with your site. This may seem a bit strange, but you can gain lots of useful information. Do they seem confused or lost? Does anything put them off? You can use this insight to improve your customers’ experience. It is a powerful tool – use it wisely.
Recommended for: Tracking almost everything about your Shopify store
Price: Free and paid plans available
Rating: Trusted by millions
This is not found in the Shopify App Store, but can be set up with your Google account directly.
It has free and paid plans and offers many powerful ways to track the way visitor behave on your store
Recommended for: Boosting Google rankings of your store’s images
Rating: 4.7 (5,983 reviews)
This is one of the most popular Shopify apps for optimizing your images to improve their Google ranking.
The easy-to-use template system lets you input the key words you want to include. The more relevant and descriptive of your product the better.
Recommended for: Email marketing
Price: Free (up to 250 contacts).
Rating: 4.5 (367 reviews)
Many seller’s number one app for enhancing their marketing.
When a customer signs up on your site, they become a contact. Klaviyo lets you manage and optimize the process of creating email campaigns. You can also track the value you get from keeping and maintaining an informed contact list of potential customers.
Perfect for small businesses to get their message out.
Recommended for: Reward points system to keep customers coming back
Price: Free or $50/month
Rating: 4.8 (3,083 reviews)
Smile lets you run a loyalty points and referral program for your customers. This is an ideal way to retain customers, as they feel valued and respected.
The referral program motivates customers to let their friends and family know about your great products.
Recommended for: Notifying customers about abandoned carts through Facebook messenger
Rating: 4.8 (5026 reviews)
Recart helps you market your business through Facebook Messenger. Around 1.5 billion people use Facebook every day. The ubiquity of Facebook Messenger means that using it properly can be a powerful tool to gain and convert customers. The cart abandonment feature that comes with Recart makes your store more shoppable as it gives customers the opportunity to carry on with a started order, rather than begin again.
Recommended for: Keeping carts active when the customer changes device
Price: Free, Pro version depends on the sales it generates
Rating: 4.8 (2,404 reviews)
The free version lets you monitor customer activity on Facebook, so you can see what is working for you. The cart sync feature lets users make changes to their cart across multiple devices.
The Consistent Cart pro version is a bundle of apps that augment your Facebook sales channel. It includes the core features of the previous app, with several more, promising to increase your sales “by up to 300%”.
Recommended for: Improving the Google ranking of your site’s text
Price: Free, $49/month, $99/month
Rating: 4.5 (742 reviews)
Google Adwords levels the playing field between small and big businesses. Clever Google Adwords makes this technology usable without any know-how in this area. This is a way to boost people visiting your site who are looking for your product on Google. It even boasts technology based on machine learning to optimize your store so its picked by Google’s algorithms to be higher in search rankings.
Recommended for: Making your Google search result more clickable
Price: $69 one-time charge
Rating: 5.0 (271 reviews)
Another SEO tool, this one helps your store appear in a more appealing way in search engines. Your name, URL, and site descriptions will appear in an optimized way that is the gold-standard for encouraging people to click on it. This increases your click-through rate by showing extra info like prices and reviews on Google search results.
Recommended for: Managing large-scale mailing lists
Rating: 4.2 (1,078 reviews)
The trusty go-to email service for businesses everywhere. MailChimp supports importing existing mailing lists and will add any new customers to it automatically. It allows you to manage a mailing list of thousands of customers. You can also set up customer reminders and other automated messages.
Recommended for: Keeping customers on your site with something different
Price: $14.92/month, $54.92/month
Rating: 4.8 (403 reviews)
A site pop-up with a difference! Wheelio lets your customer play a little wheel of fortune game based on your product. Customer reviews claim that is gets customers more interested in your product and is more engaging than a plain text pop-up.
Recommended for: Personalized ads on your site
Price: Free + Facebook ad spend
Rating: 4.7 (337 reviews)
Site ads personalized to the visitor. This targeting gets potential customers looking at products that they are more likely to be interested in.
Recommended for: Creating customizable product galleries
Price: Free - $49.99/month
Rating: 4.9 (251 reviews)
This app lets you create themed galleries based on complementary collections of your products. You choose the layout and content and Covet.pics build you an “aspirational” gallery which inspires customers to try out your products. A neat in-built feature connects your galleries with your shop pages, so customers can immediately buy products that catch their eye.
Recommended for: Feeding your blog into your Shopify store
Price: 7-day free trial then $5.99/month
Rating: 4.7 (330 reviews)
Blogs are a useful way of building up a following of people interested in what you do.
They can really help promote your business as well as disseminate news and information to existing and potential customers alike. BlogFeeder allows you to sync your blog directly to your Shopify store. Import all blog posts, generate customer interest, and improve your store’s Google ranking too.
Recommended for: Encouraging customers to read more in your blog
Rating: 4.9 (163 reviews)
Little details can really enhance the readability of your blog. This app lets you suggest related posts at the end of your Shopify store blog posts. This means visitors are more likely to read on and get even more interested in your products.
Recommended for: Sharing Your Products on WhatsApp
Price: Free with optional paid extras
Rating: 4.8 (303 reviews)
We know you can’t spend a fortune on advertising. WhatShare allows your customers to advertise your products for you. It makes it easy for customers to recommend your products on WhatsApp to their friends and family. You can also do it if you engage with customers on WhatsApp. It’s an intimate and personalized way to recommend your products and a free way to gain some extra sales.
Recommended for: Creating beautiful and clickable email sign-offs
Rating: 4.8 (134 reviews)
So you have your email marketing, and customer lists set up and automated with the apps listed above. Why not add a professional finishing touch that acts as a mini call-to-action for email recipients?
Seller Panda lets you add a clean and crisp auto-sign off that is added to all your emails. You can create different templates for different contacts and include all your social media tags.
Recommended for: Discounted shipping with major providers
Price: Pay as You Go ($0.05 per label)
Rating: 4.6 (426 reviews)
Effective shipping - track and ship orders through Shopify. Let your customers know the progress of order deliveries. Get discounts with UPS, DHL, FedEx, and many others.
Recommended for: Tracking and letting customers know the status of their delivery
Price: Specific pay by use charges
Ratings: 4.8 (2,721 reviews)
Keep customers updated with the progress of their shipped orders by sending automatic, customizable emails. This is a great customer service feature that your customers will appreciate.
Recommended for: Solving customer questions over a reliable chat system
Price: Free, $15/month
Rating: 4.8 (651 reviews)
An independent live chat feature on your Shopify store complete with a bot that can automatically reply to FAQs. Simply set the queries and answers and save hours spent on responding to customer queries.
Recommended for: Integrating Facebook chat into your customer support
Rating: 4.8 (3,817 reviews)
Improve customer satisfaction and promote your products through Facebook chat. A robust system for communicating with your customers and anyone wishing to get in contact with you.
Recommended for: Protecting your text and images from copycats
Price: Free, $1.99/month
Rating: 4.8 (28 reviews)
This app helps stop people stealing the content on your Shopify store. Its best feature is that it stops people from copying and pasting your images from Google images. Protect your awesome images and content.
Recommended for: Protecting your store from bogus accounts
Rating: 4.9 (24 reviews)
As your Shopify store grows, it may attract spam account creation and fraudulent activity. Shop Protector increases the protection on your store, and reduces the time wasted from sorting through accounts.
Recommended for: Applying location-specific taxes to orders
Price: 30-day free trial then $19/month
Rating: 4.7 (78 reviews)
Say you’re a small manufacturer based in the US who often gets online orders from other states. This app allows you to set the tax rates for your shipping destinations and automatically adds it for each sale.
Conclusion – How Shopify Apps Help Your Online Store
That was our definitive list of the most useful Shopify apps for small manufacturers, makers, and craftspeople in 2018.
This list will be updated as new apps come out, so you can keep checking back here for the most up-to-date compendium of Shopify-enhancing applications.
A few final points to help you on your Shopify journey:
Don’t be put off by prices. Almost all the apps recommended here are free or have a free option, so you can test them out and decide whether they’re useful for your business or not.
There is some overlap between what Shopify apps do. Many apps come in bundles and have lots of features thrown in to entice more users. If it seems like we have recommended two different apps for the same thing, read the description carefully. This is because these apps usually excel in one particular thing.
There’s no need to rush into anything. Trying to download all of these Shopify apps at once might be confusing and you’ll probably miss out on the most useful features. Instead, try integrating one at a time. Decide what would help your store the most, download it, and try it out.
Don’t overdo it. Every app you have should be doing something positive for your site, not bogging you down. Ensure you don’t add too many pop ups, widgets or banners, as you’ll distract the visitor.
One last thing…
…if you have any feedback, please leave it in the comments below! Tell us about your experiences with Shopify and e-commerce.
Or maybe you would like to recommend an amazing Shopify app that we forgot to mention.
We would love to hear from you!